Some of the best people in my life are Drag Queens. A Drag Queen is a man who dresses like a woman, and creates the illusion of a woman, on stage. Usually, if you go to a Drag Show, you’ll see men dressed as some of our culture’s favorite Divas and they are on stage either doing comedy or lip synching to a famous song, or both. Some Drag Queens walk around in 1/2 drag all day, some only do it for performance. Some Drag Queens are Impersonators, and some are Originators – there is a hell of a lot of talent in pulling together a successful Drag look – there’s creative concept to ‘see’ it in their heads, sewing the outfit, makeup, and of course, ‘tucking’. Tucking is…look at the Gay Glossary in the back, but it’s sort of self explanatory.
I think there are lots of lessons to learn from Drag Queens as women, because to create the illusion of being a woman, they have studied women. Not just Divas, but real women – how we talk, how we hold ourselves, in fact, the best Drag Queens are better women than I could ever be – and their foundation makeup is flawless.
Here are a few lessons that I have learned from the Drag Queens in my life
My Cousin from Australia was coming over to see me for two months – her Parents were going through a Kelsey/Camille divorce and she was an emotional wreck. Her dream was to be a makeup artist, and she had been taking courses at school, but she needed practical knowledge – which was why her Parents sent her on an impromptu trip to Los Angeles to stay with a Cousin she had not seen since she was six years old. Ahem.
The first day, we had a bit of a breakdown that happened when she told me about what was going on at home, and it was clear that she had not been taking care of herself emotionally or physically.
Anyway, as a stage performer, I know a lot about makeup, but I do not consider that I am a makeup artist, so I looked around for things for her to do. One of the best things I thought of was to take her to a Drag show that one of my friends, Calpernia Addams has every week at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. After the show, we went backstage and she met DeTox Icunt, Willam Belli, Miss Barbie-Q, Shangela. When I introduced her, and she talked to them about what she wanted to do, they all fell in love with her a bit, and they all offered to help her learn makeup. On various nights, they would come to the theater early, without makeup, so she could watch them put it on. Willam even allowed her to come to his house, and enter his amazing closet (it was a bedroom) so that she could see what he did. Also helping me out was my dear friend, Danny Cassillas, aka Ms Freida Laye from Chico’s Angels and my pal, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Brett Freedman.
When she went back to Brisbane, she was a changed girl. She was confident, she was a B.I.T.C.H. – Broad In Total Control (of) Herself! Cuz RuPaul is exactly right – If you don’t love yourself, how in hell you gonna love anyone else? Give that man in six inch heels an AMEN!