November 27, 2020

Students get drag tips from the pros at Drag 101 tutorial

A student dressed in drag performs for professional drag queens and kings at the Drag 101 drag tutorial.

“Honestly the first time that I got on stage, I had no idea of what I was doing,” drag king Rydyr said. “If I had someone to help me or even to talk me through something would have felt a hundred times better.”

In the University Center’s presentation room, the Webster LGBTQ Alliance held a Drag 101 tutorial at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. The tutorial was held to prepare students for the Drag Ball March 24. At the tutorial, students received tips on how to apply make-up, arrange outfits and the essentials to a great performance.

“I expect them to make progress and there are so many things that go into drag,” said Tyler Cross, a drag queen whose drag name is Siren. “Tips aren’t going to change anything. It just takes practice, you have to take the tips and apply and apply them.”

The drag queens and kings described the make-up process in preparing for a show. They explained that first performers will need foundation for their face. A “theatrical” look for being on stage is better and actually cheaper, Cross said. Contouring is when make-up is applied to the cheek bones or certain parts of the face to add dimension or to make a section seem smaller. Highlighting your cheeks will also definitely bring out our make-up. One thing to remember when contouring, it must be two shades darker than your skin tone.

For some performers, dressing in drag goes beyond the stage and throughout the day as well. If so, they strongly suggested that if someone that is just going out for their daily routine, the shade applied should be in fact two shades lighter than the original skin color for a natural look.

For drag queens, a bra can be a necessity. A performer should choose a bra that is a size smaller than their actual chest size, then stuff the bra. Hip pads, which can be bought or made from a form of cushion, can be placed on the sides of the hips to add curves to a masculine shape. The pads can give a “coke bottle” shape, but can also shape or extend the bottom according to the drag queens.

When placing on panty hose and body shapers, most performers wear between 8 and 14 pairs at the same time. This prevents the hip pads from being seen and make thighs look dome shaped.

“Your pads can shift and will shift,” Cross said. “Every time you have an opportunity, which means in the bathroom, in the dressing room, changing clothes, you pull them back up because they are constantly falling down.”

Rydyr, a drag king, said that often when audiences see good performers, they often get the impression that performing in drag is easy. She said dressing in drag takes a lot of work.

Drag kings’ apparel preparation differs a bit compared to the drag queens. They must wrap their breasts to make their chests flat, which is known as “binding.” The kings use Ace bandages for binding. These bandages are usually used for men who have prostate cancer, because their hormones can come out imbalanced and they can develop breasts.

There are others who place duct tape around their breasts in either a cross-vertical direction or around the back in order to have a flattened chest.

The Drag Ball will be held at Webster University on March 24 in the Grant Gymnasium. It will include Webster students and local professional drag performers.

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