The glamorous Phi Phi O’Hara was a fan favorite when she was runner up on Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 4 and a contestant on All Stars 2, and last week Radisson RED had the pleasure of hosting Phi Phi, along with some of her Drag Race friends, at the Minneapolis hotel. Phi Phi was in town for the Queens United / Reinas Unidas: A Drag Show for Puerto Rico. The show featured O’Hara and 27 other RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni – the most ever to perform under one roof – and was all in aid of Somos Una Voz who are providing essential food, shelter, medicine, power and communication to those in need after the recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico. Andy Reichl, Sales Manager at Radisson RED Minneapolis, got the opportunity to sit down and have a quick chat with Phi Phi to find out her top tips on getting Queen style, how long it takes her to get ready in the morning, and of course, how she got involved in organising the amazing show!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
PhiPhi: Well what do you want to know? (laughs). My name is Phi Phi O’Hara, I was on a little show called RuPaul’s Drag Race. I started doing drag in Texas on a dare, then moved to Chicago and thank God the show put some money in my pocket and now I live in New York.
You’re a bit of a comic book buff and consider Phoenix from X-Men as the person you’d most want to be. Tell us why?
PhiPhi: Yes, Phoenix was actually my first drag name. But there was already a Phoenix on a previous season, so the show asked if I had a nickname I go by, and that is why I changed to Phi Phi. But I like how Phoenix is a character who has two sides to her, which we all do.
How did you become involved in the drag queen circuit?
Andy: You already told us you started on a dare, but do you have more to add?
PhiPhi: Yes it did start as a dare, and clearly it has worked out for me. (Laughs)
Tell us more about Queens United and your involvement.
PhiPhi: It all started as a tweet. My husband is Puerto Rican, and we had a call with his family who were talking about the devastation there. I thought what can I do, so I just put this tweet out there to all the Drag Race girls basically being like ‘Who wants to help?’ and a fan actually connected me with Chad (Kampe) from Flip Phone, who got us into the venue, First Avenue here in Minneapolis.
Describe your Queen style.
PhiPhi: Well over the year my style has shifted some. I love doing more of CosPlay looks now.
Andy: Yes! We saw quite a bit of that on Drag Race All Stars Season 2.
PhiPhi: Yeah, unfortunately do to copyright there was a lot I couldn’t do on the show. But I did love my blue “future of drag look” that was featured on the show.
On average how long does it take you to get ready?
PhiPhi: (Laughing) Well this morning I did this in about 15 minutes. But I normally set aside two hours to get ready.
Please share your top three style tips.
PhiPhi: Oh geeze, um… A good filter, good lighting and lashes.
What item do you always carry with you / never leave the house without (except keys and wallet)?
PhiPhi: My compact
What single piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
PhiPhi: When I was younger I thought I had to be perfect, but you don’t have to be perfect. Just do what feels right for you, and find that confidence in what you do.