National Drag History Month: An Intoxicating Interview with Sherry Vine

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Sherry Vine works hard for the money. The longtime NYC drag darling sings, hosts, cracks jokes, travels the globe, acts — and she's been doing it for aeons! When she puts her lips around a song (either a parody, or just by twisting a pop gem around her titanic vocal chords), watch out.

One of Manhattan's nightlife veterans, she's worked stages in unforgettable Theater Couture shows in the East Village throughout the 1990s with troupers like Jackie Beat and Mario Diaz, and Sherry was also one of the legendary Bar d'O divas, belting tunes weekly alongside mega-talents like Joey Arias, Raven O and Sade Pendarvis.

Sherry's always had a scathing wit, big hair, masses of lipstick and a yeoman-like dedication to her gorgeous craft. She's even becoming a burgeoning video star: Check her Britney-inspired "Supersizer" for which she teamed up with porn pup Ben Andrews. It's big.

You can also glimpse Sherry in the fierce video for up-and-coming Brooklyn band Neon Glitter Bliss' scorching electropop nugget "Wilted Flower." It's in the running to be named "Ultimate Drag Video" (which gets announced later night on Logo's Click List, 11pm EST), and I'm guessing it'll be up there!

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Gay music and video from NewNowNext.com


For National Drag History Month, we quizzed Ms. V about her inspirations, gender issues, drag icons and the high cost of looking so fabulously cheap. Read the full exchange after the jump!


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What does National Drag History Month mean to you personally?
Well, I never heard of it until yesterday! But… now I am so excited! Drag has been a part of culture for thousands of years (just ask Lady Bunny) and it's nice to see it recognized as a legitimate art form.

How do you plan to celebrate? I'm going to celebrate by getting all dolled up, putting on stilettos, a big blonde wig and jumping onstage drunk and singing my ass off! Oh wait, I do that every night…

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Can you tell us about what you recall about seeing drag for the first time? When was it? Who was it?
The earliest memory I have of drag is Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not "girl" drag, I know, but it was the first time I saw a man in make up that still looked sexy. Then I discovered John Waters and fell in love with Divine. That was my first inspiration – so funny and crazy and over the top but it worked.

What drag queen has had the most influence on you and your career?
I don't think I could pick one – I've been influenced by so many at different times in my drag career. Divine. When I first started performing in LA I met Jackie Beat who has been a major influence. Then I moved to NYC and was inspired by Candis Cayne, Misstress Formika, Miss Guy, Raven O and Joey Arias and many many more. Every time I've worked with someone I've learned something. Even the "children" like my little sister, Epiphany, have been a big influence.

What drag queen deserves a "lifetime achievement" award?
To me Joey Arias! She is still amazing and doing her thing and she is a gorgeous person.

Who do you think is or was the fiercest drag queen ever?
Again, different people at different times. Justin Bond never ceases to amaze me. Lady Bunny is hysterical. But if I had to pick one, Jackie Beat. She is the sickest and silliest in a very smart way.

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What is the most crucial issue facing the drag community these days?
So many new queens just want to dress up and party. Nothing wrong with that but there hasn't been a strong new community of queens turning it out onstage. Girls, where u at?

What advice would you give for a young, emerging drag queen who’s a little afraid about putting on that wig and stepping out on that stage?
Do it bitch! What is the worst thing that could happen. I was just talking to Jackie about an idea I had and how I was hesitant and she said, "Be Fearless"!

Why is drag important?
The best compliments I get are when people come up ot me after the show and say, "I was so not in a good mood but you totally made me feel better" or "I didn't think I would like drag but you changed my concept of what drag is" or "Is that contagious?"

There are some powerful cultural and political slogans and quotes out there. "We shall overcome." "Yes, we can." "Remember the Alamo!" What should be the motto or battle cry for National Drag History Month?
"Does that pump come in a size 12?" "We shall overpaint" or let's use "Yes we can" to our advantage!

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Wanna find Sherry? Try these spicy links:
http://SherryVine.com; http://myspace.com/sherryvine; http://facebook.com/sherryvine; http://youtube.com/MissSherryVine

Or just go catch THE SHERRY VINE SHOW every Sunday at Barracuda in Chelsea, NYC with DJ David Serrano. Midnight, no cover. Or consider DIRTY LAUNDRY every Thursday at Dtox in New York's East Village. Show and contest at midnight. DJ ET. No cover.