2017’s been a good year to Todrick Hall so far. After a resident position as a ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ All Stars 2 judge, and a successful run on Broadway in ‘Kinky Boots,’ Hall’s ‘Straight Outta Oz’ surprise visual album (#20 on the dance charts for iTunes – hay!) might be his must poignant work yet. He sat down with Paper Magazine to discuss SOO Tour, Drag Race, & YouTube-making!
Check it out:
On his upcoming ‘Straight Outta Oz’ tour:
You’re getting ready to take your Straight Outta Oz album on tour, right? Will the live show mirror the high production value of the visual album?
Absolutely. This version of the show is more visual, so when you come to the show it definitely has the feel of a musical at the theatre. It has a storyline that advances and we have lots of costumes and sets. It feels very elaborate and very over-the-top. It’s very Broadway, which is actually what my background is in. So for those fans of mine that have never seen a Broadway show, this will kind of be a colliding world between a Broadway show and a concert.
On ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’:
Speaking of sticking to a brand, I think your stint as a judge on Drag Race was very fitting because you brought such a fresh and much needed perspective. How did that come about?
I got offered to be a judge on one episode. It was a crazy coincidence that I ended up being on the episode that was Wizard of Oz-themed. They had no idea when they asked me that I was a Wizard of Oz fan. It just happened to be scheduled like that. So I feel like that was just destiny in general. And then after that one episode, they asked me to come again.
I was so nervous and mortified that I hardly ended up saying anything—and I have so much to say always. I’m such a huge fan of the show and my first full season being a judge on the show was All Stars! I was a fan of every single person on [that season of] the show. It was really, really difficult to try to find my own lane in it. But luckily, RuPaul is so sweet and Michelle Visage is my ride-or-die best friend on the show. So she helped me a lot too. But it was a very scary thing.
I’m used to singing and dancing and doing things where everyone knows that this is where I excel. But now I’m doing things with people who have been doing this, and hosting, and judging, for years and years and years. I think I was having PTSD when I was on the judging panel because I know firsthand what it’s like, from being on American Idol, to have people judging you, and to feel like you’re just part of a game, or that things aren’t fair or whatever. You can get all these things in your head, so it was just really difficult to go from being one of the contestants to being somebody behind the judging panel.
How did you realize that making YouTube videos was what you wanted to do?
I would say that my first video was around 2008 or 2009, but I wasn’t serious about doing YouTube at that point. I just had one video up or something, just like some people have a video of themselves watching their cat or watching their kids open Christmas presents. It was kind of like that. I didn’t start making [my usual kind of] videos until 2010. I’ve been doing it for almost seven years now. I made a couple of videos in 2010, and then 2011 was when I became a full-time YouTube personality—so like six years ago.
Read the full article here.