"It was very last minute, spur of the moment. We knew nothing about it. It was a very spur of the moment thing," Shannel, who is featured in the video, told MTV News about the shoot, which took place at the West Hollywood gay club on a night when she and several other drag queens were slated to take the stage.
"Everybody [in the crowd] was really well behaved [when it was all happening]; it wasn't quite chaotic as I would have expected it to have been," Shannel continued. "She just sat there in the crowd, just as a regular spectator, and then it just became a lot more interactive [when she came on stage and] that got the crowd really up and going. And then birthdays came around and she started singing to all the people onstage. It was great!"
While it was a controlled chaos, Shannel added that the crowd was pretty hyped to have Gaga, sporting a black outfit and her ARTPOP makeup, in the hotspot with them. "Madness! It was lots and lots of energy! And everybody screaming and yelling [at] more or less just the sheer fact that 'I can't believe that Lady Gaga is really here right now.' We're, as entertainers, we're on stage and were having to be professional and we're doing our numbers whether Lady Gaga is there or not.
"To the audiences' perspective, it was this completely overwhelming thing that kind of came," she continued. "It sealed the deal [when she jumped onstage]. Like 'Whoa, she's raised human' and she doesn't have to have a bodyguard on her every second of the moment, [she has] her own free will and spirit and all of that. It was pretty cool."
During her two-plus hours at the club, Gaga didn't just spend time with the drag queens on stage, but also backstage where she bonded with them. She included some of that in the video. "She went backstage and sat in my makeup area. And she was very cool and hang out and chill. It was very chill, like very easy going," Shannel said.
Gaga is slated to premiere the actual music video for "Applause" on Monday during "Good Morning America," but Shannel loves the guerilla-style, party-themed lyric video that fans can play on repeat until then. She said, "It's great. I like it because it's just very kick-back and very casual and very home video, like 'Let's just go and have a good time.' "
"Applause" is the lead single off her November 11 album release, ARTPOP. Lady Gaga will perform "Applause" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, airing live from Brooklyn's Barclays Center on August 25.