In five days, Drag Race Thailand Season 1 will make its’ debut. Thailand’s local version of DRAG RACE (an award-winning series created by World of Wonders), a format previously acquired by the Kantana Group. The deal marks the first license of the DRAG RACE format in Asia. Its’ debut season is hosted by fashion stylist and trend setter, Art-Araya In-dra, and co-host Pangina Heals. Ten of the top Thai drag queens (Amadiva, Annee Maywong, B. Ella, Bunny Be Fly Dearis Doll, JAJA, Meannie Minaj, Morrigan, and Natalia and Petchra) were invited to stir up the competition with their glamorous talents. Social media response on the announcements of the new Asian reality series and following press releases has been very positive among Drag Race fandom. Especially with World of Wonder’s full press coverage and RuPaul’s own personal video plug, there’s a lot of excitement to see the show, especially in North America – home of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Uhmazing Press had a wonderful interview with the most endearing theatre queen and drag newcomer, Amadiva. Pudthawee Thepkraival, his real name, talked about his “drag credentials”, talents, and aspirations. Although the twenty-four year-old says he’s neither fit to play stereotypical gay roles on TV – because he says he’s too flamboyant – nor being good at comedy to pull an act, his sense of humor and personality begs to differ. Amadiva maybe new to drag, but this Queen can sing. Why lip sync when you can make records? Hint: RuPaul. Read more about our correspondence with Drag Race Thailand’s Amadiva!
UhmazingPress: Hello. Thank you for accepting our request for this interview. Before we start, condragulations for getting cast on Drag Race Thailand.
Amadiva: “Thank you so much for the support :)).”
UhmazingPress: So tell us about your drag name, it sounds like “I’m a diva”. That is a cool catchy mononym like Madonna, Cher, or RuPaul. How did you came up with it?
Amadiva: “I’ve been a serious beehive member, you know the son Diva right? The phrase “Imma a Diva” got my feet on fire all the time. And since my nick name Is ‘Aom’, I took this phrase and came up with Amadiva as my drag name. So people could say Amadiva or it can be pronounced A(o)madiva, isn’t that awesomeee??”
Uhmazing Press: Very clever. Tell us about your drag background?
Amadiva: “I’m a baby when it comes to the drag world. I’m not a professional drag queen. I’m from the theatre community. I sing live, perform, act, contemporary, and outrages. I have my solo show, which is a one and a half-hour long. That could be my drag experience I guess. But other than that, I try to make the work political in some way. I’m all about telling stories. Theatre, that could sum my work up quite well. My first drag ever was in theatre two years ago for my first solo work as a mermaid. Then I kept going on and off doing drag between my piece and others…so overall I’ve done like 40 days of performing in drag in my lifetime. I told you I’m such a baby.”
UhmazingDrag: That’s actually not bad, especially with your theatre experience. How did you came about doing drag?
Amadiva: “Being a flaming gay who is not very funny is hard in the entertainment industry. You’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of opportunities. I can’t do very well in male roles and I can’t be so funny in stereotypical TV-friendly gay roles, so no one cast me to do roles. I did some dance piece, or physical theatre once in a while, but no speaking role or so. And I do know I have some potential to do things, to grow up. And I can’t grow up without performing, so when the opportunity doesn’t come to you, you make your own path,… right? So I did my first solo show, in drag, sing and dance and telling a stories. My queer theatre, that’s how I started.”
UhmazingDrag: For sure. And that’s a great attitude. Who’s your RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite?
Amadiva: “I love Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme, of course I would have to love my theatre people. I once saw Jinkx perform in London and she was just unstoppable. They are precious really, like Bianca Del Rio, she’s a comedy jewel, and I do love Raja’s sense of fashion. Not that I could top them up, but I did learned a lot from YouTubing their performances.”
UhmazingDrag: Two Seattlelites, how about that? Jink’s and BenDeLa’s theatre-like shows are great. You’re in pretty good company. What does Drag Race Thailand mean to you?
Amadiva: “I never think I would win this gig, because my makeup is terrible. I have a hideous fashion sense, and also I’m quite terrible doing jokes. Being in it is absurd enough for me. Like, who knows this little nothing could really beat someone’s ass on the runway, right? But I really do enjoy this whole gig for every bit. I’ll do my things and maybe it might be new things in the drag world, but I’m not here to win, I’m here to survive :). But maybe… who knows… right?”
UhmazingDrag: That is true. Also drag is more than just fashion and makeup. And you’re actually funny. Any life lessons or advice you’d like to share to the world?
Amadiva: “You can be anything, just remember that. And as far as you keep that in your heart you have to respect that other people can be anything too. It’s equality. It’s 2018 now and we still discriminate. That’s absurd right? Google, read more, be wise and spread love :).”
UhmazingDrag: Awesome. And lastly, where can your fans watch you perform live?
Amadiva: “I’m sorry, but you guys have to stay tune for my performance. It’s quite once in a while thing, and quite rare. But I have my plans to keep the city on fire soon-ish. Be ready though.”
UhmazingDrag: Amazing! Thank you so much for your time.
Amadiva: “I’m not sure if it’s too long on the answer. I just talk a lot. And sorry for the grammar too. Hahahahah.”
UhmazingDrag: It’s great. You’re doing us a HUGE favor by replying in English. Google Translate isn’t so smart when it comes to Thai-to-English.
Amadiva: “Thank you sooo much! You guys are so fast on news. And thank you so much for supporting us.”
UhmazingDrag: I’m sure other Drag Race fans, like us, will adore and support you. We look forward to hear more about your future gigs. Now … create all your social media accounts, like Twitter, and best of luck on Drag Race Thailand.
Amadiva: “I did try. It’s @ImmaAmadiva on Twitter. Seems like Amadiva is a name of some beauty place in Africa too.”
UhmazingDrag: Perfect! We’ll help spread the word. Good luck.”
Amadiva: “Thanks love.”
Drag Race Thailand premieres on Thursday February 15 on LINE TV.
Currently, the show can be streamed through LINETV app, which is only available in Thailand and neighboring regions. It is not available in North America.