Emerging as the sweetheart of season 13 of "RuPaul’s Drag Race," Olivia Lux has quickly proven that the amount of years you have under your belt does not always equate to the talent you are able to exhibit.
As one of the Top 5 contestants on this season, Olivia utilized raw talent, a level disposition, and a sparkling smile to make quite a splash this season. Her elimination from the competition now gives this dynamic performer the ability to take her talents, such as being a trained pianist, to stages everywhere. I sat down with Ms. Lux to chat about what it was like diving into Drag Race during a global pandemic, the lessons she has learned from her experience, and what queens from her state that this Garden State Goddess would like to see on the Drag Race main stage.
Michael Cook: You had a phenomenal showing on "RuPaul’s Drag Race" this season and some of your journey to the main stage started at Paradise in Asbury Park NJ as the last Miss Paradise, a month before the quarantine. How did it feel to see that moment get relived on the Drag Race quarantine special?
Olivia Lux: I am so happy that they used that footage. It is such a big part of my journey to getting on the show, I am so glad that they were able to showcase that.
MC: Now that your Drag Race run has ended and you made it to the Top 5 this season, how does the entire experience feel like looking back on it?
OL: It feels great; it feels really great to share my entire journey and story with everyone. For the longest time, not being able to say “Well I didn't make it all the way to the Top 4, but I am really proud of how I got to the Top 5” is tough. I am really happy with how everything turned out, and I was really proud even after filming. I am more proud now because I am able to connect with so many people about the show and my journey. It just feels great; who knew getting eliminated would feel so great (laughs)?!
MC: The sweet and endlessly infectious personality that you exhibited on the main stage is truly how many people know you truly are, but how did it feel for that to be painted as somewhat of a negative on the Drag Race main stage during critiques?
OL: I appreciate you recognizing that. I think that at times, it might have been a detriment during the competition aspect of the show. However, I honestly feel like it was a weapon that I was able to use throughout the competition to get me as far as I did. If I didn't have that positivity, that light, and couldn’t smile every day going into the workroom genuinely and really excited and happy to learn as I grow, I may not have gone as far as I did. Because of that, I think of it as something that was definitely an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
MC: Brand new queens notoriously have to come up in the ranks, starting at the bottom. You, however, competed against people like Tina Burner and Kandy Muse, who are established personalities and performers in New York City drag circles. After doing drag for a short time, do you think you now represent the portion of reality television competition where success can be fast-tracked?
OL: I think it is fair to say that my platform was a bit more concentrated in its growth. I think some of the reason that they were open to the idea, even early on, was because I would run into these girls that I really looked up to in New York, while I was on the way to my third gig, then coming back home at five am for my full-time job at 9 a.m. They knew that I was passionate because I was still a bit more concentrated on the art of drag rather than being in drag for a year and then figuring out the ropes. I quickly wanted to dive in and devote a lot to my artistry and I think they saw that and respected that. So, they gave me a bit more leeway in the beginning because of that; I really appreciate that.
MC: Pandemic was a challenge for all of us, including for you, who was not able to perform for a title you won as well as fighting to get ready for Drag Race when many businesses in New York were shut down. How did you push through the challenges? Any lessons learned?
OL: It’s so funny you say that. Whenever I say that I hate something, my partner very quickly will say “Well what do you love?" In that breath, I hate that I was not able to perform at Paradise with everyone, but I can connect with you now and we were able to showcase the room at Paradise where the magic happens. The stage where a lot of people get their start at. That is something that should be cherished. Now we can look forward to reconnecting and still having that.
As a newer performer, maybe it is easier for me, always have something to look forward to. It is difficult during the pandemic when you are within the four walls of your apartment to have something to look forward to, but when you have whisked away to Los Angeles at "RuPaul’s Drag Race" and it feels like the world is at your fingertips and you feel like you have the whole rest of your career in front of you because you do, it gives you something to look forward to. That is the take-home for me. Always look ahead and have that moment for yourself, to be real with yourself where I can say “Wait, I know I am here right now, but there are also a lot of things that I can look forward to.” I was very hopeful when I was there because there were little glimmers of hope, like, you can still do drag during a pandemic, weirdly. Even though only a few of us were at Drag Race, it gave me hope for later on. That is the big take-home for me. It might be easier for me to find something to look forward to since I am a newer girl, but I think we all have that within ourselves.
MC: So many New Jersey girls are so talented, and the Drag Race stage could someday be a place for some of them. Who from the Garden State would you love to see on a future season?
OL: Whenever I am asked this, I always say I love Jersey drag. That is kind of where I got my inspiration from. First, Jolina Jasmine from New Jersey, I think she is an absolutely talented performer, is absolutely stunning, and is a really great person. Pissi Myles would be great, she is one of the first queens that I saw live in person and is so inspiring; she is a great person with a great heart. I would also love to see Harmonica Sunbeam, she is actually the reason that I started doing drag. I went to a small bar in Jersey City with boy makeup on and she said "You are one high heel, lip gloss, and wig away from being a drag queen; you wanna do this?" I gave it a shot and the next week, I was at the same bar with Harmonica Sunbeam hosting and performed for the first time. It is people like that really inspire me, that I have been thankful to be connected within my life and my journey that I would love to see on "RuPaul's Drag Race;" I know they would slay.
MC: Olivia Lux is showing that she is a branding expert, but hey, you only have “One Life To LIV” right? Besides becoming a branding expert, what is next for Olivia Lux?
OL: Well You LIV And You Learn. (laughs)! Right now it is music. I decided to dive into music. The "RuPaul's Drag Race" stage does not have a grand piano, which is okay. Now I am able to connect with people, doing personalized video requests from people and I can sit down at a piano and take some song requests. I have some original music that is coming out that I am so excited about. It has been a real whirlwind after Drag Race; I have been creating a lot of music. Recently I got to sit down with a theater publication and was talking through some things and said that I wouldn’t mind hopping back on stage. I did some musical theater for a while, but I wouldn’t mind bringing Olivia Lux to a stage near you. Music is definitely a passion of mine and I am excited to share more of what you didn't get to see on the show.
MC: How have you stayed creatively fueled and inspired during a year where being close to each other and fans were extremely difficult?
OL: I think it is all about surrounding yourself with a tribe of people that love and support you and that have similar passions or complementary passions. It is so easy to get locked away in the four walls of your bedroom and close in on yourself. Going out there with a mask to your local coffee shop and scrolling through inspiring photos on Twitter or Instagram helps … My music has definitely been able to feed my artistic and creative bug outside of drag. Just sitting down at the keys and living in that, that weirdly inspires other artistic things in me. It has been my artistic tribe, the Haus of Lux, and tuning into the music. Really just letting the emotions and the creativity flow. I have quit my full-time job and I am a full-time artist now; if that’s not inspiring, I don't know what is!
Follow Olivia Lux on Instagram @theolivialux.
Check out the other interviews on the "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 13 homepage.