Sherry Vine to headline 6th annual H8's A Drag
The Music City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, along with Play Dance Bar, are presenting the 6th annual H8’s A Drag on April 23, 2017. This year Sherry Vine will be performing her full-length show alongside Miss Gay USofA Aurora Sexton, the Ebony Goddess Chyna, and a stellar local line up.
H8’s A Drag will inaugurate another season of anti-bullying support, awareness, and education for at-risk LGBTQI Youth and the community, to coincide with the annual GLSEN Day of Silence. This year’s theme—H8’s a Drag: LOVE is not SILENT—places focus on silence and indifference, as bullying and hatred go on around us, causing irreparable harm and death.
Headliner Sherry Vine sat down with us to introduce herself to Nashville audiences, in advance of her first visit to Nashville!
If you were to describe Sherry Vine, what type of entertainer would you say she was?
Well definitely it’s heavy on the pop parodies. I have been called everything from hooker Barbie, to describe the look, to the weird Al Yankovic of drag. It’s always in good humor, a naughty kind of fun. I don’t think it’s offending anyone, it’s just mostly silly poop/bathroom humor, and I really kind of just make fun of myself mostly. In one sentence Sherry Vine is the Weird Al Yankovic of drag, singing naughty parodies of your favorite pop song.
What got you started wanting to do drag?
I just kind of was dressing up and going out for fun when I was younger in college. I went to college to study theatre, and we kind of had to do these monologues based on real people. I tried to make them diverse: I would do like a business man and this real nerdy tech guy. Then I said I wanted to do this drag queen, and I real connected to that and was like, “This is fun!”
I just started to explore doing things in drag. I would come to class and do monologues from For Colored Girls … and okay there’s a guy doing a black woman’s monologue. But it was just kind of to experiment, and I really connected with that. When I would read A Streetcar Called Desire, I would want to play Blanche—that’s the good part.
I started performing around Los Angeles, where I was going to school, for fun, but without the intention of it being a career. And then I kind of woke up one day and was like, “Oh s**t, I think I’m a professional drag queen now…” And once I embraced that, it was really fun. At first I was kind of fighting against it, because I wanted to be a movie star, not a drag queen.
Who were some of your influences, or did you have any? Were there any people doing what you wanted to do?
I eventually discovered people doing what I wanted to do, but when I first started I was in graduate school, in California, getting a Master’s degree in Theatre. No one certainly was doing drag, and they kind of thought I was crazy. And the only drag I had seen going to the bars in West Hollywood was, you know, what I would call old school drag. It’s not a read, it was just not what I wanted to do. I loved watching queens in a gown lip syncing to Whitney Houston, but I knew it’s not what I wanted to do.
So, when I first created the character Sherry Vine, the first thing I did was total broken down ex-Las Vegas showgirl singing this torch song version of Black Coffee—live not lip syncing—and certainly in West Hollywood people were like, “What’s going on?” I felt like I was interested in being more theatrical and dramatic and coming from a place that I had not seen anyone do this.
Once I came to New York, I was like, “Oh, I certainly didn’t invent this!” And there was a whole world of drag queens doing different things. One of the first queens I saw was Vaginal Cream Davis ... and she was singing punk songs and about shrimping people’s toes, and I loved it. And that was kind of the inspiration.
What has been the evolution you have seen in drag?
This year is my 25-year anniversary of drag, and I can’t believe it. I have been around long enough that I have seen quite a few what I call renaissances of drag, where it will be like five or six years where it’s like, “God, where are the new drag queens?” Then it’s like there are twenty new drag queens. I have seen it happen numerous times, like when RuPaul’s Drag Race started, and it was a hit. Now there are lots and lots of new drag queens, and I love it. And I just love seeing the talent—there are so many talented people. There are queens that can sing, queens that can dance, queens that are funny, and queens that give you crazy looks.
What got you interested in helping a cause like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
Well, I have a long history of doing different things with Sisters in other cities. I have worked with some in San Francisco. I lived in Berlin for three years from 2001 to 2004, and there is a very active strong Sister community there, and I would do benefits and work with them... I just love supporting: I am always up for a benefit and for an AIDS charity, and if I am free and I can get there, I will be there. I would say probably in Berlin I was a bit more active because they go out to the bars, they bar hop, they hand out condoms, and they go out to the shows, and want to know the queens, so I was a bit more involved in Berlin.
Is there something that you want Nashville to know before you come?
I am really excited! In 25 years, I have been everywhere, but I haven’t been to Nashville. Why have I not been to Nashville? So, when this came up, I was so excited, and I can’t wait to get down there and to see the city and perform! And I think people are kind of surprised by my show. They may know me from YouTube and think, “Oh, she’s that queen that sings about poop,” but there is more to it than that.
I am going to mix it up. I have some Broadway stuff, I do a lot of shtick comedy, some stand-up-type stuff, interaction with the audience, and it’s all in good fun. I’m not reading anyone but myself. I think people will come and be like, “Oh, okay, there are a bunch of drag queens that have not been on Drag Race that can do a show.” I hope that they will come and have fun!
Tickets for the show are available now.