Chiffon Dior: Paige Turner, first off, let me congratulate you on five years of your popular Sunday night show SLURP! For anything to run for five years in this city, it an accomplishment! Now that being said, after five years, you’re still stuck talking with a hacky drag “journalist” like me, what went wrong?
Paige Turner: Life on the P list baby!
CD: Ah, the P list. That’s always been a goal of mine! But in all seriousness, this truly is an impressive milestone. How did this show first come about for you?
PT: Well it actually all started at VLADA bar which was a block away from Therapy but has since closed. Slurp was at Vlada for three and half years and it will be two years in May for us at Therapy. Slurp is my catchphrase. Its about cute sexy things that you are completely smitten with and you say SLURP! Instead of “I want to fuck your brains out!” or “Do me now!“, you say SLURP. I’d start saying this to audience members and then people started shouting SLURP back to me and saying it all the time so it wound up becoming the name of my show! It’s also become a huge brand for me as well, since most everyone associates it with me. That’s the thing about catch phrases. I’ve discussed with other people who have them and the thing is, you can’t plan them. They just HAPPEN! If you plan a catchphrase ,it doesn’t seem to work. I’m glad this caught on though and became a way for me and an audience to connect. Slurp! is very much about the audience being a guest star in the show type of feel and I reall believe that’s a huge reason why it’s been so successful.
CD: Well, organic IS very popular these days. By letting it happen organically, you were merely ahead of the natural trend.
PT: I suppose so. I’m all about branding but I have to respond to it or I just can’t do it.
CD: You are honestly one of the best branded queens in the city. Was that something you planned on when you started out?
Well a bit of both. You have to be really really passionate about what you do and what you want. When you’re in it, they’re in it and when I started doing what I wanted to see or what inspired me then I translated it into Paige. I do me very well because for years, as a boy performer (yes, I’m a real boy!), I was holding back on being me or allowing myself to be the type of artist I wanted to be. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh and entertaining people. I was definitely “born to entertain” so I think that people are responding to me being passionate about something and inviting others in to share in it. I have to be inspired by something and also make myself laugh first, in case no one else does! You know i’ve actually performed for Carol Burnett who is a huge role model for myself and so many people. She said you always have to do it for yourself first, because an audience might not be laughing and you’re thinking they don’t get it; stick to you and stay true to what you want and it will translate.
CD: What to you attribute to the longevity of the show? In New York City, five months can be a good run, let alone five years.
PT: Well I think a huge factor is my material. I have over a hundred songs in my repertoire. I’m constantly changing up the theme or songs, as well as putting in favorites to remind the audience. I love that people do know me from my songs. I always think of it from an audience member’s perspective. I also very much speak to them and I’m available to the people who come see my show. I want people to feel included and there are so many people who don’t feel like they’re a part of the community, or just moved to NYC or whatever. I want people to feel good and included so that is a big part of it. Also with me, its a drag character. We all know I’m a boy in a dress but I always use that as the starting point for what I do. I don’t need to remind people that I’m in a dress. We know that and then build from there. The drag is the icing on the cake.
CD: You had me at cake! So this coming Sunday is your anniversary show, the Cirque de sol Paige. What can people who attend expect?
PT: They will be surprised that we are doing a big rehearsed show in the middle of a gay bar for free, that’s for certain, a celebration by way of theme. The circus is full of misfits, freaks, clowns and lovable creatures. I can’t think of a better way of spending it than in a funhouse with some of my favorite performers. Magic, Mayhem and Theatrics guaranteed! Its a perfect theme for this show, I’ve wanted to do it forever and its going to be great to have so many people who have performed in the show over the years back to celebrate!
CD: So looking beyond Sunday night, what is next for you? How much longer would you like to keep doing this show?
PT: Well I have my big easter show at the Laurie Beechman Theater on March 24th and 25th. I’ve also been touring with Confessions of An Un-Natural Blonde my solo live show that is coming back to the Beechman in April as well as some out of town dates. I’m working on a project with a group of girls that I’ve never worked with before, which is exciting and will be announced soon for all to see (wink wink) calm down, it’s not HOARDERS!
CD: Ohhhh! Depending on the girls, could it be called WHOREDERS?
PT: I am working on some original music as well but my main focus is touring in my solo show right now. I actually have no desire to stop SLURP anytime soon. Its always the main show I love doing in NYC and as long as they keep coming, I’m yours. I’ve even thought about taking SLURP! on the road..Slurp Across america!
CD: Well I would love to see that and I can’t wait to see your show on Sunday night. Is there anything else I can shamelessly whore out for you today Paige?
PT: *Laughs* just those Beechman shows but we’ll talk again. Thanks Chiffon! i hope I didn’t keep you from your spa day!
CD: Helga was able to reschedule me for later this afternoon so its all good. Thank you for your time today Paige and again, congratulations on your successful run of Slurp!
PT : Thank you so much!! SLURP!!
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