I feel like I have never found a home in anywhere the way that I have found within drag. It is an environment that makes me feel accepted, and safe, in ways that I never thought I could feel. There’s something so magical about putting on a wig, makeup and completely transforming yourself and baring your entire soul on stage. Alongside that, there’s also something so terrifying about it.
It is no secret that all of my performances have been university-based; I have no shame in that, for the record, but it can make things difficult. I am an over thinker, someone who has so much love for what they do that it can often be self-destructive. I would tear myself apart in order to get something, anything, that I could use for performance art- and I have not figured out if that is a good or bad thing.
My latest performance, at the Forum (a place which can hold up to 1750 people and is where the pop punk festival Slam Dunk is held), was something I have never been more terrified for. I cannot find a good photo but trust me when I say the Forum stage is pretty massive- and to perform on it as a solo performer was incredibly daunting. I wanted to run through my performance beforehand, but tried to and found that I couldn’t, had a low-key diva strop and went backstage. For about half an hour, I was solidly convinced that I could not do it- my anxiety was eating away at me in more ways than I can explain and it felt like nothing was going right.
I cannot even pretend that by the time I went on to the stage I was fully confident, because I was still terrified. I could feel the anxiety in my throat, my mouth, every single part of me- it refused to leave, no matter what I did. I wanted to walk away and quit, but knew that would not look good- the person running the event is the one who is also going to help us run the Drag Nights at our university, and I would have hated of her to think of me as someone who simply quits and gives up.
Despite the anxiety, and having lost faith in myself throughout the night more times than I can count, I forced myself to fully immerse myself in my drag persona and become the person I know I can be- and that person’s a pretty sickening performer. For some reason, though, I’m struggling to realise that that person is me- and that only having that level of confidence when I’m on stage is something I need to work on. But that’s okay. I’m growing, and learning and improving and everything isn’t always going to be as perfect as I want it to be- but sometimes it’s okay to get a be a little messy. After all, that’s what drag is all about, right?
Here’s some photos of me doing my thing- if you were wondering, the performance was inspired by Kim Kardashian’s diamond earrings moment (here) with Charli XCX’s “Porsche” and Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl”. I covered the stage in fake money and that’s my legacy.
ALSO: I’m actually doing a performance that’s not at my university! Catch me at Bar Wotever (The Royal Vauxhall Tavern) on the 29th of May. I would appreciate any kind of support, especially as it’ll be my birthday!