‘See me with them hands’ – An Interview with Tatianna (March 11, 2017)

Sickening Glasgow got the lucky chance to sit down with one of the most well known queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, the lovely Tatianna when she visited Glasgow as a part of her sell out UK tour.

You can find the audio interview at the bottom of the page after the transcribed text.

We want to give a huge thank you to Tatianna for taking the time out of her busy evening to sit down with us, you were so lovely and we had an absolutely amazing evening. She totally killed her show, Glasgow loves her and wants her back ASAP.

We also want to give a special thank you to Scott and the rest of the staff at AXM Glasgow for making this happen for us, we appreciate it so much, you’re all awesome.

Please check out AXM Glasgow’s Facebook and website for upcoming drag and club night events including RuPaul’s Drag Race icons and fresh faces alike. You can also catch the weekly drag show ‘Trigger’ every Thursday night at 10pm. Support your local queens!

tati interview_009

SG: So, how’re you enjoying Glasgow so far? I know you just got here today but will you be seeing much of the city while you’re here?

T: Umm, I saw the ride from the train station to the hotel…and it seemed fun.

[laughing]

T: A fun city!

SG: Better behind a window glass.

[laughing]

SG: Are you here tomorrow?

T: No, I leave right in the morning.

SG: Where are you headed to next?

T: Home!

SG: Aww, what? So is this your last UK stop?

T: This is my last and my sixth or seventh gig since I’ve been in the UK, this time.

SG: Hoping for more!

T: Oh yeah, I’d come back next week.

SG: Just stay here for a week, Glasgow is at its best at night anyway. We’ll have an after party, just come back to ours.

T: Boom!

[laughing]


SG: So you started drag at such a young age. Who were your inspirations and did you have any drag names prior to Tatianna?

T: I was always Tatianna, but when I was growing up and doing drag I was always inspired by Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, just big pop stars that danced. That was my thing.

SG: So let’s bring that onto our next question, how does it feel to do a better Britney Spears than Derrick Barry? (wink wink, nudge nudge)

T: Lies, I can’t say that I do that. I think it’s great that both me and Derrick do Britney but we both do it in very different ways.

SG: Exactly!

T: She’s very proper about it, very focused on the choreography, she takes it very seriously and that’s awesome. When I do Britney, I’m not necessarily impersonating her, per say, like I do some of the choreography but I inject a little bit of me too because I enjoy it more.

SG: Man butter, of course.

[laughing]

T: I love it though, me and Derrick actually got to do a Britney vs. Britney number in Washington, DC. She came to my club. So it’s cool and I think in the near future we’re gonna do a Britney vs. Britney tour.

SG: That would be amazing!

T: Yeah, me and her doing Britney’s together.

SG: Queen vs. Queen, that would be so amazing, please bring it to Glasgow!


SG: So on All Stars 2  you mentioned about introducing Tatianna to a whole new audience, so how has it compared from Season 2 to All Stars 2 and being introduced to a whole bunch of new kids?

T: It’s cool, yeah, it’s a completely different demographic that it’s hitting. It’s much wider, it’s a lot of young girls now that’re really into the show and it’s great. I think I’ve changed the way of just, well obviously you get better when you’re doing something for six years, you’re obviously going to improve physically and stage presence-wise. But also, I’m just more confident in myself, I don’t give as much as a fuck about what other people think… oh, can I curse? Can you blur it out?

SG: Oh no, of course! You’ll fit right in, in Scotland!

SG: I think that showed on the show as well, like you say, there’s a progression from Season 2 to All Stars 2 and that’s really awesome…sorry, I’m just fangirling here a little bit! The favourite of Season 2 and of All Stars 2. I mean, when we were told the casting of All Stars 1, we were like ‘’Where’s Tatianna?!”.

T: Do you know what, I think I lucked out on being on Season Two of All Stars, rather than being on Season One.

SG: Can we just say, best season ever! By far!

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SG: So how does it feel to be a part of the best lip-sync for your life in the shows history? (Alyssa Edwards vs. Tatianna, obviously).

T: Well that is all opinion, I cannot say that [winks and smiles] but I will say it was awesome being able to showcase what I can do, not performing a mid-tempo seventies song, because on Season Two the only two times I got to do anything was some weird ass seventies shit that I certainly didn’t know. That’s not really my tea, that’s not my gig. So being able to do something that I’ve actually performed before and something that resonates with me and I like to do. It’s something upbeat and it was really cool.

SG: It was amazing, the matching costumes, the choreography…

T: And none of that was even planned!

SG: I remember staying up, I had work at like 8am the next day and I thought, I’m gonna stay up because we in the UK, we find ways to watch Drag Race because it’s not shown.

T: Oh yeah, I have ways too because I don’t have that channel!

[laughing]

T: I just wait half an hour after it airs and boom!

SG: It was worth staying up for, let’s just say that. Not only the best episode of all time but just the best lip-sync of all time and… yeah, everything about it. Every single time we get drunk it’s “Oh we’re gonna put that on!”, the view count goes up at least a thousand times.

[laughing]


SG: The local Glasgow girls (Trigger) were performing in Newcastle at the same time as you were, did you get a chance to see them? You just did the meet and greet with the Glasgow fans, how do you think they compare to anyone else?

T: Everyone’s awesome, everyone’s just really happy to be here and happy to meet and greet and that’s always really good to have that energy.

SG: Did anyone cry at your meet and greet?

T: Today, no. But there have been criers in the past and immediately I just point at them and go “Don’t you fucking cry, Don’t. Fucking. Cry. I’m just a dude in a dress!”

[laughing]


SG: So you’ve had quite a lot of memes and .gifs made from your time on the show, what’s your reaction to sort of becoming a meme queen, spreading all over the internet outside of Drag Race?

