The Season 10 queen will sashay into Columbus this weekend for a Friday night show at Axis.
[Correction: We got the day of the week wrong! We originally listed Yuhua’s show as taking place on Saturday, May 4. It’s May 4 all right, but that’s Friday night. We apologize for the error.]
By Staley Munroe
Yuhua Hamasaki has already sashayed away from Season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but the 27-year-old New Yorker will make her way to Columbus on Friday, May 4 for a show at Axis.
She’ll be joined by fellow Season 10’ers Kalorie Karbdashian Williams and Dusty Ray Bottoms. Their show will be hosted by Columbus’ own Nina West and Virginia West.
Yuhua was born in China and moved to Manhattan’s Chinatown when she was 7. She sews gowns for fellow New York queens like Peppermint and Bob the Drag Queen.
Give us a quick intro about yourself and how you got started in drag…
Everyone who does drag usually comes from the same dark place—bullying, unhappiness, not fitting in—and all three were my experiences. I never had any fun living as someone who society wanted me to be as cis and gay, so I hid myself, trying not stand out, knowing I’d be picked on if I did.
I found confidence and happiness in drag doing whatever I want, expressing myself from the inside out! Drag was such a cathartic gift, and I think everyone should try drag at least once!
What is the single greatest lesson being a Ru girl taught you?
To sleep whenever you can! It’s so important. You travel constantly—hotels, bookings, emails, interviews, etc., and you need rest.
It’s taught me to live in the moment, because you’ll need that for the next challenge. Also to stay humble and be grateful, because what you have now can be gone in a second.
Always be nice, work hard, stay on top of your game or you’ll be replaced. Never be a Madonna or a diva! Off camera and off stage, be nice and humble.
What’s life like after filming drag race? Do you keep in touch with all the girls?
Life is extremely busy! There are literally no days off. Even on “days off” I have to plan for the next gig.
I sleep on planes all the time; all I see is hotels, planes, the driver and the venue. But I’m riding the wave, as this is my moment, so I have to keep working hard. I do keep in touch with some of the girls, especially the NYC girls, because I knew them already from before the show.
How do you manage yourself with online drama? Is it hard to stay out of the negativity?
How I stay out of the mess is not reading the comments, sweet and simple.
As for the drama fans can start, I stay out of it, too. If you get sucked into the comments that are good, your head swells up and you think you’re untouchable, or if you read all the negative comments they bring you down, making you doubt yourself and feel lousy. So I avoid letting any comments get to me and stay neutral.
After all, all the girls should remember that no matter how mean some fans can be, Ru still picked you for a reason, and that matters!
Not everyone will like you, but out of literally thousands of girls, Ru picked YOU! It’s always something to be proud of!
You’ve joined many queens who’ve dropped music tracks after the show, with your new song “Ankh.” What’s the best part of that process, and do you anticipate creating more singles?
I don’t know if I will! I’m not a musician, but I am an entertainer, whether it’s photo shoots, music, films, anything that provokes feelings with the audience, then I want to do it.
This was a play off of something that happened on the show, so I went for it. No, I’m not Beyoncé or Rhianna, but I wanted to play and entertain in one more way!
We’re looking forward to having you at Axis on May 4th! Have you been to Columbus before? What have you heard or scene of the community here?
I’ve never been to Columbus but I’ve been to Cleveland and Akron in Ohio. When I was there, I saw so many antique shops, and felt like it’s a lot slower city than New York, but that is all a part of its charm!
I’m very excited to perform at Axis. I’ve heard it’s an amazing venue and community from other queens!
What are the three most vital non-negotiable items YOU MUST have to have to do your drag?
A) My custom-made paper lashes, of course! B) A thick, full lace wig! C) PRIMER for my makeup! You can have the cheapest makeup in the world, but with the right primer it’ll all go on perfect!
Drag is changing the game, bringing more attention to our community, and shifting the greater culture’s understanding of who we are, giving us more visibility. Where do you see yourself within this movement of progress now that you have such a substantial platform?
Honestly, I just continue to be myself, because that encourages others to be themselves and embrace what they stand for, too.
I incorporate my Asian experience and heritage into my drag whenever possible, with my jokes, dance gigs, makeup looks, because it’s important we all embrace our heritage.
The media says beauty is one thing and looks a certain European kind of way, but if you are YOU and stand up to rep your people, it shows others that you care! The Asian community is so under-represented in the entertainment community, and we aren’t all just mathematicians or lawyers or administrators, we can entertain, too!
What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring drag queens?
Everyone else is taken already; you’re the only you. Don’t duplicate others, because she can do what you can’t do and you can do what she cannot do, so you need to focus on your own strong points. Sell it, and make it work! Always be yourself.
Who are you rooting for of the remaining girls from this season?
I’m delusional, so myself, even though I was already disqualified.