Is it raining men? Nope, it’s raining Halloween every day as Sharon Needles is crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4. She is Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff all wrapped up into a neat drag package. No one in the history of Drag Race has committed to their characters more than Sharon has and when she impersonated Michelle Visage she really caught my eye. It was my pleasure to sit down with the incredibly inventive and creative Sharon Needles a short while after she was crowned for this Hotspots exclusive interview.
What are you going to do with the money?
I am going to get so much plastic surgery Chad Michael’s is going to look like a fresh faced daisy.
At what age did drag become an interest?
Hard to tell, but I started professionally at the age of 15. I got myself a fake I.D. and snuck into the bars in Des Moines, Iowa. I had such a pull to be a clown. I have always been consumed with changing oneself into a superstar. I think I was a drag queen the day I left the womb.
How did you pick your name?
I was always interested in the play with word names. I tried to come up with the most offensive “play with words” name. The statement of Sharon Needles is so horribly crass.
How does your family react to you performing as a Drag Queen?
Growing up I got picked on a lot in high school and I took out a lot of the frustration on my parents. But this competition has brought my family and I closer together. I just had the pleasure of spending a week with my mom and she was there at the finale when I got crowned.
How did you go about getting on “RuPaul's Drag Race.”
I applied like anyone else; sent in an audition tape and did the rest of the audition stuff. I was one of the unfortunate ones that succeeded on their first try. My partner, Alaska T, has auditioned all 4 years and made it to Top 20, but was never picked. However, we are pushing her for Season 5.
Nobody in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race can stay in character like you can. What’s the secret?
It’s no secret, Sharon is hard work and she is no joke. I don’t use drag to elevate my personal ego. She does not fill a void in my male life. She is a dedication to art. She is her own character and sometimes I don’t even agree with her. I think the concept of shtick and creating a character is larger than life, outside of oneself, is lacking in the drag world. Sharon is great therapy for me. I am not her, she is her own entity!
Tell me about the man behind Sharon Needles?
The man behind Sharon needles is a high school dropout who has devoted his life to education. I got my degree in street smarts. He is very caring and completely in love with family and friends.
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?
That I am terrified of snakes and just did a photo shoot where I had to be wrapped in a python. Also, that I am a vegetarian. Animals are for kisses and hugs and the wilderness.
Describe Sharon Needles in 5 words?
Beautiful, spooky, stupid, irreverent and idiot savant.
What’s ahead for Sharon?
I am constantly touring and trying to meet every fan that made my cult fame possible. I am working on a play called "Silence of the Trans" that will play in San Francisco. I am also working on dance music. Anything I can wiggle into in pop culture I will as America needs me and I need them.
For more information go to: SharonNeedles.com or you can catch her at Facebook.com/ Sharonneedles or Twitter.com/Sharon_Needles