After strong turns in some high profile Brooklyn competitions, the self-anointed “Cronenberg’s traggot son” Poly Ester is here to slay the day!
Thotyssey: Hi Poly Ester! I see trust you recently hosted the Omega party at The Deep End… how did that night go?
Poly Ester: It was so much fun; Omega is always a killer time. I performed at one of their first parties last year where the theme was the movie Alien, and it was such a joy to be back! The crowd is so lovely, the music is outstanding… it’s perfection!
We love to hear that! It’s been a whole April Fool’s Week so far, with Trump getting booked and Marjorie getting ran out of town by an appropriately mad yet non-violent mob of anti-protestors! And then of course you have everything happening with the drag bans in Tennessee, Texas, etc. Does this all feel like we’re living in a John Waters Movie?
You know, it certainly is a time. I’d really love to live in precedented times. It’s all so scary, and my heart aches for my trans siblings across the country… and yet I can’t help but feel so dissociated from a lot of it, both because of the loving and very queer community I surround myself in here in Brooklyn and because it’s simply too much to process and be expected to go on day to day. Honestly, I wish John Waters was directing this timeline–everyone would at least be extravagantly dressed, and Divine would hopefully shoot me in the head.
All my thoughts exactly… except Divine would definitely shoot Marjorie!
So how long have you been performing, and part of the drag community here?
I’ve been performing truly my whole life, but I embarked on my drag journey in the summer of 2019! I wanted to be an actor ever since I was five, and that brought me all the way from Boston to NYU Tisch (very cringe, I know). But I became really disillusioned once I graduated, and shortly thereafter came to the realization that I was trans. I didn’t see a space for me in that industry that would fulfill me artistically, and not feel like selling out.
My friend Jess suggested I try my hand at drag performance since she knew I’d been a drag fan for years… and I’m so glad I did! I started out doing essentially open sets at this East Village hole in the wall for like six people on a good night, and I feel so grateful to now perform alongside artists I really admire and to weaponize my BFA to make some grotesquely beautiful experimental art!
I knew Cuntyham before the inception of [Brooklyn-based drag faction] Haus of Quench, and joined shortly after it started… and it’s been a real godsend for me. I started doing drag without any guidance and I find I thrive in a collaborative environment. So getting to create shows with such an generous and talented group of people has been such a gift!
How would you describe the Poly Ester drag experience today?
When you come to see a Poly Ester show, expect a lot of gender fuckery and crunchy yet elevated looks brought to you by Burlington Coat Factory, a glue gun, and a big bottle of fake blood from Spirit Halloween! I really try to tell a story with every performance, and I’ve found that pretty much all my numbers explore the horrific beauty and comedy of being trans: Dysphoria to Euphoria, There and Back Again, A Hobbit’s Tale by Dildo Faggins. I’m also super inspired by horror films, specifically David Cronenberg, who’s the only cis trans guy in my mind.
Love that! speaking earlier of the Haus of Quench, you’ll be hosting one of their shows at their home base All Night Skate in Brooklyn on Friday, along with Xaddy Addy, Miss Bussy & DJ Soo Intoit!
Yes! This will be my second time hosting the Quenched Open Set, and it’s such a joy to see new performers strut their stuff. The creativity is always off the charts. I’m so excited to host with Xaddy too, the Cake Taker themself! We competed in Season 2 of Takes the Cake in the same round, and before they even opened their mouth to lip sync I knew they’d win.
Then on Saturday, you’ll be joining the STR8 to DVD gurlz for their monthly showcase at C’mon Everybody for a “Pee! Pee! Pee!” edition, lol! Will there be water sports?
Well I don’t wanna give anything away, but I have been drinking a lot of water and eating lots of asparagus… so I guess you’ll have to see for yourself! But seriously, I’m beyond excited to perform at STR8 to DVD–it’s a staple of Brooklyn nightlife!! My heart and bladder can’t take it!
And it’s a full weekend of shows for you!
I’m performing Sunday night as well, at Heaven Can Wait for Waif Magazine’s 27th Issue party which I’m super jazzed about. You can order the magazine and see yours truly featured in their Core Core spread!
Anything else coming up?
I’m also doing a little chaotic number at “The Michael Bevan Show” at Club Cumming April 21st!
Have great shows! Lastly: what’s your favorite thing about drag… and what’s your least favorite?
My favorite thing is connecting with the audience. Just looking out from the stage, and having that communal experience and connection, is something so, so special. And it’s the way I can figure out what works and what doesn’t! I want to give them an experience, whether it’s catharsis or confusion or boredom; they paid to feel something, and I love providing that.
And honestly my least favorite thing is taking off my makeup at the end of the night. It’s like, “okay back to reality…” And it’s sad to wipe my face away, especially when I’m looking especially good. I’m also really bad at it! I fall asleep in my makeup a little too often for my liking, and wake up looking like the Crypt Keeper.
Perish the thought! Thanks, Poly Ester!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Poly Ester’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram.