Pieces and Hardware’s beloved cocktail waitress has come a long way with her drag alter ego since our last chat, having a pair of recent show-stopping pageant packages under her cinched belt and an upcoming cabaret showcase to wow us with. Thotyssey catches up with Cherry Poppins!
Thotyssey: Cherry, hello again! I know you were busy coktailing at Pieces on Thursday, but did you get a chance to watch any of Drag Race?
The drama is off the charts! You know, I was surprised about the negative response to Miz Cracker’s jokes, with the mock DragCon panel “audience” and judges thinking that she was too shady. It all seemed like fairly routine drag sass to me. Do you think maybe NYC queens are just shadier than other queens?
I think NYC queens have thicker skin, which allow us to be shadier to each other. It only seemed shady because Blair couldn’t keep up.
But wouldn’t that be the gag!? Full on Pit Crew coming and taking her off.
That would’ve been Everything. By the way, it’s a pretty well-established fact that your co-worker Luke is basically Blair’s twin, right?
Oh, my Lukey-Poo! Yeah. he’s the resident lesbian mother of Pieces Bar. Everyone seems to think that he looks like Blair, but he’s much more attractive.
‘Cause like, have you seen Luke’s ass?
Fair point, lol!
So okay, it’s been a minute since we last On Pointed… first of all, how are you surviving being Tina Burner’s assistant? The sheer physical volume of her drag is like something out of an evil fairy tale. It must be beyond a Carry to manage all that!
The thing about Tina Burner is that she is honestly a sweetheart. If she has your back and likes you, she’ll always be there and on your side.If you cross her or disrespect her, that’s when she can get nasty. I feel like people mistake her sense of humor and professionalism for being aggressive; she’s just hard on people because she wants to see them succeed. I’m very #blessed to be learning at the hands of Miss Burner. *This message was sponsored by Tina Burner.*
Ha! But you are totally right about Tina… in fact, she was a big help during your recent forays in pageantry, right?
That’s correct. I’ve been working with her for just short of a year, and when I asked for her help she was ready and willing. She and I made my gown together; she dressed me at Miss Industry and was backstage at Miss Hell’s Kitchen. She prepped me for so much, and I’m really grateful!
Let’s talk about the pageants! Miss Industry and Ms. HK were huge and basically back-to-pack. it was a massive enterprise for you to do both! What motivated you to want to do that?
I really wanted to challenge myself to do something different. I wanted a place to showcase a different side of my skills, and learn and grow from it.
How were the two pageant experiences different from each other?
Miss Industry was my first time ever doing that kind of competition. Sherry Vine had said she could see the growth from Industry to MHK. I presented very similar packages, but they couldn’t have been more different in execution.
So I know pageant queens don’t like to be called pageant queens, but… are you, like, a Pageant Queen now? Will you do more of them?
I feel like there are different types of pageants, therefore different types of pageant queens. I don’t think I would compete in Miss Continental, but I would consider something like Miss Comedy Queen when I’m more polished and have competed in more local pageants. But honestly, who knows?
You don’t get to do drag too often, mostly because you’re so busy working Pieces and Hardware–and with Tina–but aside from the pageants, you’ve gotten to perform here and there over the past few months. Have you noticed your own growth?
I have. I look at pictures of my face from the last time we chatted, and I’m shook and shocked. I’ve been listening to everyone’s advice on how to change my face, and changing a little bit at a time.
By the way, I completely love that “Arctic airstrip” shoot with Preston Burford.
Oh, just wait. We have more looks coming!
It was an interesting concept! Who came up with it?
I had five looks that I did that day; Preston and I had so much fun. We collaborated on everything! I’m really excited to release the rest of the pictures.
Let’s talk about this! First of all, I was like “WTF is a Samhat?” And then I learned it’s your boy surname.
Yes. My government last name is Samhat. Back when I was doing Dragaret, Michael Block and I joked about doing a cabaret called Finishing the Samhat… and here it is. It’s all happening, and I’m ready for it!
So this has been in the works for awhile.
It’s been joked about, but it came to fruition when I approached my music director Mark Hartman, and the project took off
What did you two come up with?
It’s an hour and a half cabaret based on my life up to this point. It’s a lot of musical theatre numbers, both contemporary and classics, cataloging my experiences in drag and in college. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s gonna be amazing.
Yay! It’ll be nice to hear you sing again, you have a great voice!
Thank you! There’s a joke somewhere in there, but I can’t find it.
Anything else coming up that you can plug, discuss or cruelly hint at?
I’m hosting a one night solo show at Rockbar on May 29th. There may be other opportunities, but I’m not at liberty to discuss.
You have jokes! In all seriousness, I need to grow a lot more as a person and a queen before I would be able to audition and compete at that caliber.
Okay fine, Season 12! Well okay, as a queen on the rise working with some of the best gals in the biz, let’s end with this: what’s the best advice you’ve gotten in the past year about drag?
The best advice I’ve gotten is from Bootsie LeFaris: be open and willing to learn from everyone, persevere, and don’t give up. If someone is giving you advice, it’s because they like you, want to see you succeed.
Keep succeeding, Cherry! Thanks again!
[Photo: Preston Burford]
Previously: Cherry Poppins (8.29.2917)