Chad: Besides Ru, I don’t think a whole lot of drag queens have their own talk shows... but you do! Can you tell me about creating Shot with Soju?
Soju: The reason why I created Shot with Soju was because I wanted to see it myself. I’m probably my show’s biggest fan. I was tired of seeing Hey Qween over and over again and just wanted to see more drag online, so I stopped waiting and created my own show.
Chad: Did you get a sense of how much of this week’s challenge was scripted? I’m guessing a lot of the “news” segments were pre-written, and then the DIY portions seemed looser and more made up by the queens. What’s your approach to preparing versus improvising on your show?
Soju: I used to write all my questions down and read off of my phone. It was good, but I felt like the conversations and the flow of the interview weren’t authentic.I think once you study the topics and the subject of the general conversation, you can then just go off script and just bouncing back and forth with your guest. That’s how I did the episode with Detox and Alaska and you could see that everyone there was comfortable.
Chad: In rehearsal, Charlie seemed irritated with Cynthia’s grasp of English. Who do you think had the right approach, Cynthia or Charlie? How do you think an ESL person should approach tricky wording in scripted material?
Soju: I think it was so much BULL! Charlie is the type of person NO ONE wants to work with. Besides the whole ESL moment, she’s just aggressive and not a team player. I have an accent, and my ESL shows during my show. I own it and move on. Of course people give me a hard time sometimes, but I say, “Hey, I got a degree and I’m a working drag queen with a talk show.” ESL is not a weakness.
Chad: A lot of the tension on this episode came from the “live” aspect of the filming, where the queens didn’t get any “do-overs”. How do you think they did with that? And how do you host a TV show without the magic of editing??
Soju: Thankfully, I have an amazing editor and producer DS. However, during live filming and filming in general you have to feel confident. I think lot of the queens overthought it and focused on playing a character instead of actually hosting a show. I loved the mess that came with it tho. Something about watching people fail is fun to watch when it’s not you!
Chad: You use a LOT of fun editing in your show, right? And you even include goofy animations and visual effects -- who adds all that in, and what inspired that approach?
Soju: Well, I grew up watching Korean TV and the editing on the show with effects and animations are all copied off of these Korean Variety shows. They always make things more upbeat and fun. It guides the viewer into how they should react to certain moments that might be missed if we didn’t highlight it with effects. Also, while editing, my producer DS might catch something that was funny and wasn’t mentioned, so he will go back and add a word or effect to bring focus to it. There’s a method to the madness, I say. LOL
Chad: During the “Not On Today” interview with Naya Rivera, the queens seemed clueless about how to end that interview. What’s your favorite way to end an interview?
Soju: Ending is always the most awkward part of an interview! I hate it! You have to just sum up the whole interview by saying “well I just want to thank you …” and give them a side hug and give them a chance to say bye and close it with AHN YOUNG!
Chad: I have a theory, and I wanted to hear your thoughts on it: Valentina is the Tatianna of her season. (Season 2 Tatianna, not AS2 Tati) She’s often dismissed for her youth and inexperience, but she will make it far by proving herself surprisingly smart and resourceful. What do you think?
Soju: I think Valentina is a lot more beautiful than Tatianna on her season. I think we are gonna see more and more sass from her. She was quiet and nice at first to see where she fits in the group, and now that she got her confidence and footing, she will voice her opinion more. Which I would love to see. So when that happens, I think she’ll be more Tatianna.
Chad: I was REALLY impressed with how Valentina reconciled with Aja in the workroom. Valentina does NOT get drawn into catfights on this show. What do you think of her approach to drag drama?
Soju: Really? I thought that moment was more like Valentina telling Aja you can’t just go off on me like that. It was kind of who can intimidate who.
Chad: I expect that viewers will have strongly differing reactions to the Sasha/Eureka discussion of jokes and eating disorders -- what did you make of it? And do you think there’s anything that’s “off limits” for drag comedy?
Soju: I think Sasha took it kind of too seriously, and I think she realized that and wanted to put it to rest, but Eureka also took it and ran with it because she knew it was gonna give her more air time. Eating disorder is a VERY serious subject, but if we can’t bring a little humor into it as drag queens, what’s the point. Nothing is off limits in drag, I think. The intentions, however, should be from love and fun, not hate and anger.
Chad: Given that the runway was a blink-and-you-miss-it montage this week, which looks did you actually remember? A lot of queens looked good, but I would say that only Nina sticks in my mind.
Soju: Right? This theme was very easy to look good in. So some of the queens (Pepper, Eureka) who came out looking like that was tragic. Nina is seriously growing on me, and yes, she’s the only one that stuck out to me too.
Chad: I was SO thrilled that both Sasha and Shea were given the win this week -- they both looked great, and their chemistry was completely over-the-top. It would have seemed unfair to credit one over the other. You’ve had both queens as guests on your show, right?
Soju: YES, they really do have great chemistry. I hosted Neverland with them on New Years and just seeing how they interact with one another is so adorable. I def agree with the judges that they both deserved the win this episode. They both have so many similarities, but their drag looks very different. Like their visions and humor are the same. It’s really fun to see how their current friendship started out.
I'm adding LOTS of new stuff to my Etsy store today, so be sure to check it out! In addition to Sasha and Shea, I'm now able to sell prints of Aja, Nina Bo'nina Brown, AND ALYSSA EDWARDS ZOMGGGG!!!! Also, I'll be at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend, and then at DragCon at the end of the month! This month is going to be wiiiiild!