Hi there Nicole Onoscopi! Nice to talk to you as we await yet another snow storm here in New York. Are you sick of this weather yet like me?
It’s a pleasure! Bring on the SUN. Winter is cute and and all, but it’s had its time!
The only problem I have is I still have my winter body going on but I digress. So the bigger question, how are you enjoying your shiny new crown?
Isn’t that what corsets are for? I never knew what was missing in my life until I was crowned. Even cleaning my apartment has become more bearable with a crown perched on my head. *Laughs* All joking aside though, I couldn’t be more proud, thrilled and humbled to have brought it home.
I know a lot of people who slept with their first crown on the pillow next to them after their first night winning it.
*Laughs* The thought certainly crossed my mind but I put it away in a safe place in fear of crushing it. I’ve heard too many horror stories of breaking crowns.
Smart move, smart move. So before we delve into this title, let’s go back in time a bit, shall we? Where are you from originally?
Thank you, thank you! *Laughs* I grew up in Albany, Oregon, about about an hour south of Portland. I actually just came back from a visit. I knew that with all of the effort I’d put into the pageant, I’d need a chance to recharge a bit regardless of the outcome. I think Oregon is one of loveliest places in the world but this farm girl had bigger dreams! I’m very excited to be back in the city and to dive right back into the scene and keep pushing onward!
Oregon you say? So is your drag style all flannel and Birkenstocks?
*Laughs* I decided to leave that all behind. She’s quite a bit more colorful, quirky and sometimes even glamorous now!
What was your first exposure to the world of drag when you were growing up?
Growing up in smaller town Oregon I had very little exposure to drag! My first time meeting a queen was in a community theatre production of the musical Curtains! where the role of Jessica Crenshaw was cast in drag. My mom also owned a hair salon and some of her coworkers (suspect of my gayness I suspect) introduced me to Drag Race during season 5 because I reminded them of Ivy Winters. I quickly became of obsessed but never anticipated performing myself out of fear of being judged. I lived that Stone Age, baby gay Masc4Masc lifestyle.
So how did you conquer that fear and switch it to Masc 4 Mascara?
I owe it all to children’s theatre. *Laughs* At the end of 2016 I toured with the children’s Musical Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas playing Grandpa and Mrs. Divine. The first time I put that wig on I was ALL about it. For some reason, I felt like “the rules” no longer applied and that I could say, do and be whatever I wanted. it was so wildly liberating. Today I feel like Nicole is the unfiltered, wild truest version of myself that only my family once knew in the privacy of our very tolerant and accepting home. I spent a good chunk of time painting and flouncing around my apartment in dresses before I finally worked up the courage to go out, but once I did I knew that this was something I want to pursue more seriously.
There is nothing like some high quality flouncing around to build up one’s confidence! How did you end up in New York City?
Amen! I originally started schooling to be a lawyer but quickly realized that I really wanted to sing and dance much more terribly. I packed my bags and came to study at AMDA like SO many New York queens before me! *Laughs*
Of course you did!
They really need to start offering a certificate for drag. *Laughs* Our ‘certificate’ is what we AMDA NY folk call our mock ‘degree’ for all of you that went to real school. *Laughs*
I always say high school guidance need to warn theater boys of the strong possibility of ending up in a dress!
‘Twould be wise!!
How did you come up with your amazing but slightly disconcerting drag name, Nicole Onoscopi?
My boy name is Cole and growing up the playground bullies would attempt to torment me by calling me Nicole because I was slightly more feminine and infinitely more fabulous than the other five year olds. Though I’m sure those bullies have grown up to be lovely folks, I thought I’d stick it to them and own the name. As far as the pun goes… I’ve just always been a butt guy. About 1 in 21 men will be affected by colon cancer, and I’d be thrilled to scope any of you eligible young men out there free of charge.
That sounds like a viable alternative to Obamacare these days!
I’m happy to help. We all have our calling.
