This year, thanks in part to Qulture Qreative, Ms. Sherry Vine is headlining the Main Stage at Seattle PrideFest. I was first exposed to Sherry Vine through the documentary about Wigstock. Then I later had the chance to meet her when she was in town with Raven O and Joey Arias (back when I was a wee, baby lez club promoter and burgeoning DJ). I have always been IN LOVE. Well, let’s be honest, I love all drag queens…they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, moods…they make me happy. Sherry Vine though, has a special knack for bringing a smile to my face. I absolutely adore watching her parody videos. She has THE BEST facial expressions and comedic timing. If you haven’t seen any of her parody videos (and if you haven’t, you’ve been robbing yourself of some good old fashioned dirty-humor-fun), I suggest doing some searches on the interwebs and indulging yourself in a few. You can thank me later. I was lucky enough to snag a few moments of time with Ms. Vine to talk about her upcoming PrideFest appearance, herstory, comedy, and the state of drag. The conversation went a little something like this…..
L.A. Kendall: I hate to date either of us, but I first stumbled across you in WIGSTOCK, which, at the time, was IT for me where drag queens are concerned, (I am a card carrying drag queen loving lesbian). How does it feel to have a career that has involved things like WIGSTOCK and traveling and touring with Joey Arias (among countless other amazing milestones)?
Sherry Vine: Please don’t carbon date me! LOL! First of all, I adore my lesbian sisters! And B, I sincerely consider myself so lucky for all the things I’ve gotten to do. WIGSTOCK was a big deal for me because I had just started performing in drag when Lady Bunny invited to have a solo spot. And certainly meeting Joey Arias changed my life! She is so gracious and opened many doors for me. I’ve been doing “Sherry” for 21 years and still love it and am still inspired and still thankful for being to do what I love.
LAK: You and Jackie Beat are both favorites of mine, largely because you both embody a special breed of drag queen for me…on point with COMEDY. Also, both of you SING LIVE. Is this something you bring to the table naturally, or did you make a conscious decision to hone these skills?
SV: I started doing parodies as a kid – way before the thought of drag or being able to get paid for it occurred to me. I never considered myself a great singer but I know how to sell a song and I know what I can and can’t do. lol. When I met Jackie in LA she had only been doing drag for about one year and I was just starting, but we clicked immediately and are still BFFs! I always try to do different things with Sherry but I know that parodies are my thing…that does come naturally. And I grew up watching Carol Burnett and wanting to do that kind of comedy. It’s so broad and silly. I have to say that when Jackie and I work together, it is special. The NY Times once called us “the Laurel and Hardy of drag”! How can you top that??
LAK: You just can’t! That is quite a compliment! You are FAMOUS for your parodies. The videos you have done are smash hits online. How did you come to start doing parodies?
SV: Jackie and another performer, Mila Jam (aka Britney Houston) were the first queens I saw doing video parodies on YouTube and I knew I had to get on that train asap. The success of the videos really opened a lot of doors for me, and that for sure came naturally. I get to marry so many of my favorite art forms…singing, parody, acting, creating and working with a team. I’ve been blessed to find so many insanely talented people who want to collaborate with me, that it just makes the whole process a joy. I know it sounds corny, but if you were ever to visit one of our “sets” you would see how much fun we are having.
LAK: I hear there was a bit of a stir about a Britney parody video you did? Something involving vaginas?
SV: LOL!!! Yes, we had one shot that YouTube didn’t care for. They deleted the video. When I inquired why, they said, “No nudity”. I replied, “I’m not naked!” They said, “Yes, we can see your vagina”. See, I am a great actress! LOL!
LAK: One of my favorite parodies you have done, “Make Me Moan” (based on Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”), also includes another FAVORITE NYC queen of mine, Peppermint. How did you come to know my girl, Peppermint?
SV: I had met Peppermint about 14 years ago but then moved to Berlin for almost 4 years. When I returned, we became great friends. I love working with her – she’s hilarious! Making that video was a highlight and so many people request it. Peppermint and I just finished a week of shows together in London and that was our finale!
LAK: You also write your own music and have quite a theatre and film resume. Pretty impressive. I consider myself a fan, and when I was researching for this interview there was stuff on there I had NO IDEA about….
SV: Thank you. Yes, I have been acting since I was 10 years old (no comment on when that was, lol) and it is all I have ever done. While I embrace calling myself a drag queen, performing as “Sherry” for me is really about acting a character. I miss acting sometimes, so much, but luckily I get to fulfill that with my videos and TV show, She’s Living For This.
LAK: From WIGSTOCK to RuPaul’s Drag Race. I have seen drag revolutions revolve around each. What do you think of the current state of drag, and it’s affect on queer qulture?
SV: I am a big, big fan of drag. I LOVE to travel and see other queens around the world. Sometimes, when I go out of town the venue will want me to hide in the dressing room to make an entrance but I always sneak out or have my nose pressed against the door window to watch the other gals. I think there is a tremendous amount of talent out there and I’m glad there’s Drag Race to showcase them. I recently did a show in Zagreb, Croatia and gagged at how many talented queens were there. And it’s not easy there! And luckily, there’s room for all of us. The dinosaurs like me, Jackie and Joey are still kicking our heels up!
LAK: You’ve been to Seattle before, I met you once in the late ‘90s when you were here doing a show with Raven O and Joey Arias, and I’ve seen you at Re-bar at least once since. Fantastic, by the way! What had been your experience with Seattle audiences?
SV: Oh honey, that was a while ago. I love Re-bar! So fun working there. Seattle is always fun – the last time I was there with Joey we went to a burlesque show that our friend Paula (The Swedish Housewife) had organized and I was blown away by the ladies. And there was a large group of FTMs at our show that I fell in love with. And throw a big ol’ salmon at me and I’m happy. lol. I have to add that the men of Seattle are fucking sexy! I can’t tell who’s gay or straight which only adds to the excitement. Joey and I have a few stories!! Lol!
LAK: I bet you do! This is your first time at Seattle PrideFest. Will you be doing your new parody “Ho Shop” (based on Macklemore/Lewis’s “Thrift Shop”)? Kind of apropos here in Seattle….
SV: This is my first time doing Pride so I’m excited and maybe a little nervous. I hope people enjoy it. I have quite a few new parodies and will try to do “Ho Shop”. We just shot the video for this actually!
LAK: Three words you would give Seattle audiences to prepare for you….
SV: My three P’s: Poop, Penis and Prostitution! Stick to what you know, as Jerri Blank would say.
Well kids, there you have it. You can catch Sherry live on the Seattle PrideFest Main Stage, Sunday June 30th. Don’t miss out! But please…leave your poop at home. Penises are allowed, for sure. Prostitution…well, that’s your business…
More on Sherry at: http://sherryvine.com/
More on DJ LA Kendall: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-LA-Kendall
More on Qulture Qreative: https://www.facebook.com/qultureqreativeusa
More on Seattle PrideFest: www.seattlepridefest.org