Mr Green Teal / Sparklemuffin – Australia

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Mr Green Teal posing with showgirls for Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, Christmas In July show 2011

Megan M-34

Mr Green Teal as Johnny Ray, in Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, Kitten of the Year Show in 2011, photo by Captain Spitfire (Shannon Brown, now The Den Photography)

Performer name(s): Mr Green Teal and Sparklemuffin

Where do you live? Canberra, Australia

Gender: Genderfluid or Non-Binary

Age:  50

Muggle day job:  Currently not working, due to illness. Studying/working on starting up my own business.  Worked in the community sector/education for 17 years.

Length of time performing:  I’ve been performing as Mr Green Teal for 14 years and Sparklemuffin for 5 years.  It’s hard to say how many shows I have performed as Mr Green Teal, probably only about 40, and as Sparklemuffin, I have done about 20 shows.  I’ve had illness, lack of resources and being the only king (at times), which has meant challenges to performing, (more often and outside of Canberra).

What you refer to yourself performance wise:  Depends on the context, often I say I’m a drag king or burlesque performer or just a performer.  I am originally visual arts trained, so sometimes it’s just ‘artist’.

CaptaVitae Photography - http://www.captavitaephotography.com

Sparklemuffin (as character Aladon Heat), in Erase The Binary show, 2014.  Show produced by Megan Munro (Mr Green Teal /Sparklemuffin) and Melina Fahrenheit.  Raising $$ and awareness of gender diversity.  Photo by CaptaVitae Photography (Chris Manchester)

 

Why do you perform?  I started doing what I called Drag King performance originally after I came out as Same Sex Attracted (lesbian), at age 36.  It was part of the beginning of lots of identity exploration and I came out more times after this.  I had always been creative, and I wanted to perform but never had the ‘guts’ or nerve to do it because I was never ‘enough’ when I was younger, and types of performance seemed limited.  I had, had little exposure to kings, so it’s hard to say how or where I got the idea from. Many of the lesbians I excitedly told I wanted to do drag king performance to were not as excited as me, some were VERY excited. I found a way to start, that is a whole story unto itself.  Because performance opportunities were rare I treated each gig as the last one. After about 7 years the venue that I had been doing most of my performance at, closed. I approached a local burlesque troupe, Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque and asked Miss Kitka if I could possibly perform with her troupe.  I performed that year (2011) with Miss Kitkas t for the first time (as Mr Green Teal).  After that, I thought it was time to explore my femme side and build on my performance skills. I had never experienced queer femme.  So, I took up burlesque classes with Miss Kitka and did my first burlesque solo as Arachne Phobia, in a show ‘Jungle Fever’ in 2012.  I didn’t ever feel fully comfortable in the full femme burlesque mode, which, apparently you’re ‘supposed to feel sexy doing.  To me it is more drag than any other presentation I have done.

In more recent years, my performance has had a focus on queer themes.  I perform because it is the time when I am truly standing up for and representing other queer/LGBTI folk.  I am also representing the ‘older’ performer.  I was the oldest performer doing burlesque, for some time, in our local burlesque scene. Others came and went, but I was still there. I perform now because I am standing up, raw and exposed as a queer person. I’m here and I’m queer.  I’ve also been the first drag king that many people have seen. This is something special.

CaptaVitae Photography - http://www.captavitaephotography.com

Sparklemuffin performing their ‘Creep’ routine at The Abbey as part of Mondayitis.  Photo by Captavitae Photography (Chris Manchester).  Costume, makeup, styling all by Sparklemuffin.

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Sparklemuffin is Lady Elvis, for Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, Elvis Tribute Show, 2016.  Photo by D-Eye (Brett Sargeant). Costume, makeup, styling by Sparklemuffin.

How would you describe your performance style: Mr Green Teal is an old-fashioned crooner.  He is distinct in his style and models himself off the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Chris Isaak Style.  Occasionally he has chosen to perform to raunchier or up-beat music.  His signature songs are ‘Bad Things’ and ‘Fever’ (Michael Buble).

Sparklemuffin does a range of presentations from femme burlesque to boylesque. Sparklemuffin is the gender bender, who, in most cases is a character performer. Choosing very different looks and themes to perform to.  Often the costuming is specific to the ideas in the act.  I would like to push Sparklemuffin much further, performing mostly as a male persona.

