On Point With: Tank

This tri-tittied alt theater queen and their bizarro troupe have made Brooklyn’s Satellite Arts Club a hub for delightfully queerdo drag productions. Make way for Tank!

Thotyssey: Hello Tank, thanks for chatting with us today! Happy Pride Month… How’s it all treating you so far?

Tank: Well, I just got a new prescription for anti-psychotics… so it’s treating me deliciously!

Excellent timing! I imagine that Pride season can be particularly emotionally and psychologically taxing, what with all the gigs and crowds and activity, etc.

It’s crazy to me how much has already happened this Pride Month, and we’re not even halfway into it!

Ain’t that the truth! It also seems like every three blocks of the outer boroughs, Jersey, LI and Westchester are having their own neighborhood Prides, lol. It’s great for the community, but hopefully it won’t lead to Pride Overload.

Oh, I don’t think that’s possible! I think a lot of people are finding fun and inventive ways to celebrate it this year.

That’s true… and there’s no lack of need for joy this year!

So where are you from originally, and what were your early interests regarding art and performance, etc.?

I’m from Boulder, Colorado originally, and am pretty much a poster child for the “theatre kid to drag queen” pipeline. I grew up working in musical theatre before moving to New York to go to school for directing.

When did Tank get born?

About two and a half years ago! “Tank” is actually my government last name… outside of drag I still work in theatre, and I use the same name for both worlds! I started drag around October of 2019 with the Brooklyn-based performance art collective I now co-direct called I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?! I had just moved back to the city after living in Chicago for a few years, and one of my best friends had started producing shows in Bushwick… so they just invited me to create something. The theme was vaguely “cursed images.”

When I hear “I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?!” I can’t help but think of Valerie Cherish / Aunt Sassy’s catchphrase in The Comeback, lol!

it’s funny you mention that… The Comeback is exactly where we got our name! “I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?!” is a collective of artists from various mediums who create work that is beautifully cringey. It started as a variety show based around “cursed images,” and now we produce several different shows a month ranging from drag shows to comedy to live music to fully staged and scripted theatrical pieces.

You all do most of your shows at Satellite Art Club. What’s that venue like?

Satellite Art Club is a performance art bar run by Joe Latimore and Brian Whiteley! It’s a space run by artists for artists. There’s giant dangling disco ball testicles, a monthly rotating art installation, and a basement performance area that looks exactly what you’d imagine a DIY Brooklyn basement to look like. I love it; it’s literally my second home.

You’ve also been hosting a weekly Friday Drag Race All Stars viewing party there! The season’s been pretty popular with fans so far, what are your thoughts? And whose team are you on?

As a sleepy bitch with red hair and a theatre degree, I feel uniquely represented by Jinkx Monsoon. I’ve also been loving this season overall! It feels like it’s truly just about celebrating queer excellence!

IDWST has an interesting project coming up: The Mannequin Play, which will be at Satellite on June 17 and 19th, and The Brick Theater on June 18th! What can you tell us about this production?

So, The Mannequin Play is a folk-rap musical that follows a community of three mannequins located at a Rainbow Shops in Bushwick. When the store closes, these mannequins are separated from each other and must find a way to reconnect! Its been collaboratively written by the entire cast of drag performers and performance artists in the city!

This sounds entirely like a must-see experience!

Oh it will be! The cast is so incredible, and I’m just so pumped to share it!

And it’s gonna be in two theaters across three days!

We were initially offered a single performance day at the Brick, and I wanted to make sure there was a few more opportunities to experience the piece… so I booked us a few shows at Satellite, too!

Anything else coming up for you?

Hard to believe there’s still more of June after this, but it keeps going! I’ll be hosting a Pride brunch at Aura Coffee in Brooklyn on June 25th. And then in July we’ll be having an “I Don’t Wanna See That: Live,” which is a variety show of performances you maybe don’t wanna see… but you definitely can’t look away from!

I’m running to my calendar! By the way… you often appear with three boobs! How did that become a reality!?

I was hoping to talk about this! I get a lot of questions about my three boobs, and I want to clear some things up! It’s a truly rare medical condition where my heart is just soooo big that I had to grow a third boob to hold it all! But don’t worry… aside from that, I’m just like other girls!

[Photo: @pixeljournalism]

No doubt! Okay, lastly: what’s been your favorite thing about drag… and what’s your least favorite?

So far, my favorite thing about drag has to be the shoes — I truly can’t stop buying them. It’s compulsive. Also, it being this communal healing ritual. But mostly shoes.

My least favorite? Sweating so hard underneath my breastplate, it makes a belt of sweat in most of my garments.

Happy Pride, Tank!

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Tank’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram.

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