She was the pretty, precocious newbie of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” second ever season, but she really won our hearts as a more accomplished contestant when she returned for the second “All-Stars” season seven years later. She had the moves, the catchphrases and a quirky-fun spoken word piece that has entered our fan-geek lexicon forever… and she’ll be in NYC on Thursday! All hail Tatianna!
Thotyssey: Tatianna, hello! It’s so exciting to talk to you today!
So, how has your summer been so far?
It’s been great so far! Very busy!
I see that this month alone, you’ve performed in Mexico and Australia, and you’ve pretty much been turning it non-stop across the globe since All-Stars 2. Are you having the time of your life, or does this all get a bit overwhelming sometimes?
It can definitely get a little overwhelming and draining, but it’s worth it. When I’m home, I make sure to relax and mentally get some rest.
This may be a dangerous question, but what city has the best audiences?
Oooh, everywhere is very different! All great in their own ways… but I’ll say Central and South America tend to have the most energy!
Your history with Drag Race has been so interesting. You were a force to be reckoned during the show’s second ever season, the super-young pretty one that had kind of a contentious relationship with the other queens (on camera, at least). Then you came back for the recent All-Stars second season, the only queen representing the very early seasons, and we saw this very evolved and completely gorgeous, experienced queen!
Thank you very much!
Alaska may have won the season, but you were definitely the real “winner” career-wise. Did you just have a much clearer head regarding what needed to be done this time around?
Honestly, I just went in with no expectations but very prepared. I had been a full time drag queen for about six years when we shot All-Stars, so I knew what I needed to do. Also, I am more in touch with who I am as a person and performer, so I think that really came across on the show.
Several queens have regretted returning to do All-Stars after a long absence, most notably Phi Phi O’Hara. But you it really worked out for you this time around.
I always go into things like that expecting the worst, but trying my best. I was really surprised and happy that I came across so well! Definitely a welcomed surprise.
I loved your spoken-word piece “The Same Parts” you did for the first AS2 episode’s talent show. Was that something you had been doing before All-Stars, or did you compose it specifically for the show?
I wrote that as a joke when I was 16 or 17. I never performed it or anything, though. I saw an opportunity to use it on the show, and just kinda went for it!
We all say “Choices!” now because of you. Is it fun to have a catchphrase?
Ha! It’s hilarious that one word would have such an impact!
Oh, Tyra meant to do it. I won’t go into too much detail, but it was meant to piss me off. In the end, I think she ended up making herself look petty and immature.
Fans love to perpetuate a lot of shade and feuds between Drag Race queens. That was very evident with this past season, particularly from Valentina’s “camp.” Is that something you try to avoid getting caught up in, or is it literally unavoidable?
Listen, I’ve had my feuds with queens in the past. With so many personalities and egos, it’s completely unavoidable. I do think that ending the feud is completely possible when you act like an adult.
What did you think about this past Season 9? Was it exciting, or not so much?
I loved it! There could have been a little more drama, but these newer girls have watched all the past seasons and are very aware of the cameras. No one wants to look like a bitch on TV.
Drag Race has Emmy nominations this year! Are you psyched?
Maybe this is too serious a question, but Trump just banned transgender people from the military and it’s infuriating. How are you getting through this presidency… are you just shutting it off, or are becoming active?
I am livid. I am livid with everything going on right now. I live in DC, so it’s literally in my backyard. At some point, I have to block it out and act like it’s not happening, because otherwise I’ll go crazy.
My friends and I are very excited that you’re gonna be performing for Straight Acting at the Metropolitan Bar in Brooklyn on August 3rd, for Rify Royalty’s birthday! It’s rare to see you doing a solo spot in NYC. How did Rify and Straight Acting get on your radar?
I think we started following each other on Instagram. Luckily, I had some openings, and it all worked out!
Are you gonna be popping up anywhere else in NYC this week?
Unfortunately, I will not. I leave the next morning for Florida! Work work work!
Anything else coming up for you that you might wanna discuss, as far as appearances or projects? We’d love to hear music from you; I see that you recorded a version “Same Parts!”
I am in the recording studio a lot right now working on music! I like to keep it on the low till the project is complete, though.
And will you do Drag Con here in September?
Last question: If you could’ve provided the voice for an Emoji in the Emoji animated movie, which one would you have been?