Once upon time, in a land far far away (the South of England) I stumbled upon a quaint little show by the name of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Instantly hooked, I dived into the world of drag, and my first ever show was headlined by the one and only Alaska Thunderfuck 5000. Fast forward a year and dozens of shows later, and we’re both back at The Powder Room at Revenge Brighton seated in the dressing room, dressed up as a cat and Bambi’s dead mother (and I surprisingly wasn’t the feline). It was after the incredible kick off to her UK Halloween tour with the spooky queen of Halloween herself, Sharon Needles. We talked condiments, Christmas albums and trying not to bleed out from a tongue wound…
Emily: Hey Alaska! You’ve visited the UK a number of times now. How do the shows over here differ from the shows back home in the US?
Alaska: Well, I know that people don’t tip that much here, and I’m not offended because I know the dollars are coins. So it would be really painful to get tipped one dollars. They would just throw coins at you.
Emily: It’s rare that you do a gig here in the UK on your own, you always seem to be in collaboration with other acts, such as the AAA Girls, the Battle of the Seasons tour and now your Halloween shows with Sharon (Needles). Do you prefer doing it on your own or with others?
Alaska: It’s so weird! It’s like I’m with these other acts all the time, I feel like I’m the ketchup of drag. You can just put me on any kind of food and make it taste really good. I fucking love doing it all. I love working with other people, we get to do different stuff. I get to do different songs when I’m with the AAA Girls, I even look different when I’m with them, opposed to what I do when I’m by myself. So I love it, I love performing, I love all the different facets that come along with it, so girl, I’ll be the ketchup of drag forever.
Emily: Now that is a title!
Alaska: Ha, the ketchup of drag, yes!
Emily: Do you have any British icons that have impacted upon your drag at all?
Alaska: Yes! Is Pete Burns British?
Alaska: I love Pete Burns of course, I love the girls from Absolutely Fabulous, Saunders and Lumley. I also really love Coco Ferocha and Isis Mirage, who invented “hieee”.
Emily: Yeah, everyone always thinks that you started that.
Alaska: Girl I know, I just stole it from them. I stole it from England, so that’s where all that came from. “Hieeee” is English.
Emily: Everything is always recycled to be honest!
Alaska: Oh yeah, I’m down. I’m just like recycling.
Emily: So “Anus” did really really well, and you’ve been performing a lot more tracks from there recently. What’s your favourite to perform?
Alaska: Oh jeez. Well I love “This Is My Hair”, because I love starting out being really pretty, everything is in place, then by the end of it I shake my entire body and anything that was like pinned is falling out.
Emily: You’ve released some amazing videos so far, are there any more to come?
Alaska: Yes! I love music videos.
Emily: “This Is My Hair” was so fun.
Alaska: Yeah, I love it! I can’t tell you which ones, but there are a couple in the works that have dates kind of set, we have the dates set for one of them. So just watch and see!
Emily: I can’t wait! So the Christmas album, “Christmas Queens” is happening with Producer Entertainment..
Emily: You have two tracks on it, one on your own and one with the AAA Girls, what was that experience like?
Alaska: It’s great! As soon as David, who’s my manager, told me he was thinking of doing a Christmas album and what did I think about that and I was like absolutely, it’s gonna sell like fucking hot cakes. Drag queens are sort of like the Power Rangers. They’re really good on their own, but when they combine their forces and create the really big robot, they become like SUPER POWERS. So, this album is going to be unstoppable. It’s all of us all bringing something to it and anytime I get to go into the studio and put my voice on music I’m happy.
Emily: You have a lot of upcoming Christmas shows in New York this December, do they differ from your other Christmas show Blue Christmas?
Alaska: Yeah, totally. Blue Christmas was really sad, it was like an artistic venture, I just wanted to see how much sad music people could take in an hour. But no, this one will be more upbeat, silly, stupid, making fun of Christmas.
Emily: That’s cute! What was your first ever drag performance..
Alaska: OW I KEEP BITING MY TONGUE AND IT HURTS SO BAD. OH DAMN OW, WHAT DID I EVEN DO!
