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Conversations with Summer Orlando

Today we’d like to introduce you to Summer Orlando. 

Hi Summer, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m Summer Orlando, Connecticut’s premier theater drag queen and illusionist, I am known for my Broadway-quality costumes, show-stopping performances, live singing, comedic timing, and amazing event hosting skills. Hosting duties include bachelorette parties, anniversary celebrations, Weddings, Pride events, and birthday parties for all ages. She performs throughout New Haven and Hartford counties, in NYC, Florida, and everywhere in between! 

Most recently I was handpicked by the producers of the movie “Judy” to be their meet and greet Judy Garland look-alike on June 30, for World Pride in New York City. 

I am the first male actor honored to play the role of Dorothy in the licensed production of The Wizard of Oz in the world. My most notable work has been with my own theatrical production company, Summer Orlando Productions. You can catch me touring throughout the country performing my drag stage parodies and professionally impersonating Judy Garland, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Cher, and many other celebrities. 

Summer is the producer and creator of her stage tribute show ” Hocus Pocus Live!!! Her impersonation of “Winifred Sanderson” has received so much attention that she was handpicked by Disney to appear in the upcoming ” Hocus Pocus 2″ coming to Disney plus September 30, 2022. 

I am one of the first drag performers tapped by TGI Fridays to start its first monthly drag cabaret event, hosted with my business partner Barbra Joan Street sand. I am one of the show producers and headliners for Meriden CT’s Premier weekly Drag brunch ” Drag Me to Brunch” at the 78 Dinner Theater. 

In my spare time, I teach choreography and Direct children’s theater, hoping to inspire kids to explore the wonderful and magical world of Theater. 

I l like long walks on the beach, show tunes, and cheesecake. 

I’m a full-time drag entertainer and have been performing for over 10 years. My first experience with drag came in college when I was in a production of “The Rocky Horror Show”. If you are unfamiliar the actors have to wear the clothing of the opposite sex and wear makeup. I did not make a pretty woman back then, but with time and practice, it got better. A local drag queen saw me in the show and offered me an audition at a drag club in Hartford CT, called the Polo club. I aced the audition and was put in theme shows, When I made the move to New Haven and made friends with the drag community there, that’s when things got serious and after a few years guesting in other people’s shows, I teamed up with my new business partner and we created an empire over the last 5 years. I know to perform in prestigious theaters, wineries, breweries, gay bars, and everywhere in between. It’s my love and my passion. I have been so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have been given through this platform. Sometimes I have to pinch myself as I’m making a living truly living my dream. I just turned 29 and the world is my oyster. Endless possibilities and the sky are the limits as I’m a big dream achiever. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is the road ever smooth? I definitely have had some bumps along the way. From being disowned by my father 12 years ago when I came out of the closet, rebuilding family dynamics, and quitting my food service job to take a chance on myself and be a performer full time. Lived paycheck to paycheck for many years as a starving artist, and scrounged up the money to pay my bills. We all start somewhere and need room to grow. I’m happy to say I’m in a place now where I can live semi-comfortably and I have loving family and friends as my biggest cheerleaders. My mom is my biggest, although sometimes she gets this weird idea, that she is my manager. The road is a lot more paved these days. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Many people have a misconception about drag shows, that drag means seedy clubs, 21 and over, with a drag queen who is dirty, sexual, and raunchy. 

I like to flip that misconception on its head by introducing performance art where all ages, from six to sixty, can come to enjoy drag for what it is; interactive, fun, and full of surprises! 

They include jokes, live singing, games, audience participation, giveaways, 

celebrity impersonations, and much much more. 

Summer is New England’s Number one Character impersonator and looks alike and I think what sets me apart from most drag queens is though I do a little lip-syncing I mainly sing life, including as the celebrities and characters I impersonate. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I see myself continuing to tour the world, visit new places, make long-lasting business relationships, Write and produce some more original works for the stage, and honestly whatever else falls in my lap. I love a challenge. 

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1 Comment

  1. Maria Mendoza

    July 14, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    What a wonderful story about Summer! I have the honor of knowing Summer in person and she has a great personality and talent. Kudos and continue your art girl!

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