Thursday, April 11, 2024

OLD SCHOOL

Over the weekend while in Philly and at brunch, talk turned to drag. Our clan was a fixed bag of a few young, mostly middle aged, and a few older fellows. The topic arose when one of the clan was discussing Plain Jane on the current season of Drag Race. Now mind you, I have nothing against Plain, but she does come across nasty, mean spirited, and a chip on her shoulder I feel. I'm not sure she knows who she is. Though she did lighten up as the season neared the end. No, I'm still no fan. I did however take assault with her comment towards Sapphira Cristal in the latest episode, about letting Sapphira do her old, you know old school.  Pretty sharp comment considering she thought she did well, and ended up in the bottom, while Sapphira placed high.  I know on the drag circuit there has always been an age old question... new drag or old drag?  There is a stigma that old school queens don't support or understand the new school. I think it is true to a point. My friend's argument was, it's time to move forward to new school. But I disagree. While new style is needed, these new queens have to find and have a schtick... and connect with an audience. Many of these new queens, even on the Drag Race that I have seen in person, just don't connect with an audience, and I have seen some of them lose the audience.  There is more to a drag show then just looks and social media. I can tell you, people not in the know about drag, were to go see, say Sapphira over Plain Jane, might enjoy both...but I can tell you... they will leave and remember being more entertained by seeing a Sapphira show over a Plain show. Even in Ptown, the staple queens like Varla, Miss Richfield, Thirsty Burlington, Dina Martina and Mamma Tits far outsell tickets to shows then when Ru girls are there. There's a reason. And it comes down to knowing your style, your crowd, your drag herstory and connecting with an audience. I have seen many a Ru girl fall flat with crowds off the show. While I do love and adore all drag queens, my heart will always go to the old school and those queens with the real staying power.

Sherry Vine

Lypsinka

Jackie Beat

Coco Peru

These queens are a true testament and the reason I myself got into drag and feel in love with it in the first place. They didn't have the luxury of a tv show to get the on the map, or managers, or social media. It was all them and on their own. Drag was also about being campy, silly, outlandish and vulgar...not about being highly polished, editorial, and try to pass as female and fishy as you can get. They had to beg and work there assess off for club gigs, which is not easy to do in a saturated area of queens take my word for it, and many are far more involved in their communities and grass roots efforts. More importantly they had style and schticks and knew how to entertain a crowd henny.  In my years doing drag I went from a crowd queen to talk and shmooze the club crowd, to drag shows and hostess, and then went into Boylesque eventually. I was always known for my sky-high hair, hair accountments, dance routines, and one never knew what I might show up in.  If you connect with the crowd, you get gigs and clubs and parties want you.  Many lip synch, have dance routines, but many also had real singing talents, insult comedy techniques and write and produce their own shows. Some, all the above. 

Charles Bush

Lady Bunny

Dina Martina

Edie

Sister Roma

 Now while I'm not siding completely with old school, I prefer an old school queen over a new school queen more times than not, because that's what I prefer, but if old school queens don't encourage change in drag, or any kind of art for that matter, then what's the point? The drag scene has to evolve, and old school queens need to accept that. Drag is performance. It's about projecting a fantasy into reality and captivating an audience with it. And if you don't have that, a queen's career is going to be short lived. I will say though I think old school queens find it much easier to connect with an audience though and its why many leave talking a week later about a show they just saw. 

Joey Arias

Peaches Christ

Hedda Lettuce

Hot Chocolate

Miss Richfield 1981

There are a handful of new school queens who I think could have a long career in drag, like Jinkxx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel, Sasha Velour, Nina West and a few others, but they have a very wide arrange of looks and repertoire in their acts. The specialty horror drag, and the goth type I think will have a shelf life. Most local drag almost always falls back on old school type drag and drag shows. I mean, how many queens these days will, or hope to have, a drag career like the legends in this post have had, and still do? My advice? The new school queens need to stop with just the crutch of social media, being just a look queen, and KNOW and connect with an audience.
Varla Jean Merman

Here's to the entertaining staying power of the Old School Queens! May all queens have long careers like these gals.

TODAY IN SPORTS.....


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

SEEN IN PHILLY

 

It's always a pleasure returning back down to Philadelphia and Bucks County whenever I can. Being back in Harrisburg is nice, but I already have a time limit of a couple of years before I return back to the southeast. While I grew up here, and have family and friends alike here, Harrisburg is...nice... but seriously lacks enough to keep me occupied in the way of culture, not to mention the wonderful vibrant, and energetic feel of Philadelphia. Not to mention one is not surrounded by  conservative reds. I feel the area here is a seesaw of blue and red...just barely teetering blue by a thread. When I was down at my pied de terre and Philly alike, I could train and walk to everything for the most part. I miss that. This weekend didn't disappoint as the city was alive with spring all over. Furthermore, the boys..awwwwww the boys. I had met up with several friends from the city, the Lumbersexual came in from Doylestown, in all his ginger hotness ...and a great drag show of support and cheering on for Philly's own Sapphira Cristal were the highlights of this trip. Here are some snaps from the wonderful weekend. The flavored mojitos at Mixto and brunch were worth the trip alone.

The beautiful Fairmont Park

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Taking a picture of Lumbersexual taking a picture.
One of the six parks in the city

I appreciate the OCD and order in the case by color.
Rodin Museum
The clan!
I can never get enough of the City Hall and its architecture and grounds. No matter what side your on, inside or outside, it is just spectacular.

 My favorite building in all of Philadelphia.

Monday, April 8, 2024

MOON BOARD


What a glorious time it was in Philly this weekend. The weather was excellent, sunny and a slight breeze, good food and drink enjoyed, copious amounts of drinks that is...and the boys were out in force! It always feels great to go to Philly, where the city feels alive, vibrant and has good energy. And more than ever, it was nice to see tight jeans on men are going NO WHERE! I swear even the straight men were in nice tight jeans. It was certainly a feast on the eyes! Better still I got to have a nice lie in this morning as I had the sense to take the day off. Also today is the solar eclipse here. Despite all the hype, the moon has nothing special planned. It will continue doing what it's done for more than 4 billion years...insensibly circling the Earth, a dead rock at the end of a long gravitational tether. The sun too has nothing special planned, as it will sit where it must sit and burn as it must burn to sustain the flock of planets and moons and asteroids and comets that have orbited it for so long. That's how things go in the clockwork cosmos, and yet once in a while, there's poetry in the machinery. Once in a while, the wheels click in synchrony and the indifferent universe offers up a rare spectacle. Just such a thing will happen today later, as the moon's orbit crosses in front of the sun at the precise spot to eclipse its face and appear to snuff its fires. Or we will just be invaded. I think too all these odd weather and earthly anomalies are due to the fact that maybe Godzilla may be coming back up to the surface! Either way, today I'll be mostly likely in the garden, cleaning and sorting, when it happens. Hope you all enjoy the Solar Eclipse Day!