It's safe to say there's a lot that sets cult hit RuPaul's Drag Race apart from other reality competition shows -- not the least of which is that many of its former contestants remain relevant. South Florida's own Latrice Royale is no exception. She has toured the globe, with stops in the United Kingdom, Italy, Amsterdam, Australia, South Africa, and, next week, Brazil since appearing on the show three years ago and earning the Miss Congeniality crown.
But Royale, whose civilian name is Timothy Wilcots, isn't content with just lip-synching for her life. She has turned executive realness into executive reality and is busy producing a documentary with Logo, running a talent management firm with a 40-person roster, and putting together the Miss South Florida Pride Pageant.
See also: LaTrice Royale: Drag Royalty
It's an impressive turnaround for a performer who once spent a few months in jail on drug possession charges, but the evolution has been natural. New Times recently spoke with Royal on her birthday, and, as she points out, working on your birthday is just one of the prices you pay for success.
After RuPaul's show, Royale's first success came through the talent management firm she founded to manage her own career.
"When I got off the show, I was looking for management, and I had heard horror stories about managers taking girls' money," she says. "I did not want that to happen to me. I didn't want to go back to jail and catch a case, you know what I mean. So we kind of handpicked and put together my team and all the certain skills I needed."
All Starr Management now includes a 40-person roster of talent. The firm already represents five girls from the show's upcoming seventh season, in addition to former contests, and also represents musicians, a drag king, and photographers.
Then Royale bought up Miss Pride South Florida, a local pageant with a 30-year history. Royale had won the title herself in 2004, but the pageant had been dormant in recent years. Now in its second year under Latrice Royale Inc., it has grown into one of South Florida's premier drag events. This year's edition goes down tomorrow at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio will serve as a special guest judge.
"It's celebratory of pride. Whereas most pride pageants winners don't really do anything for the rest of the year, I tried to change that with Miss Pride South Florida," Royale says. "The winner has a platform in which they can give back to the community and do community service."
As for what she's looking for in a winner: "A hard worker, class act, intelligent, well spoken, and talented. A full package."
Though the pageant is just local at the moment, Royale has dreams of turning it into a national -- if not international -- pageant system.
Later this year, Royale will return to the Logo network as the star of the nationally broadcast documentary Gays in Prison, in which she'll interview other gay men about their lives behind bars.
"The first and foremost thing is that whatever you're going through, forgive yourself and manage it and move on," she says of turning her life around after her own incarceration. "To beat yourself up won't do you any good. Pass over the hurdle. Forgive yourself. Believe in yourself. And go all the way balls deep into whatever your passion is."