Smile Politely

Don’t miss Alaska 5000 at PYGMALION

A white drag queen stands in a tight black dress with long black gloves pointing to the right with her other hand on her hip. She has a big blonde updo and stands against a white background.
Shaun Vadella

On Thursday, September 21st, Alaska 5000 will be performing as part of the first day of Champaign-Urbana’s incredible PYGMALION festival. Alaska got her start on RuPaul’s Drag Race, first as a competitor in season five and then as the winner of season two of All Stars. Since then, she has appeared in film and television, released albums, written a book, and even produced her own musical. Currently she is touring the world and will begin her new holiday show, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Alaska in December. Alaska was kind enough to answer some questions ahead of her show.

Alaska 5000 sits on a red cushion against a pink background, she wears a red jacket, pants, tophat, and sunglasses. She has red fingerless gloves and one hand on her hat. She is white with very long blonde hair.
Albert Sanchez

Smile Politely: Where is home when you aren’t on the road?

Alaska 5000: I live in Los Angeles. 

SP: Do you see yourself staying there? 

Alaska: Sure. The weather is nice and I have three plants and hummingbirds that come by all the time. 

SP: How do you stay original and inspired?

Alaska: I like to work with people who love what they do. I also gravitate to working on projects that are different from anything I’ve done before. Getting to do Drag I kind of get to do everything. I also smoke weed sometimes. 

SP: What is the enemy of drag?

Alaska: The enemy of Drag is anyone who places rules and restrictions on what Drag is. Drag is an art form I love because as soon as you think you have it figured out it changes into something else. 

SP: Where is your favorite place your job has ever taken you and what made it the best? 

Alaska: I love Fire Island. There’s a magical energy there and it feels precious and rare and I’m allowed to be naked on the beach without getting arrested. 

SP: What are you most proud of in your career?

Alaska: I’ve done Drag on 6 of the 7 continents of the world, and I’m in serious talks with Hamburger Mary’s Antarctica to do a South Pole bingo brunch. 

Alaska 5000 against a teal background, she wears a teal swimsuit. She has one hand on her hip and one by her mouth. She is white with very long pink hair.
Sean Vadella

SP: You take a lot of influences from the Y2K era. Do you have a favorite look that you’ve done? And do you ever see another Alaska Era?

Alaska: My favorite look will always be a dress made of black garbage bags. They’re beautiful and I feel pretty in them and they make noise when I walk. I’m not sure what era is next, but when I know I’ll let you know. 

SP: Your book My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? was a personal look into your life. Do you plan to write more books?  

Alaska: Yes. I want to write fiction about Drag queens. 

SP: You’ve been busy, producing, acting, and co-hosting your podcast. What will Alaska be doing five years from now?

Alaska: I’ll be accepting my third Oscar on the planet Mars. 

SP: What do you like to do for fun?

Alaska: I love watching tv and eating gluten free pizza with ranch dressing. 

SP: Anything else you want people to know?

Alaska: My new fragrance Red For Filth is available now.

A white drag queen sits in a tight black and white patterned dress with long sleeves. She wears big necklaces and rings. She is holding up one hand with her fingers stretched upward with her other hand being her. She has a big blonde updo and is against a white background.
Shawn Adeli

Alaska 5000 and Monet X Change
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin
Urbana
Th September 21st
9:45 p.m.
Tickets available online; $35/$100 meet and greet

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