This on-and-offstage pair bring some much needed fun and camp to the Brooklyn scene, and they’re about to launch an epic new kiki at one of the borough’s favorite new / old venues. Thotyssey sits down with the true ladies who lunch, Dottie (above left) and Rose (above right) Salami!
Thotyssey: Hello Salamis, thanks for talking to us today! So, Lady Gaga and Madonna made up after Gaga’s Best Song Oscar win the other night: yay, nay or who cares?
Dottie Salami: Good for them! Maybe Gaga will give us a real bop now that this isn’t hanging over her head…
Rose Salami: Also known as, who cares!
Did either of you see any of those Oscar nominated movies, by the way? Aside from Black Panther, I regret to say I didn’t see a single one!
D: Same here. I also only saw Black Panther, and somehow managed to miss everything else.
R: I didn’t see a single one, sadly.
Okay but now more importantly…. you two! First of all, where are you from, and what were your early creative interests growing up?
D: We are both from Minneapolis, MN, where it is a frozen tundra for half the year. Stuck inside, we were forced to be creative from a young age and entertain ourselves with whatever we could find: crafts, Shrinky Dinks, and mom’s clip on earrings. My grandma was bringing me to her office scrapbooking parties starting in second grade…
R: We’ve also both been performing in one way or another since we remember, whether asked to or not. I used to give shows on the kitchen table to the Spice Girls. And really, you’re gonna see Salami shows whether you like it or not.
When and how did you two meet, start drag, and become the Salami Sisters?
D: We have known each other forever actually, but the idea of doing drag ourselves didn’t enter our minds until a couple years ago. We had seen so many amazing performers in Brooklyn, and on Pride one year (yes, we are Pride babies), we decided to give it a shot. We looked horrible…my brows literally started in the middle of my forehead…
R: Originally, we had own individual personas. It wasn’t until our third or fourth time going out that we realized that two are better than one, and the Salami Sisters were born. We started doing numbers together and coordinating looks, and thanks to queens like Horrorchata and Elizabeth James, we got our pumps in the door and booked some shows!
I enjoy your “sisters” mix. It’s very camp, which seems unique for Brooklyn!
D: Thanks! We love that number, and it has become somewhat of a signature for us.
How would you describe the Salami Sisters Experience to the uninitiated?
D: When we are performing, we really just want to have fun, and make sure that the audience is gagged and enjoying themselves as well. Usually, if one of those things is happening, the other follows.
R: We are definitely campy girls, and love to throw together crazy mixes that will hopefully make you laugh. And, of course, we can’t help but highlight the fact that there are two of us. You won’t leave a show of ours without knowing just how important a sister can be.
What have been some of your favorite moments as performers?
D: The Bushwig takeover at the Brooklyn Museum for the David Bowie exhibit is probably one of our favorite gigs we’ve done. The cast was amazing — every number was magic — and the space was huge and packed with an excited crowd, many of whom had never seen drag before. It was incredible to bring our shenanigans to such an unexpected but welcoming venue.
R: I would also say that any time we perform at Horrorchata’s Be Cute is a favorite for sure. Our first public appearance in drag was at the Be Cute Brooklyn Pride party, so that is always a special venue for us to come back to.
What are the joys and challenges of being a drag-and-real-life couple in the dragosphere?
D: It is definitely a positive to be sister misters. There’s always someone to turn to and ask “are these brows wonky?” (usually yes), someone to zip you up, and someone to bounce number or look ideas off of. The biggest challenges are when we are fighting over a shadow palette or pushing each other out of the mirror.
R: There’s also always someone to debrief with at the end of the night. As we are scrubbing our faces in the wee hours, we are usually recapping who gave great shows, whose wig was falling off, and who got a little too messy.
You two are Drag Queen Story Hour veterans.
D: We love Drag Queen Story Hour! We have worked with them for about a year now, and it is such a cool gig. A lot of the kids are too young to know what’s going on, but these parents are definitely there to get their drag queen fix. It’s been really inspiring to see so many families fostering acceptance and awareness in their children. We’ve held more babies at story hour than we have in our entire lives!
Was it challenging to adapt to family-friendly mode? You are The Salami Sisters, after all!
R: We are good at keeping things G-rated. But, sometimes while we are reading, we’ll make a joke that goes right over the kids’ heads and the parents will chuckle.
The Salami Sisters will be bringing a party / show Brooklyn’s The Holler on Saturday. March 2nd.
D: The space The Holler is in was One Last Shag when we first started going out in Brooklyn. We loved the intimate space, and things always ended up getting crazy there. When the space reopened as The Holler, we immediately had our eye on doing shows there to continue the fun.
R: We’re excited that that the Holler is enthusiastic about creating another queer space in central Brooklyn. It’ll be fun to kick off this party with our judies. We will absolutely turn it out and give y’all the meat sweats – giving you shows, bops and debauchery all night!
Anything else coming up for you two?
D: We’re heading to San Francisco next month, and are planning to give shows and bring the meaty goodness to the West Coast.
R: We’re also excited to see where this new party, Meat Sweats, can go. We’ve got big plans!
Werk! In closing: what’s the best and worst thing about Brooklyn nightlife today?
D: We’re constantly inspired by the diversity and creativity of our drag fam at-large—its impossible to be bored here with a party every night of the week, and performers from every corner of the drag/performance spectrum.
R: Worst thing is the bathroom line at the Rosemont, obviously. And how badly some of our sisters smell!
Lol! Thanks, ladies!