by Miss Tasha LaBlush
[PHOTO] Jose A Guzman Colon
A spiral of crystal blue light beams down. For a fleeting moment the raucous audience teems with sweet anticipation. The stage is like a bed of red hot embers as the star of the show flies high in the air doing acrobatic dance moves in spike heels and skin tight leather. She’s a blonde Goddess from some far Olympian shore. In both hands she aims the barrels of steely .45 automatics at the audience. Spellbound, the audience erupts in sonic approval.
The up-tempo, disco version of “Bang Bang” fills the velvet roped night club. “Bang, Bang…My Baby Shot Me Down…” Puckered red lips blow smoke from the barrel tips. Overcome with bliss, an audience cutie, folds up, collapses and plays dead.
At this very moment she holds sway over everyone. She’s a Goddess Diva. She’s Sonique Love… the Star Attraction. Could you ask for more dearest Transformation fan-tastics?
Certainly, she wants to be a Diva this warm misty night in Southern California. She emphatically says tho, “That’s not who I am.”
Glamor icon, Marilyn Monroe was strolling down a sidewalk with a friend completely unnoticed when she turned and whispered in her breathy voice, “Do you want to see me do her?” Like a powerful klieg light she turned on the Monroe movie star image, pulled off her sunglasses and immediately her aura was stunning to all.
Sonique Love can flip her personality switch from Diva to what? A stranger on the bus? A slob like one of us? A couture model in Paris?
Keep your pretty made up eyes right here sweetie dahlink. Let’s find out together. Behold, it’s another night of high drag adventure and another white hot stage…
The audience is whipped into a double French martini frenzy. They love Miss Sonique Love. You’re a natural born entertainer.
When the focus of all those appreciative eyes are on you, how do you feel when you’re out there entertaining on stage? Is it really addictive?
I feel as if I’m having an out-of-body experience. It’s like I have become someone else. It’s kind of strange but I’ve gotten use to it now. The most addicting thing is the love that’s projected and received during my performances…the smiles, the pictures and the joy of taking someone’s mind off their everyday problems for the moment they’re being entertained by me.
Many performers have been known to down a stiff drink or two before a performance. Moments before Miss Love steps out into the gleaming limelight, what do you do to prepare yourself, to get your mojo on mentally and emotionally?
I get so nervous before going on stage. I do have a ritual of saying a little prayer to whomever is listening that I have a safe, fun, enjoyable show and I don’t get hurt, forget the words, or have a costume malfunction.
When you want to put fire into the belly of an audience, do you have a favorite song or dance and why?
Oh my, I have a few songs that really get me going, I think “Pussy Control” by Prince is one and most any song by P!nk.
What’s your favorite tender love song that leaves your audience panting for more amore?
Um… well I really think “Indestructible” by Robyn. That song has spoken to me as if it was written about a time in my life. I can feel it the deepest which makes for a great performance.
You’ve mentioned how you feel so powerful in your glittering thigh high spike heel boots and domme leather…then to see you somersault and cartwheel in those spiky heels, it’s massive. Obviously you have natural talent. How did you perfect your dancing and acrobatics?
LOL, I never give any thought to doing anything other than making sure my shoes are on the right feet. I’ve always been a gymnast since childhood so tumbling in heels is nothing to me. I figured anyone who can flip well, could do it in heels! Right? I guess some dancers think about it too much, I don’t. All my dance moves are improvised.
You’re a Georgia Peach from Ray Charles’ hometown, Albany, Georgia. When you go home you glibly said, “I hear banjos.” Tell us a little about your childhood and early teen years. You’ve said you wanted to please your parents and live up to their expectations. Was there a defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to be of the feminine gender?
Well any child growing up in what I call “Small-bany” knows it’s not an easy place to become a “star” or even be “transgendered.” I had to work really hard and get the fuck out of that place. Yes I’m proud of my roots, but I’m much more proud of my success after leaving. My hometown is a “place where people just exist” and never really grow. I was born to be seen by the world. I won’t let little ol’ Albany stand in my way. I have always been a “girl, people get it now,” I guess. Personally, I haven’t changed a bit other than my outer appearance. I’m much happier now!
