The queen of queens, Porsche, has won the respect and admiration of everyone who has had the good fortune to experience any one of her performances. Known as the queen of Key West, New York City, Fire Island and any other place that she happens to end up at, Porsche, aka Brant Kaiwi, is also known for her role as sidekick on “The Wanda Sykes Show” in 2009, making her the first-ever drag queen to team up with a comedian on a major television network.
For those who may not know her, Porsche is a female impersonator/drag queen who sings with her own voice and can sound exactly like everyone from Janis Joplin to Judy Garland and everybody else in between. Each summer at Cherry Grove she has a live show several times a week at the Ice Palace. In all the years that I’ve known her, and seeing her show, I have never seen the same thing twice.
I caught up with her on the Island. She bought me a shot of fireball, and we proceeded to catch up on exactly what she will be doing next, as well as the sadness surrounding the terrible Ice Palace fire.
Let’s begin right here at the Ice Palace. What exactly do you do here each summer?
Occasionally I perform in drag.
You’re beyond drag [referring to Eileen]. You commit! I only do drag if I’m getting paid. I love my job though. It’s a persona for me. Let’s start with Saturday. Every Saturday from 8 to 10 we have an amazing show, packed out every week. And it’s been very easy over the years to think that the Grove Hotel has always been there. Thank goodness the Ice Palace is still there, and thank goodness for that pool. The Grove Hotel is a loss, and we are rebuilding, but wow, it was a big loss. Ariel Sinclair was in her room for 20 years, and I was in mine for all those years.
Where you staying now?
It’s none of your damn business, but I will tell you. It’s fun as hell. Anyway, it’s very difficult. Ariel Sinclair lost a lot in the fire, and so did I. We had wardrobes, and not just wardrobes, we had history. Things that you can’t get back. The intangibles, gone. But you know what, that’s like a phoenix from the ashes, you rebuild. But the Ice Palace has been wonderful so far. We’re very consistent during the daytime. I’m doing Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and I’m very happy.
What have you done since we last spoke?
Oh, just a couple of things. I’ve been touring all over the world. I did Puerto Vallarta, I did Scotland, I did Fort Lauderdale, I did Pittsburgh…
You’re known as the queen of Key West.
Yes, I was in Key West a lot.
Are you going to do New Year’s Eve there again?
Of course I’ll be there for News Year’s Eve. Are you kidding? Key West, just like Fire Island, has been so wonderful and accepting of everyone. When I was announcing Pride in New York City, I noticed that every year things get better.
Pride was fun this year.
Pride was 7 1/2 hours long this year. I will throw my script at you. And you can tell when it stopped raining from the pages in the script. [LGBT activist] Edie Windsor happened to have sat next to me. I told her next year she gets a throne and an umbrella. She sat next to us for hours. I felt humbled that she wanted to sit next to me. She was crying the entire time, because that’s what she fought for, her and her partner. Oh, and Ian McKellen pulled my wig off. Sir Ian McKellen, but I am American, so I didn’t curtsy.
What have you planned for this winter?
My winter is going to be crazy. I will definitely be in South Florida, I will be in New York, I will be once again in Mexico, and there are a few things I can’t say yet. But there are a lot of West Coast things that are going on