The Doctor is in! Jackie Beat talks about season 2 of Dr. Jackie: Unlicensed Psychotherapist

Christine Fitzgerald 19 Min Read
19 Min Read
Jackie Beat
Photo by Magnus Hastings

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and Jackie Beat is here to fulfill your prescription with the second season of her hilarious series, Dr. Jackie: Unlicensed Psychotherapist. The 6-part series premiered on OUTtv on May 16, with new episodes airing each week through June 20. Episodes can be seen on OUTtv on The Roku Channel and on The Apple TV Channel in the US/Canada. 

This season, Jackie counsels a galaxy of stars, including Lady Bunny, Bianca Del Rio, Murray Hill, Neil Patrick Harris, Debbie Harry, Jane Wiedlin, Varla Jean Merman, Cecily Strong, Parker Posey and so many more. Sherry Vine also returns as Jackie’s receptionist.

We had the chance to chat with Jackie about the new season, a potential tour with her fellow drag legends, dogs and lots more in our exclusive interview. The doctor will see you now!

Dr. Jackie: Unlicensed Therapist
Photo Courtesy of OUTtv and PEG Management

Congratulations on season two. I got to see the first three episodes and they were fantastic. 

Thank you so much. We had so much fun.

The season is debuting during National Mental Health month. Did you mean to do that or was that unintentional? 

I do not know. I'm not familiar with Mental Health Month. So maybe the people at OUTtv knew what they were doing. I think it was just a lucky accident. 

Was it easier this time around for season two to put the show together?

Well, I mean, it was a little more work, I will say, because the first season was 90% improv and 10%, you know, like a skeleton – here's the beginning, middle, end. Here's a funny thing that I would love to include.  But editing that was very difficult. So, I did the opposite for season two, which is 90 percent scripted, and then, you know, feel free to have a little fun. So, when you take that into account, it was more work but it was less work for editing, and I think the final product is better.

There was more improvisation in the first season.  I just found that if it's too loose and there's too many choices, it’s difficult.  So, I wrote lots of hard jokes and we would have five jokes, and I would pick one. And then I would do the comedy rule of three. Like, I'm here because, and I'm like, let me guess. And I will do three jokes, and they say no, no, no. And oftentimes, just for time, I would have to just pick the best one. It's difficult to do, but it really does make it tighter and better, and you're just picking the best joke.

Now, you and Sherry have had a long relationship, and you have such great chemistry on screen. What is it like working with her on the show? 

It literally is like we don't even need to talk. We just know exactly…and sometimes our roles will flip flop. We’re like Lucy and Ethel and I'm usually Ethel just because physically…you know what I mean? Like, Sherry's really pretty and she's thin and she always wants to play the lead character. She's Carol Burnett and I'm Vicki Lawrence, if, you know what I mean, for all you old viewers.

Anyway, so the point is for this show, obviously I'm the star and she's my sidekick, but even then when we kind of switch roles like that we know exactly what we're doing. And when we do live shows, it's the same thing. It's very give and take.  It's like sex, you know, like, a one-night stand…who even has a one-night stand, these kids, 20 minutes? Anyway, you know what I mean? There is something to be said for somebody who you know, and you know what they like, and you know their body, I feel that way with Sherry.

Working with Sherry is good sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – and I just want to make it very clear that if there are any single gentlemen out there, I am single and I'm not a lesbian. 

Jackie Beat
Photo by John Mark

Okay. I will make sure to include that in the interview.  Now you had such fabulous guests for the first season and you've really upped the ante for season two. Who were some of your favorite people to work with on this season? 

Well, I mean it's difficult to say who's my favorite because I'm not joking when I say everybody brought something and everyone's amazing, seriously. I will say, Rose Abdoo, who plays the housekeeper on Hacks – and she's been on every TV show you've ever seen, no joke. She is constantly working and I was so thrilled because we just sat down and it was effortless. She's like an athlete as far as acting, she knew all her lines, and then when it came time to have fun with it, she just was so in the zone.  She was like a really hot one-night stand, to go back to the sex metaphor, so that was really fun.

I mean, obviously Parker Posey, Debbie Harry…you know, I'll be honest with the phone calls. They just get a script and send me them saying their lines. And then we record it and make it look like we're talking, but they all turned it out. And I just feel like I need to mention some of the amazing famous people, Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Michelle Visage… I just reached out to them and they were like, of course I'll do it. So that also makes me feel good. That's part of being a legend – and all I mean is I'm still alive. So, they feel like, I don't want the last thing I said to Jackie before she dropped dead to be “no”.  Like that's the last thing I said to Jackie. “No.” So they all said, yes.

You’re doing this show with Coco and Varla and Sherry, the Jurassic Drag Show. It seems like there's been a lot more recognition of some of these trailblazing queens like yourself. What is that like for you now to be kind of recognized by the kids coming up in drag?

Well, I mean, I know this is going to sound bitter, but I think it was two seasons ago, on an episode of Drag Race, there were three kind of legendary drag queens who had passed away – Heklina and two others, which… you know, when I'm in drag, it's like I'm drunk. So, I apologize that I can't remember their names …and they did a little thing in the closing credits, like rest in peace and I was like, that's very nice. But why don't you give these legendary queens a shout out while they're still alive?

