Thanks to a licensing deal with World of Wonder (the production company behind RuPaul’s Drag Race), the world-famous show is branching out with its first international version—in Thailand. Set to co-host is the amazing Pangina Heals. As she prepares to co-host Drag Race Thailand, we sat down with the Bangkok-based drag super-star to talk about her life in Thailand, what makes an amazing drag queen, and travel.
What inspired you to work as a drag queen?
It’s more whom. I started as a drag queen being super-inspired by supreme world leader Lady Gaga. There was a nationwide competition to whoever could lip-synch her song the best, and they would win an all-paid trip to see her in NYC. I won first place and experienced doing drag in the big city! I felt like a superhero. Strangers would applaud and say (work girl), and I felt that this was the beginning of something great.
Amazing! Congrats! I’m assuming you now get paid to do drag after that experience?
It’s a full-time career now. It didn’t start like that, but now I’m in drag every day. My father always said: If you love what you do and do not think about the money, one day the money will catch up with all the love you put into your work. It’s a Thai saying and doesn’t really slide smoothly in English!
Where are some places we can see you perform in Bangkok?
I’m performing every day, or almost, because I love cash. No, actually, I love to make people smile. We are doing some good in a world that doesn’t always understand or accept us.
Do you get to travel?
Yes, I travel at least three times a month overseas. I judge all over Asia as the only waacking drag queen judge in the world, I’m a judge at All Asia Waacking festivals and numerous dance events. I love traveling while I’m young and able to kneel. And I love performing in venues where there are many straight male dancers. When I first step onto the stage, they don’t necessary understand but when I finish the performance and make them laugh, I hope we all (come) together because, at the end of the day, it’s all just entertaining. We are men in dresses…clowns!