On Point With: Piper

Representing a new generation of nightlifers challenging the cis male gender norm of drag performance, Piper is a Tiny Dancer with a Heart of Gold who’s nevertheless here to slay NYC’s most marvelously monstrous drag competition.

Thotyssey: Hello Piper! Thanks for chatting! We’re nearly at the end of July… how did the month treat you?

Piper: Hi! Happy to be here! July has been great! It’s my first summer in the city, and I’m having the time of my life. The heat has been killing me, but I’m surviving.

Well done! Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but started drag in college in a small town in Florida!

Oh wow… what drew you to do drag initially?

Well, I found drag through Drag Race during my senior year of high school. When I moved to Florida, I instantly knew I had to experience drag in real life. I was at the local gay bar almost every night watching shows for four years. I didn’t really see myself represented in a lot of the drag I was around, which is why it took so long for me to start. But now that I’ve started, I can’t be stopped!

What is it about the art of drag, do you think, that inspires so many people from different walks of life and gender identities to pursue it?

I think so many people are drawn to drag because it really allows you to express yourself in a way that mainstream art doesn’t always understand. Also, every performer I have gotten to meet has a different perspective and a different reason for why they decided to start drag. Because of that, each performer and their art is so unique to them… which makes drag such an intimate and personal experience.

As Piper, you’re known for your creative looks and dancing. But also you just exude this super positive energy that’s infectious! Most pics I see you in, you’re smiling. Is this how you might describe Piper to the uninitiated?

Thank you! And for sure! Piper is definitely a party girl who loves to dance around and shake some ass. My pop icon growing up was Britney Spears, so as Piper I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from her music and upbeat performance style!

Were you always a dancer?

Yep! I grew up dancing since the age of four, and really haven’t stopped. In college, I got a lot of opportunities to start choreographing as well. Being able to take my dance and choreography background into drag has been super fulfilling!

You’re a frequent presence at Maddelynn Hatter’s “Madd Mondays” at Metro, which features an open stage that often showcases kings, things and non-binary drag performers! I’m guessing there are some really positive and inspiring vibes that keep folks coming back there every week.

Oh, absolutely… I love, love, love “Madd Mondays!” Maddelynn really gives all the performers love and the chance to shine, which is not common at every open stage / competition. I was also recently adopted by [Maddelynn’s drag child] Blue, so “Madd Mondays” has become a way for me to see a great show and my family!

So, you officially have a Granny Hatter?

Haha, yes… good ole Grandma Madd!

What’s your favorite number to do these days?

Ugh, it’s so hard to choose! I definitely have some staple numbers (“Good Ones” by Charli XCX and “The Motto” by Ava Max). However, recently I’ve been competing in La Zavaleta’sBitch Fest,” and have been able to do some more creepy, seductive numbers… which has been a blast!

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

Tell us about “Bitch Fest!” This is a competition that Zavaleta started at C’mon Everybody after her season of Dragula aired. It therefore has a somewhat darker edge than most local competitions, and you won a preliminary cycle of it.

I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it! As someone who is still exploring what my drag is, I’ve been really grateful for the opportunity to expand my own concept of drag. I’ve tried to use “Bitch Fest” as a way to do performances that I’ve never done before, and try new things! I’ve gone scary, sexual, upbeat, emotional… who knows what’s next for me?

Also, I’ve really enjoyed being surrounded by the other artists and competitors. Each person brings something uniquely themselves, and it is always a joy to see someone perform in a way that’s meaningful to them.

This Sunday is… OMG… the “Bitch Fest” grand finale at C’mon!

Ahhh! I know! It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited! I’m actually working on my outfit as we speak!

You are among a really fascinating group of finalists.

They are all so different and so good at what they do, that I truly have no idea what everyone will pull out! What I do know is that it will be an amazing show and a true fight to the finish!

What else is coming up for you?

Well, I will be at Big aLICe Brewing Co. with my sis Purss’ophonie on August 12th for bingo. I also have some really cool choreography projects in the works, so keep an eye out on Instagram for when those will be out!

We shall keep our eyes open! Lastly, you might be the last person I get to ask: who’s winning All Stars 7!?

For me: I’m Team Jaida and Monét all the way!

Thanks, Piper… break a leg at “Bitch Fest!”

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

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

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