Conor Leigh Tubbs
I write, I sing and I perform.
Job Journalist, Musician and Performance Artist / Dispatch Magazine, Freelance Musician and Performance Artist
Lives In The West End
I'm the in-house staff writer at Dispatch Magazine, an events and arts publication based out of Portland. When I'm not there, it's almost guaranteed that I'm working on a music project of some kind. I studied musical theater in college, but only retained the music side of things so I'm sticking to what I know. I'm a vocalist primarily, and have done lots of session work, harmony orchestration and have won several singing competitions around the area.
My alter ego, Cherry Lemonade, is my most recent development. I've been performing in drag for three and a half years and it's been a really amazing way to keep myself on stage as often as possible. It's where I thrive, 'cause I get to sing live while I perform, and write my own skits and comedy routines. It's the best parts of all of my projects put into one.
Why did you choose Portland? I was born and raised here. I left for a couple of years, but decided that the best way to get my bearings in the performance and journalism worlds was to do it in a place of comfort. A place where I can find own voice and be unapologetic about it. I'd rather fall on my face in front of a group of people I know, than to do so in a place I don't know.
Who are Portlanders you admire and why? I admire anyone who has the gall to get on a stage and share their art with an audience. It's a beautiful thing to be able to emote feelings through your own means of expression, and it's equally as beautiful to want to see through someone else's eyes.
What do you like to do with out-of-towners? I always take them to Novare Res, and to Pom's Thai Taste on Congress St. Depending on the season, a trip to Fort Williams is always a good time, too. The best is getting a bubble tea on a hot summer day, walking down to the Maine State Pier and spitting the tapioca pearls into the ocean.
Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? R.I.P. Empire Dine & Dance. We had some great times.
What's the most surprising thing about this city? We're a major metropolitan area with the absolute worst public transportation system in the entire world.
What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? I have two. The buffalo wings at Mesa Verde are pretty fantastic, and I'm also very partial to the Aphrodite by Dieu de Ciel! Brewers. They only carry it at Novare, and it's really rare that they even have it. So whenever I can get my hands on one, it's the ultimate way to unwind.
What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? A drag queen trying to make a dollar! There are those out there who think that we're clowns, and that it's a talentless hobby. In actuality, I'm great at what I do and it's extremely expensive to do what I do. So next time you see a queen out there performing, for the love of God tip her.
Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. Sitting with my music partner, dissecting vocal harmonies and teaching them to others, followed by a night of dancing out at the club. I'm also a huge fan on seeing live music. I think I'd wanna be included on stage, though, so I'd say that the perfect night would be a night where I'm gigging. The next morning? Sleep late, cruise the internet for an hour or two and then brunch at Ruski's.
Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? Styxx. Most of the people from my adult life are regulars there, and I always feel at home when I'm there. I've worked at Styxx for almost six years, so we've all become quite a crazy little family.
I teach story writing throughout Greater Portland and connect published authors with student writers.
My work is collected both locally and internationally. I've been educating art students in New England since the Millennium.