Girl, how did you get into drag? Was it always your ambition to be Hong Kong's premiere drag queen?
If I'd gone to drag school I'd probably get the title "Least Likely To Succeed" in our yearbook. I was the laziest, most half-hearted brat queen when I was starting - I didn't wanna shave my pits and legs, I wore the shortest heels, I only had one wig in my closet and somebody always had to do my make up for me. I started out in a trio called The Glitterazzis and we performed every month at Volume for almost a year until we had to take a break due to exclusivity issues. To answer the second question, I didn't see myself doing anything more than a monthly show for Volume. That was already THE ultimate dream for me. Like I said in a recent blog entry, to dress up in drag is a fantasy for so many gay men. But to dress up in drag and be applauded for a performance is something else. It gives you a certain kind of high. Now, to be a drag queen, and to be given a chance to record your own song, then, be backed up by legitimate media is so much more than I could ever ask for. I can retire now. But of course I won't. I'm only just beginning to conquer the world!
I've been called a lot of things but never legitimate. Thank you! Now, there is a long history of drag queens becoming pop stars - Divine, Dana International, Madonna etc. Were those pioneers an inspiration to you?
No, they weren't. I didn't know them then. My exposure to drag culture was hideously limited. But they are now. It helps to have an idol that, you don't necessarily have to imitate, but whose stature and craft you will want to achieve someday. Like Lypsinka's prolific artistic career, Mitzi Macintosh and her dame-ness, Chelsea Buns and her world-famous dress and costume line, Ru Paul and her fame and beauty and the young but already-famous (and fellow Filipino) Ongina for just being the drag darling of the world.
"Tranny In The House" is amazing. Did you help write the thought provoking lyrics? Tell us about working with DJ Stonedog.
It only really started with two lines and by accident too. "There's a tranny in the house", I exclaimed when the guys were having too much fun and I wasn't getting the attention a queen rightly deserves. "Call the tranny when you're ready!" I said as a final warning. The boys found it funny. They were in stitches and that just pushed me to keep on going. I knew I was coming up with something brilliant, something life-altering, something bigger than all of us! So, I started recording the words that were coming out of my mouth, like a visionary writing down the words of a great apparition. The rest is history, recorded in mp3 format, and sold at HK$80 (about $10 AUD) per copy!
The best thing working with DJ Stonedog is that he owns a bar. You get a free drink for every brilliant idea. So you are motivated to keep your brain working. Other than that, he is down to earth, he doesn't have an ego that you have to constantly massage, he treats you like an equal and he's not imposing. Your input is welcome and he makes sure that you feel comfortable in the entire process. Most of all, he knows exactly how to deal with my whims and tantrums, being a retired drag queen himself!
I understand the gay scene in Hong Kong is relatively conservative. How has your music been received? You must have broken down barriers.
I am backed up by friends from the community. A lot of them are expats who are used to the more liberal gay life and a huge chunk of them are also locals who are pushing for change in the way their culture sees homosexuality, and every concept attached to it, and are embracing "that" more liberal way of gay life. To say that I have broken barriers would be over-glorifying myself. I might have challenged homophobia and dragophobia a little bit by prancing around the stage in a short frilly skirt and sequined panties and then announcing that I'm a top but I don't think that broke barriers. What I think I did, and I will claim credit for this, is that I gave my people a cute, catchy tune to dance to while they're doing the more noble job of breaking barriers. And it comes in five different remixes too!
I believe you had an interesting experience in an elevator recently....
Picture this: 5:30am winter morning. 8 gay guys from the Chinese New Year dance party trapped in a 2.5 by 2.5 foot lift that could only fit seven people. After 30 minutes and eight calls to the Helpline, they finally decided that the gay boys weren't joking and that they, indeed, needed help. At the first sign of help, a knock from the outside, I yelled "Help us, please!" Yelled, literally. Then I was told off. I said, "Everybody, I don't mean to shout, but there's a tranny TRAPPED in the fucking lift!" I finally got to retouch my eyeshadow at 6:30 in the morning.
LOL! Are you interested in recording more stunning dance anthems or was "Tranny In The House" a one off?
There is actually another song in the works and I have recorded it before "Tranny". It was meant to be released before "Tranny" but because we were having so much fun with "Tranny", we ended up finishing that first. Plus, DJ Stonedog had a feeling "Tranny" was a better first release. And he was right.
Will La Chiquitta ever visit Sydney or do we have to fly to Hong Kong to bathe in your glamour?
After my performance for Mr. Gay Hong Kong in October, my partner, who was born and raised in Sydney, started contacting people who were connected with this year's Mardi Gras. And we got an email telling us that there would be something for me for the Fair Day, if we were to go anyway. But we had very limited time and resources to plan it, so we're postponing it to next year. And I hope that the slot is still available then. I will definitely find a way and a chance to perform in Sydney, no matter how small. The most supportive "Chiquitta friends" that I have here in Hong Kong are Aussies. They love me. I have a feeling I can capture the heart of Sydney.
Finally, I have to ask - are you really a top? Gays of Hong Kong beware!
We are about to run out of copies of the CD to sell. Soon, you will find my CD on Ebay. The highest bidder for that will find out for himself!
Ebay will probably crash! Thanks for your time.