Ra’Jah O’Hara has had one of the most interesting returns to RuPaul”s Drag Race All Stars in some time. Conquering any inner saboteurs that she may have come across (along with a stunning purple/plum aesthetic throughout her journey) helped Ra’Jah make it all the way to the Top Four of All Stars 6. While she left the season without the crown, the lessons she takes with her on drag and life are endless. I sat down with this wise and stunning queen and we dished about the All Stars process, advice she has for queens just starting out in drag, and her new venture across the pond.
Michael Cook: Top Four on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 is a massive accomplishment; can you believe it?
Ra’Jah O’Hara: Yes I can. I had a dream I woke up and had a dream and they told me I would be in the Top Four. You know what I did?-I woke up and I made the dream a reality. They told me that manifestation isn’t real (laughs)!
MC: This season, much like Season 11, you were the narrator and the “Greek chorus” of sorts of the season.
ROH: I am the one that is always, in my group of friends, the one that is going to keep it real and probably say something that I shouldn’t be saying, just because it’s on my mind. That is what we have freedom of speech for (laughs)! I was also blessed with a great personality, and I think I definitely get that from my grandmother. Oftentimes when you’d walk into the room, she would start off reading you, but it all came from love. I feel like that is the energy that I walk through life with.
MC: What does it feel like to not have just gotten the much sought after Ru-demption that so many All Stars contestants want, but to get to the Top Four and truly showcase what makes you an All Star?
ROH: It feels really great that I was actually able to go there and really do what I set out to do. I think that on Season 11, I showed up wanting to do what I did this time around, I just didn’t know how to, and I wasn’t comfortable in myself to give myself that opportunity and that grace period of a learning curve. I got there, I got stressed out and then the shell started to build; and you know what happens when you start to build a shell. It feels great that I was able to come back this time around and set my sights on the crown, but also set my sights out on doing well, having fun, and showcasing naturally who I am and not pretending to be somebody that I wasn’t or as somebody that I thought RuPaul wanted to see. I had to show up as myself; and I think showing up as myself allowed me the opportunity and grace to be able to get as far as I got.
MC: The voting process of All Stars can be very arduous, and for you it was probably no exception. Whether it was girls from your own season or newer friends, the process is probably very difficult, is that fair to say?
ROH: Coming into All Stars, this was my first time being a part of it, but it was not my first time watching it. I knew that there could possibly be an opportunity that I would have had to vote for my sisters at some point. I didn’t let that part of the process stress me out. I knew that I was playing a game that I wanted to be fair. I felt that the way that I was playing the game was the way that I wanted people to play the game with me. Luckily and for the most part, everybody did do that. It isn’t like we were holding someone’s feet to the flame and saying “girl who are you voting for”? We really wanted to play based on being in the moment. We also discussed track record and we kept using the word integrity. I feel like the integrity part was very much like us playing the game the way that we wanted other people to play the game with us.
MC: You are now officially an All Star and could hopefully come back as a lip sync assassin on a future season of All Stars. For queens that are considering starting their own Drag Race journey, what advice do you have for them?
ROH: The advice that I have for anyone starting their own journey in drag or even auditioning for Drag Race, is the same advice that I would tell anyone anywhere; take up the space that you occupy. Don’t worry about filling in a space and in a void; the void will be filled by what you bring to the table. You can’t compare yourself to the people in the room because there is no one in the room that is quite like you or can do exactly what you can do. Of course there are people that can do what we can do; but there is nobody that can do what we do the way that we do it. I have to be confident in what I am bringing to the table to know that I am worthy.
I would tell everybody to look within yourself, find out what is great about yourself, and cultivate that. Also, to give yourself enough opportunity and grace to grow. And to learn from each and every opportunity that you are given; because you won’t always get it right the first time. You won’t always be perfect. We have to remember that no one is perfect, so we can’t hold ourselves to a perfect standard because nobody fits that mold. What we can do is be the best versions of ourselves and be willing to see how we can grow and improve, and what changes we can make for ourselves that will be better not just for ourselves, but for the world around us.
MC: What does Ra’Jah O’Hara want do now, since the world is completely yours?
ROH: Well since the world is mine, I want to do everything I can, okay? I want to come out with my own clothing line, I would love an opportunity to have my designs in stores where people are able to purchase them, which would be amazing. Or to have people walking in some custom Ra’Jah pieces, wouldn’t that be amazing!? Then of course, continuing to perform around the world and being visible as an activist of course. Using my platform that I have been given to better help enrich the world that we are living in. I am working on music, I have music coming out very soon. I am also joining a new theater show in the U.K. for a winter tour with DeathDrop Theatre, it is a murder mystery that I am so excited about. I had not really gotten to put my feet into the acting realm, and now girl, they got me in my own show, okay? That is amazing; being in the bottom two for the acting challenge and now starring in my own show; full circle moment….
MC: When does Ra’Jah O’Hara feel the most authentically yourself?
ROH: I feel like I am the most authentically myself as soon as I wake up. As soon as I open my eyes, I feel like that is the real me. I have not been able to wrap my head around what is happening, change my thoughts on how I feel like the day is gonna go, I feel like when I open my eyes that is when I am the most authentically myself. I try to walk through life as my authentic self period. We have to adjust ourselves for situational things, but I can only be myself so I try to live authentically myself always.
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