So, you wanna MC a Drag Show?
Twenty-four hours ago I was on my way to Mt. Vernon to host the 4th Annual SVC Rainbow Alliance Drag Show. Forty-eight hours ago I had just been offered and agreed to fill in as the MC for the aforementioned evening.
Last night was a transformational experience. I had no idea what I was walking into. I rehearsed a lip-sync performance (THANK YOU MELINDA) to Royals by Lorde four hours before the show and that gave me some sense that I was preparing. But, what I learned that there was nothing that I could have done to truly prepare for what was about to take place. I had to rely completely on self-trust, an overall faith in the way of the world, the beauty and charm of failure, presence of mind and spirit—and sex.
First, let me say this, the show took place at a fucking concert hall. I mean, I had no idea the size of this fucking place when I said yes (not that I would have said differently, but I was not thinking I was walking onto a stage that could have hosted the Alvin Ailey dance company, I mean seriously LOOK AT IT. Definitely the largest stage I have ever set foot on that I can remember, and FAR SURPASSING the number of people I have ever performed for. The bottom center section alone seats AS MANY as the most people I've performed for.) And here I was, building this stage personality on the fucking fly.
So. I'm backstage before the show doing the "Holy fucking shit" dance. And I go on to perform my song and HALLELUJAH! Tech problems.
Now, I guess I have to say that one of the things that I can really work is the awkward moments. I can be gracefully pathetic. I can manage to get people to laugh at me because of how much they DON'T want to be in my position, and thankfully, everyone already knew that I'd been asked to step in at the last minute.
The first 15 minutes I was onstage I would say were... well.... I'm pretty sure I stunned everyone out of remembering where they were, why they were there, and what the hell was going on.
My song wouldn't play so I didn't have to perform which I am so thankful for since I rehearsed in a 40-seat blackbox theater, but at the same time that was my introduction to the whole bit, so, that's how I kicked everything off.
Awkward, nervous, hey what the fuck, okay, haha, fuck it, okay, work it.
The first five minutes of talking to the crowd I was mysteriously stuck with a southern accent that I couldn't shake that I confessed to the audience was not my real voice which they thought was funny so that was good.
The first drag show category was Casual/Club Wear and I had no fucking idea how to deal with the fact that I was hosting a pageant, until later when I got a little coaching and had a little whiskey.
The main fact is: I had no time to be afraid. I had absolutely no time to stop and recognize that I had no fucking clue how to handle this situation, which I didn't, I just had to fucking do it. And so... I did.
The real breakthrough came when I confessed to the audience that I am a master at accidentally making passes at people, at which point I flipped that whole thing around and started INTENTIONALLY making passes at people. Embracing sexual innuendo, and assuming this personality which (has been with me for as long as I can remember but I've never had a reason to really fully embody until now) was pretty awkward, kind of stupid, somewhat toasted, quite flirtatious, and unashamed and completely her-my-self.
I was thankful for those who gracefully and respectfully gave me feedback to start engaging with the audience and making the most of it (Chris! Anji!) and really unimpressed with the people (who you find in every performance space) who wanted to step up and take control of the situation and had no business doing so, but I will say that I am grateful for them too—because they flipped my fire switch right on and and ultimately, they were an important catalyst for me to step it up... even though their approach was really rude and uninformed.
The greatest gift from the evening is probably that I don't feel afraid of anything. I mean, this was the craziest fucking thing I've ever experienced. I have been through some weird shit but this was certifiably insane. It was like jumping into a blackhole.
I know there is so much more to it, there was so much more going on besides my crazy fucking experience, but it was like tunnel vision. It was like a vortex. I can barely reconcile and process what happened. I haven't even told you about the gorgeous fucking queens who killed it. I mean, KILLED IT. It was so fucking glorious.
It started off turbulent because I was intrinsically wrapped up in this clusterfuck that was the first act and obviously had no fucking idea what to do, but our relationships became warmer once I started taking charge a little more. I hope to visit a few of them at their show in Bellingham now that I'll be spending more time there, and some of them are planning to come to QPOW! Weekend in August.
Anyway. So, that's the story for those who wanted to hear it. There's more, there's details, there's the fact that I asked EVERYONE about their astrological sign. There's the fact that if there were haters I don't know who they are and I am thankful for that—my own inner-critic can fill in the blanks—there's the fact that I learned how to throw shade, and I made the unofficial theme of the evening "Unapologetic" after one of the queens performed, and the fact that I talked about discovering my sexuality by humping things.
All in all, it was basically a dream come true.
Will post photos when they arrive.