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Alyssa Edwards Talks Possibly Doing Drag Race Again & Rebooting Alyssa's Secret

Alyssa Edwards Talks Possibly Doing Drag Race Again & Rebooting Alyssa's Secret

Alyssa Edwards
World of Wonder

Alyssa Edwards spills the tea about Alyssa’s Secret: The Reboot and tells Out she’s ready to compete on Drag Race again.

simbernardo

Trust the Duchess, always and forever.

The legendary Alyssa Edwards is back on our screens with Alyssa’s Secret: The Reboot, which premieres Wednesday, April 26 on WOW Presents Plus. The original iteration of the series ran for six seasons, and the RuPaul’s Drag Race icon is back with a “reBOOT” that will have us giggling and gagging.

In an exclusive interview with Out, Edwards discussed the ins and outs of launching Alyssa’s Secret after first appearing on Drag Race, as well as rebooting the series in 2023. Speaking of Drag Race, Edwards spilled some hot tea and revealed that she would absolutely compete again on the show. In fact, she’s even cleared out some space on her vanity for a potential crown.

Scroll through to read Out’s exclusive interview with Alyssa Edwards, and make sure to watch Alyssa’s Secret: The Reboot every Wednesday on WOW Presents Plus.

Out: Alyssa’s Secret was a huge success in its first iteration. How excited are you about this reboot?

Alyssa Edwards: I mean, truly beyond. I remember when World of Wonder… Oh my gosh, [after] season five, called me up and was like, ‘What do you think about coming down and us shooting like an Alyssa’s Secret?’ Because this was based off the perfume that I did in season five, that silly little branding challenge.

I didn’t really know if I understood what a web series was or what any of this meant. But I remember flying to LA, I stayed at Vivienne Pinay’s house, and I went to the production office in drag. I sat in front of a green screen and they just started asking me silly questions. And really, honestly, I shouldn’t say silly questions because it was just one: ‘Tell us about your first date.’ I just word vomited. I go on, talk about the first date, which led into another story. And I talked about the guy, who was from Louisiana. And then it just went on for eight hours.

The next thing I know, I’m sitting at home and my best friend calls me. ‘Justin, did you see? You have a web series.’ I respond, ‘What’s a web series?’ They’re like, ‘You’re on YouTube.’ And I’m just like, ‘Let me find YouTube’ [laughs]. And wow, here we are, just 10 years later, even though it feels like it’s been 20.

Yeah, it’s been a while now!

Well, let me tell you a funny fact. In season five, I remember when they announced the cast and this guy wrote an article that was like, ‘Oh, there’s this character, it’s like a Southern pageant queen. He looks a little bit like Pee-wee Herman and Gomer Pyle, but he has a big forehead.’ And in my head, I was thinking, ‘You didn’t have to write that. Okay, I have a forehead, but you didn’t have to say it.’ So I just told myself, don’t read the comment. It’s not necessary. Giggle at all of this. You do it because you love it. I made a promise to myself not to get caught up in that, and I stay true to that.

So after I posted the trailer of Alyssa’s Secret: The Reboot, I was very curious to see what people thought. And… oh my gosh, I just sat there beaming with such happiness. I don’t know, I felt my heart was just smiling so big. I didn’t even know if these younger people, the kids, would even know about this.

Of course they do, Alyssa!

Yeah, but you know, on Drag Race now, it’s all these young kids… but everybody was just so excited and it just made me so happy. This reboot is starting on April 26, every Wednesday. It’s a midweek, hump-day giggle. And that’s what I hope the show serves. We all need to pause life sometimes, and especially the world we live in. Just pause, take a time out, and enjoy a little spectacle by yours truly. Just enjoy a giggle.

The last season of Alyssa’s Secret aired in 2020. How has your life changed in the past three years?

I mean, greatly. I’ve owned my dance school, Beyond Belief Dance Company, for 20 years now. 20 years! Truly, the greatest accomplishment of my being. And I pride myself in being an authentic, transparent person with who I am… and, in Texas, I was very afraid of that, okay? But I’m also very fortunate that the families there, not only do they respect and support me, but they celebrate me, all of me.

There was a moment when I was so frustrated and angry, because here I am: a drag performer that works with children. I’ve incorporated my students in a lot of my work, and I’m very proud of that. I remember being at World Pride in New York a few years back and sharing the stage with my dance students, one of the most powerful moments of my life. And of course, the Dancing Queen documentary on Netflix. I pride myself in being a positive role model in and out of drag and the best mentor that I can be for these young artists.