You came to Los Angeles about three years ago by way of Atlanta, Georgia. The drag/crossdressing scene in Atlanta is mecca, especially along Chesire Bridge Road. Many of our Transformation readers are from Atlanta. Did you first perform in Hot-lanta and what was the Berlin-esque (with a Southern twang) drag scene like then and now?
Things have changed SO MUCH since I first started in Atlanta. No more Backstreet. No more Charlie Brown’s Cabaret. So many legends like Ashley Kruiz have passed away. The creativity is still there but I think when Backstreet closed people became less excited about the night life. Things will never be the same. There are a few Queens keeping the city alive like Phoenix, Shawna Brooks and Angelica D’paige just to name a few. I really miss old Atlanta night life. Blakes on The Park was my first gig to pop my entertainment cherry in Atlanta.
We all love “affairs of the heart.” You’ve said you fell in love in Athens, Georgia. Please share with us how you met, how you fell in love. Be intimate if you like. All of us are either in love or want to be in love. Like the Adele lyric, “Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.” Did love last or hurt for you Sonique?
I was 19 when I met Elliott in Athens, he was a straight guy and just wanted a dance partner at the local club. I thought he was so cute plus he was the only other person besides me that had all his original teeth. We danced with each other. He followed me to where I was staying, left his tooth brush and came back to get it. We fell in love and 3 years passed before we broke up. He was a lesson for me that love will make you do some crazy shit, but in the end both people have got to want it the same. We still talk from time to time but no intimate feelings are there.
Now you’re living in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, do you love it or what? What’s your favorite place to perform?
I LOVE Southern California, this place was made for me. It wasn’t until I moved here that I was truly living my life for me and me alone. I had my name changed, sex on ID changed, HRT going 100%, boob job, nose job, etc. I’ve gotten a chance to be on all kinds of TV shows, music videos, etc. I may have met my future husband out here, we’ll see! My favorite places to perform are RAGE in West Hollywood and Bourbon Street in San Diego.
You knew this question was coming…Transformation readers want to know what the road was like just to get into the running for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
It was a long journey that was well worth it. Thank GOD, I don’t have to do it anymore. I held off on my transition for over 2 years to be on the show. At the time they didn’t allow transsexuals to participate. I knew this would be my chance to get out of Atlanta, and move on to bigger and better things and I was right. I am me now and that’s who I want people to experience. I say to anyone wanting to do this show, DO IT, it’s worth it!
The show certainly elevated your fame and recognition. You’ve already answered so many questions about the show in other interviews but could you tell us under the sky-high blonde wigs, bling costumes and towering platforms what was the real RuPaul like as a human being?
First off “RU,” is a businessman and when we filmed there was a disconnect when interacting with him. There were so many takes and lines being fed for him to deliver and too many strangers to get to know in such a short period of time. Outside of filming he is a very nice guy and he “gets it” with us. He’s not blindsided by whom or what we are, he’s just doing his job. I’m so thankful for him and Doron Ofir Casting for allowing me to be a part of Herstory with RuPaul.
There was another iconic Drag Queen you met on Drag U, Miss Lady Bunny. She has so many fans going back to her Wigstock days to now. What was your personal impression of Lady Bunny?
Lady Bunny is amazing. She’s a breath of fresh air. We first met in New York City and she said to me “you’re pretty and skinny and I hate you.” That was her way of embracing me. I was gagging inside that she was even talking to me. I was very shocked she remembered me on the set of Drag U and introduced me to Chaka Khan. Lady Bunny also stopped by RAGE in West Hollywood and made it rain on me. She’s my kind of people.
On a recent Charlie Rose interview his guest was Johnny Depp. We all know he has an outspoken, eccentric reputation. He said, “What some people see as normal, I see as weird….normal things seem odd to me.” Will you tell us, Sonique, how you feel about Johnny Depp’s spin on normal?
I can absolutely relate with Johnny. I was constantly ostracized for being different. I was just doing what came natural to me. No big deal. It’s okay if people don’t quite “get me.” Shoot, sometimes I don’t get me either. Oh yeah, and 9 to 5 people scare me! So I guess that makes us even.
Now for a few fun, frivolous & frisky girly questions. A glamorous performer like you must have a couple of beauty secrets, yes?
