Meet Taylor Sheesh, the Philippines' favourite Taylor Swift impersonator

The grind by no means stops for Taylor Sheesh, the Philippines’ preeminent Taylor Swift impersonator. The minute we get on Zoom, they admit they’ve simply woken up from a well-timed nap. After performing because the pop star for 90 minutes on Sunday in entrance of a number of thousand folks (a live performance that went viral on TikTok(opens in a brand new tab) and Twitter(opens in a new tab)), Sheesh, who additionally goes by Mac, is gearing as much as work the graveyard shift on the customer support job they picked up when bars closed through the pandemic. “At this age we want naps,” the 28-year-old says.

Sheesh’s efficiency on the TriNoma mall in Quezon Metropolis got here courtesy of Swifties Philippines, a fan-led coalition selling Swift throughout the nation and campaigning for her speedy return. (Swift hasn’t toured within the Philippines since 2014.) Worldwide dates for The Eras Tour have but to be introduced, and the group is hoping their free listening events — that are so standard that manufacturers are clamoring to sponsor them — will draw the pop star again to their archipelago.

We caught up with Sheesh as they gushed about all issues Swift and shared their journey into drag efficiency.

How did your viral mall efficiency come about?

Taylor Sheesh: The admin of Swifties Philippines contacted me a couple of month earlier than the occasion and mentioned they have been having a listening get together at TriNoma, one of many largest malls right here in Quezon Metropolis, which is among the most active Swift-streaming cities in the world(opens in a new tab).


Taylor Swift publicizes ‘Converse Now (Taylor’s Model)’ album at Nashville live performance

I’ve a pal who all the time makes my drag and Taylor costumes. As soon as the organizer mentioned that they have been having a present on Might 21, I requested my pal on April 30 if she might make them in time, and she or he mentioned, “Positive, why is that even a query?” She made 4 [costumes]: the blue bodysuit from the Midnights period, the inexperienced costume from Folklore — which we love — the Pink red-and-black one piece, and the Fame-era bodysuit with the snake on it. Two days earlier than the present she despatched me the completed merchandise, and we checked to verify all of it labored and it was excellent. We blended these with costumes I already had from previous performances.

How lengthy have you ever been a Taylor Swift impersonator?

I began impersonating her in 2017 or 2018. I’m additionally a drag queen at Nectar Evening Membership, and I began doing that in 2017. My pal took me hostage. It was my first time in an evening membership, and she or he made me go in drag. There was a lip sync battle, and my pal pushed me in — like, actually pushed me — and I received. It was a Woman Gaga-themed drag evening, I used to be both lip syncing “Dangerous Romance” or “Born This Manner.” I used to be carrying a crop high and shorts, just like what Woman Gaga was carrying in her efficiency with Metallica(opens in a brand new tab). All my enemies… er… contenders have been carrying that that evening.

That night, my supervisor requested me to affix a bunch she was creating that may carry out each Friday and Saturday at that membership. It escalated shortly. And since then I’ve carried out with Drag Race queens of their reveals, like with Sasha Velour and others, after they come to go to.

What’s it wish to be a drag performer and a Taylor Swift impersonator within the Philippines? Is it supportive? Do you are feeling protected?

Sure, we really feel very protected, and I am so very completely satisfied that since Drag Race Philippines season one, [drag performance] could be very mainstream right here within the Philippines. They only completed filming season two, so lots of people right here within the Philippines are very curious about drag and we, as drag queens, attempt to educate them on how a drag queen works, how the tradition works.

How do you educate them, by performing? I noticed you have been additionally on a TV present just lately.

By performing or acting at Delight occasions, talks, and podcasts. That was my first time on a TV present.

Can you carry out full-time?

Earlier than the pandemic I labored as a name middle agent Monday to Friday and labored within the evening membership Friday and Saturday evening, so Sunday was all the time my relaxation day. In 2018, I began my drag profession as a full-time job, however when the pandemic began all of the bars have been closed. I began working in buyer assist once more and nonetheless do, along with drag. Generally I ask the [Swifties Philippines] occasion organizers after they’ll need me to carry out so I can match that schedule to my relaxation day.

