Drew Droege's drag comes to Bitch Salad

NOW Magazine - Pride - - Contents - By GLENN SUMI BITCH SALAD GIVES BACK with Re­becca Kohler, Allyson Smith, Dini Di­makos, the Cheeto Girls, spe­cial guest Drew Droege and host An­drew John­ston. July 1 at 8 pm (doors 7 pm). At Bud­dies in Bad Times The­atre (12 Alexan­der). $20. 416-9758555. g

of all the re­cent vi­ral video sen­sa­tions – yes, even Re­becca Black’s Fri­day – few are more fab­u­lous than Drew Droege’s Chloë Sevigny par­o­dies.

Th­ese brief but bril­liant vignettes fea­ture Droege as Chloë dis­cussing of­ten ba­nal top­ics (Hal­loween, spring, how to make toast) while drop­ping the names of the coolest of cool prod­ucts (ironic coin sko­rts), la­bels (Proenza Schouler) and Hol­ly­wood and so­ci­ety fig­ures (Shohreh Agh­dashloo, Tins­ley Mor­timer), of­ten mis­pro­nounced in a way that gives them more ca­chet than they re­ally de­serve.

“The im­por­tance we at­tach to la­bels is ridicu­lous,” says Droege from L.A., where he teaches im­prov at the leg­endary Groundlings com­edy club.

“In a way, th­ese videos com­ment on so­ci­ety’s ob­ses­sion – not only in the fash­ion in­dus­try, but in the en­ter­tain­ment world. There’s this feel­ing that ev­ery­thing has to be the lat­est thing, that you have to be in the know.”

The videos come from a place of ad­mi­ra­tion and af­fec­tion. Droege has been fas­ci­nated by the Big Love and Boys Don’t Cry ac­tor for years, and played a ver­sion of her on­stage be­fore he be­gan col­lab­o­rat­ing with videog­ra­pher and wardrobe de­signer Jim Hansen on the YouTube videos.

“I was as­tounded by her pres­ence, her style, her fash­ion,” says Droege in a charm­ing North Carolina ac­cent that he un­der­stand­ably sup­presses as the ul­tra-chic Sevigny.

“I re­mem­ber read­ing in­ter­views where she ref­er­enced all th­ese re­ally avant-garde, ghetto-fab­u­lous artists, and think­ing, ‘What must it be like to be in her skin?’ I couldn’t be­lieve at the time that no one else had picked up on her and made her a character.”

Droege, who does Chloë and some other char­ac­ters as spe­cial guest at An­drew John­ston’s ben­e­fit Pride show, Bitch Salad Gives Back, says he and Hansen tape three seg­ments ev­ery cou­ple of months.

“I keep a run­ning list of la­bels, peo­ple’s names that I find ridicu­lous, and we sit down, toss ideas around, Jim sto­ry­boards them, and we go shop­ping,” he ex­plains. “He’s got a green screen in his house, so we shoot them and we’re usu­ally done by late af­ter­noon. The real hard part comes when he ed­its them.”

After tap­ing the first videos, it took sev­eral months for them to go vi­ral – which he traces to a men­tion by celebrity blog­ger Perez Hil­ton.

“One morn­ing I woke up and my phone was crazy with mes­sages. It was all over Face­book, and peo­ple were re-post­ing the videos.”

Now Droege’s Chloë has be­come so fa­mous that the real thing has seen them. She even rec­og­nized him at a party last De­cem­ber.

“She was su­per-cool,” he says. “We didn’t talk about the videos, which I think was a re­ally good thing. But she knew who I was, for sure. She said she was very flat­tered but didn’t see a sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the two of us, and I un­der­stand that.”

Droege has many friends who started off at Groundlings – Kris­ten Wiig is a good buddy – and who have gone on to suc­cess in sketch work and beyond.

“I’ve talked to a lot of my friends who have been on Satur­day Night Live and Mad TV, and ev­ery­one al­ways says it’s awk­ward meet­ing peo­ple after you’ve played them. I’m sure if an ac­tor were play­ing me, it would be awk­ward meet­ing him.”

And does character com­edy like this help you get laid?

“I wish,” he laughs. “If I’m hit on, it creeps me out, be­cause I’m so not look­ing to get laid with a wig on. But let’s face it, all co­me­di­ans want to be rock stars. We all want that sta­tus and at­ten­tion, but there’s an in­se­cu­rity and vul­ner­a­bil­ity that makes you funny that doesn’t make you a good rock star – or very sexy.

“As much as I’d like to get laid, I got into this to get laughs.”

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