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¡Hola Papi!: Salina EsTitties Rolls into Provincetown

by Steve Desroches

Salina EsTitties is on top of the world, quite literally. The stand-out, sweetheart star of season fifteen of RuPaul’s Drag Race is sitting on the roof deck of the W Hotel in Times Square getting ready for all her gigs during New York City Pride. The self-described “cholita, plus-size, ghetto superstar” lets out a signature giggle as she contemplates her success. Over the past decade she has hustled in heels to become the toast of the Los Angeles drag scene. That strong work ethic, as well as her commitment to maintaining her 12-plus years of sobriety have catapulted Salina to a level of fame that she once only dared to dream about. 

“No one can prepare you for how your life can change after Drag Race,” says Salina letting out another loveable staccato of giggles. “I’ve been dreaming my way around the world this past year. I’ve always had a lot of hustle in me and it’s definitely working for me now. I was ready to show the world what I’ve got and now the chance is here and I’m ready and loving it. I’m ready to be in charge of my own edit.”

With the achievements and accolades Salina is racking up since appearing on the Emmy Award-winning pop culture phenomenon that RuPaul’s Drag Race is, she is also more than ready to make her Provincetown debut this Fourth of July weekend at the Art House, which is in its first season under the management of the Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), an organization based in Los Angeles and New York founded in 2011 to represent LGBTQ talent. As much as television is still the gold standard for exposure for drag, it is in its way limiting as the art of drag is best experienced live as to showcase all of a queen’s talents. Known for her high-energy choreography, quick wit, and commanding charisma Salina says there’s a lot people don’t know about that’s just below the surface of her kind, yet might cut-a-bitch persona.

“I’m a Hamilton drag queen,” says Salina. “I’m a hip-hop theater queen who loves Broadway and has a street edge. When I’m on stage it all comes together, all the parts that make up Miss EsTitties.”

For her first time in Provincetown Salina wanted to debut a brand-new show, and she is with Papi Experience, though it isn’t what she initially had in mind. Her first concept was centered around the story in her song “Find Yo Light,” which was featured during her season on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The narrative would focus on her life, beating crystal meth addiction, maintaining her sobriety as well as other trials and tribulations in her personal and professional life. But then Salina bursts in machine-gun laughter and reveals her management said to her, “You do realize Provincetown will be full of gay guys getting drunk?” In response she said, “Oh. Well, are they horny, too?” And she switched gears and wrote Papi Experience, part-drag show, part-interactive dating game in which she promises that everyone can leave with a new phone number in their pocket.

Showing her versatility and artistic nimbleness goes beyond writing shows as she’ll return to Provincetown Carnival Week for two shows with her close friend actor Frankie Grande as part of the Crown & Anchor’s Broadway on the Beach Artist Series. The friendship has deep roots. Back when Salina was a “baby drag queen” Grande was a judge in a drag contest in Los Angeles that she won. Several days later Salina was at a sobriety meeting where she saw Grande, who like Salina has been very open and public about his addiction and subsequent sober life. She went over to him and introduced herself as the queen to which he helped hand the crown. Grande’s response was that he’d only been sober for a minute and could use a friend. Grande is now seven years sober. And now the Broadway star and the drag queen sensation will present an all-live singing musical extravaganza when they hit Provincetown for Carnival.

As to what she and Grande will do come August, it’s still under wraps. But she says to expect the unexpected, which is fair warning from a queen who continually surprises. Case in point, during her season on RuPaul’s Drag Race when it came time to compete in the ever-popular Snatch Game her choice of which celebrity to impersonate still raises eyebrows. Rather than choosing someone like Celia Cruz or Jennifer Lopez to represent her Latine culture, or a take on a classic drag queen choice like Judy Garland or Cher, Salina appeared on the game show panel as the Virgin Mary.

“Oh my god, people still bring that up all the time,” laughs Salina. “Some people loved and others hated it. And in the Latin community some people really didn’t like it. I had an idea and I went after it. The Snatch Game is not what you think it’s going to be like. It’s hard. So, it didn’t come out exactly like I thought it would, but hey, you know what, I had fun.”

Salina EsTitties presents Papi Experience at the Art  House, 214 Commercial Street, Thursday, July 4 through Saturday, July 6 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets ($35/$50) are available at the box office and online at Salina returns to Provincetown at the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial Street for the Broadway on the Beach Artist Series performing with Frankie Grande on Friday, August 22 at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, August 23 at 10:30 p.m. Tickets ($35/$45) are available at the box office and online at For more information on the Crown & Anchor dates call 508.487.1430.

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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