Catching Up With Amanda Roberts
Amanda Roberts will be celebrating 50 years of age this July and she’s done it all; Pride stages, Miss Canada Continental, fundraisers galore, including the Queens Cares for The 519, The Monster in NYC, and working on Queer As Folk. Her local shows have included Crews & Tango, Woody’s/Sailor, and the roving French space Tapette, where she performed at for their fourth annual Celine Dion party at The Gladstone Hotel in November.
Amanda has forged a name for herself by delivering on-cue performances with an energy that will envelop any space. Besides being a great entertainer, she is as awesome to be around, as she is wickedly funny. This June marks her 25th dragaversary, and her newest show promises to bring back old school La Cage Aux Folles style, cabaret drag. Glamourous indeed!
What has changed with drag since you started?
Drag was more of a mystery/illusion when I started. There was more of shock value back then. With all the YouTube tutorials, and shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, (RPDR) people are learning our trade secrets.
Given the popularity of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, have we reached a saturation point, or do you think we’ll see even more drag expansion over the next decade?
I believe RPDR has had both positive and negative effects on drag. In some ways it has become over exposed. I see so many queens trying to imitate the queens from the show. Personally, I think you need to focus on being your own person. It’s one thing to be inspired by the show, but it shouldn’t be used as a rule book for drag. Drag is always changing. The future holds so many possibilities.
What’s the hardest creative challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Producing Miss Canada Continental was the hardest. I wanted it to be perfect. I worked really hard to make it the best pageant that Canada had ever seen. It is still one of proudest achievements.
Tell me about your role on Queer As Folk? And which actor would you want to have sex with?
I worked background for all five season. In the first season I impersonated Marlena Dietrich in a scene at Woody’s. I also worked with casting to provide all of the drag performers for the show. One of my favourite moments was spending time with Sharon Gless in Bryan’s bed hearing stories from her life. That’s the only time I would get in bed with one of them.
Aside from you, who is the hardest working queens in our community and why?
Sofonda for always evolving. Donnarama for her creativity. Michelle Ross & Georgie Girl for their longevity. The queens at Crews who have to do way too much work.
Boxers, briefs or panties?
DRAG MOTHER? Jeanette Dupree, she painted me first, but Chris Edwards provided the hair & outfit.
DRAG CHILDREN? No children, “my tubes are tied.”
CATCH AMANDA ROBERTS LIVE:
January 16, 2017
465 Church Street
February 6, 2017
Blyss Nightclub 11PM
504 Church Street
About the Author
Raymond Helkio is an author, director and award-winning filmmaker. As a graduate from the Ontario College of Art & Design he cofounded The Reading Salon and is a Canadian Ambassador for the Moral Courage Project. Find him on Facebook.