Jerry Nunn: Howdy, Dixie!
Dixie Longate: So nice to meet me, isn’t it?
JN: Well, yes it is. Where are you originally from?
DL: I grew up in Mobile, Alabama. I was in prison and one of the conditions of my parole was to that I had to leave the state. I stayed in California for a while and that is where I started doing Tupperware parties. It blew up after that, who knew?
JN: Is this your first time in Chicago?
DL: No, I have done a few little shows before. You are with the homosectional website right? Ever heard of Hydrate?
JN: Yes, you know Sean?
DL: Oh Jeezus, of course! I did a few shows there in the past. They are just angels there so we had a great time. But this is the first time we are doing the whole tour program. I can’t wait.
JN: So this is world tour?
DL: Yes, this is our 42nd city. I don’t care for people so the fact that I am doing it is amazing.
JN: You are here for a long time.
DL: We are here for eight weeks. If all goes well then we will talk about staying for a couple more days. You know I am real busy…from what I understand the Chicago audiences love the theatar.
JN: Is there audience participation?
DL: Everyone gets a nametag. Then we do a raffle and do a few games. I do call some people to help me throughout the show. I want people to get up, play and get their hands dirty. It’s a party!
JN: How long is the show?
DL: It is about 100 minutes straight through, no intermission. When I am on a roll then I don’t stop.
JN: Do you have a favorite piece of Tupperware recently?
DL: The can opener is amazing. It is like Jesus came and sat in my hand. We also have these bowls that collapse down and pop up to stick things in that I like too. I love the Jell-o shot caddy.
JN: That would be good for Gay Pride.
DL: Pride? Hell, that’s good for church! Sunday morning if you want to get through that sermon then have a shot first.
JN: You are appearing on Halsted Street so I am sure you will have gay people in the audience.
DL: You are with that homosectional newspaper aren’t you? Well, they have been very good to me. Those gays travel in packs and smell so good. I hope they come to visit me at the party.
JN: Are you trying to bring this all to a younger generation? Because some people don’t know what Tupperware is.
DL: It blows my mind that people of a certain age think Tupperware is the stuff that you get in the grocery store. They don’t get that it is an actual brand name. That it is sold through parties. That their mom may have made money in the past throwing these parties. I am here to make sure people know. Tupperware started at the end of World War Two when women didn’t seem to have a purpose and couldn’t find a job. All of a sudden Tupperware came along. They could make three or four dollars throwing a Tupperware party, back then that was a huge amount of money. That is a little element of the show that I can talk about. There is a huge history to it for women. For me it is a love letter. It is very nice let people look at the legacy. For kids today I want to introduce it to them.
JN: My mom used to have Tupperware parties back in the seventies.
DL: She is a good person. That is why…
JN: She had them on top of the pool table in Tennessee.
DL: You can have them anywhere just throw a tablecloth down and there you go. It is so fun. You go into people’s homes and push the baby stroller out of the way and set it up,
You can really sell it if you have a good hostess.
JN: It is all about the hostessing? It doesn’t just sell itself.
DL: You have to understand people’s food storage needs. If you can get them to drink then it’s even easier to sell.
JN: Refreshments are important then. It’s not just lemonade?
DL: You know the saying, “When God gives you lemons put some vodka in it and drink until you fall over!”
JN: Well, it sounds like this party will be a lot of fun. Tupperware parties were so important for women back in the day.
DL: A lot of them didn’t have an education or finish high school. People wanted to do things other than be housewives. I just came from a Tupperware convention in Vegas with all the top sellers where we launch new programs but lots of recognition for these women. One of the top sellers was a Hispanic woman that had been cleaning people’s homes. In four years she went from basically nothing to a top director in the company. She has earned a trip for selling three years in a row. She went to Brazil, on a cruise to Alaska and never thought she would go anywhere.
JN: Tupperware changes lives!
DL: It totally changes them because the company is not just a plastic bowl company. A lot of people don’t know the story of the company. If I can introduce that to young people then that’s good. They just thumb their nose at everything. You can’t all be Paris Hilton and weigh one pound and be rich because you are a whore!
JN: What do you think of Ziploc?
DL: If you are going to be a whore and buy Ziploc cause you think it’s cheaper well it only works one time then you have to buy it again. If you keep throwing it away then it is not actually less expensive. It’s convenient because it’s right there but it’s disposable. Not only is it killing all the babies because they are putting it in a landfill but you are throwing money down the toilet.
JN: So Tupperware parties are the places to be these days?
DL: Yes, you are going to have a good time because it is a party. Then you are going to buy stuff and keep it forever. Your grandmamma and your mama still have Tupperware don’t they?
JN: Yes they do.
DL: It’s because it lasts forever. Then you have ladies that take their sharpie and write their name on it, “Don’t you take my Jell-o bowl, you damn whore!”So people don’t realize that they think they are paying for it in the long run with Ziploc.
JN: Well, it is made of thick plastic.
DL: I know it’s good. I like something that is nice and thick and not flimsy. This stuff in the grocery store is designed to be thrown away. You have a lifetime warranty with Tupperware so if anything happens to it, I will replace it for free. If your grandma has a favorite piece and it busted 60 years later and I will replace with whatever she needs.
DL: Yes! Try doing that with your Ziploc crap!
JN: Do you have a favorite color of Tupperware?
DL: You know the colors change all of the time. Every time they come out with something new I always hate it at first but then I grow to love it. I had my old Jell-o shot caddy and it was blue on the bottom and sort of clear like frosted on the top. That is my very favorite blue with frosted.
JN: We used to have a popsicle maker.
DL: We have them. We have Mickey Mouse heads on them now.
JN: I forgot about those!
DL: Aren’t they great?
JN: Yes but sometimes hard to get out the frozen popsicle without breaking them.
DL: Sometimes they were but then you would get them out and suck on them.
JN: It was made with Kool-Aid.
DL: Well, if that’s what you want. I put alcohol in them because I am an overachiever. But yeah you can suck on it and sit in the living room watching cartoons until it gets on the couch and your momma beats the shit out of you!
JN: I got beat with a fly swatter!
DL: Ohhh, wasn’t that fun? Isn’t it funny how there are no fly swatters now? Where did all the flies go? Remember in the seventies when there were flies everywhere? Where the hell are they?
JN: I don’t know. Are you going out on the town?
DL: I am in and out for this trip but when the show runs I will. The theatre is right by the homosectional part of town. I like Minibar and what is that place with the purple drinks?
DL: I said, “I want that frozen drink and I don’t care what it tastes like!” It tasted like heaven. Last time I was in town it was during the leather convention.
JN: During IML? That must have been crazy!
DL: I went to that hotel downtown, where they have the big event and I went to all of them vendor booths. They invited me to come on down so I thought I could pick up something for my grandma. I didn’t find much for her but I found Christmas gifts for all of my friends. The things I learned down there! I got an eyeful that day and a pocketful of phone numbers.
JN: I bet you did. Talking to you has been like having my own little private show.
DL: You are a doll!
The southern belle arrives at the Royal George Theatre Cabaret, 1641 N Halsted, March 18 and stays through May 15. For more information about how you can attend the party log onto www.dixiestupperwareparty.com or www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.