Jun 30, 2013

[Pink Scene] Know Your Oh Divas - Precious Paula

These days, it's hard for any O Bar guest not to recognize Precious. She's definitely one of the more visible Oh Divas these days given the number of performances that she has throughout the week. And to be fair, she's quite the phenomenal performer. Precious has an interesting balance of feminine beauty and sheer physicality - something that truly helps her stand out.

But more than anything, you can tell from the way that she performs that she's extremely passionate about what she does. And while there are many different types of drag queens out there, Precious Paula is certainly a uniquely talented drag queen. And this girl really knows how to work her make-up!

So I'm glad that I finally pinned her down for an interview for this week's Know Your Oh Divas feature. And I'm sure a lot of you O Bar fans have been looking forward to this as well!

How did you get your name, Precious Paula? - Right before I started to do drag, I had a make-up session with one of my drag-mamas, Marla of the Drag-ons, and she said that I looked like Paulo Ballesteros when he joined Eat Bulaga's Bebot and that I should be called "PRECIOUS."

How did you get started in drag? - May 2011, one of my friends, Lady Gagita, asked me if I could join his out of town show as a male back-up dancer. I asked if I could be a "girl" in the show even if I'm one of the dancers. She answered, "Oo naman dai! Ikaw pa! Magspot kana rin para bongga!" (Of course! You might perform as well so it's fabulous!) So I did. Thank you, Gagita. *smiles*

How did you get started at O Bar? - 2011, 1 week before my birthday, I wanted to have a different kind of birthday celebration, so I approached my friend, ALLURING AIRA of the Oh Divas, if he could let me join the show for just one number."Experiment lang teh! Para maiba naman!" (It's just an experiment! Just for a change of pace). Daddy Ramon Papa saw me and said, "Bago ka? Pwede...ok bibigyan kita ng 3 buwan para mag-improve. Pag walang improvement, alam mo na." (You're new? You have potential...okay I'll give you 3 months to improve. If there's no improvement, you know what'll happen.)

So I started as a segue performer. I performed without any budget or talent fee. I started borrowing wigs, costumes, and shoes from my drag-mamas. Mabait si Lord - lagi naman may nagbibigay ng TIP. Nakaipon paunti-unti bumili ng sariling gamit. (God is good - there'd always be people giving tips. Eventually I was able to save bit-by-bit for my own outfits.) My drag-mama Marla was always there to support me, siya nag-mamake up sakin pagminsan nakikita nyang mali ang ginagawa ko sa mukha ko. (she'd do my make-up when she'd notice something wrong with my face) *laughs* After 3 months, naging regular na rin. (I became a regular as well.) Thank you Aira! Thank you Marla! Thank you Daddy Mon and Daddy Rupert!

What do you love most about performing in drag? - Doing many personas in one night. I get to dance like Beyonce or J.Lo, or be a songbird like Regine Velasquez. Seeing myself transform from one character to another is always my favorite part. Nakaka-amaze pala. (It's pretty amazing).

What is your biggest challenge as a drag queen? - I love how my co-drag queens criticize me and tell me, "hindi mo naman kamukha." (You don't look like her) Pinapatunayan ko sa kanila na kahit hindi ko kamukha,marerecognize ng audience kung sino ang pinoportray ko. (I try to prove to them that even if I don't look like them, the audience will recognize who I'm portraying). Learning new songs too, minsan nagkakapalit-palit na ang lyrics sa ulo ko. (sometimes I get the lyrics mixed up in my head) *laughs*

What are some of the misunderstandings among drag queens? - I hate it when people treat me like a mascot. *frowns*

Who is your biggest celebrity inspiration? - Beyonce! Fierce! Diva! I love how she transforms from Beyonce to Sasha Fierce - from an ordinary girl to a real queen! Its like from Kyle to Precious - from a boy to a fierce queen! *winks*

Has performing in drag taught you anything about yourself? - l am what i am, I will be what I wish to be. Respect myself and respect all the people around me, especially my seniors and the OBARIANS, of course. *smiles*

What has been your favorite moment in your drag career? - When I did the 15-minute Super Bowl performance of beyonce. Grabe halos naiyak ako after kasi hindi ko inasahan na ganun ang magiging reaction ng mga tao. Parang ako talaga si Beyonce...cloud 9!!! (I almost cried after because I never expected the crowd to react that way. It was as if I was really Beyonce...cloud 9!!!) I always feel that every single performance is my moment. *smiles*

What is your message to the drag queen hopefuls who want to get started in the art? - Just be yourself, there is no one better. Wag kayong matakot subukan ang mahirap. Minsan mahirap sa tingin pero madali lang pala gawin. (Don't be afraid to try because it seems hard. Sometimes what looks hard is actually easy to do).

And those are the words of the one and only Precious Paula - a true Oh Diva who has grown tremendously since she started at O Bar. If you want to catch her amazing performances, be sure to drop by O Bar Ortigas any night from Thursdays to Sundays.

And greet her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY as well this week!
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