RuPaul’s Drag Race
season seven darling and All Stars
alum Katya Zamolodchikova is closing out her Help Me, I’m Dying
tour in San Antonio on September 7
, but she won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
After taking a break from public life in 2018, the performer returned better than ever, launching the podcast Whimsically Volatile
with Craig MacNeil, rejoining her partner in crime Trixie Mattel on their YouTube series UNHhhh
and finally bringing her one-drag-queen comedy show — which she originally funded on Kickstarter
back in 2016 — on an extended tour across the U.S. and Canada.
In October, she and Trixie are throwing a “hot as hell and wonderful” mega-bash
for Vegas Pride in the same theater used by Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity
, then she’ll jump across the pond to host Katya & the Comedy Queens
in England before heading down under with Trixie for an UNHhhh live tour
across Australia. If that weren’t enough, she and Trixie are also in the midst of writing a lifestyle book for the contemporary woman, and Katya will soon debut a classic red lipstick under the Trixie Cosmetics
We briefly caught up with Katya to pick her brain about her tour, her smorgasbord of upcoming projects and her willingness to bare all to the public — and we even got some tips for this year’s batch of new college students while we were at it.
This tour was a long time in the making, and now you’re on the final leg, with the last performance scheduled here in San Antonio. How has it felt to finally bring this show to the stage, and do you have any big plans for the very last shebang?
You know, it’s been great. It’s varied so wildly in terms of feeling, and then the audiences and the venues and stuff — it’s been 99% amazing. I was just thinking about the last show. I have nothing crazy planned at the moment, but I always allow for improvisation and different things to pop up, so I’m curious about what is going to happen that night. (Laughs
Because I know that in the moment I’m going to feel happy and also relieved, but also wanting to celebrate, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I was swinging from the chandelier or got shot out of a cannon somehow or something.
The tour is ending, but you’ve still got a ton of projects on your plate, including new live shows, a forthcoming lifestyle book co-written with Trixie Mattel and a lot more. What are you most excited about that’s coming down the pike?
I think I’m most excited about the tour [of Australia] with Trixie, because I gotta tell you, writing a book sounds amazing but it is not easy. It’s so funny — I am currently embroiled in this battle with my attention span that is proving to be fruitless and horrifying. Just sitting down, especially on the road, sitting down and being disciplined — I don’t know what that is. I don’t know how to do that. But it’s going to be great once it’s done.
I’m really looking forward to the show with Trixie because that’s going to be bananas, and the fans are going to go apeshit. Kids are probably going to puke and pass out.
Somebody did puke during one of the performances during my show this time, so I’m holding out for other bodily fluids. It was apparently during the very top of the show, too. A couple of audience members after the show told me that they had been puked on. Isn’t that crazy? I wish I had noticed it when it happened.
You’ve been very open about your struggles with addiction and mental health, and discussed your break from public life in depth on the first episode of your podcast Whimsically Volatile. What made you decide to go into so much detail and be so raw about what many would consider a very private and painful experience?
Well you know, it’s funny. I actually can’t even go back and listen to that because it’s a little too raw. I’ve never really had many boundaries. (Laughs
Looking back perhaps it would have been prudent or wise to maybe hold off for a little, but I’ve heard people say that they appreciate that kind of candor, and I don’t feel ashamed of it at all, so it doesn’t really matter. I feel like if it’s out there, get it out there. It’s not a secret — it’s not something you have to tiptoe around and be careful about. I mean, some people would say it’s a bit of an overshare, but I have this thing where I just have to get shit out. I have to say it out loud and let people know, and then it’s out there.
Some people would say that it would help a lot with the stigma and such too.
Yeah. If you think about it, too, if I went into depth about my first chemo treatment there would be no shame or stigma attached to that at all. Even if it’s like, “I shit the bed and puked my ass off,” people wouldn’t be like, “Oh, darling, I don’t think you should really share that.” There’s nothing really to be embarrassed about there, but with mental health stuff and certainly drugs there is that shame and stigma attached to it that prevents people from opening up about it and seeking help.
Our August 28 issue is our College Guide, in which we give tips and tricks for students entering higher education. With that in mind, do you have any nuggets of wisdom that you’d like to impart to anyone going through this transition in life?
Well number one, it might be too late but I’d say one thing that really bothers me is that there’s such a bad rap for community college, because community college is
college, and it is a fraction of the price. It can be a really smart thing for people who don’t have the economic means to spend, I don’t know, $67,000 a year on college, so that’s something that people should really check out. And then, I don’t know, man. College can be such a racket. I would say go to class. (Laughs
You know what I mean? Try it. Try going to class and see if you can do it every day, because that’s really helpful, especially when you get out of there and realize it’s such a horrifying waste of time and money to go and drop out and be a slut. You can be a slut the rest of your life. There’s plenty of time. You can be a slut in your 50s — just look at Samantha Jones on Sex and the City
Ooh, try to fuck a teacher! (Laughs
.) Not a T.A., though. I’m talking about a professor with tenure – that’s exciting.
I don’t think that would fly for the teacher so much…
No, no, that’s why there’s a little bit of tension there. There’s a power struggle.(Laughs
.) Add some drama and conflict to the classroom environment.
Help Me, I’m Dying: $27.75-$67.75, 8 p.m. Saturday, September 7, Empire Theatre, 226 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 226-5700, majesticempire.com
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