Next week, as part of Pride Weekend in Dallas, Miss Coco Peru brings another one-woman show to town that promises to be another remarkable night of theater. We caught up with her (or possibly her alter ego, Clinton Leupp) after just returning from her annual summer vacation in Spain with her husband.
Gay List Daily: Let’s start with the show plug first. How is this year’s show, “Miss Coco Peru Is Present,” different from last year’s?
Coco Peru: Actually this year’s show is one of the first shows I ever wrote. It’s my most personal, most autobiographical show. I start the show basically at my birth and work right up to the present. It’s all that sort of dark, funny stuff that happens as a kid that you just have to laugh at it. I think that’s what makes gay people so great is that we can find the humor in just about anything.
GLD: Are you ever surprised that gay audiences can get offended by gay material?
CP: I’m more surprised to find that nowadays with TV and tweeting that people have an attention span of about a minute. People have a hard time just sitting without checking their phone or keeping moving.
Part of going on the Coco ride is that there is comedy, but also moments where I get serious. In this show I even talk about a horrifying accident I had when I was 16 years old when I actually died. So it’s a real rollercoaster.
GLD: That’s why it’s so annoying when there’s a heckler like you had last year in Dallas. Do you remember that guy?
CP: Oh yeah, I remember (laughs). I never forget those. He was drunk and that’s the bottom line. When you come to see my show, you really have to kind of sit and listen. It’s theater. I’m not up there to just banter back and forth with a drunk person. I’m up there to have people go through a theatrical experience with a beginning, middle and end. You can have a few cocktails, but you can’t be drunk.
It’s sad because one person can really ruin a show. Fortunately, I don’t think he ruined the show. If anything, the whole audience turned against him. I think they really got behind me because I was working really hard. So it actually turned out to be a great experience.
GLD: It was uncomfortable, but you handled it well.
CP: You think that’s uncomfortable, I had a show in San Francisco a couple years ago where the guy was so drunk he started yelling out insults at me. I just snapped. I became this Bronx woman who went out into the audience screaming at him and literally kicked him out of the theater. I was really upset that security didn’t do it for me. Then I went back up on stage and the audience was just stunned. But I won them back. You got off easy!
GLD: Last year you came out in a pretty butch pantsuit and short hairdo.
CP: This year it’s traditional Coco. Last year was a metaphor for change, but I’m back to the Coco everyone loves. Last year some people were truly offended by my new look. But I think that says more about them than me.
GLD: So, the year’s almost over. What’s up with Girls Will Be Girls 2012?
CP: Honey, your guess is as good as mine. I’ll tell you this much. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be called Girls Will Be Girls 2012. I think it might be called 2013.
GLD: All the money for the film was raised on Kickstarter.com?
CP: It was a great experience. I think people who invested just want to see the movie! They probably think the three of us were sitting on a beach somewhere drinking cocktails with their money.
If I ever do a Kickstarter, what I turn out will be worth people’s money, but at this time I have no plans to ask people for their cash. Except when they come to my show.
GLD: What do you think about the conservatives who think God steered Hurricane Isaac away from the Republican National Convention and toward Southern Decadence in sinful New Orleans?
CP: I’m sure they think they prayed the storm away.
GLD: So anything new in the works?
CP: Coco Peru: She’s Got Balls, a new show I’m writing now.
It takes me months to write it, edit it, then I have to memorize it, work with the guy to cut the music cues. I have to shop for material for the costumes. There’s so much that goes into a one-person show. That’s why I want people to know. With RuPaul’s Drag Race, these queens go on TV for one little season and they show up to a club and get paid all this money to lip sync a song and I think to myself, what am I doing wrong? I could just lip sync some songs! But that’s the power of television.
GLD: Good luck on the new show and we look forward to seeing you in Dallas.
CP: Will it still be sticky and warm there?
GLD: It’s always possible. You never know.
CP: Well you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to pray away the sticky weather. It’s going to be gorgeous when I’m there.
GLD: We’ll start our prayer circle now.
“Miss Coco Peru Is Present”
$25 General Admission
$40 VIP, includes Meet & Greet with Coco
Thursday, September 13 & Friday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Rose Room at S4
3911 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas
Save up to 40% on general admission tickets with our special promo code. Just enter GAYLIST at checkout.