Salina EsTitties served as the “greek chorus” of RuPaul’s Drag Race this season, relating to viewers throughout each of her confessionals and doing so hilariously. While she has departed the competition after cracking the Top 6, she still has plenty left she wants to accomplish post Drag Race. Whether it’s telenovelas to possible Cheetos collaborations, Salina EsTitties is “here to work”!
Michael Cook: While RuPaul’s Drag Race viewers will miss you on the runway and during the challenges, your confessionals truly are some of the best of the season and we definitely will miss them!
Selina Estites: I’ll take it, thank you!
MC: Tell me about your entire Drag Race experience now that you are able to look back on it..
SE: I was so in my head being in the bottom so many times, because that was not the fantasy I was going in with. I was ready to win, I was ready to go full force, but when I realized that they didn’t like my fashions, I was like “got it”! How can I make myself stay as long as I could? I think that I did a great job climbing to the top six. Now after watching the show looking back, I’m like “I didn’t do as bad as I thought I felt I did there”. I thought that I was very entertaining and I feel really good about my final showing.
MC: The sleeping bag coat also is going to go down in Drag Race herstory as an under-appreciated piece of Drag Race fashion!
SET: Thank you, thank you so much! You know, there is a show called Next In Fashion on Netflix and the runner up had like five of those! I was like “hello”!?!?!
MC: Your performance style is truly one of a kind and you are able to make virtually any song into truly an event of its own.
SET: It becomes the ‘EsTitties Experience’! When Marcia (Marcia Marcia) went home, everyone was like “no, not the theater major going home”. I am also a musical theater major myself, so I am an actress, I love acting. I look for the moment, I do the “Stanislavski” bitch, you are going to go in it with me and what makes it hilarious, is that I look like EsTitties you know?
MC: How did you get your start in the world of drag?
SET: I did musical theater and then I did a professional dance scholarship at Edge Performing Arts Center. I got a dance agent in Hollywood and was dancing as a boy, but they always say “take off your shirt” and baby, she did not have body like these Hollywood dancers do! I started dancing in drag, people loved it, I won some competitions, including a competition with Raven and Morgan McMichaels at Micky’s in West Hollywood and I won that, that was nine years ago. I was doing drag on and off and trying to also find my niche and I kind of started working as a professional drag queen legit about five years ago working in Hollywood doing a lot of television and film stuff.
MC: RuPaul always says that drag truly does reveal who you are, rather than hide who you are. To that point, your runway showcasing the American immigrant experience that you dedicated to your mother was one of the most moving we’ve seen in some time. Did you come into the competition planning to showcase that on the runway or was it spur of the moment?
SET: I went in there wanting to do that. Growing up Latino, a little bit chubby and living in West Hollywood I always have been very ashamed of my latin heritage; I see what sells and it’s not that. Drag revealing who you are yes, Salina has allowed me to the proud to be Latina and to go into the show and take advantage of the runways representing West Coast culture and Latinos where I could. It was a scary risk for me and it didn’t necessarily work out for me on the show, but in the grand scheme there are so many people who relate to the story that are telling me that they see themselves in me. That has made all of this entire experience worth it.
MC: Conversations of color continue frequently, but possibly being a white-passing Latino person living in America today is a very layered conversation as well.
SET: Yes! Even the shame that Latino’s carry for being Latino is a big conversation that does not get expressed enough.
MC: What do you think your rose and thorn are from your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience?
SET: MY rose would have to be getting to represent the way that I did. And the moment with my mom, I am so happy they kept my confessional on the runway in there I was nervous it was not going to make the cut and I am happy that it did. My thorn would have to be Michelle (Visage) just coming for me every time that I was on the runway (laughs).
MC: Doing drag and doing Drag Race are two totally different things. After a while, do the constant critiques start to get in your head?
SET: I got in my head hard core. When you go into the show, you know that it is reality tv, but it is reality tv, as well as your personal arc, and all of that in one. We’re also competing to win and we don’t want to come off a certain way, and we don’t want fight back, but that is also encouraged to succeed in reality tv. So learning all of the different aspects and how to play the game…I will say, Luxx (Noir London) and Mistress (Isabelle Brooks) are perfect examples of queens that know how to play the game. They are great at the drag, reality tv, and all of it. I got in my head being in the bottom so much that I wasn’t present to create the reality tv.
I think where I found my lane was just being honest and vulnerable with my emotions and what I was going through. It was like, at the end of the day, someone will relate to how I am feeling and if I’m just honest with that maybe it will just work for me; and it worked for me I guess.
MC: You had a previous relationship with Sasha Colby prior to Drag Race Season 15. Did it help having someone in the competition that you knew that you could kind of check in with?
SET: Yes that’s my girl. What helped mostly with that was that Sasha knew who I was; Sasha knew Salina EsTitties. She knew what I was capable of, she knew my talent. When I would get beat down by the judges she would say “girl we know who you are, stop it, get back to that”. Sasha was my rock who was there to remind me who I was when I would kind of forget.
MC: What do you want to do now? Top six on Season 15!
SET: After I get Miss Congeniality, I am going to be working on a telenovela, I am currently writing it. I am also working on my own short film, a horror movie. I am known for my parodies on YouTube, got check them out they’re fun. I’m also waiting for Cheetos to do a brand deal for some hot Cheetos moments! Titties is ready, she is an actress and she is here to work.
MC: What is your message on how to push back on the rhetoric that is being pushed onto our community and the drag community right now?
SET: I think right now, it’s all about support, support, support, show up show up show up. Personally for me my message has always been self-love, when you learn to love yourself then you can go on to love others. Sometimes what that means is in order to love yourself, start by loving others. If you have to to out and love others; it’s like a nice little circle. If we do that with each other, we will stand up against the hate. I am getting to travel and it’s amazing, I am working with all of this local talent and they are just so talented. The first thing I say on the mic is “keep supporting, keep showing up for these girls”, because we’re in jeopardy.
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