Image Credit: Getty Images

Hey there, Squirrel Friend!

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Drag Race guest judge that RuPaul, Michelle Visage, and the queens enjoy seeing more than the one and only Alec Mapa. And, look, we get it! He’s a d*mn national treasure!

A veritable icon of the stage and screen, Mapa has been making us scream with delight for over [REDACTED] years, ever since he made his professional Broadway debut in M. Butterfly, replacing the great BD Wong who originated the draggy lead role.

Since then, he’s papered in over 50 television series—everything from Seinfeld and Friends to Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives—and countless memorable film roles like Marley & Me, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, and as the iconic queen N’Cream in Connie And Carla.

Of course, Mapa’s also an accomplished comedian who’s performed the world over, and a Davidson Valentini GLAAD Award recipient for his tireless work an an activist, advocate, and champion for the community.

And on top of all of that, he someone manages to find to be a daddy—in more ways than one. Yes, he and his husband, Jamie, have raised a stand-up son named Zion. But also… have you seen Mapa’s biceps lately? Talk about a silver fox!

In between bench presses (we assume), the ever-charming Mapa was game to be the latest guest in our rapid-fire Q&A series, Dishin’ It! In our conversation, the jack-of-all-trades shares the life-changing advice John Lithgow gave him at the very start of his career, the Scream Queen he adores—who might’ve taken out a restraining order on him—and his big secret for gays who want to have it all.

Is there a piece of media—whether a movie, TV series, book, album, video game, etc…—that you consider a big part of your own coming-out journey?

I remember seeing Bette Midler in Divine Madness and feeling like I discovered a queer universe where everything about me finally made sense. I still copy her delivery. 

You’ve traveled and performed all over the world, but we understand you have a special soft spot for the U.K. What would you say sets the U.K. gays apart from everyone else?

I LOVE how UK queens take the piss out of everything. The minute any queen takes herself too seriously I want to fart in her face.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Your on-stage credits date back to Broadway where you made your debut in M. Butterfly. Do you remember learning any valuable lessons during that time that you’ve applied to the rest of your career? 

Don’t be a dick. John Lithgow taught me it took everyone backstage to make a great show onstage, so he treated the entire cast and crew like gold. 

You’ve been slaying audiences for years, but do you have any performance horror stories from a “gig gone wrong” that you can share?

I bombed doing standup at a gay strip club in Newark, New Jersey. The men all looked like Tony Soprano and they just wanted to get drunk and see dick. They were NOT having me.

Between comedy, theater, film, and television, you’ve met and worked with so many other stars—who’s a celebrity you’ve met that surprised you the most and why? 

I did Scream Queens with Jamie Lee Curtis and we bonded ’cause we both have adopted kids. She was so confident, funny, and sexy. I loved her so much—I totally deserved that restraining order. 

Image provided by Alec Mapa

We’ve loved following your fitness journey on Instagram, and we think it’s fair to say: You’re a “daddy”and an actual dad. Do you have any advice for all of the prospective daddies (of either variety) out there? How can a gay have it all? 

Party as much as you can before you have kids, you won’t have the time or energy after. Having gratitude beats having it all. Doris Day said it best: “Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty.”

As a staple of the Drag Race universe and co-host of the official Squirrel Friends podcast, what do you have to say to all the haters out there who are trying to ban drag?

Get real. If you REALLY wanted to protect kids from sexual predators keep you’d be protesting youth pastors and priests. 

Who is a queer or trans artist/performer/creator that you think is doing really cool work right now? Why are they someone we should all be paying attention to?

My husband turned me onto the singer Vincint. Every song is a banger and his voice is so sexy it makes me feel funny in my swimsuit area. 

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