No sooner had Drag Race contestant Blair St. Clair emotionally revealed the trauma of a past sexual assault, than she was obliged to lip-sync for her life versus The Vixen. She was then asked to sashay away from Season 10. But as Blair made a classy exit from the competition, the entertainer made a surprise entrance to a new home base in the D.C. area.
Originally from Indianapolis, the 22-year old glamour queen — and now recording artist — relocated “not too long ago” to the nation’s capital. Yet, talking politics is not necessarily St. Clair’s cup of tea.
METRO WEEKLY:Congratulations on your single and music video “Now or Never,” which launched on Friday. What’s your musical training?
BLAIR: Thank you so much. I actually grew up in theater, singing, dancing, and acting. I’ve been classically trained since I was 10 years old, and I originally wanted to start school as a musical theater major but realized quickly on that my acting type would hinder me from gaining a lot of musical theater roles, because I look very, very young for my age. So instead of taking the musical theater route in college, I just continued and got a lot of training in the real world in working on theater projects and taking voice and dance lessons. I developed that into my drag character.
MW:Did you come into Drag Race with “Now or Never” already bouncing around in your head?
BLAIR: Actually, no. I’ve always been more drawn to kind of the classic sound of what Broadway is, nothing too contemporary. And this song was really drawn from a lot of experience I’ve had in my life of really taking life by storm. Because, truthfully, now or never is the time in your life to make things happen, and you have to make them happen for yourself.
The message I’m trying to convey is, no matter how black and white and hazy and gray and painful your life can be, or what past experiences you have come from, as long as you really take the choice and action and work hard at making your dreams come true, and you’re living and breathing in color, anything can happen. I’ve just really kind of found that past that was beginning to speak to me. The song was actually recorded just a few weeks ago, and it was based on all these experiences I’ve had.
MW:The gray suit you wear in the video is amazing. Who designed it?
BLAIR: Thank you, that’s actually Mugler. That was something provided for me by a stylist, and I was like, “Gag!” when I first saw it.
MW:Manila Luzon and Jinkx Monsoon pop up in the video. Do you have plans to collaborate with any other Drag Race queens?
BLAIR: I’m collaborating with another Drag Race girl on a little feature on their album right after DragCon. And then I’m working on an album for myself that will be coming out not too long from now. I’m really thinking about incorporating other artists into my music as well.
I like keeping things relatable and fun. I like people to not put me on a pedestal, or look at me in a different light. I like to just relate to my audience. So I’m really trying to find other artists that I can collaborate with that hold some of the same values close to their heart.
MW:You’ve worked your catch phrase, “I do declare,” into the song’s verse, which is textbook RuPaul. What else do you think you’ve learned from RuPaul and other queens’ experiences that you can apply to your music career?
BLAIR: I definitely consider myself a business person, because you have to have some sort of idea of what an audience wants versus just what you want to produce. I do a lot of things I love doing, whether it be in music, or drag, and that might not be something that my audience loves as well. I think what RuPaul has shown is that it’s important to stick to your brand, but it’s also okay to veer off into a couple different options of what you think your audience might want to see.
I love creating music, I love singing, but maybe my audience wants me a little bit more upbeat. So I can cater to my audience’s needs and wants a little bit more. But Ru is so big about branding, and he, luckily for me, gave me such a wonderful brand of creating “I do declare.” So I’ve just been kind of keeping that idea of, “What is my brand and how can I best showcase my brand to the world and stick to that?”
The Vixen and Blair St. Clair — Photo: VH1
MW:Would you consider drag your art, your profession, a personal escape, or all of the above?
BLAIR: A lot of people ask me what is drag to you? I have to ask the person asking the question, “What do you consider drag?” Because to me there is no definition of what drag is. Drag is an open-ended definition, and for me, my drag is a walking piece of art — physically, emotionally, musically. It hits all of my senses and I’m able to share that and share what I have, the art inside of me and create something that the world can see and view. So for me it really truly is the deepest form of my art that I can share and express, that now, with the platform of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’ve been able to make my profession.
MW:You received some criticism from fellow Drag Race contestant Eureka for being what she called “not fully baked yet.” How did you take that comment?
BLAIR: I took that comment a little personally, as I take a lot of criticism personally, because Blair has really become a true piece of myself. I think going into something like RuPaul’s Drag Race, I was a little naïve and I was a little starstruck by the idea of what Drag Race could offer me and my career.
I’m so thankful for having the opportunity, because it has truly allowed me to grow as a human being and a person first and foremost, which has allowed Blair to grow such a thick skin. I’ve hardened my shell and my exterior to not allow those outside comments to bother me, because every time I allow something to bother me and take a stab at Blair, they also take a stab at me — and that’s what I’m not willing to give up any more. I’m not willing to give up that power over me. So I would say today, now, I am most definitely, one hundred percent, fully quote, unquote, baked and ready, and the full confection is ready to be served.
MW:Finally, we have to ask, as a Hoosier would you ever want to see a President Mike Pence?
BLAIR ST. CLAIR: You know, I don’t usually talk politics publicly, but I can say that I don’t care for any political figures that don’t support gay rights and all the things that we do as drag queens and activists.
Rupaul’s Drag Race airs Thursdays at 8pm on VH1.
André Hereford covers arts and entertainment for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @here4andre.
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