How do you find your calling in the crowded NYC drag scene where there are approximately a dozen baby queens getting off the bus at the Port Authority each day.
Like so many other baby queens I started off at Shequida‘s Drag Wars at Pieces. She really has created such a safe positive space there and I was so glad to have had it to start immersing myself. The opportunity to compete in The Ultimate Drag Pageant at The West End presented itself very shortly after I started performing and I dove right in. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore my drag with a bit more structure and the ability to network with a whole cast of talented queens was something I knew would be invaluable.
What was your experience in the Ultimate Drag Pageant like? How did it differ at all from your expectations going in?
I truly had the time of my life. It took far more time and energy than I had anticipated going in but it really forced me to hone in on what I do best and learn to simplify. As excited as I was to get to work with the other queens, I didn’t anticipate that we would connect in the way that we did. I have to send love to my sisters Carlos the Uber Driver, Bambi, Shelby Late, Foolisha, Gina Tonic, Tiffany Anne Coke, Celah Doore, Allura Borealis and Precious Envy. I learned so much from every one of them. Over the course of the eight weeks, I came out a much different and more polished queen than I had been when we started.
What did you learn from the amazing pageant hostesses, Marti Gould Cummings and Nedre Belle?
Putting my work up for judgement in front of two queens that I respect so much was very stressful but definitely paid off. Marti was the first queen that I saw when I’ve moved to the city and I’ve looked up to her for the longest time. getting to perform for Nedra, fresh off of winning America’s ears and hearts on national TV, was a real treat. They taught me to really trust my instincts. Contrary to some talk on the streets, I’m a fairly intellectual gal and on a few occasions the judges would remind me that drag is not entertainment designed for sober folks and remind me to simplify. They were far more supportive than critical and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of their love and support.
So what is next for you my dear?
I’m very excited to have several guest spots coming up throughout the city in the coming weeks (follow me @nicoleonoscopi on the social medias for more information) and a few private gigs lined up. I’ve been so so overwhelmed with love and I’m very ready to fully immerse myself in this incredible community. I’m very eager to work and would love to connect with any of you lovely queens out there looking for folks to work with! Nicole is ready to share her quirky energy and spread some lovin’ in the world.
In the meantime, do you think you can handle…….THE LIGHTNING ROUND??
BRING IT ON!
Must have makeup item?
4am post drag food craving?
As much pizza as my corset will allow
Best Pizza in NYC?
The free pizza at Planet Fitness
Best part of drag?
Getting to have a good laugh at myself. It’s healthy.
Worst part of drag?
Most surprising thing about you people might not know?
I’m afraid people seem to know it all… thanks internet.
If not for drag, what would you be doing?
I like to sing and act as a man on occasion! But catering is my true passion. Black is so slimming.
Queen you would pay to see perform?
Too many, but Sutton Lee Seymour. I’m obsessed.
Honey Boo Boo and From Not to Hot. Judge Me.
Death row last meal?
A whole lot of Pad Thai.
Last movie to make you cry?
Three Billboards. But I’ll cry at just about anything.
Netflix binge recommendation?
Skin Wars! I’ve seen every season numerous times.
Last one, most embarrassing song on your phone?
My most listened to album is Hannah Montana 2…
She’s the real deal.
Well, I guess you survived THE LIGHTNING ROUND, but only barely!
PHEW! My heart is still racing.
That’s probably all the electricity from the lightning.
Science is just the coolest.
So as we wait for the electric impulses to end, maybe you could let us know what is on your drag bucket list for the future?
In the short term I’m dying to start producing solo cabaret shows because I have so many zany stories to share, but in the larger picture I hope to appear on television. I selfishly want to reach the largest audiences possible because nothing brings me more joy than putting a smile on someone else’s face.
Well my dear, I think we have just about reached the end of the road here but I want to wish you congratulations on winning this cycle of The Ultimate Drag Pageant! Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave our readers with?
Thank you so very much! It’s been lovely chatting with you! If you dream it you can achieve it, and always remember to douche.