drag queens

I’m actually going to have a real title next time

It’s been a whole week since I posted an update on my trip and I’m so sorry Mom! My wifi situation has been iffy and also I’ve been lazy. Last Saturday and Sunday I did something that kids these days would describe as “epic”……I went to freaking Drag Con you guys!!! I’ve never been to a “con” before so I didn’t really know what to expect, all I knew was that I could see most of my favorite drag queens in the flesh under one roof! I didn’t plan my trip around this either, I just noticed a couple weeks ago that the same weekend I planned to be in LA Drag Con just so happened to be going on, the universe you guys. So I took the bus from Venice to the Convention Center and walked into heaven. I met a really nice and funny mom and daughter in line who attended last year, we were freaking out before we even got our badges just over the other attendees outfits. It was a melting pot of the most color I’ve ever seen. At every turn there was something to see, a fierce queen walking by, or a 12 year old boy with a face beat for all of the Gods. I just so happened to be standing near Ru’s booth when they announced that she would be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans so I got in line. It cost $60 which I contemplated for about .2 milliseconds, totally worth it! The line was long of course but it was regulated and went sort of fast. I started shaking a little when my turn was getting closer, I’ve seen Ru before 5 years ago when me and my mom sat in the back row of the Wendy Williams show but this time I’d actually be standing next to her. When I walked up to her I was literally stuttering while she sang “Gorgeous, gorgeous, you are gorgeous”. I told her that I just wanted to stare at her creepily. My life you guys. A professional picture with motha RuPaul, I thought I would just be seeing her from afar but this was the most.

 

 

The lines to get a picture with most of the queens were crazy long, the longest was for Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, they were in the same booth together. I only got an autograph from Chi Chi but took lots of pictures of the queens as they were walking by or taking pics with other fans. They also had a lot of panels, I sat in on one about people who got famous first on social media. I love Todrick Hall and he was a part of it. Everyone was so encouraging and hilarious, everyone on the panel was such a star. Ru did a keynote speech later on which was obviously amazing, I think she’s my spirit animal. Basically furthering my belief that we’re all witches who create our own destiny. There were a lot of random celebrities there too like Big Freedia, Amber Rose, Miss Lawrence from ATL housewives, Brandon and Craig from this past season of Newlyweds on Bravo, so excited to see them all! Another great moment was finally meeting Manila Luzon, she has been one of my favorites for years now, so hilarious and colorful, shes like the Katy Perry of drag. Obviously Drag Con was beyond what I imagined.

 

You know those places that are so hard to leave? That’s how I felt my last day in LA, people hate on Los Angeles so much just like they do with NYC and every other awesome place but I happen to really enjoy it. The weather cannot be matched and there’s so much to do. I wanted to check out the Venice canals before I left and was so excited when I saw some street art from @wrdsmth. I’ve been following him on instagram for years! The neighborhood around the canals is out of a fucking fairy tale. I could not believe it, so adorable and luxurious and quaint. Even as I was driving away I saw so many cool things that I wanted to explore. Sigh, Venice is FULL of character and quirks. Such a beautiful, crazy, dirty, sketchy-ish kind of place, my kind of place.

 

 

