The UK fans get to see her slay the stage at Holy Trannity’s 10’s Across the Board Tour, but there’s a lot more to this queen than her ‘hot flexible body’! We grab a chat with Yuhua Hamasaki about touring, drag race fame and her upcoming projects!
Dragadventures: How did you get your start in drag, was it an industry you thought you’d end up in?
Yuhua Hamasaki: It was in the time of MySpace, and I saw so many people that had bold makeup, hair, and loud outfits, and I was so attracted to mainly their confidence and courageousness to not care what people think about them. I started experimenting with it in high school and since I was not fitting in with anyone, I decided to go to a gay bar. Not because I wanted to party or drink, but mainly because ten years ago, the only way to be in a safe environment and around LGBT people was to be in a gay bar. I felt not judged, I can relate to the people, and I felt like I can express myself more freely. The only way that I was able to get in was to use a fake ID and do drag so that the person checking the ID would not know it was not really me.
When I first started doing drag, I knew I was interested in it. I knew I wanted to do something with it. I just wasn’t sure how serious and how big it was going to get. Twelve years down the road of dressing up in drag, I would have never expected it.
DA: Who in particular inspires your drag, are there any drag queens that kickstarted your passion?
JH: I draw my inspirations from all types of people and different professions. Some includes include Oprah, Tyra Banks, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Joan Rivers, Lisa Lampanelli. Drag legends include of course Lady Bunny and Jackie Beat.
DA: How would you describe Yuhua’s persona, and how does that differ from you?
YH: It is honestly pretty much the same thing. I have the same beliefs and values. My brain still thinks the same. Except when in drag, I am a little bit more alert. All my senses just become more alert, I feel more “on.”
DA: The New York drag scene is full of so many incredible drag queens, so talented we are seeing more appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race, is it a competitive scene and how long have you been a part of the NY scene?
YH: I’ve been part of the scene since I was 16 and I would say it is pretty competitive especially now with RuPaul’s Drag Race becoming more mainstream. There are plenty of new drag queens that come out everywhere and with New York City, it is so diverse and sometimes it can be hard to stand out. But my advice to anyone starting drag and anyone who wants is also not doing drag, is to just be yourself. When you are yourself, your strengths and inner-star will shine through. People want to see the real you, what you exceed in and also your flaws because that is what makes you human.
DA: You have an upcoming show for all ages of drag fans, which is fantastic. Which will include a Q&A. How did the idea come about, and do you aim to do more educational for young people?
YH: Yes! I am actually taking that to Montreal and Dallas in the upcoming months! The idea came about when fans would always say that they can’t go to a drag show because they are underage. That is sad because I remember when I was underage and I just want to be near all this fabulosity and people that were similar to me, and the only way for me to do that was to sneak into a bar.
So I created all age drag shows that are not held in a bar/club so that anyone underage can also go. The main audience that attend are young kids that come everywhere within a 25 mile radius and it is amazing to see their determination to attend a drag show.
The Q&A portion allows them to ask questions about drag, myself, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and also any advice they might want to know about life, dating, career, family, and whatever obstacles they are facing. Again, these are young people attending the show and it is my duty to not just entertain them, but also educate them as a role model. They look up to me and I want to make sure that they look the room with new knowledge and more confidence as a person before they walked in. And oh! I also give free merch away during the show!
DA: What made you apply for Rupauls Drag Race, had you applied before and was the competition what you thought it would be?
YH: Who wouldn’t want to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race?! It is the Olympics of drag and it provides such a huge platform to showcase drag queens as entertainers! Usually, we’re on TV playing a drunk party goer, a troublemaker, or a prostitute. But the show allows us to showcase our true talents of what amazing artists and human-beings we are.
I had done everything in New York City and I have reached a glass ceiling, and the only way to push through it was to get on the show so that I can show the rest of the world what I can offer.
The show itself is a lot of hard work! The audience sees us happy, smiling, laughing and having a good time on screen, but it is a lot of hard work. They are long hour days of creating looks, prepping for the challenges, long days of filming, and on top of that, there’s a lot of sweat, tears, blood, and slapping that goes into it. Like any other job you want in life, you have to work hard for it. And Drag Race is no joke, you have to be on top of your game.
DA: With the show over, how have you adjusted to having more attention on yourself as well as gaining a large fan base?
YH: At first, it was a bit overwhelming, but now I’m adjusted to it. I just keep doing me and forget that I am in a bigger spectrum and have to just ignore all the other voices, both good and bad. I have to remember that RuPaul hand picked me for a reason and that she saw something in me. I just have to keep being myself and keep doing me, regardless of what people think.
DA: With season 11 having finished filming, what advice would you give future Rugirl contestants?
YH: Have fun! Enjoy the ride! And don’t forget to watch your money and where you’re spending it!
DA: How has going to appearing in clubs, to preparing for big tours and doing meet and greets? Do you enjoy the M&G experience?
YH: For some odd reason, people always think we have time to check out places whenever we’re in a new city. Honestly, there is no time. Usually, the schedule is you arrive early and check into the hotel, you take a nap because you’re interrupted from your sleep on the plane, then you wake up, eat, get ready, and go straight to the venue.
After the show, you get back to the hotel, repack, shower, go straight to the airport, and do it all over again in a new city. But once in a while, you will have the opportunity where you are in a city and have some free time.
And yes! I love M&G! These people come out to meet me?! Of course, I would love to meet them as well!
DA: You will be appearing on Holy Trannity 10’s across the board UK tour this summer, have you been to the UK before, what are you most excited about and what can fans expect?
YH: I was in the UK briefly back in April for a show, but this is the first time I am actually doing a whole tour in the UK. I am super excited to see the rest of the UK and meet everyone. The UK is beautiful and the people are so well-dressed and well-mannered all the time…And let’s just say, the fans can expect to see my hot and flexible body live finally!
DA: Finally, what does the future hold for you, is there any side projects you would LOVE to do, or anyone you’d love to work with in particular?
YH: In the future, I would love to travel more and see the rest of the world, continuing showing the rest of the world how fabulous drag can be!
Watch Yuhuas latest music video ‘The Ankh Song’ below:
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