Those bawdy besties in dresses and breasties, Jackie Beat and Sherry Vine, are capitalizing on their long friendship and formidable on-stage chemistry, by converting the fruits of projects, currently running, into a production company with real legs. We recently quizzed the dynamic drag queens, starting with recent NYC-to-LA transplant, Vine.
Los Angeles Blade: When did you move to LA, Sherry?
Vine: Last Monday. It was not spontaneous at all. I really labored over the decision. It’s something I’ve been talking about for about five years. Ever since we started doing “The Golden Girlz” out here, I’ve been coming back and forth to LA more and more frequently, to work with Jackie — and we started planting some seeds to start a production company, to build on our work together. I loved my life in New York. It was great, but it was also kind of routine. This was such a big decision, I went to a therapist. And he said to me, “Why do you have to make changes only when things are bad?” And once I made the decision, to do this, and put it out to the universe, all these little things started to fall into place, these little signs, where it kind of just reinforces your decision.
Blade: You’re living with Jackie Beat, through the end of next month. What’s that like, Sherry?
Vine: There are times when I go to my room and leave her alone, or she’s like, “Oh, I think Sherry needs a run from Starbucks.” We know each other that well. We call ourselves “The Cycle Sisters.”
Blade: Jackie, what’s it like living with Sherry?
Beat: It really is like a mash-up of “Laverne & Shirley” and “The Golden Girls!” When I first moved to New York City, back in the mid-’90s, I slept on Sherry’s couch for over a year without paying rent, so I really do owe her. We get along great and Sherry is, like me, very neat and organized. There was one morning, probably after a few shows the night before and not enough sleep, when we were in the kitchen together. I was having my coffee and Sherry was eating granola — crunching it VERY loudly. I slowly turned to her and, in my best Bea Arthur, said, “Stop crunching!” I still regret that. Not the fact that I said that, the fact that I didn’t also haul off and slap her! But then I’d have been arrested for elder abuse.
Blade: Talk about the production company you’re forming with Jackie.
Vine: The working name is Count Jay.
Blade: Where does that come from?
Vine: She’d call me “c*nt,” I’d call her “hag,” and Siri was always autocorrecting it to “Count Jay.” It has not been formalized in the legal way. That’s our task when [this current run of] “The Golden Girlz” ends. We’ll focus on the business part. We have to do all this paperwork, to make this a legit corporation. It’s really time-consuming and tedious, but it needs to be done.
Blade: Jackie, what are your hopes for the production company?
Beat: We have so many ideas, that we both have lists longer than a CVS receipt. Our goal is to share these brilliantly twisted ideas with the rest of the world — and make some f*cking money. We’re also going to be working with a lot of everyone’s “Drag Race” favorites. And a few that no one likes. Kidding! I hate them all.
Blade: Sherry, what are your goals for this new business?
Vine: To create as many different arms of a production company, where we have “The Golden Girlz” and other live theater shows. And I want to write some other stuff for us — a variety show, a podcast, get a development deal or get one of our shows on some new platforms. Then I really want to do a short film this year, and more videos. We’re also starting to write queen shows for other people, that maybe we direct. Some of that is already in the works.
Blade: Sherry, how did your “Battle of the Bitches” tour with Jackie begin?
Vine: It started a few years ago, when we were both kind of concerned that no one wanted to book us, because they only want RuPaul girls. So we thought, we should team up and sell an act together. You’re getting these two legends, and we just “work.” We pull topics out of a hat the audience has “prepared.” Because we’ve already picked the topics. We might pull something out, like, “Big Dick,” and we do one of our song parodies [about that topic]. We also do a couple of duets together, and it’s really, really fun. It’s been touring all over the states. At the end of March, are touring the “Battle” show in Dublin, Reykjavik, and Oslo.
Blade: Jackie, what’s it like to work with Sherry?
Beat: When we do “Battle of the Bitches,” we can really be ourselves: Two aging drag queens shamelessly competing for the spotlight and the hottest busboy at the venue. Sherry and I have been friends AND working together for almost 30 years now, so the chemistry is undeniable. We really round each other out. She’s pretty, I’m not. I hit the notes while singing, she doesn’t. Yin and yang, you know? The New York Times once called us “the Laurel and Hardy of drag.” All you kids can Google that.Anyway, when we are on stage together, it’s just effortless. We always remind each other that we essentially get paid to have fun. My improv comedy teacher at Second City once told me — a million years ago when I was just starting out — “Your job is to have so much fun onstage that everyone in the audience is thinking, ‘I wish I was up there!’ ”
“The Golden Girlz Live: Girl Power” (with special guest Alec Mapa as Aunt Angela) plays the Cavern Club Celebrity Theater at Casita del Campo (1920 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake), through Jan. 20. For tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com. For artist info, including “Battle of the Bitches” tour dates (among them, Jan. 25 in Palm Springs and Jan. 30 in Santa Ana), visit sherryvine.com and missjackiebeat.com.