T: Well, it’s funny, there were a few memes from Season two, like when Season two aired, memes were not a thing but when memes became a thing, people went backwards and were look “Ooh, I can grab that.”, so there’s like a few but seeing all of them was kinda awesome, like you know you’ve made it if you’re a meme.

SG: Totally!

[laughing]

SG: I just love it when you click one of the .gif icons on Facebook and see one of your .gifs.

T: You know, one of my friends from high school, we weren’t even really close and we don’t talk at all but they messaged me on Facebook with a .gif of myself and he was like, “I just found this, are you famous?” and I was like “No, there’s just a .gif, it’s okay.”

[laughing]

T: But it’s interesting when there are people who haven’t caught up with me in a while, like just from normal life, are like, “Yeah, your face is on the internet”

SG: It must be surreal.

T: They didn’t even know I was on a TV show and they’re not watching Logo, so it’s funny to see that happen.

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SG: So your time on Season two, you and Raven had let’s just say, a little bit of a rivalry…

T: I hated her.

[laughing]

SG: So have you buried the hatchet now?

T: Oh we’re totally cool. I just saw her on Monday. It was a lovely Season two reunion, it was me, her and Jujube in Newcastle. It was so much fun. Yeah me and Raven, it was two years we didn’t speak and I know on my part it was intentional. I’m not sure if it was on hers.

[laughing]

T: But yeah, no, we’re totally cool now.

SG: Yeah, because you guys have done videos together such as Fashion Photo RuView.

T: Yeah, it was fun and anytime I’m in her neck of the woods, I always try to hit her up and let her know I’m there. We worked together not too long ago, I think it was December, in LA. Everyone on Season two is cool with each other, there’s no more drama.

SG: It seems like when you view the reunions there’s a little bit of tension but two years later, all you guy are best friends.

T: Yeah, it’s funny because we’re the only ones, and each season is the same, we’re the only ones that had the experience that we had, together. Like with different seasons, we can all say “I know what you went through” but the girls on that season are the only ones who know how it was, so we always have that comradery and because our season was so early, there was season one and then ours which got the new space that they’re still using and we got the workroom which is the same type of workroom. I actually signed a brick on Season Two and when I came back for All Stars, I searched the room one night and…same fucking set. I didn’t do it when the cameras were rolling because I didn’t want to be yelled at for six years ago, defacing the set. It was like, “Oh, we’re cutting for dinner now, let me go take a peek.”

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SG: So that’s actually a pretty good lead in question for the next one, how would you say the production differs from Season 2 to All Stars 2 in terms of progression, challenges, etc.

T: The challenges were a lot different, a lot of acting challenges, I was lucky that I got eliminated and then brought back because I got to skip two that I probably would’ve been good at.

[laughing]

T: But yeah, I do notice as the seasons go on, there’s a a range of things to be doing. In the way of actually filming, there’s a union situation, so everything’s very scheduled, we all get our breaks and it helps, I mean it’s still tiring as fuck but it’s cool that there’s a time where, “Okay, we all have to go home.”

[Sickening Glasgow notices the gorgeous six inch denim cut thigh high boots that Tatianna is wearing]

SG: I mean, I wore heels that size for one Halloween for about three hours and I was crippled for three days afterwards.

T: See, these are my most comfortable pair of heels actually.

SG: Can we touch them?

[Sickening Glasgow fangirls over the boots when Tatianna lets them touch the fabric]

T: They’re jean boots and they have little lace folds in them. I only typed ‘denim boots’ in Amazon and I was like “Ooh, I gotta get them!” and I waited a month and a half, they came from China.

SG: They are insanely beautiful! What size are they?

T: I’m a thirteen, I’m a thirteen US, so I think here, I’d be a twelve.

SG: I could wear extra socks and pull them off.

T: Oh, I am!

SG: They’re so beautiful.

T: Look ‘em up.

[laughing]


SG: So where would you see Tatianna in five years from now?

T: Oh, god. I don’t wanna know.

[laughing]

T: Umm, I’m always on the road, right? And so, I will not plan anything, nothing like two weeks ahead and I won’t go further than that because if I do, I’ll get overwhelmed. So I never like to put expectations on myself, but there are goals that I’d like to achieve. I definitely want to do more music, I wanna do a proper music video with dancers, production, all that good stuff. I wanna keep on touring and I wanna keep growing. And then, personal life, like I’d love to find a husband and have a baby…

SG: White picket fence? Dog? Cat?

T: Oh I don’t want a house; I’d love a condo.

*laughing*

SG: Or a small island somewhere.

T: Yeah, just cool adult things, like I’ve only looked into wanting that stuff for about half a year because before I thought “Oh, I don’t know if it’s possible.” and now I’m like, “Oh, I can do that, I can totally do that. Let’s fucking try.”

SG: Okay so lastly, a famous RuPaul question, is there anything you’d like to plug?

T: Of course, there’s ‘The Same Parts’ on iTunes, Spotify, TIDAL. There’s also my follow up single which is, ‘Transform’ available on all the same platforms. I don’t have any merch online, I don’t know why…

SG: It’s such a shame, we thought there was going to be a merch stall here, we’d love a t-shirt or something.

T: Well, some girls, they sell it and I think about going to the Post Office every week to go ship out about five hundred t-shirts, it does not sound fun for me.

[laughing]

T: I need to find a different way to do it. Yeah, I hope to do that too. To sell some merch online and have someone else take care of that because this working woman can only do so much!

[laughing]

SG: Girl gotta make that coin.

T: Exactly!

SICKENING - AXM - Tatianna_026

SG: Well, I guess that’s everything, we just want to say thank you so much.

T: Cool, success!



Interview conducted by Jozef Hamilton and Gordon Penman

Photography by Simon Crawford

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