She entered the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 workroom as an ingenue, and departed RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 as a bombshell; Blair St. Clair has truly, been realized.
This Midwest doll turned nation’s capital stunner sat down to talk with SFGN about her All Stars experience, creating the now RuPaul approved “shimmy/shush” and what the evolution that she has gone through means to her as a performer and a person.
Michael Cook: You returned for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 and made it all the way to the Top 4! What was it like to be back and have such an amazing showing?
Blair St. Clair: The experience of filming All Stars has been immensely more fun than watching it on television . There is always time for people to ruminate on the shows as they are released weekly, rather than binging it all at once like on a Netflix series. When I filmed All Stars, I had such an amazing time with all of my sisters and we had so much fun. I honestly don’t think I have ever had that much fun in my life. It was a whirlwind to get ready and to prepare for All Stars, and I am just so humbled and so grateful to have been given the opportunity, the platform and the exposure to do this.
This was one of the first times that I think we have heard that RuPaul and her husband actually impersonate you at home, as Ru paid homage to your little shimmy/ssshh on the main stage. What was that like?
Yes she does! I wish there had been enough time to air the entire moment, but Ru and I had such genuine and beautifully special moments the entire season. After he had told me that on the main stage, he told me “I just want you to know, me and my husband absolutely love you”! Every time he sees me, we always do the shimmy-shush, the thing on Drag Race Season Ten that I didn't even know that I did. I hug myself and shimmy and blew a little kiss to the camera. Whenever Ru sees me, we do that and it is just a beautiful, beautiful moment. I almost think I created a friendship with RuPaul this season.
One thing I want to note is that I could tell that RuPaul had so much fun this season filming with us, he had so much joy in his eyes. He truly genuinely loved every moment of it and us, and truly loved seeing us succeed. It brought me so much joy to do every challenge, there are so many moments that they cannot show on television but there are so many moments where we had so much fun with RuPaul and it was such a blast being with him.
You have come back for All Stars with a much stronger perspective on fashion, and a much stronger sense of yourself and the kind of queen you truly are. What do you think has changed the most since your season?
Before I competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I performed in a community where drag was sort of seen in one way. If I were to perform on stage as a newer queen in Indianapolis, IN the way that I look today, they would tell me that I should go back home and put some more makeup on. That is just how the drag scene was and I never had the chance to experiment with my makeup, my clothing and my aesthetic. Drag had not evolved that much; since then, it has evolved immense amounts and it really has changed a lot. Doing Drag Race the first time around, I felt like I had not really found myself yet. I was doing a carbon copy of everything that I had seen on television, seen online, and seen in my own community of what drag “could and should supposed to be". Since doing Drag Race, I have been able to experience a world of drag & aesthetics all over the world. I have been able to fine-tune what it is that I love about drag that makes me come alive. I have found that I love fashion, makeup and the stereotypical female illusion of what I feel like the female fantasy to be. I think I have really found who I am.
Drag Race also helped lay the first stepping stone where I could explain my journey and begin healing from sexual assault. That was the beginning of me coming to terms with that incident in my life and finding healing. I have tried to conquer my embracing sexuality in my life. I want to be the sexually fluid sexy vixen, that Victoria’s Secret model that oozes sex appeal. I am no longer afraid of sex appeal, I have embraced it. I think that has really influenced my drag, it has embraced who I am and what I am in my drag and I have been able to perform on All Stars almost like it is my first time competing on Drag Race, it was the first time I was genuinely and authentically me, I was a found person.
There was definitely some workroom drama on the season with what went on with Alexis, India and Shea. Was it hard to work around the drama that you were not involved in or did you just try to stay out of the fray?
I stayed out of it, I am not a drama person. You see on the show, I did not have too much drama. I had a little with Miz Cracker, but we were adults and resolved it. At the end of the day, these are real people. The fans often forget that we are creating a television show for entertainment, but we are real human beings. I knew that this time in the competition it would only last a certain amount of time, and my friendships mattered more to me than the competition itself, so I didn't want to get into it too much. I also wanted to make sure that my moral compass remained intact and I did not vote for Alexis to go home when I heard about the drama between India and Alexis and this is the reason; I had no factual evidence to back up the claim that India was making. I truly believe in the aspect of the justice system that someone is innocent until proven guilty. There was just a claim against her, and it is not that I don’t value India saying she was a victim of what had happened, it was just a "queen said queen said" moment and I honestly did not know how to take that. I said to myself that there were no facts to back up the claim, so I went by the particular challenge. I felt that India was the weakest and she should go. That is how I treated every week of the challenges.
