Smart and Edgy: Sharon Needles
Sharon Needles, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race 2012, is touring the country. Stepping off the plane, she spoke to Peter Burdon.
“My God, have you ever flown Virgin?” cries Sharon Needles, “All the lighting was pink. And no one told me that it’s the longest flight in the world!” Sharon Needles hardly left her home in Pittsburgh before she rocketed to stardom after winning RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2012. “I’m an old hand at the coast to coast flights now, but my god, how far is it to Australia!”
Sharon’s making her first Australian tour to promote her debut album PG-13. “I can’t believe that the phenomenon that is Sharon Needles has reached across the seas,” she trills, “but I’ve been in love with Australia for as long as I can remember. I mean, when most boys were hiding porn under their mattress, I was hiding a 99 cent copy of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. US drag tended to be a mini and a blond wig, but here were these queens who were just so totally out there and over the top. I’ve modelled myself on them ever since.”
Reality TV winners come and go, but the signs are that Sharon’s with us to stay. A sixty-city US tour and countless stage appearances including a season as Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror. “I’ve gone from being a downtown punk rock clown to a businesswoman!” Sharon laughs, “After I won the show, there was talk of doing an album, but that happens a lot and it’s always club classics, which bored me to death. I knew I wanted to do something that was smarter, edgier, and hopefully more profitable! So I put it together and got a lot of support from friends, there’s even a duet with RuPaul. I didn’t have a cent for advertising so I just put it out there. And it totally took off. I was number 4 on iTunes for 48 hours there, ahead of Adele and Pink, even if I was between Josh Groban and Justin Bieber! Really!”
Sharon Needles PG-13 Tour is in the Spiegeltent, one night only, 10 March. Book at Fringetix.