On Point With: Sheneeda Dickson

This talented performer and longtime Gay Men’s Chorus singer only recently entered the realm of post-lockdown drag in NYC, and despite (or possibly because of) being a bit more seasoned than the average baby queen, she’s already won a major competition and placed in a second. We all will soon need more of Sheneeda Dickson in our lives! [Cover photo: David Serrano

Thotyssey: Hello Sheneeda! Congrats on getting Miss Congeniality at last night’s “Drag Wars V” at Pieces!

Sheneeda Dickson: Good afternoon, and thank you so much.

What was that whole experience like?

Last night was huge! It was a great experience; being in the dressing room with the girls laughing, joking preparing… it’s a memory I will never forget. Each experience teaches me and prepares me for what the future holds, to take a few of last night’s lessons with me.

It’s been a great year for you… you’re also the entire winner of last season’s Polish the Queen! Now that must’ve been a truly glorious moment.

It all really seems like a dream. My drag was birthed during the quarantine season, where I was just a cyber queen. Then my sister / daughter Lanyé Armön, whose online competition (“BIGO Drag Race”) I won, suggested I come to this place called Playhouse and enter an actual in-person competition–and my first night ever performing in drag live– on November 24, 2021. I won, And ultimately went on to win the season finale. It’s as if I’m watching someone else’s story; it doesn’t feel real at times.

Did you have skills or interests from your early years that may have drawn you to drag?

From a wee little lad, I always had theatrical dreams. I’ve sung in school choirs, church choirs, done a few school plays. My mother who was a nightclub singer when she met my father, who played in a band at the same nightclub… so I guess you can say music is in my blood. I [always thought I would] come in as the next Usher Raymond or Luther Vandross, but as you get older you begin set aside the dreams you had and deal with life on its terms.

I am a six year alumni of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. During rehearsals for different shows I would watch the drag queens of the chorus, and it always seemed as if they were having the most fun. Aside from always wanting to do drag on Halloween, that’s when I really began to toy around with the idea of doing drag.

[Photo: JJ Mack]

Many queens start when they are, like, toddlers, lol! You’re an inspiration to many, but what are the joys and challenges of being a Later to the Party Queen?

It’s such a joy to just have the opportunity to express myself artistically. For many years, I thought that chance had come and gone. Meeting new like-minded individuals, people of color–all colors, making new friends, pushing myself artistically, learning how to sew, dabbling in hair styling… it really feeds my soul and gives me a sense of purpose, or brings me great joy.

Some of the challenges are facing the fact that many audiences love to see the young girls who are spinning and dipping, leaping off of objects into ball busting splits, and being first to perform Top 40 hits… and wondering how I can fit into that. As an artist, I love to stay true to work that brings me joy artistically… but you also have to know how to read the room, and give the people what they want. So although it’s challenging at times, I am up to the challenge.

You serve the children something entirely unique! How might you describe the Sheneeda Stage Experience, for those not yet in the know?

Sheneeda is a soulful, funny, eclectic weirdo with a love for everything from Liza Minnelli to Megan Thee Stallion. She’s a student of the art of entertainment with a burning desire to be the best, and the balls to try anything artistically. I love to make you laugh, make you cry, make you think about the current social standings and the plight of the downtrodden misfits of society. You never know what you may get from a Sheneeda Dickson show, but please believe it will be a show.

And what’s your favorite number to do right now?

I have a Hello Dolly number that I really love. But if I can say more recently, I did a Kim Petras Slut Pop mix that is so out of my norm… but I really had fun doing it.

As a result of winning Polish, you’ll be hosting your very own one-off show at Playhouse: “CrazySexyCool” on Sunday, October 2nd (4pm) with guest stars Lanyé and Diamante Habibi. Tell us more!

Myself along with my supporting cast all are strong in our own ways, and we all have understanding for the business side of this craft… and we want long-term jobs. So “CrazySexyCool” is going to be just that: crazy, sexy and cool. It’s going to be energetic, soulful, current, flashy and exciting!

Anything else to add?

First, I want to thank you for this opportunity! It really means a lot… this is my very first interview for publication. I am ever eager to grow and learn, so I will continue to grind my heels on these New York City streets and my quest to become that bitch that all of NYC (and beyond) know about. I will humbly ask any and everyone to follow me, and take this ride with me to superstardom.

We’re looking forward to it! Thanks, Sheneeda!

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Sheneeda Dickson’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

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