Pissi Myles gets a rise

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Drag artist and comedian Pissi Myles
Drag artist and comedian Pissi Myles

Pissi Myles doesn’t lose her sense of humor, even when she’s driving in traffic to New York and doing an interview at the same time.

Pissi went off to receive a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University, she knew as a little kid that she liked to perform, whether singing, acting or dancing. The legendary Coco Peru, John Cameron Mitchell, Nathan Lane and Robin Williams, along with Wanda Sykes and Judy Gold, influenced her.

Pissi Myles photo by David Ayllon
Pissi Myles photo by David Ayllon

She is New Jersey born and bred and entered the world of auditioning and trying to make it in the theatre after college. It was her then boyfriend, now husband, David Ayllon, who suggested doing drag. She said it was her fondness for stand-up comedy and her “dark, irreverent humor” that launched her infamous career.

Her drag name came after a Christmas morning tiff with her husband over playing Christmas music. With a reference to actress Missi Pyle from the Parent Trap, Pissi Myles was born and has evolved into quite the character.

 

Pissi Myles photo by David Ayllon
Pissi Myles photo by David Ayllon

She has been doing drag for the four and a half years, and says that there is a big resurgence of drag since the early 1990s. Drag was an alternate voice for the Punk Movement and originally “a voice for the underdog,” she said. And Lady Bunny and Ru Paul have been a big influence on the drag community, and have brought drag into the mainstream. “It’s comforting that drag is having a big breakout and you can make a living and career, ” said Piss. She was glad to see famous drag icon, Jinkx Monsoon playing a part on CBS crime drama Blue Bloods.

In the short span of her career, Pissi held the title of Miss Fish NYC in 2014, and Best Drag Hostess in Philadelphia the same year. She also won the 4th cycle of Mimi Imfurst’s Philly Drag Wars, a competition similar to Ru Paul’s Drag Race. She said she had to learn how to sew and create her own runway look. The competition was thirteen weeks, and “…very challenging, but I learned a lot from it.” She now makes most of her outfits.

Pissi Myles
Pissi Myles

Pissi says the best part of performing is trying to get a rise out of the audience. Especially in this political climate; she said comedy provides an escape from “all the garbage and ridiculousness,” giving them something to enjoy. She said, “Life kind of sucks sometimes” and she likes to show her audience that “I can laugh at it.”

Her worst experience on stage was having someone drunk in the audience grab the mic. That got Pissi pissed!

When not performing, Pissi is involved in helping the LGBT community, especially the youth. She is active in Asbury Park’s Project R.E.A.L., which provides a safe haven for gay youths. She has heard so many stories from the drag community about Asbury Park and finds it “humbling” that the town stays connected to its roots.

Pissi is involved with the New York Teen Center and the Matthew Sheppard Foundation, along with other charities promoting safe sex in high schools and colleges. It breaks her heart that kids are ostracized and are living an unsafe lifestyle. She thinks transgender youth face the biggest challenges, and she urges them to reach out for help in the community. “It is not a death sentence to come out, or to have HIV.”

We talked about relationships; Pissi married her college boyfriend in December 2016. She said that the secret to a good relationship is to take care of them as much as they take care of you, and she knew no one was better for her than her husband David. David Ayllon is an artist and a famous drag photographer who she met in college. She said with today’s social media, people are not getting out enough, and online dating gives a false sense that something is always better out there.

When not on stage, she is busy writing her song parodies. Spending so much time driving and listening to music, Pissi is inspired by a tune, and takes a joke or a story and turns it into a parody. Her original song “Real Girls,” a parody on Lorde’s “Royal” won her the Miss Fish NYC title.

Pissi writes her own material and does a segment after her show, called Ask Pissi, where she answers questions from the audience. She is currently co-writing a show based on Disney villains, for an LGBT group in New York. She also does a “One Woman” show at the Albatross Bar in Astoria, NY called Boys Will be Girls. Her new show Beauty School Dropouts premiered at Roxy & Dukes Bar in Dunellen, NJ. Her shows have taken her to Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and, of course, New Jersey.

Pissi said comedy is her number one love, and she hopes to take it much further doing stand-up, film, and TV. Making people laugh is what she loves the most. As Pissi says in her YouTube video, “it has been a wild ride and a huge adventure.” Judging from her success, the adventure is just beginning.

To see where Pissi Myles will be performing, follow her on Facebook and at Twitter @pissimyles and her website pissimyles.com.

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