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From East to SXSW

My feet are throbbing, theres a knot in the back of my neck   between my shoulder blades thats  incredibly tense, the crevices under my eyes are dark and deep , my laundry hamper is projectile vomiting every garment i own, food in my apt is scarce and traffic is so heavily congested I’ve had to park a mile away and leave hours early to secure a spot anywhere in this town, this ladies and gents could only mean one thing……SXSW. Sure,  it was a week ago but my body is still trying to recover. I don’t mind sacrificing  for fun, I’ll die for a good time, in fact i have many times. I’m like a fun martyr. Fun is something i stand for, ill march in Washington, ill go to the the moon, i’ll do almost anything, just let my people rage! South by (that’s what they call it around here, saying the whole phrase South by Southwest is too much for laid back Austinites) so yeah South by is something of a clusterfuck, there’s tons of people coming to the city i live in which i think is pretty cool! *Insert corny thumbs up here* No honestly, I’m not one of those people who wears a shirt saying “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here”. I hail from the east coast and 85% of the people Ive met are from somewhere else just like me so Ive come to realize that finding a real live Austinite is like finding a precious stone, a four leaf clover, or bad pizza, its just so rare. I cant complain about an over saturated environment because not long ago i was one of those visitors taken by this town so much that i had to stay, it happens. I intern for the Austin Chronicle and was able to snag a music wristband which makes a world of difference when trying to see specific shows so you can kind of plan out your south by schedule. The Chronicle has a booth at the Austin Convention Center for the trade show and it was so much fun walking around snagging free t shirts and checking out new gadgets and business start ups, an adult playground especially for techies!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

 

Word Press booth at the trade show!

Word Press booth at the trade show!

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

 

Check out my little video i made at the New York Times booth!

http://social-gen.com/nyt/index.php?s=1&e=172&id=2295

The next day on my way to the bathroom i came across this and made $20!

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Although the trade show is really fun  i really enjoy getting lost and just being out there on these mean streets. There’s endless amounts of people watching, free food, beer, t shirts, stickers, cd’s, anything you can get your hands on. I wont have to buy another air of sunglasses for 5 years.

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Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

More importantly than the freebies is the music, i mean we are talking about Austin right? I cant go anywhere without the smell of BBQ or hearing local live music and the music during south by brings in the biggest celebrities!

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Having a wristband or the even more coveted badge gets you into venues a lot faster than those without, it is a world of difference not having to wait in a mile long line.

I saw MGK and 50 cent on Tuesday night

50 Cent

MGK opened for 50, Ive known who he is for years but didnt hear his music until this show, he is such a talented performer who is clearly met to be on stage.

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Tech 9, one of my favorite rappers from Kansas City! So happy to see him and Calico!

Tech 9!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they're from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, i've never heard funk music in another language before, they were amazing!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they’re from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, I’ve never heard funk music in another language before!

 

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

 

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

I even got my nails did at the party! Dont mind the wrinkled hands, check out those cool designs!

I even got my nails did at the party! Disregard the wrinkled fingers, check out those cool designs!

Pi in the Sky! Not sure of the significance but it was cool to watch!

Pi in the Sky!

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

#NEVERFORGET

#NEVERFORGET

 

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

For shits and gigs

For shits and gigs

The best part of South by for me wasn’t the planned out shows i saw, it was the serendipitous encounters with celebrities and its so weird because i NEVER see famous people ever! My first was Jimmy Kimmel at Home Slice, then Lady Gaga at Rain……

Hey Steph!

Hey Steph!

But the best and happiest moment came later on, after a late afternoon of stalking facebook, twitter, instagram, running all over the city (mostly the gayborhood) and bombarding a police offer that he had taken a picture with earlier i met him. HIM!!

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ANDY COHEN!!! Ive loved him for so long and was  practically on a scavenger hunt collecting clues  all over town trying to find him i finally got a hold of one of the only men who have held my heart. Desperation, shame, psychosis, all those things go out the window when it comes to true love! So yes my SXSW experience this year may have been exhausting  but it was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and a fastidious girl like me cant say that too often. So the next time you are ready to poop out of the party just chug some Vitameatavegamin and stay strong (or conscious). Keep calm  and rage on!

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Going There, Doing That

Live if she wants to, and i don’t see why not. Here are some of the things i love and enjoy doing and have been fortunately doing a lot of! I’ve always loved to go out and dance, but i was beginning to think that my frequent dancing days were over, that was before i attended Tuesgayz at Barbarellas. Bumping, grinding, sweating, vogueing, prancing, living,  dying is what occurs and i love it! Great music, random drag queens walking about and the occasional dance off between two gay men wearing high heels??!! I can’t think of much else id rather see.

