Interviewing a drag queen should be anything but normal.
And when it comes to someone like Pissi Myles, her larger than life personality and comedic timing leave everyone in stitches. With her one-year anniversary of “What Makes Me Pissi” rapidly approaching on Saturday, hilarity will definitely ensue–especially when you pair her with drag legend Lady Bunny.
And if that alone isn’t enough to convince you to go to the show, keep reading to find out the many reasons why you should see Pissi Myles live.
Based in New Jersey, Pissi began her drag career in 2013, and by the next year, she had made a big splash in the Philadelphia and New York scenes.
Snatching titles and making friends along the way, Pissi began making parodies of popular songs, including one of “Royals” by Lorde. It was this song, “Real Girls” (video above), which helped her to earn the inaugural Miss Fish pageant in New York. The pageant featured queens from New York and Philly, where Pissi was one of thirteen queens to compete in talent, swimsuit, and evening wear rounds.
“I was thinking, bitch, I’m not fish. Why am I doing this?” Pissi joked.
In the end, Pissi was in the final three with New York’s Crystal Demure and Terra Grenade. She said she remembers lip sync and dancing against the other two, but couldn’t remember what the song was. (After reading up on the pageant, I found that the final lip sync song was Cher’s recent hit “Woman’s World.”)
Soon after the pageant, Pissi was cast in Philly’s Drag Wars’ fourth cycle, a contest similar to Rupaul’s Drag Race hosted by Season Three and All Stars’ Mimi Imfurst. Pissi joked that the competition is Mimi’s way of “taking out her anger from the show by throwing crazy challenges at the contestants.”
In the end, Pissi “dragged those bitches by their weaves” and earned another title just a year and a half into her drag career. With all this success under her belt, Pissi credits it to her formula for success: success = being prepared + opportunity.
“My biggest advice to queens is to have fun and be prepared, and be ready,” Pissi said. “Performing comes natural to me, but it was learning about the culture and the prep work that helped me be prepared for those opportunities.”
Now, Pissi tours the New York and Philly areas, giving the children life with one-woman shows and cabarets with special guests galore. “What Makes Me Pissi” is a monthly show at L’Etage in Philly where Pissi entertains the masses so they can escape the everyday stresses of life.
“I like my shows to be an escape for the audience; it lets me be the crazy one for awhile,” Pissi said.
When asked where her sense of humor comes from, she had but one word to say.
“Anger,” she joked. “That’s where most of my humor comes from. It’s all about having something to say.”
Coming from a musical theatre background, Pissi’s identity was created partially to play those roles and perform numbers in which otherwise she couldn’t have been cast.
Some queens create a character completely separate from their boy personality, but Pissi wasn’t sure if that was what she wanted her drag persona.
“I remember sitting in Applebee’s with David [her boyfriend and marketing manager] and thinking, should I really make her a character?” she said. “So I decided that doing improv and being spontaneous was my best bet. It takes courage to do that, and that’s how Pissi was born.”
She has always wanted to perform as Hedwig from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” or even produce her own version of the show. She almost did a few years ago in New Jersey, but unfortunately the rights were frozen because the Broadway run of the musical was in production.
Other dream roles for Pissi would include Mrs. Lovett from “Sweeney Todd” or Mama Rose from “Gypsy.” Time will tell if her dream roles will come to fruition, but in the meantime, drag is Pissi’s way of living out the Broadway lifestyle in her shows.
Pissi describes herself as a “fat, bitter showgirl” because she “loves to eat and tell cruel jokes.”
“I literally eat seven meals a day, I’d eat nine if I could, but I’d probably die,” she said. “No one can call me fat because at the end of the day, I can go home to my hot boyfriend, so fuck it!”
Previous guests for “What Makes Me Pissi” include New York favorites such as the Dairy Queens [Season Six’s Milk and her drag family], Sherri Vine and Bob the Drag Queen. Getting Lady Bunny to perform for the one-year anniversary show this weekend is an accomplishment and a treat.
“As we started to plan the show, we threw around the idea of booking her, but I thought it was never gonna happen,” Pissi said. “I met her once before, and we have mutual friends, so we were always one degree of separation from each other.”
Pissi called Bunny one of the pinnacle drag queens, listing other greats such as Coco Peru, Sherri Vine, and Peaches Christ under the same category. With Bunny’s recent career as a DJ, Pissi thought Saturday’s show would be a great time to have Bunny perform.
“She’s the closest thing to Divine that we have right now,” Pissi said. “Bunny is a giant wall of hair and attitude, so this show should be tons of fun.”
Looking to the year ahead, Pissi is excited to keep bringing in multitalented queens for her audiences to enjoy.
Who’s on the guest list, you may ask?
Peppermint, another talented queen from New York, was confirmed for the next show, while Jackie Beat and Miss Richfield 1981 (the drag queen from the Orbitz commercials) are on Pissi’s wish list.
“The first drag show I ever went to was [Miss Richfield 1981’s], and I loved it. It was so cabaret, and she left me in stitches.”
And this is exactly what you can expect at the one-year anniversary show with Pissi Myles and Lady Bunny.
You can still purchase tickets for “What Makes Me Pissi,” which starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at L’Etage in Philadelphia, with a VIP meet and greet with Pissi and Lady Bunny option for $35. General admission costs $25.