And again, not to be bitter, but I do think people really appreciate us because again, not to make it all about Drag Race, but these queens become famous because they're on TV, and then people go see their shows, and, you know, there's something to be said for doing it for a couple decades or performing in a gay bar night after night after night. It's like stand-up comedy. That's the only way to get good at it. And now we actually have queens who do it because of Drag Race.  You know, they have like a Tik Tok, like, “Oh, I'm funny and interesting for 15 seconds.” Well, try a 90-minute show where you sing song after song after song live, go out into the audience and do crowd work.

You know, I studied improv.  It's just a different approach. It used to be a certain kind of person became a drag queen. You know, even within the gay community, they were sort of even a bigger misfit and they liked all the campy movies and they liked all the female singers. And there was just a certain attention to detail and a certain kind of person who became a drag queen and now people can just do it because oh I can make money doing this. Well, me, Sherry Vine, Coco Peru, and Varla Jean Merman, none of us started doing drag because we thought we could make money.  We did it because it's literally in our blood. So, it's nice to get recognition and this tour is going to be so fun. I hope it turns into a full-fledged tour. The two shows in San Francisco that we're doing is a little bit of a test. So, if we don't kill each other backstage, you know, people buy tickets.

I was going to ask why it took so long for a second season. I'm assuming it's because of the writer's strike. I know you are a writer, how did the strike affect you? 

I mean, first of all it did affect everything but, I mean, we filmed [Dr. Jackie] a while ago. I think we did it literally right after the strike ended.  And, I mean, I can sit in bed with my two dogs and my laptop and write knowing that eventually the strike will be over. I can still write. I just can't do it officially. So I, everyone, took advantage of that time, but you're kind of in suspended animation or, you know, on hiatus.

So, the moment it ended, we were like, let's do this.  And then, for whatever reason, you know, OUTtv schedules things.  I know they have a lot of new shows because they've teamed up with PEG.  So, we actually finished it quite a while ago and it's been kind of on a back burner waiting for this release.

Dr. Jackie: Unlicensed Therapist
Photo Courtesy of OUTtv and PEG Management

Do you have any aspirations for a season three?

I am 100 percent in and we're just waiting to hear from OUTtv and I don't know if it hinges on the reaction to season two… I don't know if they even have a way to keep track, I don't know how these things work. You know, it's not like the old days when there were three networks and they had Nielsen ratings. I don't know if they can, you know, but I will say this, and this is like a glimpse of the back of the Hollywood sign, the budget is pretty low and I feel like with this, this second season and all the guest stars I was able to get, I can't imagine not doing it.

Because, you know, it's very easy. Sherry does The Sherry Vine Variety Show, and she is like, “Oh, we need to go rent a farm”, like literally go shoot on a farm. Dr. Jackie is the reception area and my office. We shoot the whole thing in four days, it's so easy, like I said, very low budget. So, I think between the budget and how we turned it out as far as our guests are concerned, and the content, I think it's really funny, I can't imagine them not doing a third season.

Besides the show and the hopeful tour, what else is going on with you right now? 

Well, as people may or may not know, Sherry and I do something called “Reruns in Pantyhose”, which is your favorite TV shows, but you know, drag queens do it – and we're not the first to do it, so if you're out there, we're not ripping you off, everybody – and we do The Golden Girls, like a lot of people do. We do it a couple times a year here in LA, and we're doing it in New York for Gay Pride. I could not tell you the dates, but, you know, it's on my website, missjackiebeat. com. 

So we're doing that, and this time around, Kelly Mantle is playing Rose, because our usual Rose, the genius Drew Droege is just taking off and is way too busy, which is, you know,  as the drag queens say he's booked and blessed  So we're doing that at the Red Eye in New York for Pride and then we're doing it one night only at the Ice Palace on Fire Island so What else I was i've been writing for this, um  I do a lot of writing now, a lot of writing for other people, you know, whether it's just jokes or they're doing a roast, and then I wrote for this Tubi animated series that's coming up, but I'm not even sure I'm allowed to say the name, but it's an animated series featuring animals, so that's fun. I'm trying to think of what else, oh my gosh.  I want everyone to contact OutTV and demand a third season.

Jackie Beat
Photo by Magnus Hastings

Between performing and writing, is there something you prefer to do above anything else? 

Well, listen, I've said this before – many times because I've been asked that question. They're so different. One is sitting in bed in my underwear with my laptop and my two dogs – which there's nothing better than that just sitting on a laptop making money. You know what I mean? You don't have to get on a plane. I'm not wearing women's shoes It's not two hours of makeup, but girl, nothing takes the place of walking out on stage and making a whole room full of people laugh. And then you hear that applause. I mean, there's a reason people get addicted to it. So, they're both amazing.  I'm really playing it down the middle, aren't I? Like, who's your favorite guest? I love them all! 

By the way, your dogs are the cutest I have ever seen. How's the new puppy? 

Angelo is behind the door whimpering right now.  And I’m leaving in a of couple days, it's going to be the first time I have left town since I got him. I have been here, in town, giving him 110%, so I don't know if that's going to work against us, but my friend who is house sitting and dog sitting might be in for some shenanigans.  I have to say he's lucky he's so cute because you know, you want to strangle them sometimes, but he's just too cute.

Thank you for taking time to talk to me today about the new season. I really appreciate you and your talent. So, thank you for everything you do. 

Thank you. And I'm going to keep doing all of that because I don't know how to do anything else!

Watch Socialite Life's full interview with Jackie Beat

YouTube video

Check out Dr. Jackie: Unlicensed Therapist on OUTtv on The Roku Channel and on The Apple TV Channel in the US/Canada. Follow Jackie on InstagramTwitterFacebook and her website


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