Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. Our May spotlight falls on drag legend Polly Petrie.
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How did you come up with your drag name?
My name was made up in five seconds. I was doing a Sunday T-Dance at the Albury Hotel with Leigh Jennings and after three weeks he said “you’re on your own on Sunday and we need a name for the show”. Polly’s Follies just flowed out of my mouth and Leigh said “that’s great, we’ll call it that”.
What was your first time in drag like?
My first time in drag was hysterical. It was in an apartment in Darling Point after some of my hairdresser friends had been to see the movie The Boyfriend. Twiggy’s character in the film was called Pollyanna, and they thought it would be a great name for me. They dressed me up and smashed a sponge cake over my wig and we laughed and giggled and drank Bodega champagne.
Who taught you how to tuck?
The outfits I wear need no tucking. I am a Dame.
Who is your drag inspiration?
Carlotta has always been by my side. I also lived with Corrine from Capriccio’s and worked with Danny La Rue, and I just go along with the flow with what is happening and making sure everyone is having fun. Also Colleen Windsor and Carlotta from Les Girls.
Favourite song to lip-sync?
I have fun lip-syncing to “Colour My World”, “Welcome to Holiday Inn”, “I Only Want to be With You”, and “Que Sera” whatever the occasion is.
Most overrated song to lip-sync?
I think there should be a challenge for who can do the best performance of “And I Am Telling You”.
Most embarrassing onstage story?
I was embarrassed when I was a male dancer at Capriccio’s in the circus show, swinging on a trapeze in a g-string when a testicle fell out. I’m sure it was a fun laugh for the audience.
Advice for younger drag queens?
I am not a planner with goals, I just take each day as it comes and tomorrow is another day. I think aiming to give and receive respect is a good motto in life.