Arrival with Merrie Cherry, the Bushwig icon and Dragula Star: Bushwick Daily

If you know Brooklyn drag, you know Merrie Cherry. And even if you don’t, a quick Google search will show you that she’s considered one of the Mothers of Brooklyn dragsters.

Merrie Cherry is the alter ego of Jason Ruth, originally from Berkeley, California, now residing in Brooklyn. Cherry founded the DRAGnet drag competition, as well as the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards, and she is one of the founding members of Bush wig. To say that she followed her own philosophy would be an understatement.

Drag is an art form full of extravagant outfits, unforgettable performances, and great personalities. But people find it hard to really define it: what is drag? While this question may never have a single answer, Cherry, who first dressed 13 years ago, believes she became a true queen when she started working at the breast. from the community.

“Working with the community is so important if you want to be a drag queen, and in my opinion, if you don’t do at least three events to raise money for your community, you are doing something wrong,” Cerise said.

To Bushwig. Image: Patrick Donovan

It was Cherry’s mother who first inspired her: “She took me to soup kitchens at a very young age,” she said. Her mother had the ability to make a connection with anyone, which made Cherry wait with her while she spoke to people from all walks of life. This “gift of chatter” is something Cherry has as well, and it shines both on and off stage.

While all of her accomplishments speak for themselves, Cherry has embarked on a new adventure this year: season four of Dragula, a popular drag racing television show.

“I thought I was on Dragula from the first day I heard about it,” Cherry said.

On the Dragula red carpet. Image via Instagram of Cherry

However, before filming this season of Dragula, Cherry had to return to Berkeley and take nine months off to care for her recently deceased grandmother.

“This year [doing Dragula] I felt good. . . I had just lost my grandmother and wanted to forget my loss, ”she said. But taking almost a year off and then suddenly coming back came with its own challenges, and sadly, Cherry was knocked out of the competition in episode four.

She said the show “was [like] a bootcamp, which is why I think I had a hard time being honest. The show briefly distracted her from the loss, but as Cherry said, “You can’t fight grief.”

As for any resentment towards her fate, Cherry said, “At the end of the day, I don’t regret anything I do for a living. You just have to learn from it. If I had to do it again, I would have waited another year to do Dragula because, mentally, I was not there and I should have focused on the mourning.

Still grappling with the loss of her grandmother and the loss of competition, the time following the shoot was difficult for her. What ultimately kept Cherry going was the memory of her grandmother and the community she returned to in Brooklyn.

“I just want to make her proud,” she said of her grandmother.

Now Cherry is happy to be back at her base. “Every time I go out of town, I’m just excited to go back to Brooklyn.”

“The drag and nightlife community, while it can be destructive at times, knows how to protect theirs,” she added. “Brooklyn has diversity, and I’m not just talking about color. I mean in the genre, in the style, in the performance style. . . There is diversity all over Brooklyn, and I love this shit.

Even though you won’t see Cherry on Dragula anymore, you can see her performing all over Brooklyn. Just watch her Instagram for the next shows. You can also expect his next podcast with Madeline Hatter, coming next year. She is also writing her one-woman show and a Christmas play.

Featured Image: Patrick Donovan

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