Your music is absolutely fantastic and in a class of its own from the music in the Drag Race stratosphere. You have worked with people like Dave Aude, who is a remix and producing legend in the dance music industry. When did you look around and see that your music truly is standing on its own?
I had not thought about releasing music to begin with initially. My manager approached me after Season Ten and thought that since I was a singer, we could release a single. I thought “sure I guess we can”. I released it after my elimination and knew that I would get the most traction out of it. It was received immensely well. He suggested a full album and I said “I sing musical theater, no one wants to hear a full album of musical theater, that won’t sell” (laughs). He suggested we fine tune what could sell. I knew that I wanted to sing pop, but he mentioned that pop won’t play in clubs as much as dance music. So we created a dance album with the hope that it would do well enough for me to release a pop album afterward, now that my name will have already been out there. That is exactly what happened. I released a dance album that I liked, and it has been such a pleasure to now work on my new album Identity, which is available now. A new single was actually released every single week during All Stars, and "Take Me Home" is the last one in conjunction with my elimination episode. It has been a journey in finding my sound and even singing pop is still very different for me. I love singing pop and I love the music that I have created, but I still love my musical theater roots. I would love to get back to a musical theater stage, that is where my initial passion for performance and creativity has come from. I have been so blessed that it has been received so well. I had no intention of trying to make a number one album, I just wanted to put my music and my voice out there and hope people like it.
Where does Blair St Clair call home now?
Home now is Washington D.C. So as you can imagine during this pandemic, with the work of Black Lives Matter movement, it has been an exciting time.
The scene for drag and for performance has changed in D.C, with several spaces closing completely. How is it from your perspective?
Well, there is no Town any longer, and Cobalt has also closed. The only other space for drag was The DC Eagle, which recently closed. It has been very sad and upsetting; there have been other chances and opportunities for drag to be available here in DC, but not that much. I hope that there is more. It has been an adjustment for sure.
You have grown and evolved so much since the first moment you walked into the Drag Race workroom. What it is like looking back on that evolution?
When I auditioned for Drag Race, I had not been doing drag that long at all. I have grown so much and I love looking back on those moments or pictures, but sometimes I hate it. I just have to remember that on that particular day, I woke up and put on that makeup and thought that I was sickening, and three years from now, I will look back on it and think “what was I thinking? It is part of an evolution
I actually spoke with Miss Fame about that, and I asked her if she ever looks back and hates seeing pictures or promos that might be floating around like I do. “Girl no you have to love it” she told me. “That means if you are mad about it, you are contouring to grow. If you are continuing to grow, you are a true artist. Artists that don’t grow are plateauing, and if you are plateauing other people around you are going up. If other people around you are going up, you are not actually plateauing, you are actually going down. I love Miss Fame...
How have you been staying creatively fueled during quarantine?
I will tell you, that I have actually never been busier, even with the travel schedule, then I have been in quarantine. Some people think “really?” The truth of the matter is, now that it has been seen that so many things can be done online, it is being done online. I continue to audition for many television and movie projects, I continued to audition for campaigns also. Now, instead of taking the train into New York City or flying to Los Angeles for an audition in person, it is done over Zoom. For me to do an interview, it Is done over tape or done over Zoom. For me to self-tape and send something in for a campaign or a YouTube video for Conde Nast or Marie Claire, it is done at my house and sent in.
I am trying to find blessings in disguise; this blessing in particular has helped me create my own business. I have created my own business called Hair By Blair, you can find it on Instagram or the website. They call me the "Blair St. Hair" of wig making and I have created my own luxury brand line of human hair wigs. I now sell them to the mass public online. Having my cosmetology license, that is what I did before Drag Race, and I am now able to work full-time in my home, creating wigs, creating content, wherever it takes me. I am crafting it into a business that maintains my lifestyle and I am actually making more money with my business than I ever had traveling around the world performing in drag. If you asked me what is to come, I am going to scale back a little bit with my appearances in drag. Through the pandemic, I have learned that my family, friends and dogs mean more to me than anything in the entire world. I still love performing, but I will perform with discretion. There will be risks, so I will be doing it a little bit less and investing more in my business and my personal life. I am realizing how precious it is. It may be a little more difficult to see me in the public and performing, but I am going to focus on me and my life and my business at home.
Follow Blair St. Clair on Instagram.