What /who inspires you: I am inspired by ‘everyday’ people. Folk in the LGBTI communities that continuously advocate for our rights. I am inspired by many of the trans and gender diverse people I know, that are part of my life. I’m inspired by people of colour, and people living with chronic illness, or mental illness. I’m inspired by the people that just keep going in a world that’s often against them.  I love the artists that challenge ideas. In my current world the people/performers that inspire are;  Jenni Atkinson; Ginger Gorman; Bella De Jac and Alyssa Kitt (whose words of encouragement I will never forget); The Rainbow; Bust Herr; Ziggy Disco Balls; Glitterfist; Archie Arsenic; Miss Kitka; All the Kitka folk; Betty Grumble; Rocco D’Amore; Sexy Galexy; Lance De Boyle; Lee Valone; Paradox Rei; Glitta Supernova; Dolores Daiquiri; Lillian Starr; Fancy Piece; Bunni Lambada; Spikey Van Dykey; Rubyyy Jones;  Any intersectional performers;  A number of our local performers, but particularly InkBits and Bambi Valentine.  Many of these people I have only seen images of on social media, but am a big fan of them, of their ethos and what they ‘put out’. It’s about leadership and social and cultural change.

Some information about your costumes:  I was originally trained in textiles, so I love a good costume.  My costumes are all styled by me, and wherever possible, designed and made by me. I either use found upcycled items and often deconstruct them to create a costume I want, or I make them from other materials from scratch. One of my biggest costume achievements is a gladiator suit, which is covered in medication packs.  The act being about mental illness. I like it when costumes add relevance or meaning to the act.

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Sparklemuffin doing their ‘Butch Burlesque’ routine at Dr Sketchys Canberra, December 2017. Costume, makeup and styling by Sparklemuffin.  Photo by Sam Ingham.

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why:  I don’t really have just one. A few that currently stand out are; The Body Map show by Glitta Supanova (Australian Performer); An act by Ruby Slippers (Australian), which involved using film and awesome costuming; Sweaty Pitts (local Canberra folk) and an act they did dressed as lemons. The Rainbow (Australian), Mad Hatter act.  Baron Von Envy’s winning act in Mr Boylesque International 2017.

Biggest challenge as a performer: Health, resources ($$$$) and, sometimes I feel like the only queer in the village.  My health has been a problem for the last 7 years, this combined with lack of resources has meant that I haven’t been able to do the workshops and training that I want, or to get out of Canberra to perform. Being the only drag king for chunks of time, in my home town and feeling isolated in that.

Some of your achievements:

That I have kept going all this time, despite feeling quite alone at times.

In around 2007 I ran my first drag king workshops.  Encouraged by my dear friend Rocco Hardness.  We had a small, Canberra based troupe which ran for about 4-5 years, members came and went.  I decided I needed to ‘own’ that I was the ‘expert’ in my local area and I started up the workshops again in 2017.  We currently have a few kings who are keen to get performing.  I continue to run these workshops, because I believe it’s important to me. It supports new performers and helps them get a head start.  I had to navigate my own way without things like Facebook groups and with very little information. I’m proud of my ‘kinglets’ as we call them (as opposed to baby kings).  We have a little family.

Winning the inaugural Kreative Kitten in Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque in the annual Kitten of the Year Competition at the end of 2016.

Competing in Miss Burlesque Australia competition in 2016. I was so sure I was going to be so far behind all the other competitors, in terms of how good I was, but this was not true. It was hard, but I really grew as a performer.

The several shows I have produced to raise awareness of varying issues. The first two were LGBTI focussed variety shows, raising money for those communities.  The last show was in 2017 and that was to raise awareness about mental health problems and $$$ for a local mental health organisation.  These shows are about creating community on several levels.

This blog. Hopefully it will become huge.

 

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

https://www.facebook.com/megan.munro2

https://www.facebook.com/MrGreenTeal/

https://www.facebook.com/erasethebinary/

https://www.instagram.com/meganmunro1968/

Sparklemuffin

Sparklemuffin posing before performing their ‘Manhattan’ routine for Miss Kitka’s Boys, Boys, Boys and a Girl 2! in 2017.  Costume, makeup and styling by Sparklemuffin.  Photo by D-Eye (Brett Sargeant)

Something you would like to tell readers:

Thank you to all the people who have supported me and continue to support me. It means so much to me.  Thank you to elders and artists who have come before me/us.

It’s not easy being an artist, a creative thinker or an advocate for change.  You’ll always get people that disagree with you, you’ll always get people telling you, you are wrong or trying to put you down.  Change doesn’t happen easily. The only way to make change is to DO YOUR THING. Keep trying.  There is still a lot that needs to happen in the world as far as LGBTIQ rights are concerned. There’s lots of horrible things continue to happen, including death. Trans folk. Now is our time, now is time for change around perceptions, around gender. It’s hard but keep being yourself (but always try and stay safe).  It’s also hard for women, all kinds of women. Keep pushing. Keep standing up for you.

