The posh third of popular Brooklyn nightlife collective STR8 to DVD, Sherry Poppins got her drag start in college and kept the amazing momentum going. Now in addition to lighting up Brooklyn, this queen has crossed over into Astoria to lay down the kiki!
Thotyssey: Sherry, hello! How’s it going today?
Sherry Poppins: Hey there! I’m doing fine, just relaxing before painting for a gig.
Oh, where are you tonight?
Werk! Gurl you’re a Brooklyn queen, you’re sometimes a Manhattan queen, and now you’re a Queens queen! Have you done shows in Staten Island yet?
You’d have to pay me a pretty penny to head over there! Though I do love ferry rides…
Where’s your hometown?
I’m originally from Oceanside, Long Island.
Haha! I’m so glad i’m not there anymore, though!
You’re a SUNY Purchase queen. What did you study there before drag?
I was a fine art photography major, with a minor in Chinese language.
Amazing! Can you still speak Chinese well?
I’m still semi-conversational, actually! I definitely lost it a bit since I don’t have many outlets for practice. I want to go live there eventually, for a time.
You’d be a great fit! So, Purchase has the famous dragstravaganza Fall Ball, which makes it a nest for countless great queens in this city and beyond. What were the circumstances when you first tried drag there?
Miz Jade (The Queen of Shade) was actually the first person to have me painted and got me into drag. At the time, she and FiFi DuBois were THE queens of Purch. Miz Jade had a show on our college’s TV channel called “Hot Mess Express,” and asked if I would come on to be painted for a “Drag 101” episode. And the rest was history. I was in my fantasy.
You were born on TV! And Purchase is also where you met some of your closest future Brooklyn cohorts.
Was it always your plan to continue drag after college?
Well, before doing it, I *GAG* never planned on being a drag queen at all! But by the time I was a senior, I was so invested in drag because it was a tool for using gender as an artistic medium… and that seemed so limitless. I definitely wanted to continue.
What are big ways that your drag has changed since the Purchase days?
My makeup has definitely been the biggest improvement. I didn’t fully understand my face until after graduating. But performance has changed a lot, too. At Purchase, you’re kind of encouraged to do 7+ minute mega mixes. So doing drag out of that environment definitely was a bigger learning curve.
Our love child! Qhrist and I had known right away that we wanted to be doing drag in Brooklyn. And one night we went out to Rockbar in NYC (out of drag); one of the queens performed “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Qhrist and I were just feeling our fantasies, and the realization that we had to have a show together stuck!
A good friend of ours from college, Derek, is one of the owners of Gold Sounds. He said we could do a trial show there, and it was a hit! The next day he reached out and said they’d love to have us as a monthly, and here we are over a year later!
The show is pretty wild because anything goes, basically. We knew we wanted to be able to showcase all sorts of queer performers, from drag, to comedy, to burlesque, etc. We started with booking our friends, but as time went on we networked and now it’s been picking up interest! Definitely one of the weirdest, messiest, but most wildly entertaining shows you’ll see!
STR8 to DVD began as a monthly Monday at Gold Sounds, and now it’s moving to monthly Fridays! It’s become a favorite show in Brooklyn, and it showcases a lot of new performers and all around bizarre experiences.
Yeah, we encourage new performers all the time! Sometimes they’re the wildest!
What stands out in your mind as the nuttiest / best performance you saw at STR8?
There’s lots of memorable performances, but one of the most jaw-dropping ones for me was when our door goddess Andrew Breitel took to the stage as Spice Baby. She started with boobs made out of a DIY blood sack that sunk to her stomach after thrashing around–so it accidentally looked like she was pregnant. But then she continued by repeatedly stabbing the sack, bleeding everywhere! Everyone was GAGGED. It reminded me of the Red Wedding from Game Of Thrones. That was back in March for STR8 TO DVD: WIG.
Scandalous! The gang will be back at Gold Sounds on July 27th for a new installment…
Back in October, Qhrist produced an all drag tribute to My Chemical Romance for their birthday. Though my birthday was back in June (Gemini baby), I decided to do the same. Panic! At The Disco used to be one of my absolute favorite bands, and they’re still a big throwback love!
Did you feel any sort of way when Panic! frontman Brendon Urie came out as pansexual recently?
I mean, considering I’ve always found him very attractive, it made my inner teen heart flutter. But I’m proud of him for doing so. It’s great to have pansexual representation with a platform like his!
By the way: who is more emo, you or Qhrist?
DEFINITELY Qhrist… and I’m not afraid to say that either, haha! Their references go so much deeper into the emo world than mine. I was definitely more of a ”Scene” kid than an emo kid like them, lol!
Speaking of Scene, let’s change the scene entirely… Iconic at Astoria’s Icon! That’s a weekly drag competition hosted by Heidi Haux that debuted a few weeks ago, and you’re competing in it! What motivated you to enter this?
Ah yes, it’s been wild so far! Having been doing drag in Brooklyn for a bit, people know me there now. But I moved to Astoria in December, and it’s a completely different scene! It felt like starting all over again for a while. So, doing Iconic is a chance to bring a little Brooklyn drag to Queens, but to also get more of a following here in a different borough. It’s been so fun so far, but definitely a big challenge!
You’re like the drag BQE!
Good luck with that, and everything else. What else needs to be said?
Thanks boo! Yes! The Panic at the Disco show will be at 11pm. STR8 TO DVD will be Friday, July 27th at 11pm. Both are at Gold Sounds. And you can come support me at ICONIC every Sunday at 8pm at Icon Astoria! I might even have a new show coming up in Brooklyn soon, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more!
We will! Okay, last question: will there ever be a Cherry Poppins and Sherry Poppins collaboration?
Hahaha! We always joke about it, but i’m totally down! We’ve still never worked together, so someone book us! Otherwise, she and I might have to create our own thing. We must give the people what they want!
Pop! Thanks, Sherry!
Sherry Poppins co-hosts “STR8 to DVD” at Gold Sounds every last Friday (11pm) at Gold Sounds. Check Thotyssey’s calendar for all scheduled appearances, and follow Sherry on Facebook and Instagram.
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