So when all of this started to happen... I felt attacks coming from the left and the right and the front and the back, it just was disheartening. I had to remind myself that we’ve always fought the good fight. We know how to win the hard way. I had to remind myself to lead with kindness, even when I didn’t want to. I’ll tell you something: you know drag has really made it when the drag shows aren’t necessarily at 11 pm or midnight in a small cabaret theater underground anymore. No, no, no. We’re now going on [at the same time] when there’s Sunday church going on. We're now on Good Morning America, America’s Got Talent. We’re now mainstream, we’re now in the White House. That’s when you know we made it.

So there’s a part of me that’s like, ‘Bravo to all the queens and kings and everything in between around the world, celebrating this art and not being afraid.’ We are bold and we are daring. And I think as long as we stay united, we are a very strong chain. I think that was a big change for me because there was a moment I started to feel like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ For many of us, I think we just felt personally attacked. Like I said, especially being a teacher. It’s like, ‘You guys got this wrong. You guys got this wrong.’

A teacher, an entrepreneur, and a drag performer from Mesquite, Texas. I can only imagine how things must have been for you lately.

It was a rough moment. And we’re still here. We still have so much to go, but we’re moving in the right direction.

When my dance company made it on America’s Got Talent, it was so important for me. They were like, ‘Justin, we’d love for you to be in drag, but if you don’t, we’re okay with that, too.’ I said, ‘I’m coming in drag because I want the world to see me as a drag performer. I’m a very normal, creative person.’ And the response that I got back was so overwhelmingly positive. Even when people wrote things like, ‘Maybe I don’t understand,’ that was a step in the right direction. It’s okay to admit that you don’t understand. So maybe indulge in learning and growing and Googling. It was so powerful to share that stage with my kids… I mean, talk about fulfilling a moment that was needed. That was so special.

When Simon [Cowell] was like, ‘Who’s responsible for this?’ The kids like, ‘Our teacher, Justin, he’s right there. He’s dressed up.’ When I come out, he’s like, ‘Well, that’s not a Justin.’ The kids were like, ‘He’s Alyssa Edwards sometimes.’ And I’m just looking at these young people, thinking about how my role is so important. I’m not just teaching dance, I’m mentoring the youth of today that will be the future of tomorrow. And the future looks bright, because they’re going to be our leaders.

We just had the grand finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 and the announcement of the cast of All Stars 8. I am curious, with so many new iterations of Drag Race popping up all the time, like these Versus spinoffs… would you ever consider competing again?

Yeah, I would! Actually, when I started watching all of this, I got back in the lab with a pen and a pad… and I’m like, ‘Look, I have a little place cleared out on my vanity, on my little wall over here, just in case I can have a chance to get a crown.’ I got to manifest that. So, I would love to.

In season five, I thought I was going into the world’s largest pageant. I remember Shangela telling me, ‘No, mom, it’s not a pageant.’ And I said, ‘Yes, it is. There are judges and there are categories,’ And then All Stars 2, oh, I had just a ball. Because, you know what, I learned my superpower. I remember RuPaul always saying that. And I kind of got in on the joke and just started laughing at myself. Not taking it all so seriously.

Watching all of these Versus the World and this and that, I could see myself in that werk room now. I mean, it’s been a decade, so it’d be going to a high school reunion [laughs], but it would be so much fun. That room is exciting. It’s tough, it’s hard, it’s challenging, but it is so much fun. For a few years, I probably would’ve said no. But I think now I’ve arrived at a place where I’m like, ‘Girl, let me pack my purse and let me see if the old broom still sweeps.’

What are you most excited for fans to see on Alyssa’s Secret: The Reboot?

I think it’s still same old gal, same old spectacle, just with the glow up! And I love every special guest that we have on. I want to share the joy that drag has provided me all these years. I just want to share that.

When I watched the trailer, I was like… I forgot, you know? I have to remind myself we’re recording at all times. I’m sitting there talking about, ‘Girl, look at all that ass back there.’ Girl, what are you even saying? [laughs] Honestly, at this point, I just want everybody to tune in and just giggle. Share a giggle and share a laugh. That is the magic of drag.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.