We caught our first glance of Seth Falk in the previews to Canada's Drag Race season 1. At the time, he was one of a small group of Pit Crew members about to be inducted into the Drag Race Universe via the Pit Crew. But since his debut on the show, we've discovered his Instagram account where we have out very own "Tiger King."
Falk is the proprietor of Hands on Exotics, a business he's run for over the past decade. The company rehabilitates rescue animals, provides outreach educational programs at nursing home, schools, and libraries, and even allows its animals to make cameo appearances in film and television productions — some were featured in the The Craft reboot.
While cooped up in the pandemic Falk, a few of the animals, and Drag Race competitor Tynomi Banks (who was a national star in her own right before the show) got together for a photo shoot which they've shared with Out. Here we talk to Falk about working with his animals and appearing on the show.
Since our interview, Falk has started a GoFundMe. The pandemic has all but ended Hands on exotics' programming which has caused a dramatic reduction in income. According to the page, care for the animals can cost more than $10,000 per month. Falk is raising money in order to serve as a stop-gap measure until programming can begin again. You can donate online.
Ever since I was a child, I spent countless hours learning about animals; when I was 19, I was able to adopt my first parrot, Zoe the macaw.
In an effort to socialize Zoe, I would regularly volunteer with seniors at a local nursing home. My visits enriched the lives of the residents and his animals, and it became a positive experience that steered me into a lifelong career.
In 2011 I turned my passion for animals into a business, Hands on Exotics. Throughout the past decade, my business has grown into an outreach organization that offers programs focused on animal assisted therapy, animal education, and facilitation of animal actors on film, television and in fashion photography.
Currently, I'm able to provide a safe home for over 80 adopted animals while continuing to provide virtual outreach programming throughout [the pandemic.]
They are all housed in a facility in Toronto.
Every day is different; however, animal care is always ongoing -- that means I clean enclosures, prepare unique diets, monitor health, provide enrichment activities and positive reinforcement training. Prior to [the pandemic,] the most rewarding part of my day was animal outreach, visits to the Children's hospital and to senior homes were my favourite. Another exciting part of my day is when I facilitate the safe inclusion of animal actors on film, television and in fashion photography.
I love working on national ad campaigns; because nothing brings me more joy than seeing my animals' little faces on billboards around the city. I also enjoy working on music videos, Johnny Orlando's 'All These Parties ' stands out because the animals had so much fun on set!
If I was to choose my #1, it would be working at hospice centres. Being able to connect with seniors and playing a special role in their end of life journey is extremely meaningful. Having the opportunity to bring some joy or happiness to their life is probably the most fulfilling thing I am able to do; through that experience, I've been able to build a lot of magical connections ... I feel like it is something I'm meant to do.
As a superfan, being a small part of the Canada's Drag Race family was an out of body experience! My first day on set they gave me a handler -- that was the moment I realized that the wrangler got wrangled.
I never met any of my fellow Pit Crew members before the show, so I was nervous; but we instantly bonded. The Pit Crew has taught me a lot about makeup, fashion and friendship. It was exciting to share such a special experience with a new group of friends who I have now grown close to in addition to the numerous opportunities it's given us. I met some new besties, and I got to witness the wealth of Canadian drag talent!
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a Pit Crew member on season 1! That being said, there is nothing more in this world that I’d want, than to be a part of season 2, but I guess we'll find out in the future.