Drag Race royalty Naomi Smalls talks Dublin Pride and Irish audiences
Naomi Smalls also gives advice to anyone attending their first drag performance this week.
Dublin Pride weekend kicks off this weekend, with a two day block party taking place in Collins' Barracks as part of the entire weekend's packed line-up of events.
As part of that block party, some much-loved Drag Race alumni will be taking the stage as part of the celebrations, including the putting the leg-in-legendary Naomi Smalls, who took part in Season 8 and All Stars Season 4 of the hit reality show.
In the run-up to Dublin Pride weekend, we asked Naomi Smalls some questions about pride, drag shows, and Irish audiences, and this is what she told us:
What does Pride mean to you?
The gays are relentless but there are many people that would love for us not to be. Right now and always it’s important to show the world it’s okay being proud who you are.
Where has been the best Pride celebrations in the world for you so far?
I really love Toronto pride. Toronto has a special place in my heart, fabulous city that’s clean. With great music taste, men, parties, queens, food, and I’ve never had a bad time there.
You've performed in Ireland before, is there anything specific about Irish audiences that you've noticed when performing here?
The boys are drunk and the drinks are heavy.
What is the one song you perform on stage that you know will get the crowd going?
It’s been fun performing Energy/Heated off of Renaissance while Beyonce is also galavanting the world. The crowd seems to really love the last minute and a half of heated specifically.
For those who may have never been to a drag performance before, what would you say are the three basic etiquette rules to be a good audience member?
Energy, attention, and flash. When a performer walks out on stage the best thing an audience member can do is just be into it. That can mean loud screams, or acknowledging the entrance or even just a clap. There is nothing worse than walking out to silence. It takes a lot of nerve to walk out on stage in a wig and heels, and that should be commended the moment the performance starts no matter what’s to follow. Makeup looks better with flash, use it.
Do you know of/ever hung out with any of the Irish drag queens?
I can’t think of Dublin without think thinking of Victorias Secret. Secret has always been a light when in town, so hospitable, and a class act. Traveling to an unknown place can always be a little daunting with drag, and having a familiar friendly energy like Victorias makes the trip so much smoother always.
Out of all of your Drag Race alumni, who is the most fun to hang out with on a big night out on the town?
The last time I was in Dublin was August 2019, and I had the best day with Laganja Estranja. We explored the grounds after performing at Love Sensation. Laganja and I started doing drag around the same time and in the same city. We go way back and was a great day eating hot dogs, dancing around to Honey Dijon, and running around in the rain.
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