From the moment we met Derrick Barry on season three of America’s Got Talent, we were smitten. This Las Vegas performer made it to the show’s quarterfinals and then went on to compete for the crown on season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race and season five of All Stars.
And, when it came time to cast Ru’s live revue in Las Vegas, Derrick was an obvious choice. This world-class Britney Spears tribute artist not only took Sin City by storm, but she also shone on the far-too-short World of Wonder reality show that chronicled the road to Vegas and the shock as COVID forced the curtain to be rung down – thankfully, temporarily.
Derrick took time out of her busy schedule to talk about the return to the stage and what she loves about Las Vegas. We also put her in the hot seat to answer the Socialite Seven. We’re “Crazy” about Derrick and you will be too after reading our exclusive interview.
What was it like to finally get back onto the stage in Las Vegas?
I fall 30 feet to the stage every night during my Britney talent number. Having that adrenaline back is everything I needed as a performer. Being on stage is where I am happiest, whole & complete. Sharing a Las Vegas stage with my Drag Race sisters is a gift that I have the honor of unwrapping every night.
What did you do while you were on “COVID Break”?
As much as I would like to call it a break, it really wasn’t the case. I was filming home content for “Vegas Revue” and doing press for All Stars 5. It was a break from the stage, but not from Drag & performing.
What has been the most challenging part of doing Drag Race Live?
This show is the most stage time I’ve ever had in a show. We are on stage 7 different times with costume changes each time. I’m used to the running now, but it was overwhelming in the beginning.
What is your favorite thing about performing in the show?
My favorite thing about the show is the blending of Broadway & Drag Race. I moved to Vegas in 2004 to join “La Cage” & then was a part of the opening cast of “Divas” in 2009. Drag Race Live is the BIGGEST Drag show to ever hit the Strip. The set, screens, props, lighting & aerials are next level in the entertainment business.
Are there any other queens (besides your current castmates) you’d love to perform with in this show?
I would love to see another celebrity impersonator join the cast. Finally working with Chad Michaels in a Vegas show would be a dream come true. He was the first Drag Queen that I ever met in West Hollywood in 2003. He inspired me to turn my Halloween costume into a career. Chad also played an intricate part in me being hired full time, 6 nights/week in Vegas at only 20 years old.
What’s the best thing about Las Vegas (besides the show, of course?)
The best thing about Vegas is the fact that you can escape the hustle & bustle of Strip and feel like you’re living a quiet life in the suburbs.
Do you gamble? If so, what’s your game of choice?
I definitely do not! I learned my lesson playing Roulette when I was only 21 years old, but I will say that I was a Diamond member with Caesars Entertainment for about 2 years because of my lesson learned.
What does the future hold for you?
I would love to do more movies, music, television & voice-over. I’ve always had my eye on Broadway and Saturday Night Live.
Derrick Barry Answers the Socialite Seven
Who has been the biggest influence on you in your career so far?
Obviously, Britney Spears is my biggest influence because she’s the sole reason I started doing drag on Halloween in 2003. Mariah Carey was my first love in Pop Royalty during the entire 90s. So actually, I’d like to think my drag is a mixture of Britney & Mariah.
What is your favorite lip sync song?
“Toxic” by Britney Spears is my favorite song of all time and I love performing that one the most. It’s high-energy and definitely a crowd favorite.
What talent would you like to wake up with tomorrow?
I would love to play the piano and produce music. I’m always impressed by singers that write & produce their own music.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My family, my boyfriends Nick San Pedro & Mackenzie Claude (Nebraska Thunderfuck) & my Siamese Snowshoe cat named Van Gogh.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
When I competed on AGT in 2008, I was a “thank you” Queen because I was so thankful for the entire experience. A woman named Christine Evey, who was Mariah Carey’s tour manager, told me, “You need to start thanking yourself. You showed up. The rest just happened.” That’s the number one piece of advice that has stuck with me. My high school drama teacher, Melanie Hildebrandt, also taught me to audition for everything because we learn more about ourselves with each audition process.
If they made a movie of your life story, who would you want to portray you on the big screen?
Right now, I’d like to believe that I’m still young enough to play myself, but I do know for a fact that I want Sally Field to play my Mom.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment is having the ability to make a living by doing exactly what I love to do for a living. I don’t HAVE to perform, I GET to perform.