The Hostess with the Mostess, Tammy Spenks. NYC Drag Queen of the Week
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 Tammy Spenks.
Describe your look.
I always say that Tammy is trailer trash gone glamour.
What does your family think of you doing drag?
Being a drag queen you come out twice to your family. You come out as being gay and you come out as being a drag queen. My family is actually really supportive. My grandma is adorable and she sends me things that she finds in stores that she thinks are great for Tammy. She’ll send me a lot of caftans and gaudy jewelry and it’s just so cute. The only family member who’s seen me perform is my grandpa when he came to stay with me a couple years ago. He had such a good time.
What’s a Tammy show like?
It kind of feels like my living room when I’m performing. The first thing I do is step off the stage and see who’s in the audience and talk to people and see where they’re from and see who’s never been here before. I think an audience member loves when you talk to them at the beginning of the show and you circle back at the end and remember their name. Someone can be a really great performer but to hold a show I think you have to be a good host as well. That was the first thing that came naturally to me. Hosting was the thing that made me fall in love with drag.
What’s something you’ve seen another queen do in their act that you would never do?
I’ve seen queens do full nudity on stage. I wouldn’t say that I’m self-conscious about my body but I am not comfortable enough to be nude at a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. I do have mad props for people who do those kinds of things.
Is it expensive to be a drag queen?
Yes, it’s very expensive. It’s really hard for drag queens to make money because everything you make goes back into it. It used to be drag queens in New York were paid a lot better than they are now. We’re kind of always fighting for fair pay.
Is getting on Drag Race a goal for you?
It has never been on the forefront of my goals to be honest. I would love to see the world and be successful and show what I do. Unfortunately, the only way nowadays you can do that successfully is if you’re a Drag Race girl. Because of that I do want to be on Drag Race eventually but I don’t want to go to be a contender. I want to go to win.
What’s the best thing about being a drag queen in New York City?
Being a part of a diverse, crazy professional community and gaining friends that I never would have had. The drag part is great, I love dressing up and performing, but the best part of being a drag queen in New York City is the New York City nightlife family. When you really find the people that you click with it’s a really great ride.