Hook-up app GROWLR is continuing its live online queertainment and legendary drag star Varla Jean Merman will be captivating audiences with her one-woman show online for free on Saturday, May 16th at 9pm.


All shows will air on GROWLR Live, the in-app live video-broadcasting feature on GROWLR.


The organisers have said ‘what makes this programming different from most other performances being offered during this time of quarantine are these shows are free to viewers and they support queer artists as GROWLR is not asking the performers to donate their time. The app is paying them for their performances, just like a brick and mortar bar or club would do.’  


Sassify caught up with Varla to talk about what fans can expect from her show and how the coronavirus has affected the drag community.


What can viewers expect if they have never seen a Varla Jean Merman show before?

A really good time from the waist up! No panty hose! No heels! I guess even a pandemic has a silver lining for a “lady entertainer”. I am gonna sing some of my favourite songs about bears, tell a few hairy jokes, and try not to mention Covid-19 at all.


What drew you to the GROWLR app as the perfect platform to deliver your show?

I am not only a spokesperson! I am a client! So I could not believe when they asked me to be on the app. I would have probably been on it anyway…


Does this partnership with GROWLR mean you are big fan are bears? What tribe do you prescribe to?

I have always been attracted to bears! While other kids liked Scott Baio, I was lusting after Ed Asner! I, myself, stopped shaving about 8 years ago, so I sometimes consider myself a bear. Sometimes a wolf. My weight goes up and down more than Mariah Carey. I can say that about her. She is a colleague.


In times of crisis and isolation we often turn towards art and entertainment for solace, where have you been finding inspiration during quarantine?

I have mostly turned to frozen margaritas. But in between blender trips to the kitchen, I have watched “Hollywood” and every puppy dog movie I could find: “A Dog’s Journey”, “A Dog’s Purpose” and “Marley and Me”. Why am I punishing myself, seeing someone’s family pet die OVER AND OVER?!? I am losing my mind.


What has been the best and worst part of self-isolating? 

Getting to know my family better. And getting to know my family better.


Has there been anything challenging about adapting your shows for a digital format rather than on stage? And do you think this crisis will have a long-term effect on the drag community?

Hearing no laughter after a joke is maddening! Oh, wait. That happened to me all the time before the pandemic lockdown! Kidding! I am hilarious or why would the savvy people at Growlr have me on?! I think this has greatly affected drag queens who don’t have huge following. Local queens are having a hard time with no work, and not having a name makes it hard to get viewers online. Please support your local queens too!


Do you have any favourite drag stars to work with?

I love my gal pal Peaches Christ! And Jinkx Monsoon makes any show hilarious and fun!


Have you been keeping up with Drag Race? Who would you like to win?

I’m a total Gigi Goode fan! She’s a star!


Any sassy anecdotes to share?

Don’t ever try to glue a rhinestone on a g-string while you’re wearing it.


Finally what made you happy today? 

Answering these questions! Because it reminded me I still have a job! And the frozen margarita helped.

Varla plaid.jpg

Sassify Zine - May 2020

Don’t ever try to glue a rhinestone on a g-string while you’re wearing it.…’’

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