We’re fans of her kooky demeanor, expressive face and vintage drag style — a combo we long ago dubbed as Amy Poehler meets Lucille Ball — and we were happy to get the chance to ask her a few questions and watch a video (below, scroll down) of one of her latest works.
Lately Tammie’s back to performing in and around L.A., joining the other Drag Race gals on the Absolut Pride Tour, auditioning for commercials, and promoting her new album of original songs called Popcorn! (look for it on iTunes).
Without further ado, our little, down-home Q&A:
THE SWORD: Hey Tammie! You said you had to be in L.A. in an hour, are you going somewhere to perform?
TAMMIE BROWN: Hi there! No, not today. Right now I’m heading to an audition for a Wendy’s commercial.
In drag? Or in boy clothes?
Boy clothes, silly!
So tell us about this new album.
Well, it’s called Popcorn! and some of the songs I wrote and some were written by my friend Buster Brown. It’s a mix of blues, country and electropop. And a couple of the songs are about food because I love food!
How would you define your musical style?
Eclectic. And real.
How about your drag style?
Oh, I’d say bohemian… and real. My drag style definitely represents who I am as a person. I have a wardrobe stylist and he knows I like vintage clothes so he gives me a lot of great vintage stuff that I wear. I’m constantly changing. I’m not afraid. You know I studied dance and I have that gift that people like Madonna have — my look is constantly evolving.
Has Rupaul’s Drag Race opened a lot of doors for you recently?
Well, not so much with the auditioning, but sure, with the grassroots kind of stuff, like podcasts and radio interviews, and people have taken an interest in my music which is my biggest passion. And we’ve already starting touring, me and Bebe and the other girls from the show, on the Absolut Pride tour. I think we’re going to Austin next. And we might go to Corpus Christi which I’d love to do.
Isn’t that where you’re from?
Well I’m really from Rockport, Texas but I was born in Corpus Christi so you’re almost right.
Do you have any regrets about leaving the show when you did?
No regrets at all. I was ready to go and I was glad for the opportunity but I’m glad I got out when I did. I think I ended up being cast in a better light as a result. Things got really catty after I left and people started to be made to look like villains.
So you think you were pretty well represented on the show?
I think I was well represented, sure. But I don’t think drag was very well represented. It was too cookie-cutterish, too much about the same style — the style of Rupaul basically — and only in that final episode where they showed that montage of pictures of drag history did you even get to see some other styles, like Miss Coco Peru or Lypsinka.
Where do you perform these days?
Well, every Friday at Shits & Giggles at Club 740 in Los Angeles, which is a great old time. It won top 10 gay clubs in the country a little while ago. I perform every 3rd Saturday at Menagerie in Riverside, and once a month, on a Sunday at Toucan’s in Palm Springs.
Who are your drag icons?
Oh, I’d have to say Divine, Kiki & Herb / Justin Bond, Coco Peru and Jackie Beat — I really love her work. My all-time favorite drag icon: Tootsie. “I am afraid Dr. Brewster that you have underestimated me!”
What about from older movies? In a lot of your pictures you seem to have a Joan Crawford thing going on.
I love Joan Crawford. I especially love her movies The Damned Don’t Cry, Possessed (the 1940 version) and I love When Ladies Meet, which has this great campy thing going on. And now the whole thing is on YouTube! I only watched it once and now I think I’ll just watch it over and over again.
Since we’re kind of a gay porn gossip blog, I have to ask: Have you met any porn stars in your travels or have you ever had any porn star crushes?
Who, me? No… I just stay in my own little corner styling my wigs.
Who would you call sexy, then? What’s your type?
I always go for the guys behind the camera, behind the scenes. I like earthy guys. Sportsy granola guys with style. Dorky chic.
Well, we’ll let you go. We’re big fans and we’ll definitely come see you at Shits & Giggles one of these days.
Oh and you haven’t heard the last of me! I plan to have 3 number-one hits on the Billboard charts before I’m through!
Below, the music video for “Shaka Buku U” which can be found on Tammie’s album, Popcorn, which is available in full on iTunes.
Audition Tapes and Drag History Segment from ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race
Our New Favorite Drag Queen: Tammie Brown
Salon.com Calls Drag Irrelevant, We Call Bullshit
In Honor of National Drag History Month, A Brief History of Drag
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