With a mega-watt smile and comedic talent to spare, fans rejoiced to see Anita Wiglit strut on the Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. The World runway. Wiglit developed immediate close bonds with her fellow queens, and provided some absolutely epic runway looks. I sat down with Wiglit to chat about her Canada vs. The World run, what it was like competing against queens that she was a fan of, and what she has planned next for her career.
Michael Cook: You were the sole representation from RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under on this season of Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. The World. What was it like to be the only cast member from the Down Under franchise?
Anita Wiglit: It was such an honor to not only be on the show, but to be the only one representing Down Under drag. We have such a long tradition with Australia and New Zealand of amazing drag and to have been chosen to represent that on the international stage was such an amazing thing.
MC: For you, there was a tremendous amount of responsibility immediately as you were truly, the sole representation.
AW: Absolutely, it definitely did feel like I was thrown into the deep end. The girls were so nice and it wasn’t long before I began making friends and I just sort of put myself out there. There was definitely a lot of weight on my shoulders, but gosh…what an adventure and an honor to get to do it.
MC: You definitely clicked with Canada’s Drag Race Season 1 finalist Rita Baga immediately, and we saw an immediate kinship with the United States girls. Was it surprising to you that they were immediately so welcoming to you? You’ve been a fan of some of them and now you are having the opportunity to compete against them.
AW: Absolutely. Like Silky (Nutmeg Ganache) for example,. she was someone that I watched on Drag Race before we even had a Drag Race Down Under when there were only rumors of a Drag Race Down Under. To be competing against these people, even to be in the same room with them, was just so incredible. They were just so gracious, and so welcoming and so kind; it was so lovely. I went in full guns blazing to make an impression on the girls, have some fun and be silly and it just sort of worked out really well.
MC: On Drag Race Down Under, the initial cast was, as RuPaul put it, hand picked and you all truly brought the best of Down Under drag to that season, and now you brought that same to Canada vs The World. In a matter of a few short years, your life has truly changed; is that fair to say?
AW: Oh absolutely. That was sort of one of the hard things being on the show, I was up against Silky & Raja (O’Hara) who are international drag superstars and have toured for years already. When I went to film Canada’s Drag Race it had only been about a year since I filmed my initial season and with Covid, I hadn’t been touring or anything. It was so crazy and now I am looking at my schedule and today for example, I am in the UK and I just got two job offers, one in Los Angeles and one in Sydney. I am thinking “Gosh what is my life”!? It has just been so surreal…
MC: When did you know that drag was going to be much more than a passion for you, but a true career?
AW: When I graduated University, I studied music so I got a job as a Royal New Zealand Navy Band as a trumpet player. I was in there for four years full time and during that time, along with Kita (Mean, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 1), we bought a drag queen dinner theater together called Caluzzi together in Auckland, which is one of the longest running drag queen dinner theaters in the world.
I was working full time as a musician and having to say no to drag gigs because of my full time which was often weekend based. Eventually I thought “I would be making more money if I became a full time drag queen”. I made the decision four years into what I thought was going to be my music career and it was honestly the best thing. When I decided to close one door, it was almost like the universe said “we appreciate you’ve gone out on a limb and you’re trying this out so we’re gonna open up all of these doors and see what we can do”.
MC: Do you and Kita look at each other and find it absolutely surreal that you’re lives are so much more than running Caluzzi and being Down Under legends? Has it been challenging to keep that sisterhood tight?
KW: All the time we message each other and were like “what are our lives”?! We were in London for DragCon and it is just crazy the things that we have been up to! It’s been interesting, Kita and I always worked together really closely as a partnership, but when we were on Drag Race it was an opportunity for both of us to go down our own paths. To keep in our duo, but also to work a little bit more individually and build up our own images and drag identities. Now that we have been doing that for a while, we sort of really have been enjoying getting to work together as a duo and that is where a lot of our magic is created when we are together. We have been very fortunate that we have been on this wild ride together and had to go our separate ways together, we always seem to circle back and end up back together again.
MC: Now that you are able to truly tour and meet the fans, what do you think you really want to do next?
AW: I am so looking forward to traveling. Meeting everyone, doing shows in parts all over the world. I am currently on the Isle of Man , it’s one of those places that I say “what am I doing here”? It is amazing and beautiful! After Drag Race Season 1, I kind of needed a product to sell, especially because Covid meant that there would be no international tours. With Drag Race, we have about a year after the season ends to “make hay while the sun shines”.
I wrote a solo comedy show called “Funny Girl” which is the story of my life, funny stories told through shows, videos, stories, and photos. Now I want to tour that show around, I am doing it in Australia quite a lot next year. I am really trying to enter the comedy circuit; the comedy circuit is very similar to drag, but there are not too many drag queens that cross over to stand up comedy. I really am going to attack that angle and hopefully that will by my key to some longevity in my career.
MC: It has been said that drag doesn’t hide who you are, it actually reveals who you are. What do you think your drag reveals about you?
AW: I think that drag shows my heart really. I have always loved making people laugh and entertain people. I think what is has done for me, is it has given me a vehicle to promote being kind to everyone. That does sound cliché and is a RuPaul thing to do, but I think that there is a lot of negativity in the world. I think through my drag and what I enjoy about it is I’ll never post anything negative on social media and I will try to make the character of Anita someone who just brings joy to the world. I enjoy seeing how I am able to spread that message just by being stupid and doing something that I love to do.
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