I'm not a Drag Queen but I'm married to one and I thought I could offer some advice to new or budding queens for the New Year after seeing what Vivian learned and experienced when she first starting performing in drag. However, before I get into the actual tips I thought I should make an umbrella statement which all the tips that follow fall under. Drag is NOT cheap, I repeat NOT cheap. If you want to excel at this art form you will need to invest money and in some cases a lot of money. Yes, you read that correct in the last sentence Drag is an art form and I personally do not feel it is as easy as just putting a dress on and performing, even though that can be a from of drag in itself. Some of these tips won't cost you money but it will cost you time which brings me to first tip:
- Time Consuming. Remember performing drag isn't just about the time you spend performing. There is the time you spend preparing for that performance along with all the time you will spend learning how to paint. Also don't forget the time you spend out and about supporting other queens.
- Support Other Queens. Drag is more than just building one's fan base, yes Drag Queens most certainly have fans. It's about supporting not only the LGBTQ community as whole but more specifically the drag community and other Drag Queens. If you aren't performing in a show it doesn't mean you shouldn't be out supporting those who are. When Drag Queens support one another it helps the art of drag grow in acceptance and respect.
- Perform in benefits. Just as you should be out supporting other Drag Queens. You should be supporting the community as a whole. Never pass on performing in a benefit, schedules permitting. Yes most benefits won't pay a booking fee, but money shouldn't be your only motivation. Plus take it from someone whose queen has performed in a ton of benefits. Performing in benefits gives you stage time and lets you improve your art form.
- Invest in your drag. When you first start out you may not be able to invest a lot in your drag, but as you begin to perform more and possibly make some money, take the time to invest in some good quality make up brushes and make up. In the long run it will save you money.
- Be Respectful. No matter how good you believe you are or actually are always show respect to those Queens that have come before you. If it wasn't for them you would be able to do what you hopefully love to do. Also remember to be respectful of those that have come to see you perform. Most of them are probably taking time of their busy schedules to come and see you.
- Continue to learn. Never think you have nothing to left to learn. In any art form there is always some new style or technique one can learn to challenge themselves and improve their art. Drag is always changing and you shouldn't be afraid of that change.
- Know Your lyrics. When you perform you should know your lyrics. In my opinion there is nothing worse than seeing a Drag Queen who does not know their lyrics. For a Drag Queen performing is their job and knowing ones lyrics is a requirement of that job. If you didn't do you day job you would be fired. Why should Drag be any different?
- Be on time. Now for me this is a big one. If you are asked to be some place at a certain time be there at that time. If you advertise your show is going to start at specific time start at the advertise time. Waiting for a Drag Show is not fun and for me it ties in to being respectful.
- Paint your own face. Take time in the beginning to learn how to paint your own face. Yes it may take you longer to have a face you happy with. I think it took Vivian almost a full year before she was happy with how she painted. But trust me when I say learning how to paint your own face is extremely important. I have seen too many queens rely on others to paint their face and scramble to learn or find some one else when said queen is not available or there is some sort of a falling out.
- It's addictive. Take it from me, yes I don't perform but I am involved in planning costumes and routines. Drag is addictive, as much as you think it won't, it will get in your blood and you will be addicted to it. You will begin to think about it more times than not and want to know what Queens are performing and where. It can slowly take over your life if you allow it.
As I stated in the beginning these are just some tips I noticed when Vivian first started performing. Some may or may not apply to you, but if I can leave you with one final tip it would be this; always remember to have fun, it will show in your art form if you're not having fun.