Yes indeed, moisturize in the morning and at night and before and after makeup. If your body is sagging, pick it up, if it’s flat, fill it up, NEVER put black market silicone in your body or face. Wear SPF when going into the sun, Eat healthy more than you eat poorly. Try to workout at least 3 times a week. If you’re NOT skinny don’t wear skinny jeans and ALWAYS play safe.
Even a nightclub performer must go out sometimes. Your favorite stiletto heels…pumps or boots. Any special designers or styles?
Most all girls love a “Red Bottom” heel as do I, but I have a plethora of taste when it comes to heels. I love most anything by Versace, Alexander Wang, McQueen, Giuseppe, Steve Madden (yes I said it), Guess, etc. I like most any thigh high boot with straps, buckles and open toe to show off my beautiful toes and nail polish . I love it all! If anyone out there would like to buy my worn shoes please feel free to contact me and I will model them for you, seriously.
What’s your favorite profane word or words?
This is a funny question to me because I rarely use vulgarity unless I ‘m having sex or ripping someone a “new one”. I will however, say the letter of the word such as “Shut the F up B!”
I guess “asshole” would be the one I use a lot too.
When the hot Diva in you comes out to play we’re sure you’ve had two men compete for your attention at the same time. Which man won and why did he win you over to his side?
Ha ha, this is the story of my life. I love all types of men. My favorite is a strong, independent, smart, healthy, trustworthy, funny, caring, and big ol’ teddy bear of a man. Most important is he’s good to me. That’s who will win my heart. I can’t think of any recent time I’ve had two men compete for my attention. It has happened tho. When all else fails I’ll go for a girl partner because mentally we connect better.
Do you have any guilty, naughty pleasures? Do you crave an ultimate comfort food?
Of course I do, what girl doesn’t? I LOVE vanilla ice cream and gummi anything, but NO gummy smiles. My guilty pleasure would be wearing nothing but panties when I’m home alone. My naughty pleasure would be I love to be choked and adore being spanked when being intimate. LOL
When sleeping, do you wear lingerie or in the buff?
I sleep NAKED as the day I was born or wearing athletic clothes.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a performance?
I ask, “who wants to wash my face?” Then no one replies… I also love doing my social networking (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc). I’m just a dork.
Why do many men think t-girl sex is better than genetic girl sex?
I’m not sure, but I think all sex is great. I’ve been with all of the above and it’s a different experience with each one. I guess some men would enjoy t-girls because it’s more of a buffet style sex with many different things to do and to savor and it’s a bit kinkier.
Is there anything keeping you up at night?
LOL Netflix, Facebook and television shows I’ve recorded while out. I’ve always been nocturnal though so being up late at night is my thing. I’m more creative at night too, especially during a full moon.
What’s your favorite scent?
I love the scent of cotton candy. I can’t get enough of it. I want some now!
What scares you?
Spiders, government conspiracies and losing a loved one.
What would you spend your last buck on?
Well, from past experiences. I’ve bought a cheap pack of cigarettes ( I don’t smoke anymore unless it’s with a drink), gas for my car, and once I spent my last buck on a cheeseburger from McDonalds.
If you could banish one thing from your life for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The first 4 episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2. LOL but more seriously, I would want racism and prejudice gone forever!
Sonique, are you the woman you’ve always thought you’d become?
Yes, but I’m a work in progress. I’m very proud of myself thus far and I look forward to becoming more of the real person I’ve always known I’d become. I’ve been blessed.
Who or what do you admire?
I admire anyone who has fought hard and put effort into who and what they are in a positive sense.
If you could give our Transformation readers any advice what would it be?
Always know you are not alone. There is someone just like you and always be true to yourself.
You have a Jack Russell terrier named Coochi. Can you tell us something quirky or funny about her?
She’s a bottomless pit that watches me do my makeup and attacks water hoses. She also can sleep as long as I can.
Finally dearest Sonique… from deep inside your most feminine secret place…what feels so good?
It’s simple, LOVE is the best feeling ever!
Thank you Miss Love! Well said, you’ve left us with a warm fuzzy peachy glow. You’re Bang on…
[PHOTO] Dusti Cunningham