This Week’s Guest: Alaska Thunderf*ck and Jeremy
We've got a special two for one deal on this episode: Drag Race star Alaska, and her friend and collaborator Jeremy. With a friendship dating back to their weird college days, Alaska and Jeremy recently released an album of songs called Amethyst Journey that is surprisingly sweet and folksy. We talk about all about their early influences, watching Rocky Horror together on a little laptop screen, and also the creation of Alaska, the time they sang Dolly Parton songs so loud the cops were called, and also how Alaska bombed her first audition from drag race -- plus we'll also have a very brief cameo from Alaska's mom.
Because of their busy travel schedule, Alaska and Jeremy were only able to do an interview from the road, so you'll hear a little background noise in our interview. I've cleaned up the sound quality a bit and I hope it doesn't distract too much from their fabulous stories.
Also, speaking of The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- I posted a brand new video in my Culture Cruise series last week. It's a deep dive on how that film went from being a commercial failure to a cultural phenomenon, and why it's such an important midnight movie for outcasts and weirdos. Head over to YouTube and search for Rocky Horror Culture Cruise to watch that.
And we're just a few days away from our weeklong livestream of games, a fundraiser for Seattle Children's Hospital! Starting on October 28, I'll be hosting a big gay game of Dungeons & Dragons featuring Comedian Bryan Safi, Culture Critic Carlos Maza, Writer Anthony Oliveira, and Scholar Bryan Wuest. Then I'll be streaming games every day from October 29 to November 3. And on Sunday, November 4th, join us for another game of D&D featuring the drag queen cast of Queens of Adventure in full drag! We'll be serving looks, interacting with viewers, and encouraging everyone to donate to Seattle Children's Hospital -- 100% of everything you give goes straight to the hospital. Get the details and watch us live at bit.ly/extralifeseattle. See you starting October 28.
BTW, I hope you'll also join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat, with special guest Seattle drag superstar Arson Nicki. It’s Saturday October 27 at 2pm pacific. There's a link at the top of the Sewers of Paris twitter feed.
Huge thanks to everyone who makes The Sewers of Paris possible with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. There's rewards for folks who back the show -- just click "Support the Show on Patreon." Or you can support The Sewers of Paris for free by leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice -- that really helps people find the show.
Head over to SewersOfParis.com to see clips of the stuff we talk about on each episode of the show. And for more queer podcasting, check out Queens Of Adventure to hear drag queens on an epic Dungeons & Dragons quest. That’s at QueensOfAdventure.com.
This Week’s Recommendation: The Drag Roast of Heklina
Thanks again to Alaska and Jeremy for joining me for a lovely chat. If you're looking for more fun times with Alaska, check out the drag roast of Heklina -- a live show at the Castro theater that was filmed, and is now popping up at queer film festivals and occasionally online.
Alaska's joined onstage by drag legends Peaches Christ, Jackie Beat, Jinkx Monsoon, and why not, the Julie Brown who is not downtown. They are all merciless in their attacks on Heklina and each other, and when I watched the video in a theater last week, there were almost as many gasps as there were laughs. It is also, of course, hilarious and occasionally heartfelt, as when Peaches concludes her roasting with a genuine recognition that she can't imagine life without her good friend.
But mostly it's one solid punch line after another. I'm not usually a fan of the roast, since for heaven't sake the world is mean enough already. But behind the teasing at this particular show was a deep affection, and a camaraderie that comes of having spent years together in the smallest subculture of a subculture of a subculture.
Moving as they do in a very small community, performers like Alaska and Jinkx and Heklina get to know each other better than most friends or coworkers or even family. And when they get up on stage to tease each other, it's like a little glimpse into a private world we rarely get to see -- at least not at such length. The fact that they all laugh at each other's quips and insults lets us know there's no harm done, it's all said out of love, and they're all in on the joke. And now, as an extension of their queer performer family, we are too.