Alaska 5000 is one of the most prominent drag queens, after competing in the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and winning the second All-Stars iteration. She’s known for her unique sense of style, humor, and her wide body of work, including albums, films, web series, and even a stage appearance. The queen is set to visit Manila for her An Evening with Alaska tour and we got to chat with her about the show, her thoughts on Drag Race, and the future of drag.
Last time you were here, it was 2017. How have you grown as an artist since then?
Since my last visit I’ve put out a new album called Vagina and I’ve become obsessed with leopard print. But I still love wearing garbage bags, so not much has changed.
What can Manila expect in this year’s show, especially for those who went to see you last time?
Beauty, fashion, glamour, and leopard print.
Anything you’re looking forward to in your visit here?
I had such an amazing time because the audience was very warm and had great energy. Also, I got to stay and watch some of the queens perform and they blew me away. They’re sickening and fierce.
You recently started your own competition, called the Drag Queen of the Year. In it, many of the contestants were non-binary, trans, and bio-queens. For those who have not followed the pageant, can you tell us why you made it more inclusive?
I’ve always gotten to perform with drag performers who have been trans or AFAB (assigned female at birth) or non-binary, so it was really a natural idea that my friend Lola and I came up with to put diversity and inclusivity right at the forefront. Everyone brought so much to the stage. We can’t wait to do it again next year.
How are non-binary, trans, and bio-queens different from traditional queens—or men who dress up as women?
There’s not much difference at all– we’re all artists participating in the art of drag. Our common goal is to be fierce.
Are there plans of turning it into a show?
Stay tuned… Anus-thing is possible.
What tips do you have for aspiring drag queens? What do they need in order to succeed Drag Race, Drag Queen of the Year, or even just social media?
I would say work hard, be nice to everyone, and show up on time. These are such simple things that really create reverberations into the world.
In case Ru starts a champion All-Stars season where all the winners are put together, who do you think will win?
As an All-Star, what can you say about the current format, which some say prioritizes alliances instead of talent?
I may be old school, but I think the person who wins the most challenges should be the winner. I love a good twist, but really it’s a competition where the fiercest queen should win.
All-Stars 5 is coming up. Setting aside the rumored lineup on Reddit, who would you want to see in the season and who should win?
There are plenty of queens I’ve been wanting to see on an All-Stars season– Laganja Estranja, Rajah O’Hara, Shea Coulee, Ongina– just to name a few. We have so many great queens who I’d love to see back in the arena.
Drag Race Thailand included a bio queen in its second season. Do you think this will happen in the US? Or should it?
I hope so! I think it’s just representative of the reality of being a drag performer. We’ve been sharing a dressing room with queens who come from various backgrounds or types of drag, so why shouldn’t they be represented on Drag Race?
What can you say about the current crop of young queens? And how are they different?
Social media is such a huge deal for younger queens. I think it’s important to remember that social media isn’t real, and that face to face interaction is real and important. But that’s not just advice for young queens, that’s advice for all of humanity.
An Evening with Alaska will be held on August 29, 2019, at the Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier. Tickets are on sale via the official ticketing agent SMTickets, at https://smtickets.com/, SM Tickets hotline, and all SM Tickets outlets.