In the touring production of the adult pantomime Sinderella, Sophia Stardust played one of the Step Sisters throughout September and October, and earlier this year, she hosted the first ever Tonbridge Pride. For Sophia’s 21st birthday, she hosted Sophia’s Birthday Bash event at Colours Hoxton, which sold out, and she has residencies including at Hard Rock Cafe – Oxford Street. Sophia runs a successful TikTok account, and this year, she was part of a campaign for Madame Tussauds, and it’s recently been announced that she will be a guest at Totally Drag at Alton Towers in May 2023. Speaking to Sophia, she chats about touring in the adult pantomime Sinderella, hosting the first ever Tonbridge Pride and being a guest at Totally Drag at Alton Towers next year.
Throughout September and October, you were touring with the adult pantomime Sinderella as one of the Step Sisters, how did you find the experience touring with the show and being part of the cast?
The adult pantomime production of Sinderella was a blast. I have toured on multiple occasions beforehand with Rugirls, however, that was just a couple of numbers per night. Being a part of this full on production was chaotic in all the best ways. I got to push myself not only in drag, but also acting. I have always loved acting so much and the fact I was able to do it in drag made it extra special. I made some really close friends on that tour too so I’m literally so grateful.
Was there anything that drew you to the show and what was it like reading the script for the first time?
Who doesn’t love Cinderella? We put on a production of the pantomime at college so it was very full circle, I HAD TO DO IT. Reading the script for the first time I instantly fell in love with my character and wanted to get started asap.
What did you enjoy most about working on the pantomime and how was it seeing the audience response to the performances?
I most enjoyed the people I got to work with. They made the entire experience even more worth it and being around people who were so similar to me… well, you can imagine what our nights out were like! I was surprised by the amount of people that came to support me at the show. I know I get lots of love and am forever grateful, however, I didn’t expect to see so many familiar faces at the m&g!
You hosted the first ever Tonbridge Pride this summer, how was this?
Hosting Tonbridge Pride was one of my favourite gigs I have ever done. Possibly because it meant so much to me. Never in my years of growing up did I imagine that my future would involve hosting our first ever pride, but here I am. Baby Sophia would be gobsmacked and I cannot wait to do it all again next year.
Can you tell us about your Sophia’s Birthday Bash event at Colours Hoxton in June?
For my 21st birthday I wanted it to be extra special, this is why I decided to put on the birthday show. It even sold out! Which I didn’t expect at all. The amount of love I felt in that room was just incredible, I worked so hard to put on my first ever full on production and I’m so glad I did, who knows… 22nd birthday extravaganza maybe?
We understand you have a residency at Hard Rock Cafe – Oxford Street, what are these shows like to perform?
Hard Rock is by far my favourite residency. Seeing how much it has evolved over the past months with our fab event manager Sean just makes me so happy. The best part is we all love it so much. It never feels like work because we all get on so well, same with all my gigs, to be honest!
How is it preparing for live performances and do you have a favourite aspect of performing as Sophia Stardust?
One of my favourite aspects is my performances. I absolutely love performing as wacky characters such as Jessie from Toy Story and even a life-size star! Editing my tracks and creating these numbers just allows me to use my creativity in the best way possible.
What are some of your favourite highlights from your drag career so far?
I have a few. Touring with Heidi, Lemon and Jackie was so much fun and getting to travel across the UK was insane. That goes for the panto too. Tonbridge Pride will always remain a big highlight of my career. This year I also did a campaign with Madame Tussauds, which meant I could do what I absolutely love and perform behind a camera!
Where does your love of drag come from and how did you start in the industry?
After coming out at 16, I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race for the first time and was instantly obsessed. I think I started dabbling in it a couple of weeks after I came out and haven’t stopped since! I performed in multiple college shows in drag then decided to take the leap and not go to drama school, I’m so glad I didn’t because I worked so hard and now I’m currently doing it full time.
Have you been given any advice over your time as a drag queen that has stuck with you and what advice would you give young drag queens starting out?
The best advice I’ve received is to be myself. It sounds so simple but it’s so true. I always thought I had to be like other drag queens and constantly compared myself. I realised over time that I’m my own person and offer something completely different to everyone else. I’m so proud of how far I have come. To young drag queens starting out, I would say have fun, do it because you love it. Not because you want to be on a TV show! Drag really does change your life so strap in and enjoy the ride!
Did you have any favourite drag queens you enjoyed watching when growing up and what would you say is the most rewarding part of having a drag career?
Adore Delano and Jinkx were definitely the ones that inspired me the most watching the show. I actually worked with Adore last year and it was a very full circle moment, we got on so well. The most rewarding part for me is meeting so many people and having such a positive impact on their life. That’s all I want to do in my career! Make people happy.
You run a successful TikTok account, was there anything that encouraged you to start TikTok and what is it like filming videos for your platform?
I’ve always loved Vine, YouTube and just being silly. So when I found TikTok, it seemed perfect to me. I honestly just love it. I never stress about the views and likes because I have fun with it, it’s become a big part of my life. It’s really fun filming all the content as I get to watch it all back and see how much I’ve achieved in such a short time.
How do you like to spend your time away from drag?
Away from drag I love spending time with friends. Nights out, trips to the movies, anything like that. I’m also a big Doctor Who and sci-fi fan so spend a lot of time doing anything to do with that!
It’s been announced that you will be a guest at Totally Drag at Alton Towers in May next year, what are you looking forward to for this event?
Oh I’ve already thought about what I’m going to do for my performance and I’m so excited! If you’ve seen me before you know I love my silly characters and numbers so this is going to be very camp! I’m also just looking forward to working with some good friends!
Do you have any other upcoming events or career plans that you can tell us about?
I have MANY Christmas shows this year, so if you’re around, come and see me! I love Christmas so much so the gigs are going to be wild. As for the new year, I have some things I want to do but we will have to see what happens 😀.
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