Osher Sabag is a popular drag figure in Tel Aviv gay nightlife. He is known for his live vocal shows, where he brings a different approach and style of drag. Osher's unique appearance challenges the perceptions of gender-based looks and expectations.
Osher is now coming stateside to perform at Equality Form Global's 20th Anniversary LGBT Summit in Philadelphia, PA from May 3-6. Click here for more information on the summit and Osher's performances!
For a sampling of Osher's performing, check out his rendition (along with Meital De Razon) of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the end of this interview!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a drag performer? I can't point out a specific person who encouraged me to go on this path. Since I was young I remember being attracted to female characters, such as Sally Bowls in Cabaret or Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Drag seemed to be the best way to become such classical female character in a nearly perfect way. In the beginning I used to imitate these well known legends in my shows. However, nowadays my performances consist of a rather androgenic appearance that reflects my boundless alter ego.
2. How did you come up with your style of drag? What made you want to do something so different? Surprisingly enough, I came up with that style ןn a very funny way. At that time, I was a soldier in the IDF navy and therefore had a very low salary. As a result, I was unable to purchase sophisticated stage accessories, thus generating very creative means to drag. One of them was a full tuxedo that I had at home, which I wore with high heels and makeup. The affection of the crowd simply made me go wilder.
3. What is it like to be a drag performer in Israel? What are the rewards and challenges you face? I bet you were hoping for a juicy answer, given Israel's appearance in your local media. I can only say being a drag queen in Israel is no different than being one in America. Although makeup doesn't last as good in the Israeli sun.
4. Why do you think you've had more success than other drag queens? What keeps you grounded? Obviously my deep throat is an enormous benefit, and by that I am referring to what most of you think. Unlike many drag queens, I sing live at every performance, and my vocal abilities and course of studies (Classical music and Opera) come to aid.
5. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Sarah Palin. I'd like to be her spokeswoman.
6. What excites you about performing at SundayOUT! Tea Dance and SundayOUT! at the Piazza during the Equality Forum Global LGBT Summit? I seldom get invited to perform in front of such huge audiences of fabulous raging homos. Oh, and I really want a lot of Philly Cheese Steak.
7. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing you perform at the summit? I want to take this opportunity to express my pride and gratitude for being part of such an amazing and significant event, this fabulous gathering all about celebrating equality, but I kinda want the audience to come away with the knowledge that I'm juuuussstt a little bit more fabulous than anybody else ;)
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I'm a fearless bitch.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Hemorrhoid cream is the best thing for dark circles under your eyes.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Jessy Norman, the Divine mezzo soprano.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Shopping with other people's credit cards.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Philly Cheese steak.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Jock Strap.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? The ability to turn flannel into sequins.