Dicky Love/ Dixie Drag Queen/D.Love Burlesque and FellaFem Event Production Company

 

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Stela D.Love FellaFem at Dandy Drag Cabaret, 2016. Makeup/costume/photo by Stela D. Love FellaFem.  Drag performer from San Francisco, USA

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From Dixie to Dicky Love.  Performer versatility from Stela D.Love FellaFem. Drag performer from San Francisco, USA.  Makeup for Dixie by Tarzanna.  Photos by Stela D.Love FellaFem

 

Performer name(s): Dicky Love- Drag King , Dixie Drag Queen, D. Love Burlesque, and FellaFem Event Production company.

Where do you live (and perform)?: Oakland Ca, San Francisco Bay Area, performing all around the world where ever they will have me.

Gender: Non-binary, female at birth.

Age : 47 year old.

Muggle day job: Artist, sculptor, Lg event producer, performer, and Emcee.

Length of time performing: I have been performing in drag since 7 years of age. I have been performing for 16 years professionally, and over seven hundred gender-bending performances

What you refer to yourself performance wise:  Drag King

Why do you perform? To express creative ideas and have fun with gender-fuckery.  I feel more comfortable on stage than anywhere else in the world. It’s a wonderful platform to play with gender and also send positive message to community.

How would you describe your performance style?  I am a diverse King that can play almost any role. I make my own costumes by repurposing thrift clothing and adding to them. I make props with a bachelors in sculpture and have extensions make skills. You can see me a number of times in costume and not know I was the same performer. I have do it all; Straight male impersonations, drag queen, femme, twink, clown, creatures, glitter, theatrical, cosplay, gender-bending, mix it all together, burlesque and troupe/group drag.

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Stela aka D.Love FellaFem, drag performer from San Francisco, USA.  Pants made by Vixon Designs, Wig by Thrillperlers. Rest of costume and makeup by Stela D.Love FellaFem.  Photo taken at Dandy Drag Cabaret, San Francisco, 2017.

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Stela aka D.Love FellaFem. Photo by Tarzanna, 2018.

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Stela aka D.Love FellaFem. Ms San Francisco Leather 2016.  Photo by Dahlia Kash

What /who inspires you? Everything around me, all the events in my life influence my drag.

Some information about your costumes: I put a lot of detail into my drag costume. I take old things, cut them up, sew them, paint, dye, add rhinestones and trim. At times I will add a strip of satin or sequins to jazz up pants. Other times I sew in snaps for tearaways. The hot glue is my friend and I am all about dollar store drag and turning out something fabulous.

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why: There are some many acts that love and have spent years perfecting. Outside of myself my favorite act from “White Christmas” is Sisters with Bing Crosby and Danny Thomas.

Biggest challenge as a performer: To stay relevant, popular and continue to grow my craft.

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Stela aka D.Love FellaFem, drag performer from San Francisco, USA.  Debauchery Show, 2018. Photo by Tarzanna.

 

Achievements: I have been part of three San Francisco Drag king contest winning troupes; Sacramento Kings of Drag, Slikk Bois, and as founder/Daddy of Fella-Fem. I was a founding member of the East Bay Kings Club, which kicked off the Wednesday night Drag show at the White Horse in Oakland CA (the oldest gay bar in the country.) I am a California College Of arts graduate and have shown my sculpture work all over the world.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, non-binary artist, leather person, an international gender-bender, activist for LGBTQ, performer, and large event producer.  I was awarded woman of the year by the San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance in 2017, was the first to receive the non-binary award with Mir Bilodeau 2016, and Sainted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as “Saint Motor Boat” for exceptional community service. Stela (me) served as co-producer of Ms SF Leather 2017, Ms. San Francisco Leather 2016, the advisory committee for the Catalyst, Vice President of Queer Sphere 2yrs, and event/entertainment producer for the Playground at Folsom Street Events for 3yrs. I am a widely skilled leather person traveling the world teaching workshops, judging, performing, emceeing and producing events. They were 1st runner up at International Ms Leather 2017, and Rocky Mountain Rebellion 2017 ’s key note speaker. I am pleased to be a co-producer and emcee for Russian River Women’s Weekend (inclusive of all who identify as women) and Women Of Drummer’s co-emcee (the first women’s international play title.)