To quote Paradox Rei (do you know Paradox Rei?  Look them up.) #AllDragIsValid.   You can be fat, thin, male, female, trans, non-binary, black, brown, yellow, white or green. There are no rules. You can do it however the fuck you like, you can bind, not bind. Have a beard, not have a beard. Pack or not pack.

Not everyone comes to their art equally. Some have more advantages than others. Some don’t have the money or the health to do their drag as they wish.  The colour of their skin might impact them; They might not be able bodied, or they might have multiple ‘challenges’.  Some are living in isolation (either geographically, or emotionally) and don’t have the support. Just because someone is ‘doing well’ or is ‘successful’ in terms of winning awards or such like, doesn’t mean they are better than you.  Go forth and change the world do your drag 😊

Megan

Sparklemuffin posing before doing their ‘Betty Howard’ inspired routine at Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, Kitten of the Year 2017 show.  Costume and styling by Sparklemuffin, makeup by Ange Broso. Photo by D-Eye (Brett Sargeant).

Damien D’Luxe – USA

Damien D'Luxe (2)

Damien D’Luxe, Drag King from Minneapolis, USA.  Photo, Makeup and costume all by Damien

 

Performer name(s): Damien D’Luxe

Where do you live (and perform): Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Gender: Gender Queer

Age: 32

Muggle day job:  Tattoo Shop Owner/ Tattoo Artist

Length of time performing: I have been performing for 15 years. I would say I have likely done at least 600 or more shows (estimating).

What you refer to yourself performance wise ?: Drag King

 

Damien D'Luxe 3

Damien D’Luxe, Drag King from Minneapolis, USA.  Photo, Makeup and costume all by Damien

Why do you perform?

I perform as a way to express my gender identity. Because I identify as gender queer but present more “female” in my daily life, it is a great outlet for me to feel more masculine when I am on stage. I see it as a way of being a man without being a man. I also use drag to assist with my social anxiety. I have a difficult time interacting with others in my daily life and doing drag allows me to be someone else and helps me to socialize with people when I normally wouldn’t be able to.  Drag is also another art form for me. I don’t do a ton of artwork outside of my work in tattooing. Doing drag allows me to use my body as my canvas. I paint my artwork on myself at every show.

How would you describe your performance style ?

My performance style varies a lot between cosplay, hip hop and pop/lock dancing style numbers, boilesque and dark/creepy numbers. I try to bring varying looks to each show and do dramatic make up and costume changes between numbers.

What /who inspires you ?

I am inspired by a lot of things around me. I do a lot of research in high fashion looks and male couture online. I also use inspiration from specific characters when I create them for cosplay. The celebrity that I am inspired by the most is Marilyn Manson. I also find inspiration in make up from the drag queens that I work with and from fellow kings on social media.

Some information about your costumes:

My costumes range from dark and sexy to bright and colorful. I use a lot of feathers, sequins, rhinestones, studs and other embellishments.  I do a lot of singular colors from head to toe or use color themes varying by the song. I also do a lot of cosplay numbers that use costuming from specific well known characters. I make most everything myself and my wife helps me embellish them a lot of times when I am short on time.

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why:

My favourite act changes by the month. I feel like my favourite act generally is my most recent act. I love bringing new pieces to the stage and the invigorating feel of new costuming and song choices. My current favourite act of mine is performing to Macho Man by the Village People. I perform it as a circus strongman with a big barbell. I love the campiness and fun in the number and that I am able to bring theatrics to the stage.

Biggest challenge as a performer:

The biggest challenge for me as a performer is balancing my life and having proper time management. Because I own my own business and have employees along with managing my own tattooing my free time is very limited. I also perform 1-3 times every week. This does not leave me a lot of time for my home, family and friends. Over the years I have learned to find a sort of balance but at times I find myself burned out. Sometimes I simply wish there were more hours in the day!

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

Instagram @damiendluxe

FB @damiendluxe

Twitter @tattoosbyemi

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeGsfcVnYVGDVjrICvW91cQ?view_as=subscriber

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Damien D’Luxe, Drag King from Minneapolis, USA.  Photo, Makeup and costume all by Damien

 

Damien D'Luxe

Damien D’Luxe, Drag King from Minneapolis, USA.  Photo, Makeup and costume all by Damien

Flare – Canada

Flare_Tassels

Flare, Drag King from Toronto Canada. One of the first kings to tassel twirl.  Photo by Sammy Snapshots (2008)

 

Performer name(s): main one is Flare, Drag King Flare, Flarington King, Buck Off

Where do you live (and perform): Live – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – perform all over the world

Gender: Out of drag She – In drag He

Age: 44

Muggle day: Entertainment Contract Manager

Length of time performing: 22 years performing – I have done monthly performances almost the whole time, give or take a few years when I was coupled and didn’t perform as much – but so many I couldn’t even guess a number.

