BWW Interviews: Dixie Longate, Charasmatic Star of DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY

BWW-Interviews-Dixie-Longate-Charasmatic-Star-of-DIXIES-TUPPERWARE-PARTY-20121130

MM: Cheers! Honey, it was a wonderful show. I loved it so much. It’s just so fun.

DL: Thank you.

MM: But you do not need any recognition – it’s your third time here. And I’m sure you’ll be back time and time again. I love this show – it’s immensely popular.

DL: I’ve gotta say, I love Denver audiences. Because everybody here is fun, they have a good time. They really know how to let their hair down when they come in the theatre. They really play. You go to some theatres around the country and the audiences don’t understand it as much; they’re a little quieter. They’re a little moodier. But everybody across the board in Denver always makes it happen happen.

MM: Well good. Do you find that ths is a good region for sales?

DL: You know, I do think it’s a good region for sales, as well. I also find that because the holidays are coming up, people are thinking, “Oh my gosh, it’s Black Friday – African American Friday comin’ up. I wanna make sure that I get stuff for all my friends for the holidays.” All that stuff. And that’s always good. The holidays are always nice. But I love when people come to the party and they’re like “I’ve never thought much about Tupperware before, but it’s the greatest thing on the planet.” They see it in the show, and they go “I need that. I never knew how amazing this stuff was, and I need that.” And so that always makes me happy when people leave with Tupperware brand product.

MM: Well, I’m testimony to that.

DL: No, you’re a Tuppermonial for that.

MM: So what did the organization think of you – I mean, you’re putting on a show, but it’s actually a real Tupperware party. I call it an event.

DL: Well I started selling Tupperware about 11 years ago and I started just doing regular Tupperware parties. It wasn’t even a thought of doing it as a show. But I did it for a couple years and I became one of their top sellers. And when I went to the Jubilee, I had so much fun, and everyone’s so neighborly, they just treat me so well, and I said “Well, I have this opportunity to maybe put this together and do it as a show, we should try it.” And because I had been with Tupperware long enough that my money was where my mouth was.

MM: You know your stuff. I’m amazed at that.

DL: Oh, hooker, I know my crap. It’s the best crap on the planet. So when I started, they were happy. They said “take it with our good graces,” and they said “just talk kindly about that product,” and I do. I mean, I love Tupperware so much. I always talk real kindly and neighborly about all the product. But it started as a little show in New York as part of a theatre festival, and then people got interested in it and I moved it off Broadway, and then I started the tour.

MM: And how long were you off Broadway?

DL: It was only supposed to be two months, and it ended up being three, and the only reason we didn’t go longer, which we could’ve, was that we had to close because the theatre I was in had another show comin’ in after it. So I had to close there, but they said “well, someday we’ll get you back in New York.” But then that started the tour, and after that, I’ve been on the road. I’m in my fifth year, which is crazy.

MM: That’s awesome.

DL: I know – I don’t even like people anymore. I just hate everybody. No – it’s fun. I love it, and every show’s different. We’re about to celebrate the 600th show this weekend – isn’t that crazy? – and, for me, I never get bored with it. I never get tired because every night is different. Every audience is different. There are always gonna be different people playing games, different questions to answer, different energy of the room. So that’s what I love about it. There’s always gonna be something that keeps me excited.

MM: Well, good. So what is your favorite piece of Tupperware to sell?

DL: I love the can opener, because that thing is amazing. I’ve never seen nothin’ like the can opener in my whole life. It just makes my jaw open like a junior prom date. I do love the wine bottle opener, because at a stop light, I can reach back, get my stash of wine, put it in my crotch, take the wine bottle, and open it before the light turns green.

MM: And everyone loves crotch wine.

DL: Oh my God, it’s a true story. It’s true. I love it. You know, it’s a great stocking stuffer. So at the holidays, when you need something for like a 5 year old, put a bottle of wine taped to a wine opener. It’s amazing. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Cause if they learn that young, you know they’re gonna do it responsibly.

MM: So what’s your biggest seller?

DL: Well, when I do the Tupperware parties, regular parties, I wanna say the grater, which is on the table but I didn’t talk about it in the show. The grater is my biggest seller. People go nuts for the grater. Cuz the little housing on it, when you grate, all of the things fall into the housing, and it’s got metric and American measurements on it. So you grate and you measure when you’re doing it. That’s why they call it the Grate and Measure, it’s so smart. But at the show, my rimmin bowls are what everyone wants. So I sell tons of my rimmin bowls, and my two boobs in a box. Because you can’t live without that.

