Alaska is a very entertaining drag queen that most people got to know during season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since the show Alaska has been touring the world bringing her style and humor to new and old fans alike. I met Alaska on the first “Drag Stars at Sea” cruise and interviewed her while sailing the Caribbean Sea on the second “Drag Stars at Sea” cruise. Whenever I see her I look forward to hearing her famous greeting.
Abby: Hello Alaska!
Abby: I love that. “Hieee” to you too. I’m excited that you have a new video out.
Alaska: Yes. My first music video is out and it’s for a song called Ru Girl. It’s a rap song about being a RuPaul’s Drag Race girl. And I think the video is really fun. Some of my girls from RuPaul’s Drag Race are in it and they are flawless. I can’t wait for everybody to see it. I also have a new song called Nails and one called Your Makeup is Terrible which I just debuted. Super fun. Everybody really liked it. So I definitely need to lay that down.
Abby: I personally asked about 50 drag fans from the drag cruise for questions for you.The number one response from the guys… Do you want to hear the number one response?
Abby: I don’t want to hear them talk, I just want to look at them!
Alaska: Yes! Wow. That’s honest. I love that! That’s cool. Bad ass. Oh my gosh!
Abby: So most of these questions are from biological women. Here we go. How do you want your fans to address you? Do you want to be Alaska or do you want to be Justin? Or A.T.F.? I like that one.
Alaska: A.T.F.? That’s a good question. I like being called Alaska. So it’s like a nickname and it sticks. I prefer it. Everybody wants to ask me my real name all the time. Only my mom calls me that. So just call me Alaska. Or call me maybe.
Abby: Okay many people asked this one. Can you give a few tips on the dos and don’ts of meeting a drag queen in public? For example, Willam pointed out that when you put an arm around a queen with long hair you may be pulling their wig off.
Abby: That’s helpful.
Alaska: It is. And we get upset. You just have to know these things.
Abby: So if no one tells us…
Alaska: Exactly. So the Willam tip about not pulling the wig off is a really good one.
Abby: He finished it up by saying, “Grabbing the ass is better.”
Alaska: Yah, it really is.
Abby: That’s acceptable?
Alaska: Yah. I wear a fake ass anyways so I don’t even feel it. First of all I will say that I don’t understand the obsession with getting your picture with people. I don’t understand it personally because I could care less about having my picture with somebody. But I understand that it’s a part of our culture and you want to get your picture with people. You want to get your picture with a queen? Okay that’s fine. What I will say is this, “Familiarize yourself with your camera and with your own face. Figure out how your flash works. Always with the flash on because we paint for the flash. Always, always, always! Whether it’s in the daytime or nighttime or whenever. Face your light source and take one picture because there is nothing we hate hearing worse than “One more. One more!” Because then that makes us feel that we’re not pretty enough in the first one. Which I know we are.”
Abby: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Alaska: I have 2 younger brothers and an older sister and they are lovely people. And I just got to hang out with them on Thanksgiving. It was so fun. And I got to hang out with my little niece. She’s 4 and she’s so cool.
Abby: Do you dress her up?
Alaska: I tried to get her to let me do her makeup but she was to shy. So I am working my way up to that.
Abby: What was school like for you?
Alaska: It was hard. Being a gay kid is weird and hard for anyone. I don’t feel bad about it because I think that just being young is hard in general. Just feeling alienated, awkward and weird is just part of growing up. So if you feel like you are being bullied or people are being [expletive] to you at school, know that everyone feels that way throughout their life. It was hard and I didn’t have a lot of friends until I sort of grew up and came out of my shell. Being a late bloomer is okay. As long as you bloom sometime.
Abby: When did you come out and what was that like for you?
Alaska: Well I thought I was being real clever with my first boyfriend. We lied and said he was my friend from school. Now this wasn’t the best plan ever because my mom works for the school district and was aware that this young man was not a student in school at all. So my mom approached me about it. She was like, “Justin are you gay?” And you know we cried. And I cried and cried and I was like, “Yes, duh!” My family was really supportive about it. I am very lucky for that.
Abby: Do you have any funny experiences buying women’s clothes?
