We spoke to dynamic drag duo the Covergworls just a few months ago, as they were proving themselves a mighty force to be reckoned with. They’re still very much that, but they also do separate appearances as well! Let’s catch up with one half of the Gworls, the lovely Dev Doee, before she slays a whole bunch of solo gigs.[Cover photo: Alex Webster]
Thotyssey: Hello Dev! Thanks for chatting with us, I know you’ve been busy! You did brunch with Janelle No. 5 and crew at Aura Cocina yesterday, how did it go?
Dev Doee: It was really fun! I’ve done that brunch a few times. and it is always a blast. Love me some Janelle and Beau!
What’s your favorite number to do these days?
Hmmm… I would have to say my “Whip It” number or my “Pickle” number! Both mixes use props, and give me a lot of room to play.
There’s always room for pickles! Remind the children, if you may, just how long have you been a performing queen.
I actually started back in March. I competed with Covergworls in [Janelle’s drag competition at Aura] “Are You the Next Diva,” and the rest is herstory! I’ve been performing in theater and dance my whole life, though.
You and Tré Way are performing separately a lot, now… are the Gworls no more!?
Of course not! We just performed last week at Bushwig! We’re just doing solo and duo gigs now. That’s my sister for life.
How was Bushwig?
It was my first time attending, so I was kinda in awe of everything. Performing for that audience was incredible!
You have a lot of stuff coming up as a solo Gworl, starting with The Q’s revamped Wednesday party that debuts this week, “Humpty!”
I’m so excited for that show. I performed at The Q a few months ago, and loved it. That venue is so special, and I can’t wait to give it!
Although she’s currently quite busy creating all the digital content her fans crave and endorsing cosmetics and fragrances (really, what beauty company wouldn’t want her as the face / body of their campaign!?), “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 11 star and Haus of Edwards luminary Plastique Tiara is coming to town for the Halloween season in Night of the Living Drag, playing live on Friday, October 28 at Terminal 5.
Thotyssey: Hello, Plastique! How was your summer?
Plastique Tiara: I was great very grateful to be working, and spending time with love ones during difficult times like this.
I’m sure you’ve been traveling a lot (during times when that was possible). Do you have a favorite city or country to perform in?
I loved performing in Seoul, Korea; I fell in love with the food, the people and the nightlife.
Serious question: does being so pretty all the time ever get exhausting!? Don’t you wish you could show up to a place in, like, sweatpants and a hoodie?
Haha! I wear sweatpants every day, to do anything.
You were already social-media famous long before Drag Race, thanks to gorgeous spreads on Instagram and flawless TikTok videos. Does curating all of that still take up so much of your time?
Before, I would work a lot on curating everything and making sure everything is flawless on my social media… but now I’ll try to have a little bit more fun with it. I think time spent for work is great… however, now I value time spent with friends and family more, since you never know what’s gonna happen.
What’s your favorite number to perform these days?
I used to perform “Hello Bitches” by CL a lot, and would love to get back to that!
Kylie Sonique Love just won Drag Race All-Stars! She’s so fabulous and talented, but also you posed with her in the photo challenge from your season… so that must have had something to do with it, right!?
Haha, yes! That’s why she won… and I was 8th.
It’s nearly the spooky season! As a queen, does every day just feel like Halloween… or is the day still special and fun?
I think Halloween is when most drag queens are born… so it’s very exciting, since you get to see everyone express themselves to their fullest.
New venue The Q has proven itself to be one of post-lockdown NYC nightlife’s true success stories, thanks in large part to entertainment entrepreneur Frankie Sharp. As The Q’s programming schedule continues to expand and flourish, you’d think that would be enough to keep Frankie busy… but in the Sharp Cinematic Universe, there are always new places and new parties!
Thotyssey: Hello again, sir! I hope this finds you in your five daily minutes that you’re not busy making magic at The Q! How are you adjusting to showrunning that successful but demanding enterprise?
Frankie Sharp: I’m adjusting pretty crazily, but swiftly. There are so many challenges I didn’t foresee. Like yesterday, the city wiring beneath us caught on fire and we lost all of our power… and 30 minutes before our sold out comedy show on the third floor. This is the most intense time of my life; it feels like having a child made of porcelain. I guess this is what dreams are made of?