Emily: OH MY GOD WHAT HOW DID YOU DO THAT!
Alaska: *blood everywhere* HOW DO I FIX IT.
Emily: I’ve done it before, it’ll been fine. Oh my god.
*several tissues later*
Alaska: Where were we? Hahah.
Emily: First ever drag performance?
Alaska: It was fabulous. It was the ChiChi LaRue show. She came to Pittsburgh and had a prize of $200, so like a ton of money. I had never done drag so I picked up the flyer and showed my friend and I was like “I’m going to enter this contest and I’m going to win it”. And so I did, I entered it and all the queens came out from Pittsburgh because they wanted that fucking prize. No one gets paid $200 to do a show in Pittsburgh. The trick about it was you had to pick your song out of a hat, a fish bowl.
Emily: Ah, so not rehearsed!
Alaska: Yeah! So I got How Many Licks by Lil Kim. I know every single word.
Emily: Oh my god, that’s my favourite thing. When I saw it at Porn Idol, I was like YES.
Alaska: Hahaha! So I did it, and I killed it and ho’s were mad but that was the beginning.
Emily: The best beginning! So I have a few fan questions. @Sandra_Baines asks about your time with Dennis O’Hare from American Horror Story and what advise you gave him on his role in the new series AHS Hotel? How did that happen?
Alaska: He emailed me! I don’t know how, we have a friend of a friend or something, and I don’t know who it was, I don’t remember, but he emailed me and was like “hey, shot in the dark, but if we could have coffee or something I’d love to talk to you about this role I’m doing”. I was like sure, cool. It wasn’t like I gave him advise, it was questions like what was my journey like as a drag queen, how do I see myself as a performer, am I in drag all the time, is it like a sex thing, is it an entertainment thing, and so we just had a nice conversation about it. He recently asked me to come see the set and they built. That fucking hotel is inside a studio and it’s like a real hotel.. that’s fake?!
Emily: The love the ceilings!
Alaska: It’s so pretty. Its genius, it’s so beautiful.
Emily: I saw the picture and he was in character as well, which is so cool.
Alaska: Yeah they were shooting that day so he was Liz Taylor.
Emily: They’re still shooting?!
Alaska: I know dude, they turn that show around so fast, and they’re still shooting! Lady Gaga wasn’t there that day, I’m a little bitter boots, but it’s okay I’ll meet you one day lady.
Emily: @courtneyconquer asks what made you want to start the After Show?
Alaska: I stole the idea from Wendy Williams, ha!
Emily: I wish I knew more about her.
Alaska: Wendy Williams is a talk show host in America, and she’s really opinionated. She’s very much a drag queen, she’s very say it like you mean it, says her mind. People adore her for it. What she does is this Youtube thing and it’s literally just her as she’s walking off stage, someone is holding a camera and watching her, and she goes and sits in her office and she checks her mail and she’s like “oh this happened. How are you kids? Oh, they’re good ..oh yeah. I had beets and arugula for lunch.. yeah”, and it’s like so mundane but still so captivating because it’s like seeing a little slice of her life. So I was like, if Wendy can be this fucking mundane, it’s fucking crazy backstage at drag shows, so I just let the camera run.
Emily: It’s a comment on the whole Youtube community really. People make millions of pounds of off like “look what I bought at H&M”.
Alaska: Hahah! I know! We have a fascination with just watching people who want to put themselves out there.
Emily: @Stormkpr asks if we can expect another album out from you one day?
Alaska: I hope so.
Emily: Anus 2.0?
Alaska: Ha! No, it’ll be totally different.
Alaska: Rectum, hahah! I’ve thought about Vagina, but I think it’s going to be very divergent from that. I want to do a new thing. I want to an album that my six year old niece can listen to in the car. We’ll see.
Emily: That’s so cute! Finally, do you have anything you’d like to plug?
Alaska: Well, definitely go to the Christmas shows in New York City, and just go my website, you can see what cities I’m coming to, I’m probably coming to a city near you very soon.
Alaska: Thank you!
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