PRINCE POPPYCOCK and Seattle Gay Scene resident Socialite, Drag “Queen”, Teriyaki Temple talk about his upcoming concert, (GOD SAVE THE QUEENS) with the Seattle Men’s Chorus, karaoke, his possible engagement to Sean Mendez and of course “living the dream.”
Teriyaki Temple aka “Asian Oprah” (TT): To get formalities out of the way, how should I address you? Your highness, your majesty, PRINCE POPPYCOCK (note that it’s all caps peeps)? What’s the proper protocol here?
PRINCE POPPYCOCK (PPC): His Royal Nonsense but my friends call me “Popples.”
TT: Alrighty, Popples it is. Would you mind sharing with Seattle Gay Scene readers a preview of which songs they may hear at the Seattle Men’s Chorus concert “God Save the Queens” when they come to see you at McCaw Hall this weekend? Perhaps some “Bohemian Rhapsody”?
PPC: Well I can’t give everything away but it wouldn’t couldn’t call the show “God Save the Queens” without including some Queen. As an avid anglophile I’m very excited to be visiting the British rock and pop hits throughout the decades.
TT: I have a feeling you’ve done Karaoke before. What’s your “go-to” song? And do you ever just go to random Karaoke bars and sing (not all dolled up and fabulized?)
PPC: I have been known on occasion to frequent karaoke bars from time to time. I have also been known to admit nothing while revealing everything… Yet I fear karaoke songs are a far too private a thing to reveal.
TT: You are known for your angelic voice, “on-point” make-up, over the top costuming and elaborate staging. Your outfits and performances are audibly and visually appealing and memorable. I remember the glitter encrusted unitard (singlet), the beautiful green French/Parisian number, the cuckoo for coco puffs fabulous bird outfit and weaves that makes this queen sooooo jelly! Where does your inspiration come from? And what can we expect next? Do you design and make them yourself or do you have some secret fairies that sew your outfits or perhaps you employ one of my cousins at our family’s sweatshop?
PPC: Who can say where inspiration comes from, or where it goes? The swirling vortex that is the collective unconscious remains a mystery to us all. I’m inspired by the anachronistic juxtaposition of disparate time periods. I firmly believe that meaning does not lie within one thing, but in the relationships between them. While rococo has always caught my fancy, it suddenly pops a bit more when I’m accessorized with a spat from the 20’s. As for POPPYCOCK’S couturier, I’ve had the good great fortune to work with some wonderful costumers over the years. My dear friend Venus DeMille has long been my main tailor. We usually work together on our creations and it’s always been great fun to collaborate with a good friend. As for your cousins they are all welcome, bedazzling takes an awful long time.
TT: I’ll be sure to let them know. Hey, 5 cents, is 5 cents. You mentioned in one of your interviews that your dream was to sing for a living. At the time you were a waiter and aspiring singer. Are you living the dream now? What have you been up to since America’s Got Talent?
PPC: Life is basically a waking dream for us all is it not? AGT certainly did change my life and bring me many opportunities. Just a few months ago I was headlining my own show in the basement of a Mexican restaurant…the glamour never stops. Once I grab one brass ring however, I just want more, so onward and upward to greater and gayer things.
TT: Ok, re-directing from Mexico to your hometown of Great Falls, Virginia. Seems like quiet suburban middle-America, what were the resident’s response to your leap onto the greatest talent show stage in the world? How has it been since? What were some reactions?
PPC: I was born and raised as the crowned prince of Poppyopolis. Due to a schism in space and time I was spit out into the rather banal and colorless reality doomed to spend eternity with the curse of being far more fabulous than everyone else. I do have a friend Johnny that was raised in Great Falls, however he hasn’t been back some time now.
TT: I profusely apologize for the mis-information your Royal Nonsensenessesness? 😊 I read that you have lent your voice and talents to support the Trevor Project (a nationwide non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, through his “It Gets Better” video). Can you tell me more about that experience and what inspired you to support this organization?
PPC: Growing up sucks when you’re different and you don’t have a support group, aka friends. So I think it’s important for all of us to give back and help give a voice to those who have a harder time being heard. I always sing a little bit better when I know I’m lifting our youth.
TT: Is there currently a Mr. or Prince Consort Poppycock? If you’re single, do you find it harder to date because you’re so fabulous?
PPC: What a fabulous question. I’m currently single but if I had to choose, I’d say Sean Mendes. He seems to be a promising project for Poppycock.
TT: Sean Mendes-Poppycock does have a nice ring to it. Since your rise to international recognition and fame, what’s been your most memorable moment so far?
PPC: Definitely this interview. Just kidding, new phone, who dis?
TT: LOL, spicy. May I suggest “CircleBack” to manage your contacts? You know I find it helps to give everyone a last name. You’d be surprised how many “Adams (from Adam4Adam), Grinds (Grindr), Jackie’s (Jack’D) I have in my iPhone XXX but I digress. What is something you haven’t been able to accomplish yet that you’d love to see happen in the next few years (maybe a duet with someone or having a wax figurine of yourself at Madame Tissot House of Wax)?
PPC: I’m really interested in performing in new spaces that have yet to be conquered. I like to be the first. For example, we’re looking into a couple of prisons… and of course everyone knows it’s my dream to headline the opening ceremony of the Olympics. And a Netflix special.
TT: OMG, I can totally see it. Ratings through the roof! A lot of the celebrities I interview have shared with me something that no one else knows (or at least you haven’t shared with any other journalists). (Example: do you have any weird eating habits, you collect Barbies or have the world largest collection of feather…)
PPC: The truth is, I’m ageless. After all, time is just a construct. That being said, as a crowned prince I do go along with some constructs. It’s all about… Perspective.
TT: Sounds interesting. My perspective is usually two dimensional, from the top or from the bottom. . . Again, I digress. How has it been working with the Seattle Men’s Chorus? And have you had an opportunity to check out some of the cities attractions? If yes, what have you enjoyed best about Seattle?
PPC: Well the Seattle Men’s Chorus is a who’s who of the best Seattle has to offer. My mother, the Queen has a saying: In life you can always trust a true baritone, and tenors are usually men. I’m hoping to check out some of the sights with them this week. I’m working on a huge new single that’s living to be played on that giant needle.
TT: Lastly, since you’ll be performing in Seattle during Pride Weekend. What does Gay Pride (GBLTQ Pride etc etc) month/week mean to you? What is pride all about?
PPC: More than ever, Pride means everything to me. We must support each other and celebrate our differences. The Royals are all trained to service the common man, and I think the gays service more and more men every year.
TT: Thank you so much for your time and everyone please be sure to attend the Seattle Men’s Chorus concert this upcoming Friday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 23rd at 8:00PM at McCaw Hall.
For more information please visit: https://www.mccawhall.com/events/detail/god-save-the-queens
Prince Poppycock is a roguish operatic dandy with a persona and repertoire that draws on the varied influences of his creator, John Quale. Poppycock’s look and sound combines elements of glam rock, light opera, synth pop, and Western art music in a way that is fresh, sometimes startling, and always entertaining, doing each of those traditions justice yet transcending the past – rather than simply updating it – to become something truly original.
Prince Poppycock has opened for bands like the Dresden Dolls and The Sounds; sung at extravagant special events like New York’s Dances of Vice; and opened for performance art legend Ann Magnuson at downtown LA’s prestigious Redcat Theater. He was a final four contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” during which judge Sharon Osbourne dubbed him “the male Lady Gaga.”