Living for Sherry Vine

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St. Petersburg If you love penis, poop and boob jokes, then you're bound to have heard of international drag superstar, Sherry Vine. Born Keith Levy, she has gained a rabid fan base around the world thanks to her hilarious viral video parodies, spoofing pop icons with her takes on â┚¬Å”Bad Romance,â┚¬Â â┚¬Å”Alejandroâ┚¬Â and Madonna's newest single, â┚¬Å”Give Me All Your Luvin',â┚¬Â alongside Ru Paul's Drag Race alum Pandora Boxx.

The comedy sensation hosts a new series that puts a modern spin on the classic television variety show. She's Living for This provides a unique, modern update the classic TV variety show. This zany half-hour is packed with comics and entertainers and is bursting at the sequined seams with comedy sketches, special guests, and musical numbers, plus a weekly â┚¬Å”soap opera.â┚¬Â The new 70s-inspired variety show premieres on here! TV, February 24.

Vine is no one-drag pony. In addition to her many acting projects, Vine is also heavily involved with Let’s Cure AIDS, the non-profit organization geared at reinvigorating the sense of urgency around developing a cure for the disease â┚¬â€ not treatment, a real cure. She hosts regular fund-raising and awareness-raising events with talented performers, artists, and personalities.

We got Vine on the phone to chat before taking the stage at The Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg Feb. 24 about her love of Carol Burnett, variety shows and how to find a nice Jewish boy.

WATERMARK: So what can we expect from your performance at The Flamingo in St. Pete?
SHERRY VINE:
My gay cousins live in St. Pete and they say it's really fun. So, I'm really looking forward to it! I'll be doing a full hour of parodies; a filthy-dirty – don't- bring- your- grandma kind of show.

Anything special planned for your television show premiere?
We had a viewing party for the show here in New York City on Thursday before it airs tonight on here! TV. I'm very nervous and excited to see how people react to it.

Speaking of the new tv show; tell me more about it. Are there going to be more guest appearances?
Totally! There'll be a special guest for every episode along with other celebrity guests doing anything from telling jokes to little skits, parodying movies and commercials. It's chock full of people! Three episodes are done. Justin Vivian Bond is the first guest and then Peppermint is in the second episode. We just filmed the third episode with the legendary Joey Arias. The fourth episode features Cazwell. I hope people love the show and keep watching it. It just gets sillier and sillier.

Going back a bit, how did your drag career get started?
It started back when I was in college getting my MSA in acting. My final thesis project involved doing three different characters. One of them was this drag queen from West Hollywood. That was the first time I had done something like that and thought, â┚¬ËœWow, this is really fun!' The first time I performed as Sherry was when I was living in L.A., I did this one-act show called Sorry, Wrong Number with Josh Rosenzweig, who also directs She's Living for This. I remember even back then, he and I were talking and we were like, â┚¬Å”One day, we should create this Carol Burnett-type variety show!â┚¬Â I remember thinking, â┚¬ËœOh, that would be a dream come true.' Here we are 20 years later actually doing it.

You mentioned your love for Carol Burnett. Who are the inspirations for Sherry Vine?
There are so many but Carol Burnett was so great at the physical comedy and camp. I loved all the different characters she did. I just always connected to that. I've been inspired by everyone from Cher to Debby Harry to Benny Hill to Lily Tomlin; all these character actors. It's funny, when I first moved to New York, Ru Paul came up to me after one of my shows and said, â┚¬Å”Girl, you grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show, didn't you?â┚¬Â

How much of you is in the character of Sherry Vine? What makes you two similar or different?
Sherry's definitely a character.

Are you as raunchy and brash as Sherry off-stage?
Um, no. [Laughs] I'm definitely not shy though. Out of drag, I'm generally t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, no fuss. Most of the things about Sherry, like her history is all completely fictional. [Laughs]

Film, cabaret, theater, nightclubs, and now television; you've pretty much done it all! Which do you prefer?
I really love them all. Nothing makes me happier than being able to do them all. I still love performing live. Whether it's a cabaret setting or a club setting, it's so fun to me. I'm really lucky to get to travel all over and to different clubs. I love that. I also love that my dream has come true of being on tv. The show is my dream come true. I love doing film. I would not ever want to have to give up any one of them. One thing that I haven't done in awhile that I miss is theater. Josh and I actually have a theater company but the last show we did was six years ago.

For the theater company, do you generally perform as yourself or as Sherry?
I'm usually the leading lady. [Laughs] It's Keith Levy as Sherry Vine asâ┚¬Â¦ I do different characters but there are always pieces of Sherry in there.

Have there been any memorable/interesting encounters with fans? 
[Laughs] Nothing bad luckily. It's always very nice and sweet. I have fans bring me gifts and things. I had this one girl, in Finland, of all places, give me this portrait she had painted of me. I was like, â┚¬Å”Oh, my God, that's so sweet! I don't know how I'm going to get it homeâ┚¬Â¦Ã¢â”šÂ¬Ã‚ [Laughs]

In a previous interview, you mentioned being all about your â┚¬Å”Italian-stallions.â┚¬Â Is there someone special in your life now?
[Laughs] That must've been last year. Right now, no, which is totally fine. I feel like my life is so full right now that I wouldn't have room for that. But you can put in there, â┚¬Å”bitch is single!â┚¬Â 

So, as a self-proclaimed J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess)and in the spirit of Valentine's Day, what advice can you offer someone trying to find a nice Jewish boy and settle down?
[Laughs] Geez, I wish someone would find one for me. [Laughs] Advice? Make sure he's a doctor, lawyer or a banker.

More Info:
WHAT: Sherry Vine
WHEN: Feb. 24, 10pm
WHERE: The Flamingo Resort, St. Petersburg

WHAT: She’s Living For This
WHEN: Every other Friday beginning Feb. 24
MORE INFO.: hereTV.com

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