This queen is a fierce performer and knows how to work a stage, be it for a performance or hosting events at HerUpstairs in London. We grabbed a chat with the stunning Cheryl Hole about her start in drag, her inspirations and of course, her appearances on Not Another Drag Competition.
DragAdventures: What inspires your drag aesthetic? Who are your idols when it comes to performances and looks?
Cheryl Hole: My drag inspirations derive from a lot of places. I’m mainly influenced by pop culture divas. A lot of my focus in drag is on the performance so I tend to focus on looks and performances I can perform in. I adore the costumes artists wear on their tours such as Gaga and Rihanna. I’m definitely a bodysuit and thigh highs queen!
DA: Where did you get your start in drag, and what was your first performance?
CH: I first started dabbling in drag in April of 2016 but my first performance was in my hometown, Glitterbomb in Chelmsford and it was a Disney themed party my first night. So of all the camp Disney songs to chose from, I performed Zero to Hero from Hercules. I have no regrets at all!
DA: How would you describe your drag persona in three words?
CH: Cheryl Hole is the Gemma Collins of drag. Sassy, fun and hard-working.
DA: RuPaul’s Drag Race has brought drag to mainstream media and thus led to more exposure. Do you think that has impacted positively on local drag?
CH: I do believe that Rupaul’s Drag Race has had a big impact on the local drag scene, especially within the UK! Whilst it has its negative aspects with people only being able to comment and reference drag from what they know from the show and that certain fans will only come and support drag if a RU girl is performing- the show has given a larger platform to girls such as myself to host nights and get our work seen on a larger platform. Without the show, we wouldn’t be having fabulous events such as DragWorld UK convention happening in London.
DA: Speaking of drag competitions, how has your experience on Celebrity Not another Drag Competition been so far? Can you tell us more about that show? Also, is there any particular challenge you’d like to get to do?
CH: I had a fabulous time competing in Celebrity Not Another Drag Competition. The Celebrity version of the competition was to raise as much money as possible for each week’s winner has chosen a charity with a grand prize charity donation as well.
I actually competed in season 2 of Not Another Drag Competition back in 2016 which is how I really began. The competition follows the structure of testing the drag performers in different aspects of performance from live vocals to burlesque. I was lucky to be a finalist on both seasons but I never win anything so I’m used to being the runner-up!
DA: We encourage more people to support local drag even if they can’t get to shows for various reasons. However, people can still support through other ways, ie social media. What’s your advice to those who want to venture out into the local scene?
CH: Social Media is a huge part to a drag queen at the moment. It’s the easiest way to reach a mass amount of people instantly as I always use twitter, my facebook page and especially my Instagram to let people know where I’m performing etc. You can still support drag through social media but nothing takes away from experiencing it live!
My advice to people is finding out who and what is going on in your local area, turn up and live your best life! And if you’re an aspiring queen and want to get onto the scene, turn up to parties, events, and shows in drag and get noticed. Talk to people, show interest because you never know who you’ll be talking to!
DA: For you, who should people watch out for in your local drag scene?
CH: I have to say a massive shout out to my sisters at Her Upstairs: Herr (@HerrTheQueen), Tayce (@tayceszuraradix) and Ophelia (@just.ophelia). And also a massive shoutout to my best friend of 10 years (purely because I cant get rid of her) Precious (@thatpreciousqueen) who is a hometown Essex girl with me, incredible makeup skills, can read a bitch for filth and is just hilarious… plus she has an archive of hideous pictures of me so I have to keep in her good books.
DA: Her Upstairs is a fantastic place full of very talented queens, when did you get your start hosting? Do you have a pre-show ritual you can’t live without?
CH: Her Upstairs in Camden is such a fabulous queer space that I call my home. If you haven’t been yet, you need to go check it out!
My pre-show ritual is a red bull, warming up my body and a prayer that I don’t die during a death drop!
DA: What would be your dream show to perform in, who would it be with and what would it consist of?
CH: I’ve always loved theatres, especially from being involved in shows from a very young age. I would love to be able to crossover my drag from the clubs to bigger scale theatre shows too. Another aspiration of mine is to make it over the USA which could be happening very soon…
DA: Have you ever had a fangirl moment when working alongside another queen?
CH: I do get excited when I get the opportunity to host alongside the Ru Girls when they come to the UK. I was very excited to work alongside Miss Alyssa Edwards as she was one of the queens on Drag Race I resonated with the most in terms of looks, performances, and general mannerisms.
And I’ve had the honor of being her Tatianna five times and performing Shut Up & Drive alongside her!
DA: What does the future hold for Cheryl Hole and where can we see you next?
CH: I’m very much a person who lives in the present and is very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given thus far. I just want to continue performing in different venues and sharing my work with the people that just love DRAG! My aspiration this year is to venture into new cities in the UK so if you wanna see the Hole in a different city, let me know! Other than that, you can catch me most Tuesdays at either Glitterbomb Cambridge/Canterbury and at Her Upstairs too.