It’s all about putting out the bad fires and starting the good ones! I’ve really been enjoying my weekly visits at The Q, now that I’m the resident house judge at the Lady Liberty competition. Are you allowed to tell us if you have a personal favorite night there?
Thursdays! Thursday is exactly how I imagined The Q to be; it’s my dreamscape of a night. You have jazz and a live band on the first floor; and my party called “Qruisers” on the second floor, which is flooded with fourteen eager, slutty gogo boys, and people just go bonkers at it; and the third floor is, of course, Lady Liberty [that ultimately transitions] into this super fun dance party called “Qniverse” which is devoted to a different pop icon every week. Last week was the Chromatica remix album drop party and Gigi Goode performed, while our business partner Charlie Carver twirled on the dance floor. It all feels bizarre and beautiful, like going out in Bangkok. Or Mars.
What’s, like, the most profound thing you learned about the business of nightlife–or showbiz, or hospitality, or whatever–since you started with The Q?
More than a new lesson, the most profound thing that has been reinforced and that I am reminded of is that none of this is about me. It’s all about everyone else. This work, my job, this venue… it is an honor, and I am so grateful. I feel like I won the lottery. I can’t wait to give more and more and more to everyone.
And we can’t wait to get it! Well, we can go on and on about The Q–there’s so much happening there, and so much coming up. But right now we must address… Hush! No, that’s not a command… it’s your new venture! I mean, as busy as The Q has kept you, nobody really thought that would be the only place we’d see you. Tell us about where, when and how this upcoming venue became and idea that will soon be reality!
Isnt it amazing!? I just really love my business partner Bob Fluet (of Boxers, etc.) and we’ve created such a great business bond and shorthand. And I’m learning so much from him–how to manage people and personalities gracefully and confidently. He’s such a talent!
But yes, he asked me to come on to assist with programming, and as a minority partner. I’m elated. But like you said, this is just the beginning; I’m already working on two other spaces as we speak. I can’t offer too much info on them… but one of them isn’t what you would expect from me, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
Such a journey you’ve had!
3 Dollar Bill was my Reservoir Dogs, the Q is my Pulp Fiction; I’m currently working on my Kill Bill, and eventually my Once upon A Time In Hollywood. Creating spaces has already been so fulfilling and I’m obsessed with it.
Is it overwhelming to think that the decisions you make about a new space right in the beginning can effect its atmosphere and programming forever on?
It’s a very conscious part of my process, actually. It’s a part of the spell: speak it, and it will BE it. But then, magic always changes and evolves to where it’s supposed to be, and it’s not “supposed” to be anywhere… it’s a constant, moving, growing, live being / entity. OMG, I sound insane! But I very much believe in believing.
Witchy wisdom! Now, speaking of your earlier-hinted, unmentionable projects… a little birdy told me that something new in the Lower East Side might have a “Sharp” edge to it!
Ha! Well, yes… that’s the space that is the unexpected venture… it is downtown, yes. Ugh, I wish I could say more! All in due time.
You’re all over the city!
Opening The Q, I got a house four blocks away… so I also live in Times Square and work there. It’s very different from any of my New York living experiences. I spent years in the West Village, and I miss it dearly; it’s a very different New York. But uptown, you can have a larger house. My apartment on Greenwich was tiny, but I loved my cobblestone street. That neighborhood was magnificent–I’ll move back when I’m rich AF.
Beyond nightlife, there has long been talk about a pending TV project you’re a part of.
We start filming [Saturday]! Once I get to fully announce the details, I’ll give you the exclusive on where it’s landing, etc. But it’s about me, and some of the staff of The Q, and some of my nutjob friends. It’s all about the theatric drama at The Q itself, and the cuckoo drama behind the scenes. To be honest, I’m not excited about being on TV or being quasi-famous or whatever–but I love money and free clothes…
It’s gonna be the only bar reality that show with potential shower scenes, lol! By the way… have there been any interesting adventures in that shower yet?
The door broke the first week, due to all of the interesting adventures! You really can’t trust anyone–even a skilled gogo–in a public shower.
Ain’t that the truth! So what are some other things, in or out of the Q, that we can look forward to and that we can talk about?
