A’Keria C. Davenport was one of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" queens that many fans were anxious to see return for "All Stars 6."
Her polished presentation and ability to turn a variety of looks made her runways (and acting challenges) fan favorites. Her All Stars 6 run has been cut short, but the next phase of Davenport’s career is sure to show us a brand new A’Keria (new music?). I sat down to chat with the All Stars 6 stunner about her latest Drag Race run, what she thinks she learned the most from both of her experiences, and why the “Iyanla of drag” won’t ever stop nurturing her fellow performers.
Michael Cook: Now that your RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 experience has concluded, how do you look back on the experience?
A'keria C. Davenport: It was kind of triggering almost. Going into All Stars, I went in with the mentality to not overthink anything and to just have fun. Honestly, being there with that mindset it almost felt like ... the reason it was triggering was that for all of Season 11, I struggled with not being seen, and here I am reliving that moment in All Stars 6, which is something I wanted to excel in.
MC: Going into the finale as Top Four as you did during Season 10, you can probably almost taste the crown. Do you think you are now at peace with your own Drag Race journey?
ACD: Honestly, I can say that what I set out to do, I did. I didn't complete all of the missions, which would have been to get the crown. The mission to show the world another side of A'keria, the mission to show my growth, the mission to actually go into Drag Race and have fun this time and for it to go the way that I wanted it to mentally and financially, I am so satisfied. Watching it back, everything that I produced on All Stars 6, not to sound cocky, it is what A'keria is, which is a variety of works of art.
MC: You had already proven your pedigree during your own season, when you did the first ever group 'Lip Sync For Your Life' and you managed to survive a lip sync against five other competitors. That is when you went down in Drag Race herstory! Do you still hear about it from fans?
ACD: (laughs) In a fringe gown and a fringe headpiece! I always do hear about it and I love every minute of it, because to be honest I did not enjoy the song. Love J-Lo, but because I am not a dancer, that remix has never been on my list.
MC: This season, we saw a very different side of you and saw true vulnerability from you. For example, many fans did not know that you previously lived as a trans woman. Was that something that you were apprehensive about going forward?
ACD: It was one of those moments where we are just here, to be honest! I honestly didn't want to overthink anything, Season 11 A'keria would have thought too hard about what would people think, what will the aftermath be. When I did it though, it was one of those moments that actually helped release me. I didn't expect it to go over the way that it did, it was honestly, a feeling of A'keria expressing who she is and my good girlfriends who I was chatting with another layer inside of who I was. It felt good honestly to talk about it; it was something that I have never talked about.
MC: It was refreshing to hear a different aspect of the gender spectrum that we don't necessarily hear that much about; people that start a transition and at some point, cease moving forward with that transition.
ACD: I think what happens a lot of times is that a lot of girls transition for the wrong reason, mind you I am not questioning anyone's transition. It is so easy in this lifestyle to do what you think the people are going to enjoy or what they are going to love, which is what almost and what pretty much started me transitioning. I would go to the club, and would feel that applause on stage for A'keria and it was like "Oh my God I want this all the time, I want to feel love and I want to feel accepted all the time. If I do this 24/seven, will I keep getting that"? When I realized that I didn't keep getting that applause when I go to the store or when I am just going through the struggles of living as a trans woman, it made me say "Hey, let's stop and think before we get too far into this."
MC: I spoke with Eureka about her new music recently and she had some wonderful words for you and for the support you showed her during the talent show. When Eureka was nervous, you were the one that convinced her to lip sync as opposed to sing live.
ACD: For some reason, I call myself the Iyanla of drag; I have always had a nurturing spirit. If anyone has ever needed help, it is just natural to me to jump right in. At that moment, I could feel that Eureka was struggling, not so much because of the judges' critiques, but how it would be displayed, because it is representing her mom. I had to let her know the at the end of the day, you are still doing a talent show. You want to show your talent, but you still have to show that respect to your Mom. By lip-syncing, I didn't think that it would take anything from it, but it would still push that message out to the judges.
MC: During a competition like Drag Race, is it hard to be nurturing to other competitors where you end up helping others but at the same time, have to help yourself excel?
ACD: It's hard; it took many years to get to that balance. What happens is I end up putting myself last and I forget the first law of nature which is self-preservation. You want to see everyone else succeed, but you still have to make sure you're good. Also mentally, you can encourage someone so much that you don't even have it for yourself. I had to find that balance also.
MC: What is next for A'Keria C. Davenport?
ACD: Now that All Stars 6 is over, I want to focus on my future endeavors. I want to own a funeral home. I am so glad to be back traveling, it just feels so good to be in front of people and to actually touch people; I have been loving that part of it also. I have been working on music also.
MC: What is the kind of music we can expect from A'Keria C. Davenport?
ACD: The music will be like my drag; you can be whoever you want to be in the moment. A lot of people don't know, I enjoy country music. You may get a track that plays off of the whole country sound, but it is just me having fun. Who knows, it may be someone weird just like me! It is a variety of different stuff!
MC: In a year of self-reflection, when do you truly feel the most authentically yourself?
ACD: Honestly, when I am on my edible and I am just at home in my kitchen cooking. I love to cook and I love to try new things. I like to just play my music and laugh and joke with my friends while I'm cooking. I am just one of those people that really just enjoy the moment. Cooking and enjoying other people's company and making others laugh; is what it is about. I am a huge goofball, so I am always the one cracking jokes, I just love doing that.
Follow A'Keria C. Davenport on Instagram @mizakeriachanel.
Check out the other interviews at All Stars 6 homepage.