She already has been (and always will be) a Bar Babe, but now it’s time to dive into the change purse and explore the glory of Astoria queen Nicole Anadyme! [Cover photo: Petti Cash]
Thotyssey: Nicole! Hello! Thanks for chatting with us during what feels like our first real Spring weather! How has the month been treating you?
Nicole Anadyme: It’s been good! Just gearing up for shows and hyping up for warmer weather.
As Stephen, you’ve been a stage actor and bartender in the city for a number of years, and more recently Nicole has really picked up steam and found her footing! What’s it like to do drag a lot during the week now, as opposed to here and there like when you were first starting?
It definitely forces me to keep being creative constantly so I can keep things fresh. I tend to try newer things easier, but it’s definitely been a big help in how my hosting has grown.
We chatted some time ago when you were an Icon Bar Babe, so we already knew you are a Tennessee native. Were you always into performing and music while growing up there?
I was. I always remember growing up and just dancing, and being in love with any music I heard come in the radio. When I was six, my grandmother got me the Phantom of the Opera cast recording on cassette, and I wore it out; I loved it so much. Music has always been a huge part of my life.
On a sadly serious note, isn’t it wild to think that if you went back home to Tennessee right now that you’d have to choose where Nicole is publicly seen very carefully, thanks to that state’s archaic drag ban?
Yeah. It is actually very sad to me that a place I used to call home–and from what I remembered, embraced drag and the community–is showing it’s true colors and backpedaling history. I just know that our community has never backed down from a fight, and together we can fight these bills and keep things moving forward for the future of our community.
Well said! So what’s your experience been like with theater in New York since you got here? We all know it’s a hustle.
Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve been to an audition, lol! When I first moved here, I was in that grind constantly: waking up at 4am to sit in a room all day, hoping to be seen, and then running to work that evening. I can honestly say I don’t fully miss it… but I will never say farewell to it. Performing has always been what I wanted to do, and theatre was a big part of what helped make me who I am.
You’ve also been a member of the Albatross and Icon bar staff family in Astoria for a minute now: what’s it like to be part of that scene, and what does bartending teach you about people?
I love my Astoria family! It’s so nice to have spaces that compliment the neighborhood. Albatross is our cute Cheers-like dive bar for chill nights, and then getting to turn up and dance at Icon on the weekends… or going eat at Fresco’s or Kween for brunch rounds out the vibes.
Bartending definitely makes you aware of people. Like, just being behind the bar–observing behaviors and how people interact with each other in situations–gives so much insight into what people need and want out of nightlife spaces.
How did your drag journey begin?
I was a Halloween birth. I feel like it’s typically always either pride or Halloween that brings out new queens. I was working at Industry originally, and got really close with the queens working there. I was itching to try something new… so I gave it a whirl, going out as Heather Chandler. Then when I started at Icon, the bug hit again and I occasionally performed at the open stage and it just grew from there.
How would you describe the Nicole Anadyme experience today, as far as looks and performance style go?
Nicole is a good time gal, bringing comedy and drama… but always positivity. Style-wise, she loves a bodysuit and gowns. If it gives superhero / supervillain costume vibes, Nicole will most likely get it.
You’re also a karaoke queen! You host it every Thursday at Icon, and monthly Mondays at Albatross! What’s your favorite song to sing… and really, what song do folks like to do that makes you want to jump out a window, lol?
My go-to song is “Creep” by Radiohead. I’ve yet to hear a specific song that makes me feel a type of way, but anytime someone comes up and just yells into the mic instead of even attempting to sing gives me internal nails on a chalkboard feels.
You also have a monthly affair at Albatross, “The Werk Room” on last Tuesdays!
The Werk Room, we learned, is gonna go on break this month–but hopefully will be returning at the end of April. It’s a really fun time! I remembered one of my favorite shows I used to get to work at when I was at Industry was “Bad Drag Queen,” hosted by Bob and then Monét. Watching people get into quick drag for a chance to win a prize just made people so happy; I wanted to bring that aspect, but with the twist of Drag Race. So our four contestants get into wigs and outfits I provide, and then compete in a series of famous Drag Race mini-challenges until we get a Top Two from audience applause–and they lip sync for the title. The whole show and idea is to not take things so seriously and always be able to laugh at yourself.
And this is exciting: Sunday you’ll be headlining a Stonewall Invasion! That’s a big deal!
I am so excited to finally be headlining an Invasion. With my shows, you can always expect musical theatre and hilarious mixes. My two guests Inita D and Mama Mela are such dynamic performers that bring something different to the table. It’s going to be a fun time!
What else is coming up for you, or what else do the children need to know?
I have a few out of town gigs coming up through private events, and I have a few other projects in the works that I can’t mention just yet… but keep your eyes on my social media for all of the updates. And as always, we love the follows and likes–’cause social media is currency, lol!
And lastly: We have a Drag Race Top 4! Whose team are you on for the win?
I’m a tie between Team Mistress and Team Anetra, hands down!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Nicole Anadyme’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.