Is there life out of The Q? And oh my God, I know…all I’m saying is everything and nothing is happening all at once. I’m so annoying! I’m always just so happy to catch up with you.
Vincent Cooper–my right hand at The Q, and overall manager extraordinaire–and I are putting together a new show at The Q called “Pink Triangle” that’s going to be a vaudevillainy spectacle with queens and kings, Broadway stars, belters, voguers, and everything in between… so that’s really exciting. We’re also going to start a brand new Showtunes Tea Dance in the fall on Sundays… so imagine the Pavillion Showtunes event, but a sloppy dance party and a bunch of sluts.
Then, the amazing “Soft Serve” party by Dahlia Sin and Lucas Skywalker is moving over to us as well. We also have literally seven new regular drag shows happening throughout the week at The Q. Not to mention I really wanna do that weekly boozy midnight movie screening event. Ugh, I need to clone me.
Every household needs at least one Frankie clone! Well, there’s a lot going and a lot to look forward to, as usual. So I’ll let you get back to it. But first, the final question: as a DJ, what tracks or albums or artists have you most enjoyed stunning the children with on the dance floor this past summer?
Easy… anything by Doja Cat, and Billie Eilish’s Oxytocin.
SCARLET LADY @ PIER 88: “REVVEL: Feeling Nauty” pool party feat. Trixie Mattel (noon); “REVVEL: Music Festival” feat. 80s/90s roof deck party, Disco Prohibition c/o House of YES & Major Lazer Soundsystem (9pm)
Evan Wittstock was a musical theater star on the rise when the pandemic shutdown happened. But rather than wallow, he used his deft makeup skills and fabulously dramatic flair to become a bona fide TikTok star. And now that stages are at last reopening, Evan’s alter ego Sierra Misst is the tall drink of sugary goodness we’ve all been craving.
Thotyssey: Hello Sierra! Thanks for chatting today! How’s your week treating you so far?
Sierra Misst: It’s going good! Hanging in there and keeping busy.
That’s the best way to be! You’re a unique case because you have this strong social media presence that kept you on people’s radar during the pandemic, and now that lockdown has lifted you’re busy in the gigs! Do you enjoy live performing now, compared to what you were producing from home?
At my root, I am a performer. I love being on stage. Before the pandemic hit, I was a working musical theatre actor. The social media / TikTok take off was actually just a happy accident! I was getting so bored in quarantine, and so tired of not being creative, that I just decided to film a TikTok. The second video I posted went viral and got me about 10,000 followers… and the rest is history!
I love those drag queen transformation videos… isn’t it crazy and bizarre to get into full gorgeous drag, just to appear in those few seconds of video?
Yes, it’s a lot of work for only 60 seconds or less. Once I would finally finish filming a video, I’d walk downstairs, show my mom the final look… then get in the shower and go to bed!
Oh, it was such a fun time. It’s a little nerve-wracking because you can only use a handheld mirror that’s kind of far from your face, and I can’t see very well without my glasses. I need to get contacts! My makeup looked kinda crunchy in some of those close shots, but I’m still so proud. It was such a cool opportunity!
So where are you from?
I’m originally from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. A suburb of Detroit.
Were you always a performer of sorts from day one?
I guess I kind of was, yes. My family has repeated many stories of me dancing around in my nana’s living room wrapped in silk scarves as a child. Later came the school show choir programs and musicals, which lead me to majoring in musical theatre once I got to college.
I see you worked on La Cage and Priscilla.
Yes! Priscilla has actually carried me through most of my professional theatre career. I was lucky enough to be cast in Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert on Norwegian Cruise Line shortly after graduating from college and have now done the contract four separate times; I love the show that much. I also did Priscilla in Auckland, NZ with the UK touring cast.
I hope to have more La Cage in my future. That was a short run in Virginia Beach… but boy, did we have a blast with the time we had.
What’s your opinion on Broadway’s current, in-progress return? Is this a very exciting and emotional time, or is it all a little nerve-wracking given that Covid is still out there, and some long-running problems with show business still haven’t been fully addressed?
I’m very excited for the return of Broadway; it’s a big step that I think we are ready for. There are still fine points in the industry that need to be addressed, but I’m grateful to have such a huge part of the livelihood of New York City be returning to us.