What you refer to yourself performance wise: Drag King and Draglesque

 

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Flare, Drag king from Toronto Canada. photo: selfie, beard made by Spikey Van Dykey

 

Why do you perform?  To share with others that gender is fluid, to share stories, to be a character, and to show that a human can be sexy/attractive outside of the square box models that I used to only see on TV and in print.  Over 22 years this has changed.  I am seeing now more gender fluidity in mainstream media.

How would you describe your performance style: I’m a character performer.  I find a song I like, a story develops with a character in mind, and then I breakdown the song as the character would.

What /who inspires you:  Other performers who push the boundaries and are also characters.  Two kings I’m inspired by right now are the Qzars from Austin, Texas.  Their concept, makeup, outfits, and delivery is so energetic, different, and visually appealing.  I want to join their band.

Some information about your costumes: I currently live in a loft studio and 80% of its use is for my drag costumes.  I live in a big ol’ tickle trunk!

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why: My favourite act of mine is my newest one “I want to know what love is” by Foreigner.  It’s my favourite because I dress up as this big bearded 70’s guy who is still trying to find love the ‘bad old fashioned way’…he doesn’t get ahead.  I love it cause it’s so camp, the song is one of my favorites, and deep down I’m kind of that guy.

Biggest challenge as a performer: EGO – I’m a performer and I’m a producer.  I’ve seen what EGO does to a well mannered person.  The trend I’ve seen over the years is this: a new performer takes to the stage and they are nervous, they do it, they get their jitter relief, they get their applause and they are filled with acceptance and adrenaline.  This first wave they are humble and grateful.  Then, as they build, and get more attention something shifts from humble to cocky to arrogant.  I think what happens is someone who may not be considered ‘mainstream attractive’ or doesn’t feel validated in themselves somehow gets a new form of attention.  And most of us, except for the theatre kids, aren’t used to it and aren’t prepared for how it can change you.  When EGO comes in people get competitive and actually unsupportive of one another.  Been in many a dressing room where someone is rude to another performer or even the Producer because they think they are Elvis not just playing him.

Some of your achievements: Headliner of the following: Great Big International Drag King Show – Washington DC; Saturday night Headliner 2015 – Fierce! International Queerlesque Festival; Headliner 2016 – Austin International Drag Festival.  Sat on the IDKE (International Drag King Community Extravaganza) for ten years helping the IDKE festival continue to move from different cities.  I’m one of the first drag kings in the world to twirl tassels.  Started in 2003.  I have found out that there was a Boylesque troupe in San Francisco at the same time (I’m in Canada) where the drag kings twirled tassels.  When I started I had never seen another king do it and I was already at an International level.  I was on Maury Povich and Queer as Folk.  I made a documentary called “A Drag King Extravaganza” about the first 10 years of IDKE which is distributed by Frameline.

Social media handles, any links you want to share:  Currently working on the website dragkinghistory.com with Ken Vegas and Mo.B.Dick – site should be up by 2019.

Something you would like to tell readers: If you want to try drag DO IT.  And know Drag can encompass any idea, character, style that you want (as long as you don’t culturally appropriate or act in a violent non-consensual way towards others).  Be creative and use the stage to express your creativity.  Also be mindful of your audience.  I change my acts according to whom my audience is.  They are the ones coming to be entertained.  Your job is to entertain them, so keep them in your mind as you create. xo

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Flare, Drag King from Toronto, Canada.  Photo taken by Tania Anderson from ‘Game of Kings’

 

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Flare, Drag King from Toronto, Canada. Photo by Kevin Kelly

Marlena Dali – Australia

3. Marlena Dali

Marlena Dali, photo by Odd and Peculiar / hair and makeup and headdress by Marlena Dalí / latex, props, and location provided by Maxx Black

Performer name(s):   Marlena Dalí / Fellatio The Fagnificent / Gsus Christ

Where do you live (and perform)?   Sydney, Australia – I am from Los Angeles and I have performed there the longest.

Gender: Non-binary Clown

Age: 30

Muggle day job: I’m a fulltime artist.

