Top Image: Photo by Da Ping Luo
Tori Scott is the first person you think of to call when you feel like getting into a little mischief. She’s the kind of friend that makes making bad decisions fun. The singer, actress, and comedian is a knock-it-out-of-the-park cabaret performer in New York City, and in particular at gay haunts, as vodka and glitter just seem to course through her veins. Scott is that gay gal friday that always has rolling papers, nips, and poppers in her purse, you know, just in case. The super talented performer is hitting the stage in Provincetown this week, the first time since the world shut down in March of 2020. She took a moment to chat with Provincetown Magazine about how Captain America helped her through lockdown, missing annoying tourists in New York, and how deep her love is for Provincetown.
Provincetown Magazine: We’ve missed you in Provincetown! Is this your first live gig since the world shut down?
Tori Scott: I have missed Provincetown!!! I’m so thrilled to be back! And yes, this is my first live gig since the “before times” and I’m so excited I could burst! I can’t think of a better place to make a return to the stage than the Art House!!
PM: What was life like for you since March 2020?
TS: I would say in the beginning of the pandemic, during the first month especially, I was in a total vodka haze! It’s all a bit of a blur. Spiking the coffee in the morning and watching the press conferences with Governor Cuomo in New York, wondering if this was the day the world would end! I mean can you believe what we all just went through? Once it was clear this was going to last for a while, I eventually sobered up…. slightly. I wasn’t very “creative” during the pandemic…unless you call watching all the Marvel movies in timeline order creative. Also, how hot is Captain America!? I tried finding new hobbies. I attempted to bake banana bread, like everyone, and it was so tragic I’m still embarrassed. I don’t know what I did wrong, but it didn’t taste like anything! Completely tasteless banana bread!! So, I didn’t become a baker, or a better cook, or more organized. But I’m now a total nerd when it comes to Marvel movies.
PM: Where or in what did you find solace during this crazy past year and a half?
TS: I discovered my passion for meditation. I know! Who am I? It’s not my brand! I had an entire bit in one of my shows a couple years ago where I made fun of meditation! I mean I’m not gonna live, laugh, love or eat, pray, love or anything, but it’s amazing what a pandemic will drive you to. And it was truly a lifesaver in easing anxiety. Sometimes I needed a bit more than meditation to ease my mind, so I made sure to always have edibles on hand. It’s the perfect combo.
PM: To make the pandemic experience even crazier it coincided with political tumult and a high-stakes presidential election. People spontaneously spilled into the streets in Provincetown to celebrate President Biden’s win. How did you celebrate?
TS: I EXHALED!!! I also kept saying, “Thank god!!!” randomly out of nowhere for a good month after the results. When it was first announced, I was living in Brooklyn at the time and was out taking a long walk and you could hear people honking and shouting in the streets. It was an incredible sense of relief. Then, I met up with a friend and we split a bottle of wine on her stoop and got weepy. Thank GOD!
PM: Once pandemic restrictions were lifted what was the first thing you ran out and did?
TS: I got my roots done!! I had been dying my hair out of a box and it always turned out too dark and sad looking, which I guess was fitting for the times we were living in. It was such a relief to get a professional to fix it, even if she did look at my hair and say, “Wow! You’re like 90% gray!”
PM: New York got hit hard and early. How do see the city coming back?
TS: I’ll have a better sense of New York City coming back once Broadway and off-Broadway theaters reopen. And, it will come back, but I worry it’s going to take a while. The city has changed. We’ve all changed. There are no tourists right now in Times Square! I used to dream about what it would be like to be able to walk through Midtown without having to zigzag around tourists who just stop in the middle of the sidewalk! But, now, I miss not having anyone to be mad at when I walk down the street! It’s funny the things we took for granted.
PM: You’ve been coming to Provincetown for quite some time now. What do you love most about it?
TS: I can’t name just one thing! The energy and the community is amazing! I feel like I’m at the edge of the world with really close friends. I love the food and entertainment. I love people-watching along Commercial Street while eating a slice in front of Spiritus or spotting Tony Kushner while getting a coffee at Joe’s. Or drinking too many frosés at the Canteen!!! I also love staying at the Anchor Inn and sitting on the porch with the dogs. I am very lucky to have Mark Cortale in my corner and an invite back to the Art House. I’m so happy that all these venues have reopened and so many performers can do their jobs again. And I appreciate you reaching out and asking me these questions! It’s really quite emotional thinking about it. Everyone just found their own way to “hang in there” during a really difficult time, and now we get to do what we love again. I’m so grateful. I love Provincetown.
Tori Scott performs at the Art House, 214 Commercial St., on Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets ($35/$45) are available at the box office and online at ptownarthouse.com. For more information call 508.487.9222.