Anita Wigl’it walked into the RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under workroom with an already legendary New Zealand drag career. From running her own drag establishment (with fellow competitor Kita Mean) to appearing on shows like House of Drag, this performer won the Snatch Game challenge and wowed the judges panel before her elimination. I sat down with this seasoned queen to chat about her experience competing against friends on Drag Race Down Under, what it was like being a Canadian queen for a certain time of her life, and the best advice she ever received that has helped her throughout her own career.
Michael Cook: You are one of the most prominent names to land on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. How does Drag Race measure up to the amazing things you have done throughout your career?
Anita Wiglit-It was such an amazing experience. For me, I knew that Drag Race was not the final destination. A lot of people feel that their goal in life is to be on Drag Race, and that is what they want to do. For me, Drag Race was going to be a stepping stone in my career and it is one of the biggest stepping stones ever. It has blasted me into the world and I have connections all around the world now, which is so incredible. It was honestly more huge than I ever imagined than it could be in my life.
MC: Kita Mean is your business partner in Caluzzi, a famed Auckland, New Zealand drag establishment and you have started a monthly event titled Drag Wars. Additionally, Elektra Shock competed in that show. What was it like being in a competition against two people that you knew in such very different ways before the competition?
AW: For sure, obviously Kita is my best friend so it is hard going against a friend. Elektra is an employees and was a contestant on the show that Kita and I did (House of Drag). For me, I always treat people like equals. The fact that I was the host of the show that Elektra competed in didn’t really factor in. I knew that we were individuals and I was lucky enough to wind up in the position that I was in. As for Kita, it was fun because we have always been identified as ‘Kita & Anita’, a comedy duo. It was really cool to be able to shine individually. I think we both enjoyed the opportunity since we have separate careers as well and that was really great to explore.
MC: Winning the Snatch Game challenge is always looked at as a big accomplishment on any season of Drag Race, and you did it this season when you portrayed The Queen of England! What was winning that challenge like?
AW: It was the coolest thing in the world! I feel like if you dont win RuPaul’s Drag Race, winning Snatch Game is the next best thing. For me, winning it made me think that it is not how well you do on the show in terms of ranking, but what you do while you’re there. It was like “yes, I am going to get booked for those comedy queens shows” (laughs)!
MC: Running an establishment like Caluzzi gives you an opportunity to showcase performers from all over New Zealand and beyond. What is it like to be able to give performers from all over a launching pad for their careers?
AW: It is honestly the best thing in the world. Kita and I did a bit of math recently, and between us we offer the most amount of work for drag performers in New Zealand which is really cool. We have the show Drag Wars that we have been running for the past five years. It gives people an opportunity to try drag, go on stage in front of an audience, and get some money. I just keep thinking about when I started drag, its all about who you know and you rely on those connections to build your image and career. The fact that I get to do that for others is the really the best part.
MC: Drag in Australia and New Zealand has their own drag aesthetic, but you lived in Vancouver for several years. Was it hard to adapt to the sensibilities of Canadian drag during that time?
AW: The drag scene really has some amazing drag performers in Vancouver. For me, in New Zealand ,I had always been ‘comedy’. In Vancouver, it was less comedy and there is a bit of focus on being a “stunning lady”. I had to learn a bit of the art of doing some of the pop song lip sync thing. In Vancouver I won the Vancouver’s Next Top Drag Superstar competition, so when I came back to New Zealand, I had a title and that helped me get to higher heights as well.
MC: What is next for Anita Wig’lit post-Drag Race Down Under?
AW: For me, I think the next thing that I want to do is go back tours and things like that. I want to get into more comedy as well. I do live comedy, but want to do a little more styles of comedy. Who knows, if the rumors are true maybe a RuPaul’s Drag Race International All Stars!
MC: You have been a mentor to so many drag performers, and have probably given so much sage advice to countless performers. What advice have you
Two actually. One is a really good quote that people always want to be successful until they see the amount of work that goes into it. I have always loved that, because I have always seen that if I want to be successful, I have to put in the work! The other is if you want to say something negative about another drag performer, it will always get back to them. That can affect your career negatively, and it does always get back!
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