Los Angeles based Drag Queen Alaska 5000 might be the winner of the second season of RuPaul’s “Drag Race All-Stars,” but she’s been a fan of the show since it first started.
“I’m an obsessed super-fan who has seen every season several times,” she said.
Recently, Alaska, who first appeared on season five of “Drag Race,” and season four contestant Willam started a podcast, “Race Chaser,” where they re-watch each season and provide commentary on each episode.
“We love doing the podcast,” she said, “we’re both huge admirers of the phenomenon of ‘Drag Race,’ and we both have an insider’s perspective.”
But the podcast isn’t just about re-watching the show. The duo dissects each episode, working to reveal why “Drag Race” is as popular as it is and identifies what makes it so entertaining. The reason for its popularity? The dedication and hard work of the creators.
“It’s really good…it’s full of layers and Easter eggs and tidbits that keep on delivering even after multiple re-watches. It is clear that the people who work on this show really care about the product and make it something very special,” she said.
She’s frequently asked when the podcast will dive into seasons four and five—Willam’s and her seasons, respectively. Alaska’s answer: “after we do Seasons two and three!”
But when the time comes, re-watching Alaska’s own season and eventual All-Star wins begs the question of whether or not she would change anything if she could do the experience over again.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been given great blessings and I’ve also gone through the fire, but without those difficult moments I wouldn’t be who I am today,” said Alaska. “Winning was great. Losing was great too. It’s all about just taking in each moment and working hard and moving forward.”
Don’t think All-Stars 2 is the last you’ll see of Alaska on your television screen. Rumors have been swirling about an all-winners season of “Drag Race.” And if it does come, expect to see Alaska competing for the crown.
“When RuPaul calls, I answer. So, of course, I would do it. I don’t think they’re going to any time soon, but Anus-thing is possible.”
The show has been invaluable for Alaska and her personal development, but has also opened up a slew of opportunities after as well.
“The fact that RuPaul’s ‘Drag Race’ exists has given me the opportunity to have a career. I’m so grateful every day that I get to do this crazy thing called drag for a living,” said Alaska.
“Drag Race” has given Alaska a platform for her artistry. She’s been able to release several albums since her time on “Drag Race,” including solo work and collaborations. Her most recent release, titled “Amethyst Journey,” was co-created with Jeremy Mikush and released under the moniker of Alaska and Jeremy.
“We’ve been making music together for years, so we figured it’s about time we get into a studio and record an album,” Alaska said. “To write and conceptualize it, we went into the woods of the Russian River Valley in Northern California and we listened to the river and the forest and put pen to paper. What was born out of that experience was Amethyst Journey, which is really personal and really witchy and spiritual.”
From being on “Drag Race” twice, creating and releasing music and countless other opportunities, her tour schedule can be hectic. For her, self-care is a must.
“The biggest thing is staying in the present moment. When I start thinking about how few hours of sleep I’ll be getting, and how many more shows in a row I have to do, I can get really discouraged and lose perspective,” she said. “When I’m able to take one thing at a time, and one moment at a time, I’m able to enjoy the process and be the best I can be.”
Of course, that’s all easier said than done. But with support from her fans, she’s able to enjoy opportunities as they come. Despite her success, at the end of the day, the fans and their dedication and support are what mean the most to her.
Alaska, undoubtedly, loves her fans just as much as they love her. In every artist’s career, there comes an “I’ve made it” moment: that might come from winning an award, or releasing music or winning “Drag Race.” But for Alaska, that moment is none of those things. “The Alaska tattoos really get me,” she said. “They still do. There’s a lot of beautiful kids out there with my face or my symbol emblazoned upon their body. I’m so proud of that, and I want to be fierce for them.”
Her strength and willingness to work constantly to reach her goals is inspiring to many. Her advice to local drag queens? “Work! There are opportunities everywhere, and it’s the queens who say yes that get more opportunities coming their way.”
For Alaska, drag isn’t just about working gigs and making money. It’s about showing the world her art and giving audiences her all on stage, whether a gig is paid or free.
“Drag is a gift. Give it wherever you can.”
Catch Alaska 5000 at 51 Main this Saturday. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 10:30 p.m.