I think we all know who Frankie Sharp is by now. But for the woefully uninformed, Frankie Sharp is one of the best — and even after all these years — freshest club, party and event promoters working in New York City. He’s collaborated with everyone and anyone you can think of in the LGBTQIA+ scene, from Amanda Lepore and Lady Gaga to RuPaul and Susanne Bartsch.
In the smoky, dimly lit backstage of club Bedlam on Avenue C, Frankie’s newest spot for his Tuesday night cabaret “Mary,” I caught up with the infamous Prince of Parties for a quick chat.
Alex Blynn: Congrats on being a sober New York city club promoter.
Frankie: Thanks! It’s been pretty wild. I was throwing parties and DJing at events all over the city, but I was in a total drunken blackout almost all of the time. My life and work was becoming increasingly difficult because I’d be hungover for a week at a time. My turning point was during a regular night at Metropolitan in Brooklyn for my usual gig, where the first thing I thought of when I walked in was, “I can’t wait to get some Jameson to calm my nerves!” because I’m always nervous no matter what it is; followed by, “Wow, tomorrow’s gonna suck.” And I really didn’t like that mindset of already hating tomorrow, today.
My very last binge before I sobered up was on Fire Island for a DJ gig. That night I had 3 bottles of Jameson, a bottle of wine, 3 bottles of champagne, a bag of coke, a couple hits of ecstasy, Xanax, and Vicodin.
AB: All by yourself?
Frankie: Well, maybe I’d give out a couple sips and bumps.
AB: And what’s being sober like?
Frankie: It’s already changed my life drastically. I always wondered what I could achieve if my head were at an A+ as opposed to a C-, and now I know. It’s been 9 months and I truly couldn’t be happier. I love having a clear mind — it’s like the best drug I’ve never tried: sobriety.
AB: That sounds excellent! So tell me about your boyfriend (also named Alex).
Frankie: I’ve been with Alex for about 2 years. He’s an ex marine, a school teacher, a physicist… basically, he’s the total opposite of how I operate. We make a great yin and yang. He’s very supportive of my work and my sobriety. We’re pretty much inseperable and he’s part of my family.
AB: If you were single, what kind of guys are you usually into?
Frankie: A guy who’s emotionally unstable, I’m into. It’s not healthy at all, and I’m fully aware of that, but I really love bad boys. Danger is seductive.
AB: So tats, smoking, piercings, leather…
Frankie: Totally. Loud, over confident, that kind of thing. It’s probably related to why I’m in nightlife. Bad boys can be intriguing and mysterious. But, I’ve found with Alex how incredible stability and true support can be, which in a sea of assholes is its own kind of bad boy.
AB: Have you ever had a crush on a fellow promoter?
AB: That’s just a flat out no.
AB: Do you ever crush on queens or performers?
Frankie: All the time. I’m a huge fan of Andy Warhol, and I think I’ve been subconsciously creating something close to a Factory of my own. I’m always surrounding myself with beautiful men, beautiful women, beautiful trans people, beautiful drag queens, and just creatures that are all so specifically New York that I fall in love with all of them.
AB: It sounds like what you really love is New York.
Frankie: Ha! Yeah, I really do love New York.
AB: Actually, it sounds like your biggest crush is New York.
Frankie: My biggest crush is New York.
AB: So speaking of drag queens, who’s your favorite to win on RuPaul’s Best Friend Race?
Frankie: Of course I love all the NYC queens on this season, and I’m starting to really love Asia O’Hara too. I think Aquaria did her first ever live gig at Westgay, and I’ve seen her evolve into something so big. Our aesthetics are also similar, and she’s basically my and Susanne Bartsch’s daughter. It’s honestly weird this season because I know so many of the queens personally.
AB: And what’s coming up for the summer?
Frankie: Magic Sunday is really going strong. This week is Azealia Banks. Sza is coming up. June we basically have an amazing performer every week for Pride. The cabaret Mary has moved here to Bedlam, happening every Tuesday. We’ll be doing a version of Magic Sunday at the Fire Island Pines Pavilion in July. So there’s a lot going on, but let’s just say that by the end of the summer, I’ll likely have worked with every performer I love.
AB: And one last thing — how many studded leather jackets do you own?
Frankie: This is actually my twelfth!