It is now official, I am training for my first drag show on November 8th, “Drag to the Future: 4th Annual USC Drag Show“. Step 1: Auditions on October 11th. I have never done anything like this before but I am really excited. Even though I’ve lived for years with two identities – there is a big difference between my regular transgendered life and drag. Most of the time, my goal is to pass, to blend in, to be a regular girl (as much as possible). In contrast, drag is an over-the-top performance, a feminine caricature meant to not only emulate but exaggerate. There are still many types of drag: comedy, satire, drama, or pageant glamour. The one commonality is entertainment. Drag queens don’t blend in, they stand above the crowd.
Now back to me. There is very little that I am afraid of doing, but I usually appear quiet and shy. What really happens is that I over-think my words and actions, leaving me staring wistfully into space in search of the perfect plan. Perhaps drag can help me be more outgoing and emotional – but I still have to be prepared (Scout’s motto!). It has now been over a month since I started lessons with Tanisha at the White Hall Academy working on my stage presence and choreography. You can read about my previous lessons here and here. When I started my face was flat and walk awkward – I’ve come a long way. Usually we practice in front of a wide dance mirror so I can see my performance. Yesterday, we turned 90 degrees so I can practice coming down off the stage and interacting with the audience. It was also the first time that we filmed my performance to review. Suddenly I can see all my mistakes. Somehow I need to be even bigger! On stage, small figure gestures can’t be seen, so I need to emote with my entire body. I’m not ready to show you my video (yet) but I will show you some videos from previous years.
An enthusiastic tribute to Lady Gaga
The event all started four years ago in 2010 as USC’s “Best Little Drag Show”. Back then the show was entirely amateur with students demonstrating that enthusiasm is the biggest part of entertainment. Since then it has grown as USC QUASA now has staff dedicated to arranging the show and bringing in professional queens such as RuPaul alums Willam and Shangela. Last year the theme was “Mirror Mirror”, with the aim of choosing a new queen, the fairest of them all, as the previous host had just graduated. Of course, Willam got disqualified for not being a student. You can find more of my pictures from last year’s show here. This year the theme is “Drag to the Future”, so I hope to see some sexy drag robots. I don’t know who the guest will be, perhaps USC alum Honey Mahogany.
Carmen Di Va performs “Uninvited Love” at USC’s 3rd Annual Drag Show
Oh my, that auditorium is really big!