Length of time performing: 18 years (first 10 as a professional musician that incorporated theatre performance as well as drag and film)

What you refer to yourself performance wise? Drag Thing

1. Marlena Dali.

Marlena Dali, Photo by Little Raven Photography / hair by Jamie Hill / makeup + costume by Marlena Dalí

Why do you perform?  I HAVE TO – Performance is my life, it also happens to be one of the only things I’m decent at. It’s also the best way that I can be an activist.

How would you describe your performance style?  Life Clown – clumsy sexy – disgusting.

What /who inspires you?  70s Glam, early 20th century Jewish variety/comedy artists (I’m Jewish), animals, water, chaos, failure, meaninglessness but also sentimentality, ICP, Ney Matogrosso, Dzi Croquttes, Dolly Parton, and my family friends Alicia Partnoy and Antonio Leiva who survived government sanctioned torture in Argentina.

Some information about your costumes: Mostly I make them from stuff I find literally on the ground or at thrift stores. I am inspired by Baroque and fetish aesthetics as well as animals. I try to portray and also dissect queer iconography through my costumes. I love shiny, glittery sparkles and latex and crystals… poofy, billowing white sleeves or skirts, and black leather pants. Weimar coattails and creepy creature masks.

Your favourite act (of your own) and why: At the moment, my Fellatio the Fagnificent leather daddy balloon swallow act.

Biggest challenge as a performer: Loving myself

2. Marlena Dali, Pastel prince

Marlena Dali, Pastel Prince, photo by Skye Gellmann / hair and makeup by Marlena Dalí / costume by Melanie Gillbank / shoes from Jamie Hill

Some of your achievements: I moved to another country and established myself as a professional performer. I may be poor, and don’t have access to centrelink, but do not have to have a day job. I emceed the Women’s March 2017 in Sydney in front of 10,000 people. I actually applied for a big grant and got it for the show I produce that is my dream show, The Oyster Club—we sell out every single show. I got a master’s degree when I was 24. I was named Gsus by Robert Downey Jr. I made an anti-torture film that’s shown in classrooms around the world called “I Have Two Voices”. I finally realized I don’t need to have a gender and I don’t need to look a certain way to be that non-gender. I threw pumpkins in Spike Jones’ pool with Karen O. I got out of abusive relationships. I survived rape and molestation when I was 14 and 17 and I continue to survive the abuse from cis men and the patriarchy every damn day.

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

Insta: marlena_dali, Face: /marlenadali

Something you would like to tell readers: Never listen to anyone that puts you down for your art, they are wrong and not worth your time. Destroy Capitalism. Destroy the white supremacist patriarchy. Help those that need help. Love the planet, it’s the only one we have.

4. Marlena Dali, mouthy

Marlena Dali, photo by Odd and Peculiar / hair and makeup and costume by Marlena Dalí 

Lance DeBoyle – Australia

Photo Credit Kara Castro

Lance DeBoyle, photo by Kara Castro

Where do you live (and perform):  Ballarat, Victoria. Australia (Regional)

Gender: Queer

Age: 66

Muggle day job: Pensioner Superstar

Length of time performing: 25 years (Approx)

What you refer to yourself, performance wise?   LGBT Performer

Why do you perform?   I’m creative and love to share all of my artforms

How would you describe your performance style:  Live, fun and interactive. Also, I dabble in carefully planned randomness and spontaneity…..ART!!!

What /who inspires you?  The people I perform for. To see smiles and exchange some witty repartee. Living is great, performing even moreso!!

Some information about your costumes: Exclusively dressed by eBay, Darling.

Your favourite act and why (other performers):  Rocco D’Amore and Sexy Galexy. They are cornerstones of the art form in Australia….And both are very nice people!

Biggest challenge as a performer:   There is a city-centric undercurrent to this artform. If you don’t live in a City, you don’t exist. Regional performers are devoid of the broader performer support networks and dedicated venues. There really isn’t a lot of enough love for the 100’s of regional and rural performers across Australia who keep chipping away at it, Darling.

Some of your achievements:

Being me. I’m very good at it these days.

Having my own live streaming show to Facebook called Lance TV…(Saturday nights from 8:30pm AEST) 😊

Performing at Midsumma Festival with Kongs Kings

Being invited back to perform on the Daylesford’s LGBT Chillout Festival mainstage again and again. (Daylesford is located in Victoria, Australia) Stay tuned for more 😊

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

FB: Lance TV & Lance DeBoyle

Insta: lancedeboyle_official

Twitter: @thelancedeboyle

Something you would like to tell readers:

Many thanks to Green Teal for putting this all together. Thank you for thinking of me Darling ❤

Photo Credit Central Vic Pics (1)

Lance DeBoyle, photo by Central Vic Pics