302 - The Business of Drag with Darby Lynn Cartwright

On today's episode of the podcast I talk to Darby Lynn Cartwright about the profit and loss of her drag business. 

This episode, originally recorded for the Business of Drag podcast was previously recorded but has been on hold as I work on integrating my Drag Tax business and Not Avg Law. I've found that oftentimes you're going to get a better return putting time and energy into something established than you are into something new. 

I talk with a lot of wedding pros, course creators and online business owners on the podcast and I'm branching out because I want to talk to a wider variety of business owners to give new perspectives and share more about other businesses outside your industry to give you ideas you can integrate into your business. 

I talk with Darby Lynn Cartwright about her favorite seasons of Drag Race, the origin of her drag name, questions she gets asked at the airport, what she did full time before drag and more lightning round questions. 

Darby finds that a lot of drag queens don't view what they do as a business and when they do there's no resource (until they find Drag Tax). Darby left their special education job to work at a medical testing lab which later went out of business. It was at that time that, with the support of their partner's income and insurance benefits, that Darby went full time with drag. 

Darby filled out a 1099 every night she worked at the same venue (we're not sure why) and she didn't really think about it since taxes had been taken out of her pay at other jobs. She felt like she had to establish herself as a business before she paid taxes on it but her advice to every drag queen is to track their taxes and report every 1099 they sign. 

Setting up your business can be free - you get an EIN from the IRS for free and set up a bank account for free for your business and then you can buy my bookkeeping template for only $30 at www.notavglaw.com/bookkeepingblueprint

Once COVID started, Darby lost work and then lost her job at the bar she was performing at because she spoke in support of Black Lives Matter and the bar showed their true colors and let her go. Darby spoke more about this on the The Blaque Tea podcast

Darby shares that getting started in drag is easier now than it was when she stared because learning is way more accessible but breaking into it to become a working drag queen is hard because there are so many more queens than there were when Darby started 12 years ago. 

I formed Darby's LLC with her a few days before we recorded this podcast. Darby says that what brought her freedom in her tax journey was that while the IRS was contacting her about back taxes which was not even for large sums of money (she was making like $25,000 in revenue before deductions) she was afraid of every unknown phone call and was afraid she was going to prison but she realized that in the early stages of getting these automated letters following up on unreported 1099s.


Get in Touch with Our Guest

 Darby Lynn Cartwright

Subscribe to IMHO: The Show on YouTube

Become a patron on Patreon patreon.com/imhotheshow

Follow Darby on Instagram @darbylynncartwright


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