Story and photos by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen
What originally began as an unassuming Monday night for Florida drag queen Anahi Santos soon morphed into an overnight sensation when 1,000 viewers tuned in to watch her slumber in full drag.
After sitting down and making her livestream entrance via a pool-side patio, the decked-out performer began lip-syncing to her first number before taking a generous swig of her beverage around the three-minute mark. As Anahi Santos sat down to address her fans and begin her next performance, a lull began to visually take over as the Palm Beach Gardens “sleeping beauty” adjusted her outfit and drifted into a three-hour nap.
As Santos slumbered, the sizeable audience soon reached seven-hundred views as audience members digitally hooted-and-hollered at the brief moments when Anahi would wake up or adjust herself, slowly undressing until she was practically "out-of-face.” While there were comments from fellow drag performers and audience members who decried the display, many of her supporters and newfound fans celebrated this offbeat form of performance art.
The drag queen, who said she started her career at the age of 19, told Echo she was inspired by watching telenovelas as a kid and seeing an actress portray both a male and a female in one of the programs. She cited Selena Quintanilla, Rocio Dúrcal, Isabel Pantoja, JL, Lady Gaga and “the [soundtrack] from The Greatest Showman.”
“[I want my audience] to have a good time, [and feel] joy, [and] I hope to put a smile on their face during quarantine,” said Anahi Santos.
Santos also told Echo she didn’t remember falling asleep after her first number but said she felt tired and wanted to sit. After waking up the next day, Anahi would wake up to a stream of kind and concerned messages, topped off with tips amounting to $1400.
While she says there’s not much current change in her career and lifestyle since this internet blowup, Anahi said she is very grateful for the support and hopes to gain more drag-show bookings post-quarantine.
“I [want to say] thank you so much to everyone, God bless you guys, and stay safe out there.”
This sleepy phenomenon also sparked a hashtag titled the #AnahiSantosChallenge, where multiple drag artists around the web “stole” her look and pose in support.
Check out the performers below who posed in tribute to Anahi Santos: