I know I’m not the only one that always wanted to be someone else. Someone I wasn’t, someone I was always scared to be. Well, when I discovered drag, I was given the chance to be the complete opposite of the person I really am. I’m typically a quiet, shy, hate attention kind of guy. When I’m performing I’m a flirt, I’m carefree, and I’m completely outgoing. I have no inhibitions and am only focused on having fun. It’s easier for me to not care about others and being judged when I’m in drag and on stage.
When I was trying to come up with my drag persona, I had a lot of trouble. I knew in my head who I wanted to be but I was so scared because I was used to being on the sidelines, I didn’t know how to be anything or anyone else. I didn’t know how to put the attention solely on myself. Thankfully, I know a lot of drag kings and queens. I also looked at DCKings and did the simple act of filling out their worksheet on building a drag king. Though to be honest, just speaking with my drag queen and king friends helped more since it was from their first-hand experiences.
The first time I ever performed was this past January. I was performing in a benefit show for the support group I’m a part of. I was insanely nervous for weeks beforehand but thankfully, I performed a duet with a queen who performs frequently, so I was not alone. The show was on a Saturday night, so the club was jam packed. There were about 12 performers and I was the fourth in line. The song? Jealous by Nick Jonas featuring Tinashe. When I arrived at the club, many of my friends and even my dad were there in support and to enjoy the show. For me personally, I had to have a few drinks in order to calm all of my nerves and not throw up from sheer anxiety.
When the MC introduced me and the music started playing, my heart was beating out of my chest. I walked onto the stage and started doing my thing. It was a rush, the most amazing feeling! As soon as I started lip syncing, my fears left me. I danced around the stage and performed my little heart out. When the queen appeared for her part of the duet, I danced with her and had an absolute blast. The song ended and the crowd cheered so loud I couldn’t hear anything else.
Doing drag and pretending to be someone else for the night gave me a type of freedom I don’t think I would have found anywhere else. I wasn’t worried about what others thought of me or if someone didn’t like me. I was only focused on having fun and doing the best I could to entertain. Being on stage was like having my mind completely switch. I detached myself from my everyday person to someone entirely new. I had no thoughts as myself, and only thoughts as a performer.
So basically what I’m saying is, if you ever want to entertain, be someone different for the night, or just have an awesome experience doing something you never thought you would, performing and doing drag is most definitely a fun option!
And if you want to learn more about drag culture, Miss. Odette Dynasty O’Hara, a queen from Asheville, NC will be in Nichols Theatre on April 15th, from 6:30-8pm. She will be giving a talk about drag culture and present to us here at Randolph a little surprise!