Plasma Sings Out About ‘Drag Race,’ New York City Drag & ‘Bleeding Broadway’

Courtesy of World of Wonder/MTV.

Plasma is that rare type of drag performer that comes into “RuPaul's Drag Race” and even after departing the competition, her impact continues reverberating.

This New York City performer "bleeds Broadway" (which we have now collectively coined) and while Plasma's departure was a surprise to some, Plasma is fully prepared to continue making an impact on stage and beyond. I sat down to chat with Plasma about her “Drag Race” journey, her thoughts on any part Dawn might have played in her departure, and being part of the New York City renaissance of drag (along with some dynamic and stunningly talented fellow queens)!

Michael Cook: The world fell in love with you with every Broadway reference you uttered this season on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Plasma: Well listen, we do not stop here. Just because she is not on the show, does not mean she is not making an impact!

MC: Tell me about your “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16 experience.

P: I hate to be mushy-gushy about it, but I generally had the time of my life filming the show and working with all of those people. I don’t think that can be said for everyone’s experience working on the show, but one of the greatest pleasures of my life was filming “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” It really was just an honor to be nominated and then to walk away with two challenge wins and an experience that I will hold with me forever was just the cherry on top; 10 out of 10.

MC: No matter what you did on “Drag Race,” you stayed extremely true to yourself. You are a Broadway baby through and through and based on the performances I’ve seen of you live, you literally bleed Broadway.

P: First of all, I love the terminology “you bleed it” because that is exactly how I feel. I mean, there were one or two producers who said, “You seem a bit goody two shoes for this” and I was like “No, I'm just genuinely having a good time,” trying not to be an absolute goon about it. I love Broadway, it raised me, it brought me up in confidence and inspiration and this ideology that there is this perfect narrative out there. When I read the Broadway World article title where it said I was "RuPaul’s Drag Race’s next Broadway baby," I almost cried.

Every single step of that journey has been about healing my inner child, and my outer child quite frankly. I was the kid growing up listening to A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury while everyone else was listening to Ke$ha. I’ve always loved it, it's always held a special place in my heart, it’s always been upheld in my family, my pursuits in theater and entertainment. Being on the show is a huge walk through the threshold of this professional career in entertainment. I could talk forever about how full circle this is…

MC: There is a perspective that Dawn intentionally encouraged you to put a different perspective out onto the runway than you typically would have. Do you think that is an accurate perspective for your vantage point?

P: I think that she intentionally encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, and I genuinely appreciate it. She and I have had many, many conversations about it since it happened, as we filmed last summer. We just spent the whole day together the other day in San Francisco, and she has spent a lot of time apologizing to me for the perception that she was trying to sabotage me. I will say candidly, at the moment I did not feel sabotaged or misled, and I still don't feel sabotaged or misled. Dawn is consistently and genuinely one of my best friends from the experience to this day. Whether or not she had a secret hidden agenda which truly don't believe she did, I always appreciate my friends who look out for me getting stuck in one thing.

It’s the same reason I didn’t want to do Barbra Streisand, I do Barbra Streisand, I am Barbra Streisand from "Drag Race" at this point. I hold in high regard the people that challenge me in my creativity and that includes Dawn. There is no bad blood, animosity and I don't really have any regrets about what I did. Was it shit? Kind of. Was it something that I'm proud of? Not entirely. However, I also am turning it on its head. I just made a music video to “Bloody Mary” that I released in conjunction with the episode to reclaim that narrative that my world is not all about sewing, my world is about performing, interpretations, and excitement and healing the inner child through artistic pursuit. My “Drag Race” experience was 10 out of 10, I have no complaints, not even about Dawn.

MC: Speaking of La Streisand with the video to her anthem "Don't Rain On My Parade," you brought forth queens like Pink Pancake, Lady Celestina, Vanity LaVain and your drag mama Selma Nilla to appear in the video with you. What it is like to be part of this renaissance of drag that New York City is having?

P: Well first of all, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to be someone membered as a representative of New York in the drag Olympics. I fully feel like I was plucked out of a hat by a magician and there are so many girls that I would argue are more deserving of an international platform than I am. The New York drag scene is one of the most empowered and enlightened and creative communities that I have never known. The creatives, visionaries and luminaries there are the future in my opinion. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, I believe that New York City is the drag capital of the world. Having the opportunity and the blessing to be in New York City and bear witness to all the greatness at our doorstep is so unparalleled and uncommonly wonderful.

I don't even have enough appendages to list all the performers that make me cry when I watch them; Julie J, Daniella Darling, Pink Pancake, Selma Nilla, Hanukah Lewinsky, Reese Havoc, Kiki Ball-Change. The humanity behind Kiki Ball-Change’s work is never lost on me and the humanity behind most of the drag artists that I am friends with is truly what is the most profound to me. You see these superstars on the tiniest of stages in the world, and you see them give what can only be described as masterful performances. I watch everything Julie Jay touches turn to gold, she is actually in my “Bloody Mary” video along with Pink Pancake, Lady Celestina, Blac Cherry, Selma Nilla, Daniella Darling, Kill Ball-Change and Julie J.

They are some of the best girls that I have ever worked with. They showed up early, at nine am in drag. The professionalism, the impact and the talent certainly is not lost on me. The kindheartedness and the empathy of the drag community in New York is not lost on me. I will never live down that comment that I made in our very first “Untucked” where I said, "No more being a local girl." I was mortified when some of my friends said, “Hey did you mean to hurt my feelings or put us down”? Not at all! I was just tailing about a higher booking feel that is all that the comment was based in. I will never live it down or forgive myself for saying it. I would be nothing without New York drag. It's like the DisneyWorld of drag communities, expect it's not rooted in corporate greed (laughs)!

MC. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to speak with me. Now I highly recommend grabbing Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Diva 2.0 autobiography since we spoke about her earlier, it's brilliant!

P: I’m trying to get on Abbot Elementary as Chris Perfetti's younger brother first, so maybe I'll read her book with her on set!

Follow Plasma on Instagram @plasmannyc


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