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Monday, September 25, 2023

Life + Arts

Fundraiser definitely not a drag

Free admission, a successful carpool, snacks, an engaging Mistress of Ceremonies and, of course, go-go boys, made up GLOBAL’s 4th annual Drag Show.

Ursula Valour, or Nathan Estrada, opened at Meteor as MC, after making appearances in the audience trailing a pair of shirtless boytoys, with caulk and plaster jokes that sent everyone into titters.

“At the beginning I shmooze around with the audience to get them in a good mood and ready for the show,” Valour said. “To prep for all this, I usually start making people laugh as soon early in the day as possible, so I can be on a roll. When MC’ing I like to use a lot of comedy so I have to get ready to be able to roll with the punches, so to speak. And that’s just the MCing part, that doesn’t include when I’m prepping months in advance to build costumes and get songs ready.”

After the audience warmed up, the performances began with renditions from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, lip-syncing to songs by Brittany Spears, Pink and Keri Hilson, among others. Lap dances, live singing, sock puppet duos, segments from Disney’s “Mulan” and the musical “Moulin Rouge” along with intermissions starring undulating go-go boys had every eye on stage. Between acts, Valour disappeared into the sea of bodies to come back in a different outfit each time.

“It was interesting and hectic to get into the costumes in time,” Valour said. “Especially since the changing area was way in the back of the audience. But it’s something I try to do to make the show more interesting and add a little humor to keep the audience guessing, ‘What is she going to come out with next?!’”

Valour and the other performers like Cody McGaughey, GLOBAL public relations officer, put hours into making their looks convincing.

“I can only speak for myself, but it was weeks of conceptualizing, shopping at various stores, resale shops and online vendors for the right pieces and accessories,” said McGaughey. “The make-up was beyond my own personal expertise, so I had various people assisting me, as I’m sure many others had as well. Some of the more esoteric aspects of performing in drag, which really bring out the whole evolution were tips shared with me by more experienced drag performers, such as our MC Nathan Estrada (Ursula Valour).”

To encourage the performers and donate to HATCH, an organization that helps support young GLBT adults, people asked bartenders to change 20s to ones and bugged their friends for extras to add to the rainbow assortment of buckets lining the stage. More than once, GLOBAL members had to empty them out to make room for more.

“All the funding comes from the performance — people throwing money into our buckets. GLOBAL gets no revenue out of this except for the community,” said McGaughey. “Because the manager of Meteor gave us this venue free of charge, we had a larger budget for food and decorations.

“My favorite part of the drag show was the community that was exemplified by so many people coming out,” he said. “Drag shows are a part of our culture; it’s a form of entertainment that exemplifies what makes us stand out from the rest of society: our sexuality and our gender identities. To have so many people of all sexualities, creeds and backgrounds showing up to support us is amazing.”

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