MM: No, absolutely not.

DL: No, not at all. Because you know when you cut somethin’ in half live a tomato and you’re like, I’ve got half of something, what am I gonna do with it, and you don’t wanna put it in your mouth right then, then you put it in the box.

MM: Exactly. And I love that it had a hook to hang it up, too.

DL: I know! It’s so smart, and people always call me and they say, I can’t do it because I have a glass shelf refrigerator and it won’t hang on there, and I’m like, you damn fool. Put it on the side. There’s a little space on the side – the glass shelf actually gets suspended from the back, so there’s a little side space on both of them. Just shove it in. I know people are stupid. I’ve gotta learn it all.

MM: So what piece of Tupperware do you think every person should get for Christmas?

DL: Oh my Lord, that’s a hard one. The wine bottle opener is one of the very best things because then everybody’s happier when they drink. That Quick Shake – the little shaker bottle, did I show you that? The little Quick Shake container, when you put your food in there, it blends it real smooth.

MM: No!

DL: Oh my God, you do it like this – give it a quick shake, and you can blend your things, so that when you put them in your mouth, you won’t *gagging noise*. If I’m making that noise, I better not be having something in my mouth like a quick shake. I’d better be having something else. So that one I love, and it’s reAl Small and compact so you can make your drinks in it, your marinade for your big old platter of meats, you can put dressings in there. Anything you want to make. Your non-lumpy gravy, like your Grandmama did. Which was when she was hittin’ the hooch.

MM: A lot of hooch in that sauce.

DL: Amen, which is why they call it sauce. Exactly.

MM: So some say that Tupperware is dated and so are these parties. Do you think you have
revolutionized or revitalized the concept in a fabulous way?

DL: That’s so sweet. You know, I like to think that I had a little bit to do with it. You know, Tupperware’s been around and never stopped being sold. But for a while it felt outdated and tired. And I think, my hope with the parties is to just remind people that it’s a party, and come have a good time and drink a little bit, and see the best crap on the planet. So I think – I don’t want to take all the credit for revitalizing it, but I think I played a little bit of a role in getting people back to knowing about it and being informed about it. And, like you have a bunch of people who come to the show who have never been to a Tupperware party, so that’s what I love. I love when people come in, like a husband and wife. Well, the husband never would’ve gone. A date night, or a young group that didn’t even know what Tupperware was, and they’re like oh my God, this is the best crap. That’s what I like about it. So I’ve been giving a new demographic of people an opportunity to come see the best crap on the planet.

MM: That’s wonderful. I have to say, I am a virgin to the Tupperware party. I’ve used Tupperware, but I’ve never been to one of the parties.

DL: And now what you do is you create a Tupperware party with somebody. Get all your friends together and call a local host – I’ve got some good hosts I can hook you up with – and they do a party, and then you get all this free crap. As the host, you get butt loads of free crap for hosting the party. And then everybody comes to have a good time, and they buy and they drink, and everybody wins.

MM: Are there any Tuppermonials or success stories that you’d like to share with the world?

DL: You know, me personally, my biggest thing is…it’s funny – I got completely out of debt with
Tupperware. I was in deep and I got completely out of debt selling Tupperware. And the day that I
wrote that last check to that last credit card company was the most freeing day of my life. Cause I
started and I was like, “Oh, I’m just gonna do a couple parties. I need new tires for my car” because my tires were so worn down. So I said, “How much is it gonna cost me to get a new set of tires?” So I calculated that out, and then how many parties would it take to do that. And I did it, and I got the goal real fast, and I was like well, you know, I could use some other things. And I just kept selling and selling and setting goals. But the best was the year when I was #1 in the entire United States – there’s nothing like that. They had the top 30 people in sales up on that stage, and I counted down. It was like a beauty pageant. And I’m counting down and they’re getting to the top 5, and there’s just 5 of us, and we’re all nervous and looking at each other. And they don’t tell you – you know what your sales are but you don’t know what they are compared to other people. And it was down to me and the #2 lady, we were sitting next to each other, and they said that she was #2, and I came apart. I started crying. They came up and put a little crown on me, a little tiara, a little sash, and give me some flowers, and then they handed me the microphone, and it was so fun to just look at these thousands of people that were just sitting there. And I remember being at my first Jubilee, and being in the very last row, and saying “Oh my Lord, wouldn’t it be great to get up there someday?” That was exactly what I said. I’m gonna be here someday. And someday someone now in the very last row is gonna be up here, too. It’s a great thing to say thank you for being so supportive and so neighborly. And it was just a great feeling to have so many thousands of people cheering and congratulating me for what I’d done. That’s my favorite moment at Tupperware.

