Posted by: D.A.S. Chicago | April 26, 2011

Mondays Are a Drag:The Rest of the Week Too!

Mondays Are a Drag: The Rest of the Week Too!

Rupaul’s Drag Race is a Tv show on the Logo network. In the show a bunch of drag queens compete for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. Drag shows are amazing. Drag shows generally feature queens created for the purpose of performing, whether singing, or lip-syncing, dancing, participating in events such as gay pride parades, drag pageants, or at venues such as cabarets and discotheques.

In the United Kingdom, and U.S alongside traditional drag work such as shows and performances, many drag queens engage in ‘mix-and-mingle’ or hosting work at night clubs or at private parties/events. The term drag queen usually refers to people who dress in a female gender role, often exaggerating certain characteristics (such as make-up and eyelashes) for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. Drag queens also vary by class and culture and can vary even within the same city. Basically, a drag show is like a concert, comedy show, dance party and fashion contest all in one!

Jen from D.A.S on the left!

 Recently, Jen from D.A.S Chicago attended a drag show, the Eat It All Dance Extravaganza! Eat It All was the name of this “year’s” drag show performance sponsored by UIC’s own pride group at the Illinois Room at Student Center East. This “year’s” show was awesome! Each drag queen had a unique fierce performance.  From their wardrobe to their performances, these queens’ fierceness illuminated under the spotlight. Drag queens are known for their elaborate performances. Drag queens are always competing to outshine each other, so every following performance gets crazier.

There has been much hype over UIC’s drag show for the past couple of years. People have come from all around Chicago to attend this year’s event! People from other Chicago colleges, like DePaul, Roosevelt, and Columbia university, as well as Boys Town’s own party goers, have come to attend this year’s event!” With free food, soft drinks, free admission, great music, and amazing live performances by professional drag queens, people, including myself, just couldn’t resist the opportunity to attend this alternative performance art event!

These drag queens were bold, flamboyant and totally in your face, especially Ms. Teri Yaki, taking some of the most popular songs from the past, and putting her own spin on them with added obscene lyrics that had audience members laughing so hysterically that they were crying! Her performance was just as bold as her look, because it was all about sex!  Ms.Yaki was one of the queens that displayed her own ideas of aesthetics with her entire performance, where as some of the queens drew their inspiration directly from pop culture trends. Ms. Yaki rocked a large, picked Afro with a long, bohemian style dress, and, of course, exaggerated make-up–Geisha style with rosy cheeks! If sex isn’t a topic strong enough to distract you from everyday stressors, I don’t know what is!

Check out this clip from this years drag show:

As shown from the clip, Ms. Yaki is so unique and popular that her fan base from North side night clubs like, Hydrate and Spin, even followed her all the way to UIC to see her performance. When Ms. Yaki was asked why she does drag, her response was “ I like to give people a good time, and I really like to make them come…(laughs) I mean, come back to see me over and over again and with drag, I can do that anyway I want. Now excuse me nobodies (in a playful tone of voice) my fan base awaits me! Just kidding, but seriously, come see me after the show at Spin in Boys Town, you guys are an awesome crowd!”

This year three professional queens, including Ms. Yaki opened the show with individual performances, displaying their taste in music, fashion, and comedic style. Each queen performed a five to ten minute set lip-syncing to their favorite emotionally-stirred songs while hyping up the crowd. When they were finished, they introduced the next queen to the crowd, while lightly critiquing the upcoming performers’ sense of style, or performance to increase friendly competition, as well as  ensure the audience a good time! Following the individual sets was a vibrant vogue battle that took place across the entire stage including the run way! The battle consisted of classic vogue moves incorporated with body isolation’s, flips and splits, leaving audience members in awe. I was definitely shocked to see these competitors move in such ways without injuring themselves.

Ending the UIC drag show, the first three performers came back to give the audience a second set and made their faces memorable by inviting audience members on stage to express themselves while joining the fun. Knowing this event was being filmed I was too chicken to go on stage, but enjoyed watching other people let loose! The event ended in an all-out dance party with mini dance battles sparking up between audience members and a runway photo frenzy in which I definitely took part in!

Although many drag queens are presumed to be gay men or transgender people, there are drag artists of all genders and sexualities who do drag for various reasons. Drag queens can be hired as special performers at parties, or events. Guest don’t have to be gay to enjoy this alternative performance art style, but they can expect to be entertained! Any party with a drag queen as its host is guaranteed to be a hot discussion topic!

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