As "a top-secret agent", Shayla007 can get in anywhere, using one of her "multiple personalities". For this interview with SIX, she’s come as iconic trans actress Cristina Ortiz, La Veneno (the Poison), complete with her explosive style and her plunging neckline that give much power to her character.
Matías is from Malaga and has been in the business for 27 years: "Shayla was born long after I started as a drag performer because at that time there wasn't much drag in Malaga or Torremolinos, there were very few of us," she recalls. It was in 1998 when she got the name Shayla007 from a fellow drag queen, La Prohibida: "She was the one who baptised me in October 1998, between the two of us we came up with the name and surname."
"I’m a hard worker, a great friend and if the friendship continues, I can even be a great teacher and professor, because I come from the time when we were just four drag queens and we have experienced all the stages,” Shayla007 says by way of introduction.
Finding the right shoes, the perfect wig and other accessories is now easier, especially with online market AliExpress, the website that these divas refer to a lot during the interviews. "We have to help each other, I don't keep my secrets or tricks to myself because in the end we are the same community," she says,
This diva wants good vibes among colleagues and if she sees there’s a problem, she weighs up whether something was said on purpose, or not. "Sometimes they've thought something negative about me, but at the end of the night they've even said to me: ‘Well, I thought badly of you at first, but you're a totally different kind of person.’”
She pays tribute to a number of her stage characters: "I've done Whitney Houston, Mónica Naranjo and now La Veneno, which is the one that I have enjoyed the most. When I've transformed myself into her, I've seen the audience get emotional, I've seen tears," says Shayla007 as she purses her red lips.
Everyone has bad moments at work and she prefers to forget about them, although she does say she should have complained about some customers at the time: "I was at a stag party doing a striptease, the guy was blindfolded and when I finished I said: 'Congratulations'. Then he noticed that I was a man and he stood up and said ‘fucking queer’. They didn't even want to pay me," she says. But in spite of the bad moments, Shayla continues performing for those who respect her and genuinely want her to be herself on stage.