Kameron Michaels’ rise to the top three on this past season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race came as a surprise to many, but to none as much as the muscle queen herself. While the quiet Nashville queen established herself as a silent but deadly force to be reckoned with — a lip sync assassin, so to speak — she admits she was shocked to do so well in the competition.
“I, like most people, did not see myself in that position,” she told reporters the day after the finale. “I think (during the season) that people have grown to understand me a little bit better.”
That’s not the only thing she accomplished during her time on the show. “I learned something new about myself,” she explains. “I’m not an introvert, I’m an ambivert! It’s an important distinction because a lot of introverts fear failure and I’d never be where I am today if I didn’t have the courage to go for my dreams.”
We spoke with Kameron as she was preparing to hit the road on the Werq the World Tour. It arrives to Houston’s Wortham Center Cullen Theater on Saturday, October 13.
What exactly is an ambivert?
Kameron Michaels: Ambiverts are introverts that have an internal switch that clicks over to our extroverted side when we need to. A lot of entertainers are ambiverts.
Like Janet Jackson.
Kameron Michaels: Exactly.
But not many drag queens are introverts.
Kameron Michaels: I’m learning quickly that I am apparently one of the most visibly introverted queens to have been on the show. I’ve had thousands of fans reach out to tell me that they relate to me more than any other queen. As an introvert, I tend to enter a room quietly and go unnoticed for some time. It helps me acclimate to the environment on my own time.
How did you discover drag?
Kameron Michaels: Drag is just who I am. I never felt like I had what it took to be a vocalist or a star on Broadway, so drag just became this outlet for me to escape my introverted bubble and be on stage. I love the spotlight and I love entertaining people.
Did you expect to do as well as you did in the show?
Kameron Michaels: No, not at all. I can’t speak for all introverts, but a lot of us have a tendency to self doubt. I know that I am artistic and have a couple talents, but I just do what I do most days and hope it’s enough. I never see myself as the best of the best. Just trying to do better than I did yesterday. I kept my head down in the competition and just tried to make it day by day. Surprised but very proud of how far I made it.
Do you think people underestimated you at the beginning of the competition because of your muscles?
Kameron Michaels: I think only a very small percentage of people underestimated me by my boy appearance. My costumes in the first half of the season showed what my drag was all about.
Looking back now, what were your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Kameron Michaels: My biggest strength is my perseverance. No matter how much my biggest weakness of self-doubt tries to get in the way, I always perform when its time and do the best that I can. They balance out well.
You proved this season that you’re one the hardest working queens in the business.
Kameron Michaels: We are all working so hard. I am so proud of all of my sisters.
Any plans to release a single or album?
Kameron Michaels: I will release music when I am ready. I’m not playing by the rules of the timeline. I’m not going to release music until I can give it the time and attention it needs. My schedule is far too busy for me to do that right now.
We’re excited to see you in Houston!
Kameron Michaels: I am having a blast touring on the WERQ THE WORLD tour and meeting all of the amazing fans!
Do you add workout time into your artist rider?
Kameron Michaels: No, unfortunately that is not something that I have time for right now. I am so busy touring at this point that I honestly must choose between sleep and things like the gym. A full night of sleep on the road is rare. I have to get as much sleep as I can as I am in a different city every day. I’ve accepted that drag needs my full attention right now and hopefully after the first year I can rearrange my schedule to allow more time for fitness again.
So, no special treats on your rider?
Kameron Michaels: Honestly, I don’t have time for treats when I arrive at a venue. I’m busy getting ready. But if anyone in Houston can get me a vodka before the show, I’ll be forever grateful.
See Kameron Michaels perform LIVE on the Werq the World tour, hitting Houston’s Wortham Center Cullen Theater on Saturday, October 13. For tickets, visit http://werqtheworld.com/.