- With: Pandora Boxx
- When: 10 p.m. Saturday
- Where: The Edge, 7211 Kingston Pike
- Cost: $10, ages 21 and up only; advance tickets available at The Edge
If you don't already know the name Willam, you will by the end of this summer ... maybe by the end of this weekend.
The actor/singer/female impersonator/comedian, who will be at The Edge Saturday night as part of this weekend's PrideFest celebration, has a slew of projects out or set to drop at the movies, on TV, and on YouTube and iTunes.
Willam, whose TV appearances include "Nip/Tuck," "Sex and the City" and "My Name is Earl," among others, may be best known for his recent appearance on Season 4 of "RuPaul's Drag Race," a reality show in which drag queens compete for cash, prizes and the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar." In a "Drag Race" first, Willam was disqualified from the competition, but said he has no regrets about the show.
"Even though I didn't win the show, coming off of it people will say, 'I want to do a shot with that (expletive).' ... People want to hang out with me, they genuinely want to, which is what I wanted. That was the goal. I wanted people to get to know me and like me a little bit more."
Willam was mum on whether he'd be appearing on next season's all-star edition of "RuPaul's Drag Race," but if fan sites and blogs are any indication, he's a shoo-in for the competition.
Currently, Willam can be seen on "RuPaul's Drag U," (9 p.m. Mondays on cable channel Logo) a spin-off of "Drag Race" in which drag queen "professors" help make over women.
On the music front, Willam had a recent viral hit with his song "Chow Down (at Chik-fil-A)," a parody video of Wilson Phillips' "Hold On." The song, which has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube, pokes fun at whether gay people should dine at the faith-based fast-food chain.
Other parody songs include naughty skewerings of the Selena Gomez hit "I Love You Like a Love Song" and Bruno Mars and Travis McCoy's "Billionaire," and an original song entitled "Trouble," all of which can be downloaded on iTunes.
Willam said inspiration for his parody songs is "usually (when) drinking. I'll just be stupid somewhere, and I'll sing the wrong words and yell it into my phone as a voicemail. Then, like a week later: 'I should write this,' and I do. That's pretty much how everything comes about."
On July 20, Willam can be seen alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill in the big-screen comedy "The Watch." Willam said he was especially inspired by "The Watch" director Akiva Schaffer.
"(Schaffer) is one of the members of The Lonely Island, which is a comedy group that I love. They kind of do the same thing that I do, like, parodies and funny videos ... and I'm their biggest fan. And I'd love to do, like, a gay Lonely Island one day, combining music and comedy, so it was great to get to work with him."
For his show at The Edge, Willam said folks can expect to see "a lot of laughing ... and tipping." There'll be no lip-syncing, but a live performance of original music.
"My performances are not about, 'Let me do an eight-count of dancing then go collect the money.' I actually want to perform. When you perform, collecting money should not be your first priority. ... I'm a performer at heart and nothing will compromise that.
"But if I see a hot guy in the audience, I WILL make out with him."
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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