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Interview

Sunday with Peppermint: ‘I start with bacon and eggs, the same as every day’

The actor and singer on karaoke, three-day weekends and clubbing in the good old days

How does Sunday start? For the past few years, like a walking zombie, in another city, state or country, making my way to the airport after a show. I got really good at getting up after barely any sleep, packing and boarding before properly waking up. Now I’m at home in Harlem with nowhere to go.

A morning routine? I shut off my many alarms and turn on all the lights to wake me, and do my daily skincare routine: a brush wash with warm water, then moisturise and tone. I find it comforting. Then I make breakfast: bacon and eggs, the same every day.

How have you coped with lockdown? It has felt like an endless stream of quiet Sundays away from the busyness and with the world on pause. We’ve seen clearly the prejudice, injustice and corruption, a result of how we’ve lived for decades. I went from extreme despair to determination, so have written and finished three albums.

Early Sundays in NYC? Working until the early hours of Sunday morning in the clubs, before heading straight to work at 9am supervising the studio spaces at my college. Half the time nobody would show up so I’d sleep on the floor. It meant we always had a free rehearsal space – I’d sneak my friends in to practise our songs and drag routines.

Do you perform? For seven years I had a weekly Sunday night show called Sing Out Sister, New York’s award-winning premier gay karaoke. We’d sing alongside Desperate Housewives screenings. And in the early 2000s I’d spend Sundays on three-day weekends at the legendary Motherfucker, a rock’n’roll androgynous gender-bending party, which felt like the future.

If you could be anywhere next Sunday? Bali, please, will you take me? I’ve never been and I think now is the time.

Peppermint’s latest release is A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers