NEPA Scene Staff

VIDEO: Scranton Fringe Fest’s First Friday drag show with singer/comedian Pissi Myles

VIDEO: Scranton Fringe Fest’s First Friday drag show with singer/comedian Pissi Myles
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From a press release:

First Friday Scranton was once again held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, so to keep everyone entertained, the Scranton Fringe Festival hosted a virtual pop-up show on Friday, May 1 starring Pissi Myles.

Myles is an accomplished drag comedian, singer, and hostess from New Jersey who has become a recurring artist with the Scranton Fringe, hosting the Big Gay StorySlam at the Scranton Cultural Center last year.

She sang, told jokes, answered questions, and offered thrilling updates on her glamorous life in quarantine.

Watch the full live stream below. Donations are encouraged via Venmo (@ScrantonFringe) or PayPal ( Proceeds will be supporting both the festival and the artist.

Pissi Myles was born kicking and screaming and hasn’t stopped since. As a comedian, singer, and humorist, she has been noted as one of the most talented queens in the Northeast by fans, critics, and peers. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, Mic, RuPaul’s “What’s the Tee?” podcast, and more. She’s also performed at the return of the legendary Wigstock festival in 2018.

Myles received her BFA in musical theatre from Montclair State University in 2011, which was promptly traded in for big hair and sequined gowns.

Always one to make a scene, she partnered with the streaming news app Happs in 2019 to cover Donald Trump’s impeachment. Donning a red mini dress and a patriotic updo, Myles caused a stir on Capital Hill, leading to stories from the Washington Post, NBC, and the New York Post, plus thoughtful words of support from actress Missi Pyle, George Takei, and even the queen herself, RuPaul. She has also reported on the Democratic debates for Happs, interviewing presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

In 2014, Myles won Cycle 4 of Mimi Imfurst’s Philly Drag Wars, a 13-week competition in the style of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Following her win, she has continued to produce successful comedy shows with well-known drag queens like Lady Bunny, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bob the Drag Queen, London’s Meth, and more. Her hosting and comedic talents have earned her the title of 2014’s Best Drag Hostess in Philadelphia at the Beacon Light Awards.

In 2017, Myles wrote and starred in “Babashook,” a parody video in response to the Internet outing the Babadook as a gay icon. The video quickly began to go viral after being covered by outlets such as Billboard, Huffington Post, Queerty, and Hello Giggles. The single is available on iTunes.

Myles continues to produce her weekly shows in New York City, among her many other guest appearances throughout NYC, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and New Jersey. She can also be heard on her weekly podcast My Spooky Gay Family with her sister Sam Baxter.

Founded in 2015, the Scranton Fringe Festival is a yearly celebration of the performing arts dedicated to creating an accessible artistic platform for artists and audiences, all while promoting the greater Scranton area as a viable creative marketplace. A true incubator of the arts, the Scranton Fringe has grown in size and scope each year and now produces year-round programming, which includes workshops, children’s theatre, concerts, and other special events in Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond as it begins to develop work to tour.

Over 10,000 audience members have taken part in the work of the Scranton Fringe. Regional as well as international touring artists are welcomed to present original theatre, dramas, music, stand-up comedy, children’s programming, dance performances, and more with no censorship placed on content or artistic expression.

The Scranton Fringe Festival is set to return on Sept. 24-Oct. 4, so it has not been canceled or postponed like so many other events due to COVID-19. Its organizers and participants, however, have been forced to cancel many other live performances in the meantime, so the event launched its own digital festival in March to both entertain audiences stuck at home and aid artists struggling during the shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

Dubbed “Social Distant-Scene Theatre,” the project features eight high-quality live recordings from Scranton productions and national work that will “ensure culture, community, and creativity can still thrive, even under quarantine.”

“We are hoping this initiative will provide revenue not just for our organization, but our artists and highly affordable brilliant content for audiences worldwide. Even from home, you can enjoy live theater and be part of this new movement as we all navigate our ever-changing world!” the Scranton Fringe Festival posted on its social media accounts.

“Scranton Fringe is striving to fulfill its mission of providing a platform for engaging and accessible work for artists and audiences alike, despite in-person gatherings being banned during the current health crisis. Live theatre, musicals, storytelling, stand-up comedy, and more from across the globe will be part of this ongoing series of original works. For low cost per production, you can watch, at your own convenience, any of the works included on your phone, laptop or smart TV, wherever you are!”

Virtual tickets, which range from $5-$15 per show, are on sale now via Eventbrite. The videos are available instantly upon purchase via a private link.

The Social Distant-Scene lineup includes the 2019 Big Gay StorySlam hosted by Pissi Myles, which is marked as “pay what you want.” The storytellers included Tony Thomas, Michaela Spaid, Erica Smith, Christopher J. Kelly, Curt Parkins, Olivia Butkiewicz, and more. See the full lineup and details here.