Pride Month: Five Questions w/ ‘Drag Race’ Superstar Aquaria at the EVill’s NO BAR
No surprise, a few days earlier we found ourselves at NO BAR, the perpetually hip nighttime venue at the Standard East Village, which reopened on June 24th after more than a year of closure due to pandemic restrictions. A meeting place known for welcoming people of every community and every form of self-expression, it has been a steadfast center of inclusivity, with dance parties, high-profile weekend DJ sets, and clever cocktails like the Glory Coal, the Man After Midnight, and of course, the Schlong Island IT. It naturally revved back up with a glittering celebration for Pride, hosted/DJ’d by the ever fabulous Aquaria.
We all know her, of course, as the Season 10 winner on Drag Race, infamous for turning high fashion inspiration looks, with references to Jean Paul Gaultier and Martin Margiela. We somehow managed to sit her down for a quick chat just between us “squirrel friends,” as a packed house danced and waited to catch the premier of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6.
Pride feels so different this year, the streets are vibrant and full of life. What is your take?
I feel like Pride is so different this year because everyone has just so much enthusiasm to experience community again. New York just wants to get out and be dancing in the streets and I can’t blame them. What a time to be alive!
How does it feel to be able to perform once again on an inside stage, versus outside in Drive-In Drag? How was that experience?
Well, I definitely appreciated how lucky I am to have been able to be a part of Drive-In Drag, especially when there’s so many people not being able to tour or perform. It was really great keeping up with what felt like a fairly normal schedule for me. But I can’t deny that a drag queen dancing outside in the summer sun is not the ideal scenario. So it’s good to be back, it’s nice getting to perform in places with air-conditioning. And it’s good to be able to be close to people, because I feel like a drag is an art form that relies so heavily on direct interaction with an audience. You don’t really get that same interaction with Toyota Camrys and Buicks.
We’re here for the premier episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6. Who do you want to snatch that crown?
I definitely love Kylie! I think she is just absolutely enchanting and beautiful. I’m also really excited to see Raja O’Hara back on my screen. She was one of the highlights of Season 11. I feel like they’re going to be so fun to watch. I would be remiss not to mention the good sis Eureka! O’Hara, from my season. I may have snatched her crown, but we’ll see if she can snatch this one. Better luck on the third try!
What supportive advice would give your sister Eureka!?
I feel like she has a much better head on her shoulders this time around. It seems like she really knows how to handle just whatever the world will throw at her. Advice I would give her is to go easy on the knees and just keep up the fierce drag. I feel like her drag always hits the nail on the head and does its job and is entertaining. I don’t think she takes life too seriously. I actually feel like she is usually the one giving me advice. So my advice this time, in a joking way, would just be “try winning.”
What is your cocktail of choice this evening?
If I could make a cocktail, I would start with ice, hit it with a couple of shots of tequila, finish it with a bit of seltzer water, lime wedge and a straw. I would call it a “tequila soda.”