How did Sierra come to be?
Well, I’d always had a knack for drawing women’s clothes and costumes when I was younger, and Halloween got me playing in theatrical makeup as I went through middle school, high school and college. Doing Priscilla is what really pushed me into the deep end of doing drag. Sierra wasn’t born until a few years after I started with Priscilla.
What does she bring to your life that, say, a scripted stage role can’t?
That is a great question. Sierra has made me realize how much I appreciate material that’s provided and well-rehearsed! Club drag is obviously a bit different from scripted theatre, and Sierra has forced me out of my comfort zone. I never thought of myself as someone who excelled in improv or standup comedy, but Sierra has really pushed me to flex those muscles that I didn’t even know I had in me.
So you are, I believe, a fairly new edition to the Haus of Cumming. How did you meet Marti, and become her child?
I was actually the first of Marti’s daughters to be adopted! The day after Marti asked me to be their drag daughter, I had to leave the city for a Priscilla contract. So, much of Marti’s fanbase didn’t get to meet Sierra until way after the rest of the Haus of Cummings was established.
My first time ever performing as Sierra was actually in The Ultimate Drag Pageant hosted and judged by Marti themself! I was the second runner up. Not bad for a NY club debut, I’d say!
What are your performances and looks like now, generally?
Frequently inspired by Broadway or classic showgirls, with a slutty or comedic twist. I love performing numbers that I can act in a bit… not just twirl and lip sync.
Those traits are on full effect for your new Sunday show (6pm) at The Q with co-host Chelsea Piers, “Showgurls!” Tell us how the premiere went, and what the show is like!
It was such a blast! I’ve never had the chance to work with Chelsea before, but even after night one we both felt like we had a fantastic chemistry on stage and on mic. I can’t wait to see how the show grows. It’s an honor to work side by side with an absolute NY legend for my first ever weekly show. Come see me and Chelsea Piers every Sunday from 6-8pm at The Q… the Qabaret room on the main floor! No cover!
A true must-see for New York drag fans! And finally: Sierra Mist, the soda (“made with REAL sugar!”): do you find it delicious, or… otherwise?
HAHA! Soooo, when I chose the name I thought it was just recognizable, cute and splashy (pun intended). Perfect for a drag name! Then one day I walked into my bodega and grabbed one for fun. It was… um… I’ve had worse things in my mouth, let’s just say that. Don’t come for me, Pepsi!
A veteran nightlifer and co-creator of one of NYC’s most popular “consenting adult” branded events, Senobyte is now busier than he’s ever been spinning for several top shows in major venues.
Thotyssey: Hello Senobyte, thanks for chatting with us today! How is your September so far?
Senobyte: Hey, thanks for having me! My September has been very busy, starting DJ’ing at Playhouse, Pieces and The Q, as well as my own events. So, things have been a non-stop rollercoaster of fun and sleep deprivation, lol!
We love the nightlife! As far as the biz goes in general, we’re not quite back to the “glory days” of 2019 yet… but still, are you surprised how quickly things have developed since lockdown ended?
Not really. Nightlife and queer people in general have always been resilient, especially here in New York; we know how to bounce back, and we know how to get it done. We just want to bring some normalcy and joy back as quick as possible, after year and a half of dread.
Speaking of dread, and in light of the nearing spooky season… the Cenobites! Those are the iconic Hellraiser fetish demons that Pinhead leads, and the source of your namesake. Do you have a favorite Cenobite?
My favorite is from Hellraiser 3, the one from the nightclub with the CDs in his head (naturally).
So, where are you from originally… and were music and fabulousness always a part of your upbringing?
I’m a born and raised New Yorker, hailing from Queens and still here. I’ve always been a musical person; my father and mother were always playing different types in the house, from Madonna and Janet on my mom’s side to blues and rock from my dad. I taught myself drums when I was 12, went to school for audio engineering, and taught myself to DJ 13 years ago. I feel music in all its forms is my purpose in life.
How did you begin in the scene?
I was first and foremost a nightlife “personality” and promoter, back in the day of what I call the “new era” of 2008-2009. I started going out, and met all these amazing people. I got snatched up by Lee Chappell and started working events with them.
