Were almost at the finale of the best show on television - Rupaul's Drag Race. Its been an explosive season featuring some of the best talent around, including none other than Miss Manila Luzon. I got to speak to Manila about her time on the show, growing up and whats in store for the star in the future . . .
1 - First of all Condragulations! Your doing amazing in the show and as were gearing up for the finale how do you feel about everything right now?
I am having the time of my life right now! I had such a fun time filming the competition last summer and I am happy to share the experience with the world! I am really excited!
2 - Without giving too much away, how do you feel about the finale and the winner?
The finale is going to be great! It's the climax of the whole competition and at this point, the girls are all so great, that it's anyone's crown!
3 - Your looks are just amazing on the show and from I saw on your audition tape and performances on youtube you know how to put an outfit together! What inspires your looks?
Thank you! I really love women's clothes and I love costumes. I also enjoy mixing up my outfits so it's not just a plain dress that anyone can get from the store. I like to find random things at the dollar store and making an outfit from it, like a dress made of plastic plates or clothes pins! I also really like to give my clothes a theme. I want someone to look at me and instantly say, Manila is wearing a pineapple! It's creative but people don't have to think too hard...you know because I'm usually in a gay club and they have probably had a few drinks!
4 - Growing up, what were you like and what inspired you? Did you always enjoy dressing up?
I loved to draw! I have been drawing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I have always had a notebook I doodle in as long as I can remember. I used to draw this woman, a character I created who wore all different kinds of crazy outfits. I had several notebooks with her on every page. I've actually gone back to my childhood illustrations and have recreated some of those outfits I designed as a child. I've always enjoyed wearing costumes as a child. Halloween was my favorite holiday. Even my day to day clothing was a little costumey. My mother would always color coordinate my outfits as a child. I think I have my mother to credit for my fashion sense!
5 - How was Manila created and what was your first show like?
I have been DYING to get in drag as a little boy. Thank God my mother had a giant walk in closet full of her old clothes. I used to rummage through her dresses wreaking of mothballs and transfer them to my closet. So when I finally came out in college, I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to create Manila! I named myself Manila after my mother's birthplace, the capital of the Philippines, Manila, Luzon. My first show was an amature contest at the Gay 90's in Minneapolis. I was so excited, but so nervous, I almost threw up on stage!
6 - Your boyfriend was on the show of course in Season 2, this had to of been an advantage when it came to learning the ins and outs, but was it everything you thought it would be when the time came to filming?
Honestly, the only advantage I had was how to proceed the day to day events involving the behind the scenes production. All the challenges were completely different from the previous seasons, so I was on my own. But what I knew from Sahara Davenport's experience in the competition is to give the judges everything I've got!
7 - What were your favourite moments and low points of the show so far?
I really loved hamming it up on the show. I think it's fine to be pretty. I guess I would consider myself to be pretty, but I'd rather make goofy faces and act like a total fool in drag than being pretty. I really enjoyed/hated my Lip Sync For Your Life against my friend Delta "Heather" Work. It was devastating to send her home, but I was glad I was able to show my unique skills as a performer.
8 - Your bottom two performance in the stand up comedy episode was ammmazing and everyone was raving about! What exactly goes through your head when your fighting for your place?
It's kind of crazy. All you see is RuPaul and it's like begging for your life with just your performance. Your focus narrows and all there is is a stage, a song, you and RuPaul! I didn't even see Delta on the stage with me. At the very end of the song, I turned and bumped into Delta because I didn't know she was standing there, and when it happened I fell into her embrace and I just started bawling.
'Tear jerking moment when Manila had to lip sync for her life'
9 - What are your plans for the rest of the year and is there more you want to achieve or places you want to perform etc?
I am planning on traveling all over the world performing for my new found fans (or i call them FANILAS) I also want to collaborate with my boyfriend/girlfriend Sahara Davenport on some projects.
10 - For upcoming drag queens what tips would you give them?
Be creative Always! In a world of tv, internet and cell phones, people are easily unimpressed or want the next thing! I try to challenge myself at every step to better my drag. I want each time I get in drag to be better than the last. Learn the craft of drag, but it's truly an art, so become an artist.
TID BITS! :
1- Favourite songs to perform to? I love Vogue by Madonna!
2- Favourite beauty and make up products? I love my two pairs of #199 false eyelashes!
3- Favourite drinks? I fell in love with Absolut Wild Tea on the show! It's all I drink now!4- Item you couldnt go out without? My Absolut Wild Tea cocktail!
Check out Manila's audition video for Drag Race to get a bigger insight to the star and what inspires her!
I would like to thank Manila Luzon for the interview and wish her all the best in the finale!
To keep up with all things Manila Luzon check out : www.manilaluzon.com
All the fantastic photography above features courtesy of Andrew Werner.
Catch the last few episodes of Drag Race on Logo, Season 3 begins on E4 UK after summer.