NYC Drag Queen Of The Week – Sherry Pie
There is no shortage of drag queens in NYC. You can’t throw a rock without hitting some twink in a dress thinking he’s got what it takes to shantay down the runway just because he’s seen every season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race while practicing YouTube makeup tutorials. There’s a difference, though, between learning how to just paint your face and turning that face into a work of fucking art. This weekly series highlights the queens who stand out from the crowd and rock those heels til they bleed.
Meet Sherry Pie.
Describe your look.
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My signature style is campy, wacky, crazy lady.
How did you get started in drag?
I started doing drag as a performance thing. I grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York and over the summer, when we weren’t in school, we would write these little minstrel shows that could be done in the street. One of the big ones that we would do is this one where I played a woman and I just loved the laughs that I got. That’s kind of what started me doing drag.
What was it like growing up gay there?
It was actually not that bad. I have been gay since I shot out of my mother’s vagina wearing kitten heels and glitter on my eyelids.
What does your mom think of you doing drag?
My mom is very supportive. She always has been. She sent me to the New York State Theatre Institute. She’s given me the tools to be successful. My mom is a very no-bullshit kind of a person and she always tells me if she didn’t think I could be successful at what I’m doing she would say something.
You started out doing drag in upstate New York for several years before you moved to the city. Was it easy to transition?
Upstate queens are not welcoming but New York City queens are. I came into the scene. I hit the ground running. I knew what I was doing. Everyone was like “You literally came out of nowhere” because I literally did. I moved, I worked really hard and people responded to my drag.
What’s been your best night in drag?
I had the pleasure of being in a production of Hairspray as Edna this past summer. Getting to play a role that Divine originated in film and Harvey Fierstein originated on Broadway was the most amazing experience for me.
You perform a lot. Which of your regular shows really stands out?
I do a weekly show on Monday’s at REBAR in Chelsea called Marquee Monday’s. What we do is we take a Broadway musical every week and we kind of gay it up and bastardize it. It’s an audience interactive show. It is not a show for the faint of heart. It’s a full show every single week. That show is my baby. I went to school for musical theater, that’s my passion, it’s what I love. I love camp. I love the older style of drag. That’s my favorite show that I do each week.
What’s the competition like in the New York City drag scene?
I’m a big fan of drag in general. I think everybody should do drag at least once in their life. That being said, there are a lot of drag queens but a lot of them start and after a few months they putter out. If you want to be a successful drag queen in New York City you need to give your drag persona 110% all the time. That’s really hard when you’re starting off because that is a huge step off a cliff and you might not land on your feet. You could end up crashing and burning really badly if you only give 100%. Not everybody’s cut out for it.