 

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

https://www.instagram.com/fellafem/

https://www.facebook.com/Fella-Fem-63824456856/

https://twitter.com/FellaFem

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZzleSdzlQx6xCbsoC1HdLg?view_as=subscriber

Something you would like to tell readers: At seven years old I played my first role in the 2nd grade Christmas Play, as one of the three wise men. I was thrilled at the idea of wearing a beard and fancy robes. This became a running theme in my youth. Later I begged my parents for a three-piece suit, portable Shaun Cassidy record player and toy guitar. My Family had a wonderful fireplace surrounded by a raised step made of brick. It was my first stage, performing Elvis, Mac Davis, and Kenny Rogers for my family. My first professional drag king performance was in an art gallery called the “Uptown’,  where I sold my sculpture. In the early 2000s I managed the stage for the drag king show, when the owner, Louie Luxury, talked me into doing backup for a number. I was hooked!

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Dicky Love, drag performer from San Francisco, USA. Photo by Marta Elena 2008

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Stela D.Love FellaFem, drag performer from San Francisco, USA. From Rebel Kings Show 2016. Photo by Stela D.Love

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Stela D.Love, performer from San Francisco, USA.  Photo by Muffin from the International Miss Leather Seduction Show 2018.

Master Cameron Eric Leon – Canada

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Master Cameron Eric Leon, Drag King from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 
Photographer credit: Handsome Zac Photography 2018
MUA: Master Cameron Eric Leon
Costume design/creation: Tailoring by Edith Chartier, styling by Master Cameron Eric Leon

Performer name(s): Master Cameron Eric Leon is my drag persona and Miss Terri Meat is my burlesque persona!

Where do you live (and perform): Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Gender: Genderqueer

Age: 28

Length of time performing: I’m in my fifth year of performing drag and have performed in hundreds of shows across 7 or 8 cities.

What you refer to yourself performance wise: Drag King is my most used term but my tagline is “Gender Bender Extraordinaire.”

Why do you perform? I grew up in a family with theatrical passion- both of my parents have performed at the Stratford Festival and my dad is an opera singer to this day. I always loved performing but drag gives me added elements of gender expression and creativity, as I am my own choreographer, director, performer, designer, etc.

How would you describe your performance style: My style very much varies. I will do anything from classic old school masculinity to all out unapologetic genderfuck. I am most well known for my comedic, live singing, and draglesque routines though.

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                    Master Cameron Eric Leon, Drag King from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.                             Photographer: Handsome Zac Photography 2017
Makeup: Master Cameron Eric Leon
Costume design/creation: Styling by Master Cameron Eric Leon

What /who inspires you: I feel so lucky to have met and worked with a plethora of drag kings of all ages, genders, shapes and races and I think I have learned something from every single one of them. This may sound like a cop-out, but I swear it’s not. I am such a fanboy when it comes to other drag kings and every single one has inspired me or helped me in some way.

Some information about your costumes: I learned some basic skills from some wonderful folks in our drag and burlesque scenes when I started out, but for the most part have been creating my own props and costumes from the beginning. I have only recently started to admit my own failings when it comes to costume construction, haha. I realized that my costume ideas went beyond my skill levels and have started commissioning costumes where I can’t create it. I do intend on getting there, though!

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why: My favourite act of my own changes a lot, haha. However right now it is my draglesque routine “LegenDairy,” where I strip dressed as an ice cream man. I designed the costume myself, so it has custom reveals and hired a wonderfully talented friend of mine to bring it to fruition, so it’s my first full custom costume! Of others it gets a bit tougher because I’ve been lucky to see some incredible acts across disciplines. A few of my favourites include James and the Giant Pasty’s “Liberty” act- it moved me to tears when I saw it on video and again in person. The Canada’s Capital Kings have a super sexy “Magic Mike” group act to “It’s Raining Men” that always makes me lose my voice, Kitten N’Lou’s disco act, Red Bone’s “Boom!” is wildly entertaining and upbeat, and one of my all-time favourites is Mahogany Storm’s maid act, which I saw at World Pride in 2014. I love the burlesque discipline and find it corresponds a lot with my aesthetic and goals so I draw a lot of inspiration from that scene!

