RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2 (and 3) standout, Shangela was interviewed by the venerable Forbes magazine about “What she did differently than other contestants from the show to remain relevant and to better own the process of performing in nightclubs, bars, universities and events.” The answer is that she opened her own business – a talent and event management agency called Say What Entertainment that represents many of the girls from the show like Alyssa Edwards, Raven, and Gia Gunn, assisting them in booking appearances, and helping them deal with the financial side of the drag. Very smart.
Here’s a quick snippet of their conversation:
Brian Honigman: Tell me about your talent and event management agency Say What Entertainment and how you launched the business?
Shangela: The company, Say What Entertainment was launched in January 2014, so we’ve been in business for a year and a half now. And the reason I initially launched the company was because I felt that there was a need for it, someone to manage it from a perspective of performer who is working in the actual business.
I’ve gone through a number of managers right after RuPaul’s Drag Race and a lot of us didn’t know how to approach our new found fame. If you’re not familiar with the business, you can get taken advantage of and I felt that I ran into that a little bit and that’s what motivated me to start the company.
I have a lot of friends that were going through similar experiences coming off of RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I would pitch it to them and they signed with me and we’ve been in business ever since.
Brian Honigman: How do you use the platform and the exposure that RuPaul’s Drag Race has provided for you to stay relevant across the drag and entertainment community and grow a company aligned with your experience?
Shangela: Being a part of the franchise since season two and with it now going into eighth season, people often ask me how I remain relevant because the name Shangela is synonymous with never giving up, coming back, getting better, growth, progress and of course halleloo! To keep that relevant over the last five years it has taken a lot of what I call ‘WERQ’ and I spelt that W-E-R-Q.
To remain relevant, I think it’s not being afraid to do the work that needs to be done but also respecting those people you work with, keeping great client and promoter relationships. And just showing up because a lot of time it’s getting up and actually going to work, going to the opportunity and being prepared.
Read the entire interview here.