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When we first began RAANNT we never believed we would get so much attention from the drag community. After all, we were just a couple of gay men who loved performances of any kind, but had been highly exposed to watching drag, even though neither one of us had ever been or ever wanted to be in drag. We believe drag is an art form, to be appreciated and critiqued just like any other art form. And actually, we have learned the most about performing as a career from our friend Brittany Mason, who has explained that everything she does, from modeling to her participation in beauty pageants to how she is conscience of her behaviors(always attempting to be respectful of herself and her career), is part of improving herself to become a better person…because, after all…that is her job.
And isn’t drag a career? We have received numerous e-mails, comments and mentions in blogs about the difficulty of drag, the lack of appreciation we have for certain performers, how people believe we have personal favorites and always, always questioning what it is exactly that makes us “drag experts”? Well…let us put this one to rest. We are NOT drag experts. But we are two men who enjoy watching drag and especially an extraordinary performance…which quite honestly, in Indiana, is hard to find. We are highly critical, being that we have seen numerous performances by national title holders perform as well as local talent who constantly try to be creative and re-invent themselves. When we began receiving these comments we contacted Carrie Fairfield, who IS a drag expert and runs the “number one site for information on Female Impersonation, Drag Queens and Drag Pageantry”. Carrie was kind enough to give us lots of advice on what we could do with our blog and how she started carriefairfield.com. She also gave us advice and was supportive on how to begin judging drag pageants, since it had been suggested to us by so many people.
So…you want to know our favorites? Sure…in no particular order…
Maya Douglas…Tommie Ross…Erica Andrews…Nina West…Asia O’Hara…DeeRanged…Erika Norell…Camille Simpson…Tasha Long…Mimi Marks…Armani…Alyssa Edwards…Mohka Montrese…Cezanne…Danielle Hunter…Necole Luv Dupree…Chi Chi LaRue…Kitty Litter…Sasha Andrews…Regine Phillips…Whitney Paige and Monica Munro….(We unfortunately have no local favorites).
And…we believe Drag Royalty goes to Rupaul…Candis Cayne…Miss Understood…Lady Bunny…Joey Arias…and Lypsinka!
But who cares anyway, right? Well, apparently a lot of people. Drag is a huge industry and entertainment field in our strong nation. And although we believe quite a few people are taking themselves way too seriously, we do believe every performer should see it as a career, constantly thinking outside of the box, being consistently creative and re-inventing themselves often…with no excuses. And to one reader, who encouraged us to look outside of Talbott Street for local talent, which we have, we might take you up on your offer and go see Holly Luyah at The Ten. And we would love to see Jamie Hunter pull it out of retirement again. Or maybe a guest performance by Indy legend Stacia Renee Onassis. But…give Talbott Street some credit. They have hosted MANY of the top name, national title holding, performers we mentioned above. But on a national level…Drag just isn’t men dressing up, it’s an industry, like we mentioned. Last spring, designer Richie Richie introduced a line of clothing for drag queens. Lady Bunny and Rupaul have normalized drag and made their presence known among the social elite of any city, including Los Angeles, New York, London and Miami. Rupaul’s television show Rupaul’s Drag Race introduced the entire world to the world of drag.
So really…we just want to see good drag. And if we don’t, we’ll review it and comment on it…honestly. And just for the record, we’ll let you know what we look for. 1. How well did you know your own song and routine. 2. How outdated was your song and routine and how many times have we seen it? 3. How do you look and do you look the best you can…always, always be professional and put all you can into your career. 4. Do you see it as more than just a job…are you passionate about what you do? 5. Are you creative? 6. Did you keep our attention? and 7. Most important…did you make us want to jump out of our fucking seats and applaud our asses off? Because if you did, you’re an entertainer. If not…keep working on it!
We appreciate all of the comments that we’ve heard, and if you want our advice…trust us, although this will sound arrogant, we can give you the direction you need to be famous. But if on the other hand, you just want to RAANNT to someone, well, get a web domain and start your own blog.
Before we go…we would like to leave you with a few clips to enjoy which define what we feel exemplifies true drag entertainment. We hope you enjoy…
Drag Runway at the 2006 Miss Continental Pageant
Erica Andrews Winning Talent at EOY 2006
Lawanda Jackson Miss EOY Michael Jackson Talent
Eyes Open…We’re Watching!