Biggest challenge as a performer: Battling procrastination. Even with things I enjoy I struggle with starting and completing tasks so I have lots of amazing ideas that have never gotten the dedication they deserved. I’m working on it though, it’s one of my goals and I’ve made big progress in the last year.

Some of your achievements: I won Mr. Capital Pride 2014, the first ever Mx. Capital Pride 2016, and runner up in Burlesque Idol 2014. I have also performed at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London England, the Capital Burlesque Expo, World Pride 2014, the Bagel Burlesque Expo, the Ottawa Burlesque Festival, and many more cities across three provinces. I also won Ottawa Leatherfest’s Drag Performer of the year 2015 and Drag Performance of the Year 2016. I will be performing at Fierce! International Queer Burlesque Festival in Toronto in May 2018.

Social media handles, any links you want to share: facebook.com/MasterCamDrag . Twitter and Instagram: @MasterCamDrag

Something you would like to tell readers: Don’t be afraid to fully commit to an idea and see it through! Putting together a well-loved act and polishing it over time has many rewards!

Photography by Angela McConnell-8659-Edit_20141016

                         Master Cameron Eric Leon, Drag King from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.                             Photographer credit: Photography by Angela McConnell 2014
Makeup: Master Cameron Eric Leon
Costume design/creation: Styling by Master Cameron Eric Leon.

 

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                 Master Cameron Eric Leon, Drag King from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.                  Photographer: Kidd Gloves Photography 2015
Makeup: Master Cameron Eric Leon
Costume design/creation: Styling by Master Cameron Eric Leon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flint Lokke/Lilith Le Strange – Canada

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Flint Lokke,  Drag King from Yukon Territory, Canada soon to be somewhere in Newfoundland!  Photos, hair, makeup all by Flint Lokke

Performer name(s): Flint Lokke and Lilith Lestrange

Where do you live (and perform)?  Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada soon to be somewhere in Newfoundland!

Gender: Female

Age: 24

Muggle day job: Voice Actor, Paramedic And Bartender (yup they all earn me $$$)

Length of time performing:
I’ve been performing as a whole for 20 years. I started really young. I’ve gone to a performing arts high school and eventually went into a performing arts university. I’ve been modeling for 7 years and I am in the newborn stages of male impersonation.

 What you refer to yourself performance wise: drag king and hyper queen

Why do you perform?
I find performance as a way to let go of your own emotions and stresses but also a way to connect people of all cultures to share the importance of equality in society and how performance can have such a big impact on society as a whole. Any and all performance no matter what it is, is a story waiting to be told. No matter if you’re playing  another gender, showing who you really are or just having fun. There is always a story line.

How would you describe your performance style:
gothic, moody, macabre…..very Victorian Jack the Ripper meets royal aristocrat

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Lilith Lestrange, Hyper Queen from Canada. Photography : Fake Believe Photography, Styling: Lilith Lestrange
Model: Lilith Lestrange

 What /who inspires you:
oh a hell of a lot! My best friend inspires me every day. She’s been my rock for the last few years and really helped push me in the direction I want to go but was too scared to go for. My list is really long so I’ll leave it there for now.

Biggest challenge as a performer:
I think he biggest challenge as a performer period is location and being seen. If you’re like me and come from a small town who may be very supportive but also very cliquey then it becomes a lot harder to get yourself out there. It becomes a huge damper on your confidence when you continually get rejected for things…Thankfully we have social media for that.

 Some of your achievements:
oh….uhh…. completing my paramedics licensing was a big one… finishing university…I have my Canada Cord through girl guides and have travelled helping towns in Mexico with them.

