Sidney Stokes: Poppy Fields, the busy life of a showgirl of your caliber takes you all sorts of everywhere. When was the last time you traveled back home to Possum Trot?
Poppy Fields: It was two years ago June. Mack and I were the Grand Marshals of the Possum Trot Gay Pride Parade. Of course, it was just us and my Uncle Cletus on the back of a John Deere tractor … but he looked really pretty in my Aunt Inertia’s housecoat! He’s Possum Trot’s only cross-dresser.
SS: It must be great to have a husband like Mack who is willing to go to gay pride events to show his support as an ally to the gay community.
PF: Oh please. He’s had more sausage in him than the freezer at Jimmy Dean. We have a very progressive marriage.
SS: Oh, well’s that’s great of you two. Pardon my shocked face…that was a lot to take in.
PF: That’s what he said.
SS: So does this mean that there’s a “gentleman caller” that comes by when Mack is at “the gym”?
PF: Well, sugar … that’s what Fernando, our houseboy, is for. Wink, wink.
SS: Poppy I hear from some birdies (a gaggle of twinks I know) that you’ve been busy lately and the world is about to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
PF: Yes! I’m very excited about my very first SOLO show – “Poppy Fields: In Heat” – that will open on October 21st here in Los Angeles.
SS: Oh! A solo show! (Chiffon….told ya, she finally killed Mack.) Poppy, what can we expect from you being “in heat”?
PF: Well … of course there will be wonderful music. I’ve selected some great songs and am singing live, as always, with a trio – piano, bass, and drums. The show is about the journey from my humble, gingham-wearing origin in Possum Trot to becoming a bejeweled, be-sequined showgirl.
SS: Well you’ve got my interest! Since this is your first solo show, what aspects of it most titillate you?
PF: Well the costume does show off “the girls” really well, if that’s what you mean.
SS: What has been your favorite part of putting this all together?
PF: Oh … I love it all! I’d have to, because it’s SO much work. However, a highlight is working on the music, for sure. I have a wonderful musical director/arranger/pianist in Jack Cheddar (he looks remarkably like the wonderful John Randall), and we’ve had the best time putting everything together. My friend and co-writer, John Stancari, helped me bring out the humor in all my scattered thoughts; and my director, Jim Fall, is nothing short of amazing. You know, he directed the wonderful film “Trick,” among others. I’m so lucky to have his keen eye.
SS: That’s amazing! Such talent all working together for you! You must feel like a real Cristal Connors!
PF: Just between us, they modeled that character after me. It’s a little-known fact.
SS: I didn’t KNOW but I do appreciate the confirmation. With every new show, do you find inspiration in the same thing or is your inspiration ever-evolving?
PF: Well, I would like to think that it’s ever-evolving. Ideas for a show come to me in the strangest places. A concept might hit me in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s, for example. Although, I’ve yet to really flesh out my musical tribute to “two-buck Chuck”.
SS: I have faith in your ability to get that show ready….it’s relatable to so many! Poppy, today’s life and media move extremely fast, so how do you work to stay fresh and current?
PF: To be honest, I just do what I know. I’m a song-and-dance gal at heart; and while I may not be as edgy as some of today’s current performers, I hope that folks appreciate what I have to offer. Being true to one’s self and craft comes through on stage, I believe, and I think audiences respond to that.
SS: And considering your first of three shows, starting October 21st-23rd, is sold out, I believe that the audiences already ARE responding.
PF: Isn’t that wonderful? My fans and friends are the best!
SS: If anyone out there is undecided about seeing this show, what is one last thing you can let them know?
PF: You can drink while you watch it.
SS: Alright Poppy, are you ready for a little more fun?
PF: If you only knew how many times I’d been asked THAT question. Sure, sugar!
SS: Alright, gonna play word association. I’m gonna show you some pictures and I want you to tell me the first thing you think of:
PF: Basement flooded!
PF: Gets to sleep with Loki.
SS: Not any more.
PF: I’ve been in rehearsals.
PF: Oh, Jesus!
PF: NO, Jesus!
PF: Yaaasssss! (And I never say that!)
PF: Angel. (And she bore a HOT ginger Prince!)
SS: Poppy, last question, if you could teach today’s generation one thing, what would it be; and if you could have them teach you one thing, what would it be?
PF: In all seriousness, it would be to respect your elders … particularly seasoned performers who forged a path so that younger performers can have the acceptance and opportunities that they enjoy. It didn’t just happen with the advent of a reality show, even though that brought our world into the mainstream. And I would love for the younger generation to teach me how to do that mouth-pop that Alyssa has made famous. Every time I try, I end up sounding like a muffled fart.
SS: Poppy, it has been an absolutely pleasure to speak with you. I think for all the denizens of L.A., and anyone visiting, that we look forward to seeing you Friday, October 21st & Saturday, October 22nd at 9pm; or Sunday, October 23rd at 7pm, at at the CAVERN CLUB CELEBRITY THEATER at CASITA DEL CAMPO RESTAURANT for POPPY FIELDS: IN HEAT (tickets can be purchased here).
PF: And remember, Friday is sold out! Thank you so much, Sidney!
SS: And Saturday and Sunday are likely to follow suit, so get your tickets today! Until next time, Poppy! Tell Ma…er…Fernando hello for me!