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i remember RuPaul being famous in the 90’s and  being so impressed at how much she did look like a woman but that was it, RuPaul was the only drag queen i knew of besides Divine only because Hairspray is one of my favorite movies. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago my friend Natalie turned me on to RuPauls Drag Race which is now one of my favorite shows. Until then i thought drag queens pretty much looked like men dressed up as women and that was it but on Drag Race those queens put us biological women to shame! I gag every time they sashay down the runway,  they are stunning and so creative and charismatic. My first drag show in Austin was about 5 months ago, there’s a thriving LGBT scene and lots of drag shows every week, just last Sunday one of the queens pulled me out on stage and danced with me! I am amazed, shocked, stunned, and  left for dead every time i attend a show. They’ve also provided me with a whole new vocabulary!

Althea Trix, my favorite drag queen in Austin

Althea Trix, my favorite drag queen in Austin

Poo Poo Platter is a quirky local drag group that performs once a month together and they’re hilarious, disgusting and inappropriate, if that’s not a recipe for a good time please enlighten me on what is? Local queens also perform gigs throughout the week at local bars and one thing that i didn’t know was that the audience is heavily encouraged to tip them. Its like theatrical stripping in a way, except if their clothes come off its most likely because their garment wasn’t sewed properly or the rhinestones weren’t glued on tight enough. Lets hear it for the ladyboys!

Obsessed with drag queens? Bitch i might be

Obsessed with drag queens? Bitch i might be

Corsets, feathers, and nerve, those are just a few things that describe a burlesque dancer. It’s what us shy girls do in the privacy of our bedroom that a burlesque dancer isn’t afraid to do in front of a live gazing audience. Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent don’t just describe the queens on RuPauls Drag Race it takes a lot of all of those things to perform the art of the tease. Its sexy, timeless, and engaging. It’s telling a story through dance by a woman who could be your next door neighbor, your teacher, or your mistress. Burlesque makes a girl feel sexy, brave, confident, bold, and in control, kind of  like Mae West.

Come up and see me sometime

Avant Glam burlesque troop in Austin

Avant Glam Cabaret

Avant Glam is one of many burlesque groups in Austin, they perform all the time and they are so incredibly talented and amazing. The dancing, costumes, and sketches make me want to run out and buy some feathers and tassles every time i see them perform!

Mee and Lilly LaFleur at the Christmas Cabaret

Me and Lilly LaFleur at the Christmas Cabaret

Okay so music, you can’t talk about living in Austin and not talk about music. I quickly realized that not only am i the only person without a bike i am also the only person without a band…or 3. Live music is everywhere and they’ll play it anywhere, i don’t think there is a place of business in this city that doesn’t have some sort of  a stage for a band to perform. The first band i heard play were my coworkers MegaBig, and they’re called that for a reason. It’s not country, it’s not easy listening, its  good ol fashion rock and roll. Check out their video, recognize anyone? hmmmmmm

Lastly (finally right! i always write so damn much) tonight although it was cold and rainy i went to Spiderhouse Ballroom because i heard theres a poetry slam every Tuesday night at 8. I sat in my room declaring that i wasn’t going to go because the weather outside was frightful and there was a$5 cover. BUT if there was ever a time i saw so happy i got off my lazy anus it was tonight, i seriously had the best time!! I even got to be one of the judges. Honestly i was nervous about that  because i believe that art is in the eye and in this case ear of the beholder but it was still a unique experience being a judge and such an overwhelmingly inspiring experience being there witnessing the raw emotions of these brave individuals exposing themselves for everyone to see and hear, most of them weren’t even reading from anything, they knew every word off the top of their head.

kkI’ll never forget tonight and not just because of the true, raw, relatable spoken words i heard but because i am so happy that i went out anyway even though i was tired, even though it felt crappy outside, i still went out and had a good time and took advantage of the awesome city i live in. It makes me wonder why not? Why not have fun? Why not experience something new? I’m not happy wondering, id rather just do it.