Well hello again Sutton! It is so good to talk with you again my dear. How is your summer going?
Chiffon, darling, I can’t believe it’s you, dear! I knew I felt a sudden cold rush of air as you entered the room.
So you’re saying you felt a grave disturbance in the Force?
A grave disturbance in the Force? Please, enough about my sex life! My summer, though, has been great! I’ve been a very lucky gypsy queen traveling all over the world lately from Ogunquit to DC, from Kalamazoo to Puerto Vallarta, and sometimes an Atlantis cruise or two. I don’t mean to #dragbrag but I’m very happy and grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way!
You’ve been all over the place but it seems like the transportation gods haven’t always been on your side of late though no?
I love travel but travel seems to hate me! Flight delays and broken down buses aside, it’s all really worth it! It’s been fun spreading my song and sass across the country and meeting TONS of new folks!
Well at least you were able to get back into the country after your winter in Puerto Vallarta!
I know we joke but it’s interesting you say that because back in January when the first “travel ban” was executed I was on a ship where a number of passengers were afraid that they were not going to be allowed back into the States. From what I remember, they were only detained at the ship’s terminal for a few hours but it’s ridiculous that it even happened!
I can’t even imagine. But on the good side, we’re going to starting winning so much soon, we’re going to be sick of it. Any day now. But let’s talk about something more fun than our glorious leader. So according to the rumor mill, you’re starting your own summer camp, Camp Kween! I can only imagine the three legged race is going to have a very connotation at your camp!
Listen, with the baby boom of drag queens who turn only to YouTube as their drag mother, I figured SOMEONE may as well put ’em through boot camp and spread the gloss-pel. I’m really good at pitching a tent and other sports-like activities… like throwing shade… so with this new generation of queens I’m about to make ’em drop and give me $20… which is the approximate ticket price/registration fee.
Twenty bucks is a bargain! Is this a sleepaway camp? Or is that only for the really cute campers?
It’s a 75 to 80 Minute camp that you’ll feel like you spent two weeks walking children in nature.
Most of the kids I see I’d like to leave them in nature. Its that strong maternal instinct I’ve got. But in all seriousness, Camp Kween is ACTUALLY your latest show at the world famous Laurie Beechman Theatre coming this Friday night! Tell us about your newest show please! (Get your tickets here!)
In a tucked nut shell, it’s a night that explores all aspects of drag and camp comedy. The concept is the audience are campers coming to Camp Kween to learn how to become young, fierce drag queens themselves (so yes there will be audience interaction and participation). But that’s not all that CAMP is, though is it? Camp is screaming “NO WIRE HANGERS EVER,” camp is your favorite good BAD horror film, camp is spoofing every Madonna song a queen can. I’m packing a lot into this one, and with luck it will be a stupid/good time!
Ah a good old fashioned double meaning. Pretty sneak Sutton! I knew you were more than just another pretty face! So I know you’ve do shows at bars throughout the city but what does it mean to you to get a chance to bring your vision to a popular venue like the Laurie Beechman Theatre?
First and foremost, it is ALWAYS an honor to perform on the stage where the late, great Joan Rivers performed so many times causing a raucous with her comedy! So there’s a pressure to be REALLY GOOD because look at the list of performers who have worked there! Performing at the Beechman is an opportunity to elevate my art, spread a little joy and laughter, and continue to dish out new material that will hopefully continue to touch people… appropriately or inappropriately.
What goes into the preparation for a show like this as opposed to something you do weekly like Broadway Mondays?
I think the difference between my cabaret shows and my bar shows is my cabaret shows are going to try to give you stronger sense of a beginning, middle, and end while at the same time still tickling your funny bone(r). My method is “Make em laugh and kick em in the balls,” and that can be interpreted any way you want. In the more intimate setting of a cabaret room like at the Beechman Theatre, I can make you laugh but also take more time with more vulnerable moments… which I absolutely do with Camp Kween. Because it is a show focused on poking fun at the baby boom of drag queens, it asks the question “WHY DO DRAG?” So of course, I HAVE to dive into my personal story of why I donned a wig and heels with hopes to bring the matter back to the audience “Why do we do what we do?” It somehow makes sense in my head, and I hope it translates well on stage! But we’ll see! Friday is the first time I am performing this show, and I am certain I will make changes to the show! But that’s what’s fun about performing and writing your own work, you can constantly shape your show to be as perfect as you can make it!
I thought the reason most of the queens in New York do this is because they have to pay back the student loans on their musical theatre degrees somehow?
Don’t you mean their Certificates from AMDA?
It’s shade, but true.