MM: And I put in my review, actually, “Fall in love with Tupperware all over again.”

DL: I love that! That is so sweet.

MM: So what do you think is the secret for your success?

DL: I think for me, it’s about the party. It’s never been about a Tupperware party, it’s been about a
Tupperware party. The party’s the thing that – if I’m having a good party, and everyone’s having fun, the Tupperware’s just sitting here. It sells itself. And people will get it or they won’t get it, but I think the success of what I do is I try to make people happy and have a good time. When you come to the show, you have a good time and you leave with a smile on your face. Everyone is chuckling through it the whole time. And you’re gonna learn something, too, but I love the part about the fact that everyone’s just having a good time because you’re at a party. And that’s my secret to success. If you’re having fun, you’re always gonna love what you do. And if you’re having fun, you’re always gonna love what you do. And, if you’re having fun, other people are having fun, too.

MM: And I actually have a couple of questions from our readers. What did you have to do to become #1?

DL: Sell ass loads of crap. I did. My top year, I sold $219,000.00 worth of Tupperware. Isn’t that crazy? I know. So I just said, I’m gonna hit my goal, I’m gonna be #1, I’m gonna do everything I can, and I dated as many parties as I could. At every party, I just said, I’m gonna have as much fun as I can, and make enough people happy that they’re just gonna fly on. So, I think that’s…I mean, that’s what it is.

MM: And do you have a special noise for the burping sound that the Tupperware makes when you seal it?

DL: I call it passing wind. Because burping is fun, and around the 80’s, they started calling it “the
whisper, because they wanted to rebrand it, and all the tupperware ladies were like “Fuck you, it’s the burp.” Because, you know, that’s their territory. Don’t screw with the Tupperware ladies. And so I call it passing wind, because it sounds like a little fart. Between you and Jesus, that’s what it sounds like.

MM: So, if you were not selling Tupperware, what do you think you’d be doing, in a parallel universe?

DL: Oh, probably stripping. But I’d get one of those coin changer money belts because sometimes
when people throw quarters, it hurts. And sometimes you gotta give them change. Sometimes they’re like “I’m tipping, here’s 5,” and you’re like “What a great tip,” and they’re like, “No, I just need change for the parking meter. You keep a dollar and give me the rest in quarters.” People are sweet. My friend’s a stripper, and she takes checks. She does. She gets a papercut you do not want to squeeze a lemon on. It’s gonna sting. Puts ‘em right in her g-string. She does. She’s a whore, but…

MM: Hopefully she gets a valid ID first.

DL: She can take a q-tip and bleach and write anything on it she wants.

MM: So will we be seeing you on the small screen anytime soon?

DL: I hope so. Every time I go to every market, I do all the interviews and stuff on TV. I’m hoping to do television, though. I wanna make my own program. And someday, we hope, I’m writing some
stuff, got some irons in the fire, made some calls and some meetings, and you never know. You know, everybody’s trying to get a phone to you, but I think I’m so TV friendly. I mean, people look at me and they’re like “You’re beautiful.” And I saw, you know, I know. But I think I’d be so good.

MM: So do you think – I know you love the party – but do you think you’ll ever do an infomercial?

DL: I don’t know – that’d be fun. I never did one before. I’m gonna be nice and do that thing with my hand. “Loooook at that,” and just do that rounding thing that they do. And they take stuff and put it over their hand, and they’re like “Isn’t this amazing?” It’s a chain or a ring or a ladder. You can use this in the car. Whatever.

MM: And then everyone could see your ring.

DL: Yeah, and I’m so good at it. I’ve been workin’ on it for so many years. I’m practically an expert,
remember. I could write a book on rimming, with pictures and everything, and it would sell like a bunch of copies.

MM: Have you ever thought about a book?

