The Thrilla In Manila Luzon: Confessions Of A Drag Superstar
We all know that in life, you don’t have to win to be a winner. Manila Luzon has become an entity in the spotlight, and although RuPaul Drag Race has elevated her to stardom, she shines all by her own. When she’s not featured in Absolut Vodka commercials she’s promoting Orbitz.com. And while she was on Drag Race twice and lost, don’t count this Queen out hunty! She’s bold, brash, hilarious, sassy, smart and inventive.Everything she says and does grows its own legs and gets media attention. Having infectious and legitimate dance songs under her belt (where she pokes fun at her singing abilities) there’s no denying that this queen is not only cashing checks, she’s digging her heels into the legacy RuPaul has etched out in Gold. We all know that in RuPaul’s Drag Race we only get the best of the best, and when put into the ring of life, Manila stands tall and gives a knock out. She surely is a champion, The Thrilla in Manila Luzon looks promising.And when she’s not putting on her best XXXcessory or serving up some Hot Couture, She sits down with us and chops it all into perspective.Manila, What can I say? You are truly one of the most iconic queens, if not the most fashionable that has ever pranced the runways of Drag Race. Your aesthetic and style is parallel to the fashion stylings of Dior, McQueen & many more. You’ve taken drag to another level. Who is Manila Luzon?I am Manila Luzon. That was an easy question! Ha!You were so popular, the fans brought you back for “All-Stars” & rightfully so! And then you were paired up with Latrice Royale which has become a cult favorite as well. We’re you as shocked as us when you didn’t go as far as you deserved to go?
Unlike the other seasons, the audience already knew who we really are so it wasn’t as important for you to stay long to get more camera time. Latrice and I went home too soon, maybe, but it was the upset of the season. Everyone had expectations of the order in which we “should” go home, but no one was expecting Latrila! But it actually worked out in the end, because Latrice and I released “The Chop” and I think we’re well on the way to making back that $100,000 we lost to Chad!You have a hot new track called “The Chop” that is a spin off of your elimination, and to make things juicier, you featured Latrice. Which has surpassed 100,000 views.Tell us the inspiration behind that masterpiece, and your anticipated hot remixes to “The Chop.”(Ahem…we have well over a quarter million views! Don’t get it twisted!) Latrice and I were shocked to get chopped from All Stars and we knew our fans would be upset. But we didn’t want to focus on the negative. Things happen in life you can’t control and we really wanted to leave a message that was inspiring. Just because we didn’t win the show, doesn’t mean we fade away. We really wanted a dance song and we wanted it to be really fun because who wants to listen to a bunch of men badly singing some serious mid-tempo musical masterpiece. Originally we weren’t planning on having remixes because the original version is already ready for clubplay, but amazingly talented producers, remix artists, and DJs were dying to remix our song. There are all kinds of different styles for every flavor, we have mega club remixes, driving in our car remixes, 90s House style remixes, some dark remixes, even some remixes for the Balls!!! I can’t wait for everyone to hear them!(you can find The Chop: Remixes On ITunes Now…Go get it now!)You’re beauty is flawless. You’ve been compared to Raven & Raja in terms of your commitment to a look. Tell us what inspires you to create these looks.Well, I know I’ve been compared to Raja a lot. And I guess Raven is totally committed to her look: Tan. I’m inspired by pop culture. I like my costumes to evoke a childhood memory or reference something you might have forgotten. That’s why I dress up like a Teletubbie or Hostess cupcake. I’m silly. I like to play with my fashion…and sometimes eat my fashion!You have a huge cult following girl, HUGE! Talk to us about your fans and how much they mean to you.I know I have a ton of fans…they call themselves Fanilas. It means the world to me that I influence so many people. I am absolutely nothing with out my fans, I would probably be still working a desk job and only dressing up as Manila as a hobby like I used to. I will do anything for my Fanilas. I actually dislike Twitter and Facebook, I feel like it sucks up my life, but I want to share my life still with everyone since I’m no longer on their TV every week so I’m on my laptop interacting with everyone. I started making music for my fans! And I’m proud that I make some good quality (auto-tuned) songs that my fans really love! And my fans were really there for me when I lost Sahara. It was a little weird at first, but their love and support made it a lot easier for me to deal with her death. My fans keep me inspired to keep going. We are in this together!You recently went on a first-ever Drag Race Cruise. Tell us how that went.It was amazing. I got to meet my fans who I’m not used to meeting in person. I tour around the world performing in gay nightclubs and at Prides, but the cruise I was able to meet some of my fans that wouldn’t go to a gay club, like mothers and grandmothers, and children. It was so fun. Also, it was a great time being with all my Drag Race sisters. We