A photo of Mac on stage as Swift, with a red guitar.

Sheesh on stage, serving Swift.
Credit score: @heymacyou

When did you change into a Swiftie?

2009. After I heard “Fifteen.”

What are your favourite Taylor songs, personally?

I am a Converse Now stan, so I really like “Final Kiss” and “Expensive John.”

What do you’re keen on about Taylor?

Every little thing. Cats. Her iconic moments from The Eras Tour. Her Fame period, which was so traumatic as a result of she deactivated all her social media. Her break-up with Joe [Alwyn]! She additionally fights for artists’ rights, for them to be compensated. Artists put an excessive amount of work into their artwork, and so they have to be acknowledged and validated. Additionally, she fought for the Equality Act within the U.S., and she or he additionally supported an anti-terrorism legislation(opens in a brand new tab) within the Philippines.

How do you are feeling in regards to the break-up?

I do not know as a result of I got here dwelling from work, and it was [April 9,] Easter Sunday within the Philippines. Jesus simply rose up from the useless, and Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn broke up. I do not know what to really feel.

What do you concentrate on her and Matty Healy?

Mmm, for me it is a no as a result of I’ve examine Matty. But it surely’s Taylor’s selection. That is her thoughts, that is her coronary heart. We’ll simply must assist her similar to we assist her music.

What was your analysis course of like on your full-length Eras Tour efficiency?

I watched the primary evening of her tour on TikTok Dwell, and I’ve watched each metropolis since. That is our solely technique to watch her [in the Philippines], by means of Swifties [at the venue] streaming her concert events dwell. So I watch her actions, her costumes, her songs. And naturally, we’re all the time ready for her shock songs.


Each shock music Taylor Swift has carried out on ‘The Eras Tour’ (to date)

I used to be questioning which shock songs you selected on your efficiency.

I selected “Cornelia Road” and “Lengthy Dwell,” however my efficiency is just too lengthy, and I needed to offer extra alternatives to our dwell performers [who cover Swift songs at the listening parties], in order that they sang them! We all the time sing “Lengthy Dwell” after the present as a technique to rejoice Taylor. The music means quite a bit to us right here within the Philippines. Our former Vice President [Leni Robredo] is a Swiftie(opens in a brand new tab), and so are her daughters.(opens in a brand new tab) She used “Lengthy Dwell” as a theme music for her marketing campaign.

You mentioned your private favourite Taylor Swift songs are “Final Kiss” and “Expensive John.” What’s your favourite music to carry out?

I all the time like to carry out “Love Story” or “You Belong With Me.” Each Swiftie can soar to it, you possibly can see an enormous wave of the gang leaping. After I was performing this weekend, from my perspective seeing the folks dancing and particularly leaping, I used to be considering, “Is the second flooring robust sufficient? [Laughs] Is it going to break down?”

How would you describe Taylor’s efficiency model?

Taylor is an ungainly dancer, which could be very cute to us. Her songs all the time inform a narrative, that is what I inform first-timers or people who find themselves not completely a fan of her. I all the time say, “There’s a Taylor Swift music for each state of affairs.”

Do you attempt to mimic what Taylor does or add your individual strikes? What’s your favourite Taylor transfer to do?

I am all the time studying learn how to act like Taylor, learn how to transfer like Taylor, learn how to smile like Taylor, and general, learn how to strategy performing like Taylor, like Taylor’s Model. My favourite is when she hits the excessive word and leans again.

What’s your objective for the long run?

I’d simply need to be seen by Taylor and to have her come to the Philippines on her worldwide dates. As a result of I consider that the Philippines is a Taylor Nation nation. The final time she was right here was 2014 for The Pink Tour, which I did not get an opportunity to attend as a result of I haven’t got that cash but. Somebody on Twitter livestreamed it. However Taylor Nation blocked it!

I need to carry out internationally, that is my dream. In drag, which I really like, or as Taylor. I can see my future there.

Are you going to attempt for a spot on Drag Race Philippines?

I am having fun with this second proper now. Possibly for season three!