One of the city’s newest queens is off to a amazing start in her drag career, having won a major pageant her first time out the door just a few short months ago. Now she’s already hosting a weekly party, and blowing up all over the damn place. Join Thotyssey as we open up for Nicole Onoscopi!
Thotyssey: Nicole, hello! thanks for chatting with us tonight! So, Drag Con Weekend in LA has come and gone… did you wish you were there, or is that just Too Much Drag?
Nicole Onoscopi: Hello Hello! Thank you, I’m so glad to chat! I would’ve loved to have been there. As far as drag goes I can never get enough.
It seems like it was a lot of fun, but some fans were complaining about high prices that several Drag Race queens were charging for photos. Do you think these gals have a right to charge fans so heavily for these?
Well, I can’t deny that they’ve earned the right to reap the benefits of their fame; but surely they can show some love back to the community by being at least reasonable? But hey, you’ve got to make that coin!
I hear that!
So, you’re on your way to becoming huge in the drag biz yourself, with a great few months under your belt already! How long have you been a queen now?
Thank you, you’re too kind! I only started performing last October while I was out of town doing a production of Little Shop of Horrors. As soon as I got back into the city, I thought I’d dive in and give it a serious try. I’ve truly thrown all of myself into the art of drag and the NY community, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had already.
So far so great! So, where’s your hometown?
I grew up in Albany, Oregon. It’s the most wonderful town with the loveliest people, but growing up I always craved something more. I’ve been here in New York almost five years now.
Did you come here to pursue theater, or something else?
Theater! Like so many drag queens before me, I moved to the city to study at AMDA.
Drag University! Were any queens you know today in your classes?
There weren’t! It truly is a musical theatre factory. They pump students through there so quickly that’s it really is a miracle when two alumni know each other.
So after Little Shop, how did Nicole come into being?
I had seen on Facebook that Marti Gould Cummings and Nedra Belle were looking for more contestants for the Ultimate Drag Pageant at the West End Lounge. Having freshly caught the drag bug, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore it further!
Wow, so the pageant was your debut!
It was!! Fortunately, the people liked me!
How did your drag name come to you, by the way? It’s certainly memorable.
My name is Cole, and growing up the other kids would mockingly call me Nicole because of my more “feminine” interests and impeccable style. I thought I would turn the name around on my childhood tormentors and wear it with pride. I realized early on that I’m a comedy queen and have always enjoyed queens with punny names. “Onoscopi” seemed the perfect last name to complete the pun, as someone that enjoys making the boys bend over.
The Ultimate Drag Pageant runs for several weeks, with multiple themes. Given your newness to the world, it must’ve been a crash course in all things drag.
It sure was!
What skills and strengths did you draw from to land the win? And what did you discover about yourself during the process?
I was very proud of all I accomplished and learned. It was so thrilling to have the creative push to build a look and number around a different theme for eight weeks. It forced me to try things that I never would’ve ventured to try on my own, and showed me where I excel and what were my shortcomings.
I think the greatest thing I took away from the competition was the knowledge that I have the tools to entertain and inspire an audience without a huge production being made. I’m learning that when I am in drag, people listen more closely. To have an impact in that way is such a gift.
It sure is! You’ve guest performed in a bunch of shows since the win, and you even hosted some pop-up solo shows at Icon in Astoria, one just last week. How did that go?
It was such a wonderful night! I’ve actually had the chance to have two solo shows there now, and it’s become one of my favorite places to perform. The staff and crowd are the loveliest, and the lights and stage create such a theatrical vibe. It thrills the theater kid in me.
Have you been following the All-Stars season of the Ultimate Drag Pageant? The finale’s this Thursday!
I have! It’s been so stressful, yet fun, to see so many of my dear sisters go head to head with each other. Having just come off of the competition myself, I know how much work goes into it. And it’s been a treat to watch them all pour their hearts out on that little stage. They’ve pumped out some top notch drag, and I’m really looking forward to seeing who snags the crown on Thursday!
Yes! We just had our first go this past Friday, and I’m so excited to watch it grow! Tiffany and I dated for all of a week in the past, so it’s fun to get to work together! She’s an incredible dancer and performer, and I love to wiggle and entertain on the mic, so it’s sure to be a good time every Friday night.
What’s your 90’s jam of choice?
Definitely “Cotton Eye Joe.” It’s a real bop.
I haven’t yet, and I’m so very excited to finally get to play!
Anything else coming up?
Have great shows! So to wrap up: in light of Avengers: Infinity War (which I still haven’t seen), if Nicole was a superhero, what would her superpower be?
Teleportation! I hear it’s FAR more reliable than the MTA these days.
It can only be! Thanks, Nicole!
Nicole Onoscopi co-hosts (with Tiffany Anne Coke) “Boca’s Night of Nostalgia” at The West End (Fridays, 10pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for other upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.