During a recent trip to England I found myself at Funny Girls, a nightclub-meets-cabaret in the beachy resort town of Blackpool. The enterainment? Live, elaborately choreographed drag performances that for more than two decades have amused locals and tourists alike. To keep things interesting between sets, our hostess, DJ Carmen alternated between an eclectic playlist of pop songs and quickly bantered shoutouts to anyone in the audience celebrating a birthday, bachelorette party, retirement or first date.
After the show, I sat down with Carmen, who also performs at the nearby gay club The Flying Handbag, to ask her this week's QUEST10NS:
1. Where did you go on your last trip? Dubai.
2. What was your favorite memory from it? Lounging in the sun.
3. What is the most requested song at Funny Girls? Anything ABBA. Everyone - young or old - knows all the words to ABBA and will sing along.
4. Most patrons you've ever had at Funny Girls in one night? I just asked someone this. It was 1,400.
5. Best time for someone to visit Blackpool? During Pride.
6. Hidden Blackpool gem where locals like to go? The Beach House. It's a bit posh for the tourists who come here just to party. But you'll find some of us show biz folk there having cocktails and a bite to eat.
7. Most interesting flavor of Blackpool rock you've had? (For those unfamiliar, its akin to a candy cane but sold everywhere in Blackpool and available in a variety of flavors.) Apple crumble. You know, apple crumble is a traditional English pudding with cooked apples, broken biscuits for the crumbly part and custard and to get all three of these flavors right in a rock is pretty impressive.
8. Some people thought it was weird that I came here all the way from the U.S., that it wasn't a very posh place to visit. So, agree or disagree? "Once you go Blackpool, you never go back." Definitely disagree. My family comes here to visit me all the time. There's a lot to do here. And, the people are really quite nice.
9. Items you always pack for a trip? In my boy bag or girl bag? I'll tell you both. In my boy bag: toothbrush, Maclean's whitening toothpaste. In my girl bag: blush brush, MAC Ruby Woo lipstick and a razor.
10. Where will you go on your next adventure? Hopefully a little Vegas trip.