"The Ripe and Ready
Pamela Plum"

an interview by Aaron Enigma

reprinted from CUT Magazine, Vol. 2 No. 2
February 1993

 
Otherwise known as Terrence Ganter, this powerhouse of creativity and showmanship is known to be just as evil in front of a sewing machine. the reigning Miss World Plus of '92, he took time out to chat about female impersonation as an art, as well as the rest of drag circuit...
 
We're at Pamela Plum's palacial palace...
 
Fellatio palace?
 
I didn't say fellatio, I said palacial (ki-ki).
 
Scandal! Should I gargle or what?
 
When did you come up with that character?
 
The character came into existence when I wwas staying with my godbrother. We had just moved into our own apartment, an itg jsut so happened we were 100 dollars short of rent. This was Fall '88, when Club LeRay was open, and I decided I was going to compete in a drag show to raise this money. My godbrother didn't have faith in me. He was like, "Let me call some of my clients, and maybe they can front me the money." He's a designer, Ed Bailey. Anyway, I go to the grocery store with our last twenty dollars (aside from what we already accumulated for rent). I'm walking through the aisles, and they have this sale on plums, ten cents each at Dominick's... I'll never forget it. The first name came when I was in the check-out aisle (this is a true story), 'cause the cashier's name was Pamela. I was like, "Pamela... Plum... hmmm..."
 
That sounds cute (ki-ki).
 
So I had the name. I ran it past everyone, and they gagged. They were like, "No, bitch! It'll never work!" So we came up with other names: Odessa Orange... uh, Barbara Blossom...
 
(KI-KI)
 
They just didn't stick. Pamela Plum stuck with me. Now I had the show to think about... I had never done drags before, and I had vowed I would never ever... but now I needed a dress. I called my sister- I had made her a gold lamé dress with a black taffeta bottom, and a gold rose I had put on there with glitter or something... We wore the same size- at that time I was a fourteen (I am now fourteen sizes larger). I asked to borrow it so I could "show it to a client of mine", when actually, I was going to use it for the show that evening.
 
Ok, so you lied...
 
Yes, I took the leftover money , and had someone buy me stockings, then go to Payless to buy me a pair of pumps. The makeup, I boosted from my sister's jewelry box...
 
No!
 
Now I needed a song- what song would I do for the public for the very first time?
 
Debut?
 
Right. I was talking to a friend who had a song they were dying for me to hear, 'cause he wanted to do a show. It was Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". That was the song I decided to do, because it would be the first time they saw me... the first time in drags, y'know.
 
So did you true the children that night?
 
Actually, I called everybody-and-my-grandmother to come see the show... noone came but one friend, Mark, and I was tipped one dollar. Now mind you, before I got there, I had heard so much shady shit about not doing certain songs, 'cause girls would "cut" you...
 
Why is that?
 
Because they didn't like competition. If you were a new "girl" you were sure to get the limelight, but if you did a song they were known to do, they would "use" you, y'know.
 
Who was doing that song?
 
No one was, at that time.
 
They'd be mad 'cause they didn't think of it first?
 
Right. I was nervous 'cause I didn't want to be rejected by the girls, or the audience, and I knew how desperately I needed that prize money. So, I went in kind and humble... this was the first time I met Tasha Thomas and the other children... They weren't shady or deceitful. As a matter of fact, they were just the opposite. They helped me apply my makeup properly, 'cause I was truly a disaster. I did the show, everyone applauded, and I changed clothes- I'm known to do a show, then instantly "boy up", because a boy is what I am...
 
(Ki-ki)
 
You thought not? So they called out the third place winner, second place and so on. Then, Tasha Thomas says, "The winner... she needs to be over in Hawaii somewhere, 'cause the ho's got more hand movements than any bitch over there..." That's how I learned, 'cause I figured I was too big to be one of those graceful, boppy bitches. I would make up for it with graceful hand movements. I also did facial expressions, which gagged the hell outta her. So then she says, "The winner is... Miss Pamela Plum!"
 
(Ki-ki)
 
I FELL OUT! I lost all sight and sound, but I grabbed every bit of that one hundred dollars- thought I didn't? I ranto the nearest pay phone, called my godbrother, woke him out of his sleep and said, "Bitch, I won." He said, "Yeah, right." Anyway, we payed the rent...
 
(see the rest in the Feb. '93 issue...)
 
Copyright 1993 Aaron P. Brown. All rights reserved.
 
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