Saturday, March 12, 2011 2:08 AM
Move over Baby....I have just had the time of my life. I have been working deep in the bowels of the Opera House as a dresser of Drag Queens. Hold up - What do you call a group of Drag Queens? A gaggle? A herd? A flock? A gleam would be appropriate (with all the sequins..). well, I was backstage with my flock of Drag Queens, preening, ohhing ahhing and not only was I witness to their mystical metamorphosis but I ended up being a mine of information, tips and tricks for them.
I shouldn’t be surprised really, I have had a few more years practice at this whole ‘being a lady’ thing than they have...and I was truly impressed by what they could achieve to wildly surpass and enhance what mother nature gave them, but there were some fundamentals missing, and I was only too glad to help out.
Hardly any of ‘my girls’ (as I was affectionately calling them) had the slightest idea of how to put on hosiery ‘properly’ and safely without making holes in it, and some were wrestling with at least two pairs at a time. Then when they did have holes – heaven forbid – they had never heard of the clear nail polish trick to stop the ladder from further ruin. Well, I never. How can you not know that? Wrestling man sized hairy legs into delicate nylon stocking was not exactly what I imagined I’d be doing well into a Saturday night – but it was a blast and I loved every minute of it. They taught me how to ‘blank out’ my eyebrows for a thirties pencilled brow and I taught them how to make boobs out of nothing at all with a bit of duct tape and some bronzer.....They educated me on the delicate balance of knowing when you have had enough sequins and I showed them the blessings of wearing a correctly fitted bra.
Miss Kansas asked me to help her with her hair. She wanted the Krystal Carrington flick. I was in my element – I WAS that hair in the late eighties. I may have been only in my teens but I owned that flick. Some days I feel responsible for the huge ozone hole over New Zealand because of it. Miss Kansas and I lamented how there is a whole sad generation of people know who don’t know the glamour and glitz that was Dynasty. They’ll never know how bitchy Alexis was but how much we wanted Blake to leave Krystal for her..I digress... So once I had finished my Krystal do, I had a queue of girls wanting my help. I was a one woman ‘Queens hairdressing team’.
Miss Narnia was so grateful for my help that she gave me her beautiful bouquet of flowers that she won as Miss Pins and Needles (for having the best Headgear of Nations). Backstage in the wings I changed her shoes twice, took off her gloves, rescued her diamante earring, pinned her winners sash in place, positioned her crown, secured her coat, helped her in and out of her headdress and when at the end of all of that she proclaimed loudly “you are very good at this” I replied with absolute seriousness “I should hope so, after all I am a real lady I have been doing this for years”.
Miss Narnia works her magic on stage - photo courtesy of Janet Liu
It felt to me like her and the other girls were my giant sparkly life size Barbie dolls and I was a little girl again – playing dress ups. Fabulousity at Full velocity.
I think I may have found my new secret (part-time) calling: “Drag-dresser”. With my expertise and insight into all of our secret woman’s ways and their guts, glamour and...well.... balls, we were an exceptional team.
'My girls' in their full fabulosity backstage
(ps: I did share with 'my girls' that with my love of skyhigh heels, Donna Summer, Barbara Striesand, sequins and false eyelashes that it has occurred to me that perhaps I am a drag queen trapped in the body of a beautiful woman. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is in my top 10 movies list and I almost died when I met Hugo Weaving. So maybe I am a little bit Drag Queen on the inside. I hope so.)
pps: since i wrote this i have been thinking about what to call a group of Drag Queens and I wonder if we take our cue from the Kings of the animal kingdom and call them a pride. A Pride of Drag Queens. LOL