Coco Peru is most commonly known for that signature red wig, that notable accent, her quick wit and of course her addiction to tension tamer tea. We had the opportunity to ask her about the Drag Queens of Comedy coming up May 23, 2015.
DQG: Who are you most looking forward to working with this year?
CP: I look forward to working with them all. We all carry on backstage and I look around at those other queens and I think, “This is my life!” Seriously, I am surrounded by other clowns like myself and I still find that exceedingly satisfying. I can’t imagine any other life. I often think that the other show is backstage! Last year my makeup station was next to Shangela. I love her and her energy and she kept doing that clicking thing some of them younger queens do with their tongue that sort of serves as an exclamation point. Everything Shangela says ends in an exclamation point! I was obsessed with it! Of course, I love Sasha Soprano for having had a vision of what she wanted to do and then made it happen. She really knows how to produce and I saw that in her when she first told me about her idea. Despite being so young, I knew that Sasha had the brains and drive to create a great event. I admire that in her so much. I feel like a proud grandma! And let’s face it, at my age, I am a proud grandma to a lot of these girls. I’ve also never worked with Alaska so I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. I’ve met her in the past and I think she’s hilarious and beautiful to look at.
DQG: Who are you least looking forward to working with?
CP: I suppose that question has to be asked and I’m sorry if this is a boring answer but the truth is I get along with all of the other ladies. And I love when someone like Bianca takes a jab at me! On and offstage! In fact, when we’ve worked together on cruises we will come up with material together so that we can make fun of each other onstage and make it look like we really can’t stand each other, but everyone knows the truth is that we totally get along.
DQG: Who are your biggest drag inspirations?
CP: Charles Busch and Charles Pierce and I still find empowerment when looking at old photos of drag queens, some nameless, that came before me.
DQG: Who are your biggest comedic inspirations?
CP: Bea Arthur. Bea was and is my comic hero! Don Rickles, Mel Brooks, Lucille Ball (who infused her comedy with a big heart), Wayland Flowers and Madam, and Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin’s one person shows inspired me to write monologues.
DQG: As a drag legend, do you feel a sense of responsibility to the fans to show that
CP: RuPaul’s Drag Race is not all there is to drag? People often express this to me after they see my show, but I don’t really feel any responsibility other than continuing to do what it is I do and keep spreading the Word of Coco! Honestly, I’m grateful I’ve been around as long as I have and that I’ve had the opportunities that I’ve had. When I created Coco there was no Internet and no TV show like Ru’s Race so you had to really work hard on your craft if you were going to get any recognition and survive. It’s different nowadays with TV and the exposure it can give someone but, again, I’m grateful for my experience and where it has brought me. I admire those queens who have gone on Ru’s Race. On some level, being a solo performer all these years, I think I would have a ball doing Ru’s Race just to hang out with the other queens!
DQG: What advice do you have for any aspiring comedy queens out there?
CP: Find your voice. Work on your craft. Show up on time. Respect the people you work with. Be kind.
DQG: Will you need an extra bulk order of Tension Tamer Tea to handle this group of queens you’re working with?
CP: I’ve had Sasha arrange an IV drip backstage.
Catch Coco Peru in The Drag Queens of Comedy featuring live performances by Willam, Alaska 5000, Bianca Del Rio, Heklina, Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny, Peaches Christ, Shangela and Sasha Soprano herself! Two shows at The Castro Theatre, Saturday May 23rd, 7pm and 10pm. Get your tickets HERE!