never get to spend that much time all together. I cannot wait for the next cruise!Was there ever a time you thought, “Child, I’m gonna stop doing drag!” and if so, what were the reasons?Never. I will be dead when I stop drag. I won’t stop it for a boy…if my next love of my life doesn’t like the wig, then he’s gone! I will be the fat old Asian drag queen with the rhinestoned walker at all the functions!!! If Flawless Sabrina can still do it, so can I!You’re a Heather for life.Tell us some truly inspiring moments with the other Heathers that have really changed you as a person.Of courseThe Heathers got a bad wrap for being mean girls, but we truly became lifelong friends. I’ve learned so much from Raja about how I want to live my life fabulously, she’s my best friend. Carmen inspires me to be spontaneous and be who I really am deep down (it’s been amazing watching her transition so beautifully since the show) and Delta is always there, even organizing a benefit show in West Hollywood after we lost Sahara. They are great friends. Heathers Forever!Now that the world is not over just yet, what does 2013 have in store for you in projects?I have so many ideas for the upcoming year! Everything is in its infant stages now, but I will let you know that I’m inspired even more to live my life to the fullest. Sahara accomplished more than she thought before she passed and I am going to take her memory with me on my journey to meet her in the stars! Look out for Manila, kids!Tell us about a moment where you went down for a show, and it was a complete disaster.I have disastrous shows all the time. I have mics that don’t work when I try to sing “Hot Couture” live, I have costumes that break on stage. Things go horribly wrong all the time. But I roll with the punches. You wanna call me cross-eyed on national TV? I’ll make it a joke that’ll inspire hundreds of animated GIFs on Tumblr. Again, sometimes you get The Chop, but I just make ‘em eat it and GAG!Sahara Davenport’s passing was a complete shock to all of us, but with something so sudden and delicate, did you feel like the world was invading your privacy?I watched how Sahara was effected by the loss of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, artists he loved since childhood. I saw how much he hurt and how he felt for the family and friends of those stars. When the news of Sahara’s death hit the social media sites and I was flooded with calls, texts and emails, I thought at first it was too much. But I realized that Sahara was a star herself and people all over the world were hurt at the loss. It was comforting to know how many people were touched by this one person. Once I accepted that, I let the love flow in and it really helped me deal.I’m gonna be honest, I had a little crush on Sahara because she gives good trade. (Laughs) When I found out the next season she was your boyfriend I was pleasantly surprised. She was one of the few queens who never resulted to shade to get ahead. Can you tell us a bit about the at home Sahara?Well, Antoine was such a good looking piece of boy!!! And he was a diva.He was my diva. I did everything for him because he deserved it! He was also a very spiritual person, and he really reminded me of my own religious upbringing. He didn’t care that most gay people shy away from religion because the church doesn’t accept homosexuality, he was not changing who he was.Who is Karl and what does he do on his down time?I live and breathe Drag now. I don’t have much down time. and I am starting to understand how Madonna says she never watches TV… I am always working even if the wig is sitting on the shelf. I’m always creating and planning and rhinestoning! but I love good food, I love to draw, I love being inspired artistically.In an interview with Drag Queen Rhea Litre, she admitted that Raven inspired her to do drag. Who is your drag inspiration?RuPaul of course, but my true drag inspirations are Wigstock, To Wong Foo and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. That’s what I grew up on, because that’s what was available to me growing up in Minnesota!!!I can see that now.We’re all about Pop Culture. Can you tell us a few things happening now that makes you gag?Ugh…Pop culture is so bleh right now. Britney on X Factor, Justin Bieber getting sexual, Twilight still around, Anti Bullying campaigns bullying bullies to stop bullying and GLEE! Thank God for a new season of Drag Race!!!And lastly, it seems whenever we turn on Logo we can’t get enough of you. Your Orbit commercials are hilarious, your Absolut Vodka commercials are high fashion for the tens, and your on everything Drag Race. We ain’t complainin’!!! I’ve also seen all your YouTube videos and I’m asking, “When is Logo/World Of Wonder gonna give you your own show?It’s gonna happen, and if Logo or World of Wonder don’t, I’m friends with Andy Cohen from Bravo.Manila, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my mountain of questions. We truly love you and support you and we want to see more of you!!! It’s been super entertaining. You’re truly a star!! Werk!The pleasure is all mine! And make sure to buy Latrice and my remix album of “The Chop” on iTunes!If you’d like to contact, follow, support, or Book Drag All Star Manila Luzon:Twitter: @ManilaLuzonYou can purchase her songs & Shirts on her fabulous website!!If you’re not a FANILA, I suggest you become one NOW!!!