DL: You know, I’m actually working on writing a little bit now. I’m writing a little bit all the time. But I want to write it about all these fun advertures and everything I’ve had, but also about the empowering thing, about doing stuff for yourself, and making your dreams come true. Because I think people always forget – there are so many books out right now about vampires and werewolves and having sex when you’re 50 and grey or whatever. But I want to do one about get off your damn ass, you fool, and have something more fun than that.

MM: It’d be fun to combine it with some of that. I mean, you’ve been doing this on tour for 5 years. It’d be cool to have all these Tuppermonials from all these different areas in America.

DL: Oh my God, and I have some of the funniest Tuppermonials. I had a Tuppermonial one day – there was a lady told me a Tuppermonial that her daddy works as a heart specialist and a brain specialist, and they would take stuff out and they have these measurement containers from Tupperware, and they would put organs in them while people would be on the operating table. They would have to remove them while somebody would be doing work, and they would put them in dry ice in Tupperware, and I’m like, that is not a common use.

MM: Well, it does have a lifetime guarantee.

DL: I know, but I might void that guarantee if you’re sticking somebody’s brain in it, though. Oh, and there was one lady who was a legacy person at Tupperware, she’d been in for 50 years. She died, and they did a real sweet memorial to her at one of the Jubilees two years ago, and her husband came up,and it was real sweet, and said “She had a great life in Tupperware. She’s really enjoyed Tupperware. She’s been in the company for so many years – one of the originators. So when she died, she requested to be cremated and put in some Tupperware.” And so, yeah. It’s a little sweet.

MM: Oh, sweet.

DL: Yeah, totally creepy, but sweet. He actually brought the little container with her ashes in it to the Jubilee.

MM: Again, creepy, but sweet.

DL: Yeah, we’re like “Oh! Oh….oh….no…”

MM: Don’t drop it.

DL: Yeah, don’t drop it, but it won’t crack, chip, or peel. So that’s nice. And, if it did, you have the
lifetime warranty and we’ll replace it. You might not get the ashes with it, but you’ll get a new one.

MM: So what is next for you after Denver?

DL: Well, after Denver, I’m gonna go to Tampa for a week to do programs, and I do Waterbury, CT,
and the New England area. And we do a bunch of shows in Buffalo, NY, and Scanechtete. And up in
that area. So I’m gonna be up in that area for quite a while. And then, so excited, then we go back to Melbourne, Australia. And then we do the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for our second year, and I’m so excited. We did it last year – well, this year – March and April, and I had the best time. Everybody in Australia – it was hard to understand because they’re foreign – what I could make out, it seemed like they had a great time. They laughed a lot. Like retarded people. No, but they were so sweet, so they said “Y’all come back” and I said “Mmm, okay, I will.”

MM: It’s Australia. How can you say no to that?

DL: I know. And we’re hoping to go back with the show and do some of the other cities. Because
Melbourne is amazing, but there are other cities, not just Melbourne. So we’re talking to somebody
about doing a little tour there, as well. So I’m gonna be all over the world.

MM: That’s fabulous! So again, thank you again for speaking with me and Broadway World. You’re absolutely wonderful. It was a blast. I had such a blast at the Tupperware party. It was so unexpected and such a joy, because I was so happy there, that I just absolutely loved it. And my partner was so excited that we had to buy $150 worth of product, so, ya know, it was all good.

DL: My favorite thing about my show is that when I come into work, I’m smiling, and when I leave, everybody else is smiling. That what I would say. Because I love that. I love making people happy. It’s just fun. Because it’s so easy for people to be moody and think about bad things and everything, and I’m like, “Just spend an hour and a half with me and just smile.” It’s better for ya. You know? I love that. I love making people laugh. I just see people sort of light up around me. That’s the best feeling in the world!

DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY is delighting audiences now through December 30th at the Garner Galleria Theatre at the Denver Center. For tickets or more information, contact the box office at 303-8930-4100 or online at www.denvercenter.org. Don't forget to bring your pocketbook and enjoy the party! 

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Michael Mulhern Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated with a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Currently he performs in one to two shows a year and is a proud member of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus. Some of Michael's favorite performances include - Lend Me a Tenor, Guys and Dolls, The Shadow Box, Buried Child, and Jeffrey. He is proud to represent Denver and it's growing theater community on BroadwayWorld.com!


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