We sat down with the queen, Michelle Visage, about her jet-setting journey across the country (and world, really), on this past season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Bots Tour 2016. She concluded her globe-trotting adventures (in kitten heels, no less), in Perth, Australia where we got her to open up about traveling with a gaggle of season favorites!
WOW: Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for taking time off the bus to do this with us.
Michelle: Of course!! World of Wonder is my family, who says no to family?!
WOW: Manila posted a super cute selfie of the two of you. So was Perth your final stop on the tour?
Michelle: Yes and what a great place to end it! Perth has a fabulous, thriving drag scene and it is special to me because Ru has special history there. They were an awesome crowd to end the tour with.
WOW: How many tours have you been a part of?
Michelle: This is my third BOTS tour and it is by far the most successful.
WOW: Adore, Alaska, Ben, Courtney Act, Detox, Ginger, Ivy, Jinkx, Katya, Manila, Miss Fame, Pandora, Pearl, Phi Phi, Sharon, and Violet! I mean, c’mon! That’s an AMAZING line-up. It sounds like fans are truly in for a treat. What can fans expect from a bots tour and particularly this years?
Michelle: Well, this tour is now over so they can’t expect anything, but moving forward the show is our Broadway production. It is a realized concept, not a bar drag show (which we LOVE,it’s just not that). On Drag Race people only get to see a teeny tiny bit of the talent these kids have, but on the live tour they get to see what they are really made of and that is a treat to watch!
Michelle: To me, other than performing, the biggest treat is meeting the fans of the show. They are amazing, dedicated, passionate and just a touch insane which makes it all perfect.
WOW: I bet they are all excited after the announcement of All Stars 2? What was their reaction?
Michelle: After AS2 was announced, every time i mentioned it the crowd would roar. They are in for a real treat because it is going to be UH MAY ZINK.
WOW: You all made a powerful statement with that incredible photo of you and all the girls outside the gendered bathrooms in North Carolina. I bet that was an amazing way to show your LGBTQ – specifically your T – fans your love amidst all the controversy. What was the experience like being there in Charlotte and Durham?
Michelle: it’s just insane what is going on down there. The thing is; trans people have been using the bathroom of their gender for YEARS with no one “fearing for their lives” or “worrying they’ll be raped”. NO ONE had an issue with it until the government got involved and pointed fingers at an already marginalized section of society by stripping them of MORE rights as human beings. It is just disgusting. We couldn’t do much, but we wanted everyone to know that at OUR shows? ALL are welcome and able to be who they are at all times. #loveislove
WOW: I saw your performance with the girls after Orlando and it brought me to tears. What was that experience like being on the road when the horror of the story came out and with Eddie Sotomayor? Even though you guys were away, it seemed like you all had the love and support of your sisterhood and the amazing fans that Drag Race brings together.
Michelle: I am not sure I can put the emotions into words. There was intense sadness and a lot of fear. We didn’t want to continue the tour. We could not stop crying all day and night and beyond. I lost my dear friend Eddie but Ginger and Detox, who are from Orlando, lost quite a few friends. We were paralleled with too many tragedies on this tour: the Brussels bombing, Christina Grimmie and of course, Pulse. We had just played Tampa and Eddie came to hang out with me and he was the one who walked me back to the hotel on the ONE NIGHT on the entire 4.5 month tour that i went out after the show (i never go out). I think that happened for a reason. I had a beautiful talk and walk with him as he saw me safely back to my room. Always a gentlemen.
WOW: That’s incredible. What’s next for you and what can we all look forward to in the world of Michelle?