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Jason Reid chats to NYC drag glamazon Miss Peppermint who has been “servin’ it up” since she was a mini mint, dressing-up as Wonder Woman and Boy George as a small child. It’s in her genes! This month she wings her way to our shores to give the London folk a taste of her fierce talents during XXL Bear Pride Week and at As One in the Park

Really nice to meet you, have you worked in London before? 

Thanks honey! Yes, I’ve been here a few times, I’ve performed at the Shadow Lounge, Madame Jojo’s, Horse Meat Disco and on the corner of Brewer and Wardour Streets… After hours, of course.

What are you impressions of the London drag scene? 

I haven’t had a chance to check out the whole scene, but I’m sure it’s quite different to NYC. I’m absolutely in love with Tasty Tim, Lady Lloyd, Dusty O and Jodie Harsh.

And this time round you’re here performing as part of XXL Bear Pride, collaborating with your NYC sister, Sherry Vine… 

Yes, I’ve been a guest of the XXL boys before. They’re such sweethearts, and I’m very happy to be performing there all week leading up to Bear Pride. The show, ‘Peppermint and Sherry Vine: Rock Bottom’ is an all-live drag show, serving you pop hits, original music and comedy parodies.

How did you both get together?

Well, she’s a true legend, in most bathhouses that is! [Laughs] So, of course, I was absolutely thrilled when they told us we’d be working together. But honestly, she is an amazing talent and a wonderful friend. We’ve known each other for about ten years and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Miss Peppermint

You have this real powerful presence on the stage. Is this something that is important to you as a performer? 

Thanks honey! Personally I think talent is what counts, essentially. But if you don’t have talent then the secret is getting the audience drunk and having the lights as dim as possible…

Lots of drink and darkness. You tease! Gotta say, your semi-naked backing dancers make me come over all queer. How do you select the lucky fellas? 

[Laughs] Everyone loves a hot sexy boy. It’s standard, right? I’ve been really lucky to have a great group of dancers over the years. We rehearse like crazy. Naturally, the selection process is very gruelling, involving a membership to the local gym steam room and a LOT of towels.

Of course your flawless look and style is unique to you, but is RuPaul and her Drag Race something that has influenced you, as it has other American performers, recently? I mean it’s become a real tour de force… 

RuPaul has single handedly created and recreated a very strong market for drag. To me, she is an icon and innovator twice over! There’s been a lot of great girls from the Drag Race, many of whom I’ve met and absolutely love, such as Raja, Phi Phi O’Hara and Detox. But I have to say some of my favourites are the New York girls: Manila, Ivy, Milan, Jiggly and Mimi.

Would you ever do it?

I’ve been asked before but the moment was never right. Never say never, though. Drag race has changed the game of drag in America.

“Talent is what counts. If you don’t have talent, then the secret is getting the audience drunk and having the lights as dim as possible!” – Miss Peppermint.

Now tell me some gossip, you’ve performed with some big-hitters over the years haven’t you? Dish it…

Oh gurl! OK, well, when I performed with Chaka Khan I couldn’t believe how much she smokes backstage, I hope she’s quit since then. Sheesh! Sarah Jessica Parker, too, is an absolute riot, she kept grabbing my tits all the time.

The cheek of it. Your music videos are also a big part of what you do, when and how did you start creating them?

I made my first music video, ‘Servin’ it Up’ for MTV/Logo and I was the first drag queen whose video appeared on the channel. It got me national recognition and I was hooked. Making music videos is fun. Expensive, but fun.

Any new video work in the pipeline?

Yes, I’ve got a new single coming out soon called ‘Dolla in my Titty’. I’m planning the video now.

It’s been a joy chatting to you, can you leave us with some salient advice for new queens starting out?

Respect the legends, blend your make-up and learn your lip sync. But most importantly… Have fun!

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