New York-based actor and comedian Remy Germinario is gearing up for his fourth appearance with drag sensation Paige Turner (host and co-creator/producer of NYC’s live drag reality show So You Think You Can Drag?) in Paige Turner: Jingle All the Way! for three dates in December at The Green Room 42. Co-starring James Mills as Carol Channing, the wild holiday cabaret will feature the trio’s camp banter and audacious interactions with the audience interspersed between parodies of their favorite seasonal songs and Christmas classics by such iconic artists as Bing Crosby, Barbra Streisand, and Mariah Carey.
In addition to his cabaret performances and award-winning acting (including Best Actor in FringeNYC, and most recently, this year’s Handy Award for Best Actor for the Florida Studio Theatre’s regional production of Buyer & Cellar), Germinario (a native of Tampa and a graduate of NYU, with a BFA in Acting) is well-known for his work as a sketch and stand-up comic, having been seen at the Broadway Comedy Club, UCB, Stand Up New York, West Side Comedy Club, and other popular venues. He is also the creator of TWUNK Comedy, a video sketch platform on Facebook, which showcases his zany characters and sidesplitting impressions.
While preparing for the upcoming show, Remy answered some quick questions about his career, his taste in comedy, and his celebration of Christmas at The Green Room 42.
- What’s the funniest line you’ve ever delivered?
Remy: In Buyer & Cellar I’m talking about Barbra Streisand’s nails being long enough to make a statement, and that statement is, “No, I don’t play the piano or type my own blog, so fuck you.”
- What’s your favorite bit in the upcoming show at The Green Room 42?
Carol Channing passed away this year, but James Mills has always played her in the Christmas show, so we had to maneuver with the script this time to figure out how to do it now that she’s gone. It was fun thinking about her, and I think what we came up with is very funny.
- What three emotions do you feel before you drop a punchline?
Anxiety, anticipation, and mischievousness.
- What do you love most about doing cabaret?
The audience can completely change the show every night, especially Paige’s show. We play off of them for the better, and it makes the show different and fresh each time.
- What’s the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from an audience member?
The last time I did Buyer & Cellar in Sarasota, the audience laughed so much at a scene about summer stock with Judy Garland that I started laughing, and then they laughed even more. It was a great moment, and I wasn’t really breaking character, because half of the show is me talking directly to the audience.
- How do you deal with hecklers?
To be honest, I’ve never had a heckler in a bad sense, just audience members interacting with me. For that, I use it to improvise. But if I did have negative ones, I would read them to filth, and make it funny.
- How did you feel when you won the award for Best Actor, twice, at FringeNYC and in Florida?
The Fringe award was lovely, because I was just out of college and I was very honored to be chosen among the hundreds of shows in the festival. In Florida, there are multiple winners, not just one, but I’d seen some of the other shows and it was very humbling, because every one of them gave such a good performance. So I was flattered that little old me would get the recognition!
- Is there anything off-limits in your comedy?
Yes, making fun of under-represented people to a bad extent – racial or minority slurs, or anything that crosses the line in a negative way. And I know what that line is.
- Where did you get the idea for your online video series?
It’s not really a series, but we will be working on new sketches for the video platform. Over the past few years I was getting more and more into comedy, and we’re in a time when you have to take things into your own hands to be seen. I wanted to work with some of my friends in comedy, to get these silly ideas out for the world to see, so this was a good way to do it.
- Who’s your all-time favorite comedian?
It’s not a stand-up or improv comic, it’s Lisa Kudrow. She taught me how to be funny, watching her on Friends and in the movies. I don’t know her personally – I wish I did! – and I don’t get star-struck, but with her I would. To the point where we’d both be crying.
- Why DID the chicken cross the road?
Because there was a Magnolia Bakery on the other side.
- What three personality traits do you have that make you the perfect match to perform with Paige Turner?
I’m quick-witted, silly, and spontaneous.
- What is it about drag queens?
I highly respect drag queens. There’s something about the culture of drag that allows them to say anything – and to get away with it! – because it’s not them, it’s their drag personas. It makes for comedy gold.
- If you had a pet reindeer, what would you name it?
- What do you hope to find under your Christmas tree this year?
A tube of chapstick.
Thanks, Remy; it’s always great to talk to you and to laugh with you! I look forward to Paige Turner: Jingle All the Way! It’s surely a show that Andy Warhol – who made Superstars of drag legends Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn, and Jackie Curtis, and whose renowned quote “famous for 15 minutes” inspired this column – would have loved!