Alaska: Oh I used to get all the funny looks when I was in Erie. We would go to the thrift stores. The Salvation Army was our superstore in life when we were younger. And seeing an 18 year old skinny gay kid walking through the women’s lingerie department among old women is a little weird for people. It’s always weird buying women’s clothing but now I’m just sort of like, “Hi Ladies! Oh yah, you should get that one. It looks fierce!”
Abby: Do any comedians inspire your drag or is that your inner funny?
Alaska: I don’t know. I think there is a little Andy Kaufman. But I’m not as insane as Andy Kaufman. Well like there’s a craziness and insanity that I love. I love Bea Arthur because she’s really funny. Um, I don’t know. Next!
Abby: Do you have a favorite comedian?
Alaska: That’s a good question? I think Louie C.K. is really funny and really smart. And I actually really love Ellen DeGeneres. I think she is so funny and so cheesy. And of course I love Leslie Nielson. I love that like cheesy dry humor.
Abby: What has made you the most proud in your daily or drag life?
Alaska: Well I think just getting to do Drag Race was something that I really worked hard at for many years. I’m really proud of that. And like all of the opportunities that are coming because of that. I’m really happy and really grateful for.
Abby: Who was your favorite queen to watch on Drag Race?
Alaska: Well I’ll say Sharon Needles because when she got on it was such a special moment for our city and our community. We all just got so excited going down and watching the episodes on TV. So definitely Sharon was my favorite to watch.
Abby: What happened to you in the water tank on the first challenge on Drag Race?
Alaska: They wanted me to go under water and I was wearing a plastic tablecloth. If anyone wants to go out and try it themselves and they find any success I really would like to see them do it.
Abby: Did you have a favorite challenge to watch people do?
Alaska: Well it wasn’t the water tank. That’s for sure. This is hard. There’s a lot. I always love the Ball challenge which is towards the end. You have to do like 3 different looks. If you can pull that off in such a short amount of time it’s really, really impressive. So every season that’s fun to watch.
Abby: Did you have a favorite challenge that you competed in?
Alaska: Yah. I loved doing makeup in the dark. I was like really impressed with how good I did at it. I looked flawless!
Abby: Who is your favorite undiscovered drag queen?
Alaska: Well with the internet now I feel like everyone is discovered if they want to be. And if you make enough noise out there then people are going to know about you. As far as people who haven’t made it on Drag Race, there are so many queens out there who are amazing like Amy Vodkahaus and Miles DeNiro in Washington DC and Becky Motorlodge from San Francisco. All these queens are really great and really talented. You can go on social media and you can discover them yourself. So if you are looking for some inspiration and you are up and coming there are tons of places to look if you just look for them.
Abby: Did you have a drag mother?
Alaska: Kind of. Jer Ber Jones is in L.A. and she was kind of my first drag mother. She kind of made her own music and did these weird art videos and stuff. I sort of went that way when I was first starting out. She is really inspiring. We called her my drag mom.
Abby: Okay fluff question. What celebrity would you like to see in drag? If you dressed them what would you dress them in?
Alaska: I want to see Justin Bieber in drag because he’d be so pretty. I would just dress him like Alaska. I have the instinct to clone myself at all times so I would just do a complete Alaska replica with giant blonde hair and a white bikini.
Abby: What do you look for in a man?
Alaska: I think a sense of humor is so important. I don’t really have a physical type because I think all types of people are beautiful and hot. If they have a good sense of humor or are just real, you know? So a sense of humor is a huge thing.
Abby: Okay how do you feel about so many straight couples now coming to see drag shows?
Alaska: I love it! I think it’s cool. I’m glad that it’s not an exclusive gay thing any more. Everyone is welcome at my drag shows!
Abby: Before I say good bye do you have any dates coming up?
Alaska: Hopefully sex and dinner dates! I have some other stuff coming up such as “Battle of the Seasons” and you can find it on my Facebook page. You can follow me on Twitter @Alaska5000 and my Instagram is TheOnlyAlaska5000
Alaska: That was great. Thank you Abby!
Abby: Well thank you so much!
Here is the link to Ru Girl: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ru-girl/id780624519?i=780624528.