My DJing didn’t really take off until recently…maybe it was my own insecurities or my fear that kept me from going for it sooner. But thankfully, the right people have noticed and helped me start doing what I love. And here we are, better late than never.
If you had full control over the sound of an evening you were DJing, what would that sound be like?
I am first and foremost a house and techno DJ; I love that dark warehouse feel, which kind of trickles over into the soundtrack of my events. That’s my ideal set–make them feel all the filthy emotions. But I do love playing pop and seeing people bounce up and down and singing… I grew up in gay clubs like Rush and Splash (RIP), so that’s in my DNA as well.
Prior to this newer focus on DJing, you created an umbrella series of events called “Scum” with John Marto, where consenting adults could meet and… play!
We started Scum three years ago, in March 2018 in Brooklyn. It basically started out of my annoyance with not getting booked; I said, “you know what? If they won’t book me, I’ll build my own [nights].” And it was an uphill battle to get where we are today. We branched into Manhattan in 2019 doing a weekly Monday, and then we branched to every Saturday as well. Today, “Scum”is Brooklyn monthly, “Thrust” is weekly Saturday (Manhattan), and “Gush” is our weekly Monday (Manhattan). We have been going strong again since May, and have been doing really well. We actually return to Brooklyn this Friday.
You’re BF Roy is a drag queen on the rise, Chicky Gorgina! Nightlife relationships can be a challenge… especially when you factor in all that storage space that drag absorbs, lol! What is a secret to a happy relationship in this crazy community?
We’ve been going three years strong now. When we first met she wasn’t a drag queen, but it interested her… and I told her to go for it. And now look where she is… stunning! We got lucky and were able to snatch a two-bedroom apartment in the house I was already living when we moved in together. She has her own drag room, so that helps a lot… haha! We have a good flow together: she makes sure I eat, I make sure she gets to the gigs on time. And I taught her about the business: the good, the bad, the ugly. Understanding, space, and making a little time for each other are important.
Many of your current gigs have you DJing drag shows. Why don’t you run us through where we can usually find you throughout the week, and how you overall enjoy the Drag DJ experience?
Every show is different, so it really keeps me on my toes; I love a good mini-stress test, lol! Working with them all is great, though. We all just want to put on the best shows possible for the people that come to escape from reality.
Just what the doctor ordered! So lasty: what is the more interesting thing to do today: scrolling through pics of Met Gala looks, or watching performance clips from the VMAs?
Neither… I’m shopping and having a spa day. It’s my day off, finally! (Except that Lil Nas X performance has been on repeat, hehe).
What makes this bar great: This bar gives you a little bit of everything. Every night has a different event : bingo, drag, drink and draw and so much more. It’s a great neighborhood bar that has really become a fantastic destination bar as well!
Best drink I make: I make a pretty mean cosmo
I love it when customers: have a great story to share with me
I hate it when customers: don’t tip (which thankfully rarely happens)
Craziest thing I’ve seen here: someone getting head sitting at the bar, haha!
Favorite DJ: another tough one. I love a lot of DJs, but I have had the opportunity to work with DJ Gingy and love him.
Other stuff you need to know about me: I produce a monthly event at Albatross Bar called “Leather and Lace.” It’s a leather night that highlights a different kink each month. Last month we showcased Pup Play, and this month is The Hanky Code!
Announcement: You can now read versions of several Thotyssey’s “On Point” interviews every month in Get Out Magazine! While we take pride in Thotyssey’s content, we must acknowledge that Get Out is a REAL paperback magazine with, like, a staff and ad sales and media contacts and journalistic integrity! It’s been a mainstay in local nightlife news for years–in the days before the Drag Race boom, it was so exciting to see your favorite local drag queens, sexy shirtless bartenders and other rando sluts turn up on the cover. And in the minutes before social media, it was positively thrilling to see your own photo in a collage of thottery at some recent bar party. In fact, there’s something that’s still so exciting about seeing your face, life, or work on the printed page… it just feels so real.
Anyway, joining up with this magazine I’ve been reading for years feels like a full circle moment, and I couldn’t be happier. Check out the current issue to see which of this past month’s “On Points” have been selected for print (hint… cover girl Bianca Del Rio is one).
Pick up a hard copy on pretty much any queer bar rack in NYC, or read the current issue online here!