An Evening in Manila with Alaska

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Last August 29, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star season two winner Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 had an extravaganza night at the Samsung Hall courtesy of LA Comedy Live. She performed her songs, made everyone laugh—basically, made everybody fall in-love with her more. But the night before the show, the queen called for a royal assembly a.k.a. a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel, and we were living for her.

Alaska was obviously tired from her travel but that didn’t dampen her mood and she was game to answer all our questions and spill the T…ijuana. Read on.

On being one of the most powerful drag queens:

Powerful? I feel like a Disney villain or something. I don’t know what that means but I think it’s very nice that drag means something to a lot of people; something that has social and political importance. That’s a good thing to me, I’m glad that I get to be a part of that.

On winning RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and life after the show:

As far as winning, it was fine [laughs]. It’s so weird because I was going through so much in my life at that time and it’s like “okay, here’s the biggest prize that you can win as a drag performer, here it is.” And so, I thought it would cure all my problems or make me happy instantly but I’m much happier with my life now than I was back when that happened. Honestly, winning isn’t that much different than losing. It really isn’t. As far as Drag Race changing my life, girl, it’s a blessing and I’m just grateful every day that I get to be part of that family. I love it. It changes all of our lives so I’m grateful for that.

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It’s very nice that drag means something to a lot of people; something that has social and political importance. That’s a good thing to me, I’m glad that I get to be a part of that.

On his and Willam’s podcast Race Chaser:

It started because we were at Burning Man and for some reason, we were trying to leave and drive out and they have closed the gates because a girl went missing. We imagined this little girl that was kidnapped or something but it was this teenage girl who was off with her boyfriend and her parents know where she was so her parents were like “shut it down!” We sat in the car for like eight hours and I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. Luckily, I had this podcast in my phone and it was a Golden Girls podcast called Out on the Lanai. It got us through that eight hours and we’re like “oh great.” One episode is an hour so we just listened to a few episodes then we were like “we should do this about Drag Race” and then we did it and we’re still doing it.

On ghosting:

Listen. I’ve been ghosted plenty of times but I’ve also ghosted plenty of times. Trust. The key to ghosting is just don’t do it; don’t respond to anything. And also, that means, don’t block them because then that’s too obvious that you’ve noticed their existence. Don’t press any buttons regarding the person you’ve ghosted. People ghost me all the time; my brother ghosts me sometimes [laughs].

On sliding in the DMs:

I don’t do all that. If I don’t have somebody’s phone number, like a drag queen, and I want to work with them in a show or something then I’ll use DMs and I hope that they don’t ghost me.

On writing her songs:

I like to write songs about what’s going on with me, what’s going on in my mind, what’s going on in the world and I’m so gratefully those things are conversations that people are having in a bigger scale right now. I also like making songs about stupid stuff like hair, makeup, and walking in the club but I also like writing songs about important things.

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The key to ghosting is just don’t do it; don’t respond to anything. And also, that means, don’t block them because then that’s too obvious that you’ve noticed their existence.

On which Drag Race queen needs a makeover:

Oh my God! That’s so shady! I think it’s important and it’s great to have really iconic makeup so I love how Bianca (del Rio) and Trixie (Mattel) have cool makeup looks but I’m just waiting for a photo shoot to come out like someone under-paints them. But they can’t do it because once they’ve done it, it’s over. So, they have to save it for a cover for, I don’t know, Time magazine or something; it has to be a big deal.

On her skincare routine:

As far as taking the makeup off, I don’t like using makeup wipes all over because they’re really corrosive. I peal the makeup wipe in half and only use it for little bits after I take my makeup off with Albolene. And I wear sunscreen.

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Just stick with it and go towards the things that you’re afraid of and are ashamed of about yourself and turn those as sources of your strength and power.

On her top three makeup products:

If I only have three things, I could make a face with only foundation, liquid liner, and lip gloss.

On who should have won All Stars 2 if she wasn’t part of it:

Roxxxy Andrews. She’s here to make it clear.

On her drag persona that she wants in real life:

Having lots of hair because it keeps you really warm so I love it. It’s fun to play with it and be pretty. I tried growing my hair out though once, like for real, like out of drag, girl, I cut it all off and never regretted it.

On Triple A reuniting:

Ask Courtney (Act). She’s off winning game shows. Of course, it’s always possible. We’re all friends and we love doing the music and we love working together so it’s just a matter of us all having time to get-together and do it. I wouldn’t rule it out.

On drag queens in Taylor Swift’s music video and VMA performance:

I thought that was really cool and Jade Jolie got mistaken by John Travolta for Taylor [laughs]; he just needs to skip award shows. It never works out. I think there’s a way of including drag performers that can be respectfully and beautifully done, I think the VMAs was a great example of that. It wasn’t just a celebrity throwing drag queens on stage for social clout; they really got to hang out with her and she has a real appreciation for them and respect.

On those who are struggling to live their truth:

Being a young person is really hard and it’s especially hard if you feel different or if you don’t feel represented when you look at the TV or magazines. But stay strong; know that there are people out there going through the same thing. And know that there’s a community for you. Just stick with it and go towards the things that you’re afraid of and are ashamed of about yourself and turn those as sources of your strength and power.

All photos by me.