Speaking of shade, the internet got in a big hulabaloo recently over what people thought were the demands of season 9 Drag Race star Valentina for each of her shows, including champagne and red M&M’s. What is on your rider for Camp Kween?
Oh I’m fairly easy to work with and keep things simple: give me a single plum floating in a vat of perfume served in a man’s hat any day and I’m pleased as punch. #SimpsonsReference
I guess that makes you the Yoko Ono of the New York drag scene. So in addition to Camp Kween (Insert ticket link here), where else can people catch up with you?
Cacophony Daniels and I are still packing ’em in every Monday night at Broadway Mondays at Hardware Bar! And every Saturday night I keep it close to home with my Astoria community at Albatross Bar! I’m very lucky to have these two great shows and I love getting to perform at Albatross and Hardware every week! But there’s an exciting new project in the works right now which I’ll divulge at a later date when I can! Otherwise, follow me on Facebook and Instagram and check out my newly launched website!
Actually can we talk about Broadway Mondays for a moment? Strawberry spoke with both Preston and Cacophony on recent episodes of Backstage ‘Berry and a topic that came up were those gorgeous Broadway inspired posters of you and Cacophony that Preston shot. How did the idea for those come about?
When Justin Luke and I agreed we wanted to keep Cacophony on as a full time co-host (because she rocks and is amazing), we wanted to do something that wasn’t necessarily re-branding Broadway Mondays but said “We are in this together” and “Isn’t this fun?” And it was a fun way to promote our new partnership, and Preston Burford is an absolute genius of a photographer and artist. But if you’re asking whose idea it was, I couldn’t possibly tell you it was my idea without telling you that it was absolutely a great collaboration with brilliant ideas of show titles and jokes from everyone involved. We’re working to do more too so stay tuned!
One recurring theme I’ve noticed is that you seem to be cast as the villain in each poster. Coincidence?
If the shoe fits…
Buy it in every color?
And re-sell if to Buffalo Exchange.
So do you have time for the lightning round questions? I shall try to refrain from using real lightning in your case.
Gimme what ya got!
Must have makeup item?
Dermablend Professional Leg and Body Foundation… which I use for my face. It’s thick, long lasting, and covers my man face brilliantly.
Drag role model?
Just one?! Charles Busch, Coco Peru, Miss Richfield 1981 are my biggest inspirations and spirit animals.
4am post drag food craving?
A bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Best part of Drag?
The laughs and the applause!
Worst part of Drag?
Drag is not a summer sport. Aka the sweat.
Most surprising thing about you people might not know?
People might not know that Sutton’s look is primarily styled after my stepmother, Paddy, which I know is dreadfully Norman Bates of me but she’s also been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. And ironically, her last name before she married my dad was Camp.
If not for drag, what would you be doing?
I always thought I’d be a good theatre teacher to high school or middle school students.
Sometimes I’ll get cake or brownie mix, mix it all together… and not bake it. Just eat it. Not all at once. Sometimes. Thank God for the Frigidaire.
Netflix binge recommendation?
I’m on a bit of a Grace and Frankie kick right now!
Best pizza in the city?
My favorite pizza place closed back in 2014. RIP Rigoletto’s. Astoria Park Pizza is a good substitute though.
Last one, most embarrassing song on your phone?
HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOW?!
No, it’s not until Friday and I don’t have a Delorean.
I downloaded the album Marlo Thomas‘ “Free to Be You and Me” which I loved when I was a kid, which has made its way into a few of my lip sync mixes. So THAT and Meco’s Wizard of Oz Disco and Star Wars Disco. And lastly Ethel Merman disco. Which reminds me, I need to download the Sweeney Todd Disco album (IT’S A REAL THING!).
If you want to understand my childhood, you will listen to the entire Meco Wizard of Oz album.
I honestly have no idea how to segue to the big finish off of all that. I apologize. This has never happened before.
You asked for the most embarrassing thing on my phone. Be careful what you wish for!
I am going to take complete responsibility for this…..and maybe listen to some disco tunes after this interview apparently. So with that being said, I think we have just about reached the end here Sutton. Even with all your shade, I still adore you and hope everyone comes to see your show this Friday (Get tickets here). I for one cannot wait to see it. Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave the WERRRK.com universe with?
I’ll simply take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to you, Chiffon, for the chat and exposure! And THANK YOU to everyone who has come to one of my shows whether it’s been at the Beechman or one of the many NYC gay bars, or wherever I’ve been lucky enough to perform! This is a gift to be a full time performer and many people have helped me along the way so again THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me in my journey to world domination!