That said, I have a shit ton of fun. My motto, stolen from Succio Sanchez, is: If you aren't walking off stage sweating and out of breath, you haven't done your job.
Unlike our darling co-contributer, Penny Tration, I do not make my name off my drag alter-ego. I am not famous for my persona as Kristy Kay Karolina; I have only ever been paid $25 to perform and that was years ago. Most days, I curse the day I decided to ever step into a dress. It's alternatively exhausting and exhilerating, and the ups and downs of performing are more stress than I need to add to my life.
But I do it on occasion, and it's always on my time, when I want to. I have to balance the "do I have time to shave" question with the "what am I doing the next morning" question with the "do I really want to stumble around in heels all night" question. All of them are equally important considerations. The last thing you need is to be out in 5 inch stilettos, half shaven and drunk, when you have to be up at 6am the next morning to do that annoying thing we refer to ask "work."
Additionally, there is the question of with whom you will be performing. Trust me, it's a big deal. Back room politics are neither fun nor conducive to a good show. If you can't perform with friends, then you're just performing for a handful of friends in the audience and it's hardly enough to make you feel like you're part of something. And I'm not pretty or gifted enough to stir a crowd to love me in a town saturated with drag and "booger queens."
When the opportunity, then, came up to perform with three of my best drag friends, I had to jump at the chance.
See, there are drag queens I respect. Penny Tration is one of my favorite, and I consider myself lucky to consider her a friend. She has shown me how to be energetic and creative without losing your spice. Truly Scrumptious, my drag mother, and her constant companion, Roberta Bigg, have given me both my drag career and a sense of showmanship that I could have found no where else. The Black Mondays have spurred my imagination and made me see why I love to perform. These are the people I look up to; these are the people that I view as the replicable fashion leaders in the city. Sure, there are so many more, but, in my heart, these are the ones that, if given the opportunity, I would like to be on par with.
But I don't spend that much time on my look or on my act, nor do I have the natural talent to pull it off.
On Friday, May 29th, at Shooter's, at approximately 11pm, I will be performing with three queens that I love and hold dearer to my person than almost anyone in the world. Though none of us are truly huge names in the city, we have our own following and we have our own sense. Dixie Crystals, Vivica LaCroix, and Whitney Sierra-Devine have taught me how to not only be a better queen, but a better person, and I am honored to share the stage with them.
That Friday, I will be getting out of class and cursing each of their name as I rub Nair and a straight razor over my body in a vain attempt to pretend that there is some resemblance to a woman in my appearance. As I lace up the knee high boots, or get buckled into the corset (both stolen from Vivica), I will be hating on them with curse words not appropriate even for this blog. When Viv start the hour long or more process of painting my face, I will cuss and squeal and want to slap a bitch.
When I walk into the backroom at Shooter's, and Dixie inevitably offers me a shot of whatever (her poison is -- gulp -- tequila, whilst I go for the girlier shots), I will throw my bag down in frustration, cuss some more at the sheer hatred of the art and sport of drag, take my drink, and say: "Okay, bitches, Mama's ready to go." And for the rest of the night, I will smile and make light of the situation and flirt and dance and drag stomp all over the bar in a fierce imitation of those I respect, in a fierce sisterhood of those that I love.
I'm going to tell you that I hate every minute of it; but I'll say it with a smile and I'll probably do it again.
Join us -- Friday May 29th at 11:00pm-ish at Shooter's on the corner of Court and Race -- and I'll show you just how much I'm hating life that night. :-)
All money, btw, goes to the charities of the Court. Bring your dollars!