From Mesquite Texas to the global stage, Alyssa Edwards is unstoppable. Her life is a spectacle; from Season 5 of the Emmy-Award winning television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2013) to her web series “Alyssa’s Secret”, her own Netflix series “Dancing Queen” (2018) and “America’s Got Talent” (2021). Now the smash hit show direct from London’s West End comes to America. “Life, Love & Lashes – Memoirs of a Queen” is a must see tell-all story about her life, drag and finding love. Audiences are raving!
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It was a pleasure to once again sit down with Alyssa for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
Q: Since your stint on All-Stars, you have travelled the world many times, what is your favorite city or venue and why?
OMG you are putting me on the spot! I feel like I am in Q&A in Miss Gay America all over again. It’s really been a dream traveling the world but there is no place like home in Mesquite. Although, I must say Australia was amazing as I never thought it would be in reach for me. When I landed there the first time, it was magical. Speaking of magical, Disney World is also one of my favorites.
Q: Speaking of traveling what is the funniest story that has happened to you while traveling?
Touring with Shangela and La Ganga we have created so many memories. When I look back at my journal, I giggle out loud. Some of the moments we had., you just had to be there. One time I was on a train with Shangela, and we were in the UK. We didn’t have first class tickets, but Shangela was bound and determined to get us in there. So, we went into first class and when they came by, I put my sunglasses on and Shangela was able to talk her way out of getting us removed from first class.
Q: Since coming into fame, what has been the best thing you purchased for yourself? For others?
For myself I purchased a home, and that’s my biggest investment and I am very proud of that. I am also very proud of being able to help my family.
Q: Do you still have time to run the studio and coach dancers?
If I don’t have a wig on, I am teaching a dance class. I was just there last night. As much as I love traveling, there is no better joy then being in that classroom with those kids; it is so powerful. We are going into our 20th season.
Q: Do you ever have the bug to go back to pageantry?
In my head, of course. I will role play in my head and picture myself when they pick the top 5.
Q: Are you and Coco on better terms?
Absolutely. We were friends in the show. We are like brothers and sister, we fight and disagree, but we love each other, and I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Coco and Martin (the man behind it all). To put the rumors to rest, during the premiere of season 5 I was at Coco’s house, and we watched it together.
Q: Who are you closest with from your seasons or any other season of “Drag Race”?
I am the closest with Shangela as we were friends before drag race. She is my family along with Laganga. Recently I got to work with a lot of the girls, and I loved them all including Shea, Brooke Lynn, Kylie, Crystal Method, Heidi, Jan, etc.
Q: What’s your marital status?
I am in a relationship; we are a year in. I hosted a global audition and he won!
Q: Describe Alyssa in three words?
Electrifying, fictional, and glamorous.
Q: What do you do for fun?
I have recently been on a fitness journey; I go to Barry’s boot camp class or bike ride around the lake.
Q: What’s ahead for Alyssa?
I believe my book of life is written its just now being read out loud, and I am just enjoying it.
Q: Tell our readers about your show “Alyssa: Life, Love and Lashes Tour,” and why they should buy tickets before it sells out?
This is the becoming of Alyssa Edwards. Netflix dancing queen gave everyone an introduction, but this is the story of me pulling back the sparkling curtains and allowing people into the world of Justin Johnson. The ups and downs and the exciting roller coaster. Its high energy, it colorful, its vibrant and very multifaceted and layered. I am so proud of it; it truly is a hallmark of my life.
Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you want to talk about?
I want to thank all of the viewers and the supporters. I told my partner yesterday that I was watching a video of a boy with his mom putting make up on him. The boy wanted it so badly and was shy about telling his mom, so she recorded him seeing make up on for the first time. There was a time when I was waiting for the world to change and now not only do I get to witness the change, but I am also a part of it. It is now mainstream! People are celebrating the art of drag and I am just very grateful.
For tickets to “Life, Love & Lashes – Memoirs of a Queen,” which start at $57, go to Browardcenter.org.