Sitting down to chat with Blair St Clair is like having a business lunch.
Quick-witted, smart and strategic, she’s unlike many other 23-year-old performers in the entertainment industry.
She landed in ninth-place on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, something that would have forced most queens back into obscurity. But, instead, she’s performing internationally and is one of the most recognizable queens from the franchise.
Blair St Clair’s also only the fourth Ru girl to have a number one album.
GSN: What’s the Drag Race sisterhood like, Blair St Clair?
Blair St Clair: I heard that term loosely mentioned before being on Drag Race. I thought, it can’t be as strong a sisterhood as I have with my drag family. If anything I have become closer to the people who have been on Drag Race.
Only we truly know what it’s like to on that TV show and what our careers are like, what our lives are like, what our struggles are like as we’re all trying to be number one all at the same time.
I’ve heard Trixie Mattel say the real race starts after the show is over. Do you agree with that?
I tell people that all the time. I don’t feel like I was on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I feel like I was on Survivor It was Big Brother meets Survivor.
But I wasn’t trying to survive the elements, I was trying to survive against myself.
It really opened my eyes about myself. It also opened my eyes about what I want to do with my career.
I achieved the thing I really wanted to do – go on RuPaul’s Drag Race – what’s next? That’s what Trixie was talking about – the real race really begins after the show ends. I have accomplished a lot from filming this TV show. I have many opportunities – what do I want to do with them?
How do you feel like you’ve stuck your head above the field of queens?
I find what works best is not to compare myself to other people. If I look at what people have accomplished, I try and not judge myself compared to them.
Whether they’ve been cast in a movie or in a TV show or they’ve put out an album, I stand back. The first initial reaction is jealousy. But it’s healthier to be happy for them or to work out how I can accomplish that or if I can do something bigger or better.
Do you think it was easier for earlier queens, say those that filmed seasons four to six?
I think it was easier. The answer’s yes but it’s also yes and no. I think it’s harder today to be a memorable queen because there’s so many people doing drag.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has gotten so much popularity, so much mainstream success, which I’m so grateful for.
But because of that it’s harder to make a name for yourself in the business.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, when it wasn’t as popular, it must be easier for them to be memorable. However, the more success it has, people start with current seasons. People who watch Drag Race for the first time, they watch it now. They don’t go back.
And do you think the production helps or a hindrance with that?
I don’t think it’s a hindrance. Their job isn’t to produce careers. Their job is to produce great TV.
What I’ve learned a year later is that as there’s a new bunch of girls, they’re going to get the first opportunities. Society is excited by what’s new and up and coming. The career isn’t going to fall in your lap – it’s about directing where you want to go.
We recently asked Alaska about Cardi B copyrighting Okurrr. What are your feelings on that?
That’s silly. That’s ridiculous. People have said that before her. It just shows,…is anything really original? So I think the best way to think about that is to not think about it. If it’s not affecting my life, I think, OK next.
I’m so excited to see you at Drag World in London. How do you feel about British audiences?
They’ve my favorite in the entire world! When I come to the UK, the British audiences are the most excited for the artistry that we do. I
Every time I come to the UK everyone’s so excited as if they’ve never seen drag before.
What advice would you give for the Drag Race UK girls that have just finished filming?
I would tell anyone that there’s no time to relax. If you want a long-lasting career, the work starts yesterday.
Strategize what you want to do with your career and figure it out and start doing it. There are going to be many days when you don’t know what you’re doing and that’s OK. You’ll figure it out.
You said Drag Race is like Survivor. Arguably, All Stars is more like Survivor than the original show. Would you be up for All Stars 5 or 6?
If you were to ask me if I’m ready to film an All Stars season and if I’d do well, I’d say yes. I’m ready. I’ve spent a long time harnessing my craft and strengthened my weaker areas. I would feel confident going into it.
Would I do it? That’s another question. I’d have to evaluate whether it’d be good for my career. I’d have to see whether it would add more experience and exposure to my brand. If it hurts me, I wouldn’t do it.
I know other queens, like Farrah Moan, have also mentioned the expense?
There’s a lot of expense when it comes to All Stars. If you’re going to go on it, it’s a business assessment. Even if you’re the first one eliminated from the show, you can make something from it. Look at Miss Vanjie – a perfect example. It’s an investment in your career, but you will get a return for it.
I feel like I’ve just had a business lunch with you!
That’s what’s so many people tell me. I went to business school for a while. It’s really important to me. So many queens do drag for the wrong reasons because they’re looking for fame, glory or acceptance.
I did drag because I’m passionate about art, creativity and performance. I went to Drag Race as a great platform to expand that. Now I’ve had that I want to grow as a person and a business. It’s silly if you don’t look at it as a business because there’s so much opportunity there.
What’s next for you?
There’s lots of exciting projects. You’ll be seeing some really really exciting stuff from me. There’s more music on the horizon, sooner than you may think. You may see me in a TV show or two. You may see me in a movie or two. I’m working on what I do and I’m just having fun and enjoying life.
Blair St Clair will be at Drag World UK on 17-18 August.