Social media handles, any links you want to share:
Instagram: @FlintLokke

facebook: @FlintLokkeDrag

Facebook page: @OfficiallyLilith

Email: flintlokkedrag@gmail.com or lilithlestrangemodel@gmail.com

Website: Flintsdragden.wixsite.com/website

 Something you would like to tell readers:
don’t be afraid to do something just because you’ve been told you can’t do it. Drag is a rebellion and all drag is valid. So don’t think for one second that your ideas are so crazy they won’t happen. It will. Just take a deep breathe and jump into that waiting sky. Even if it’s cloudy it’ll break up eventually!!

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Lilith Lestrange, Hyper Queen from Canada. Photography : Fake Believe Photography, Styling: Lilith Lestrange, 
Latex: Kinky Cat Designs

Randy Roy – Australia

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Randy Roy, Drag King from Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Ebony Ciarrocchi   @ciarrocci.balboa)
Hair and makeup by Randy Roy. Costume made by Randy Roy, based on Zoolander original.

 

Performer name: Randy Roy

Where do you live (and perform): Melbourne, Australia

Gender: Nonbinary

Age: 26

Muggle day job: High school English teacher (full time)

Length of time performing: I’ve been performing since September 2017, so about 8 months

What you refer to yourself performance wise: Drag king

Why do you perform? Because it’s what I do. I know everyone says this, but to me drag is the culmination of all of my interests and skills and loves in life. I got intro drag from being a cosplayer, which meant I could bring my love of costuming and performing another character. I’ve also had a lifelong love of classic rock and related genres, and the associated aesthetics that come with the genre. I love westerns, which feeds into my “cowboy” persona, and I love music and love to sing, which I do as part of my shows from time to time too. Even in terms of my gender, I find it a really healthy way to express myself in a safe and accepting community.

 

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Randy Roy, Drag King from Melbourne, Australia.  Hair, makeup and costume by Randy Roy

 

How would you describe your performance style? Erratic. I’m not a dancer, and I don’t have the natural grace that a lot of drag performers do. I know that, and I accept it, and I use it to my advantage. Unless I’m doing a sung number, I tend towards being more comedic and over-the-top with my shows. I also the sort of person who isn’t really content to do the same thing over and over, so the erraticism comes from the range of different performances I try to do too.

What /who inspires you: In terms of the what? Everything. The things I like. Most of my shows are based on a piece of media I really like – whether that’s impersonation (Elvis, Robert Redford, Edith Piaf) or a tribute to a film I like (The Mask, Zoolander, Spy Hard, Fifth Element) or even an aesthetic I particularly enjoy, for me it’s all about choosing something I really love and making it into something enjoyable for an audience.

In terms of who: I do a lot of shows at House of Love, and that’s really been my growing place as a developing performer. There are so many incredible kings and queens there that I’ve learned from. I’m really inspired by performers who are able to just take the stage and have the presence to hold everyone’s attention with their work. People like Bumpa Love and Rocco D’Amore are two I’d say have that innate ability (although I expect it’s something that comes with their level of experience too, which I guess means I need more practice).

Sexy Galexy has also been my inspiration from day one, and finding out he was one of the regulars at House of Love, which I’d sort of just stumbled into, was like a dream come true. He and Rocco have both been so helpful these past few months in giving me advice and encouraging and supporting me. His shows are so diverse and so funny, and he really pushes the boundaries of what drag means, and what constitutes a drag show. When I first started drag, I was convinced I was going to be “the cowboy one” and only do cowboy shows, and I think watching and talking to him had a lot to do with how diverse I’ve eventually become.

There are also a bunch of overseas kings I think are incredible and inspiring, who are Hugo Grrrl, Julius Fever (who I don’t think performs anymore?), Landon Cider, and Andro Gin.

 

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Randy Roy, Drag King from Melbourne, Australia.  Hair, makeup and costume by Randy Roy

 

Some information about your costumes: I make all of my costumes myself – I think that’s one of my strong points as a performer, because it means that I can design things to suit the exact kind of show I want to do. The first outfit I made was actually a replica of Randy Jones’ outfit from the finale of “Can’t Stop the Music,” a pink sparkly cowboy outfit. I have a few cowboy outfits now – one based off Matthew McConaughey’s cowboy character in Magic Mike, one with lights sewn into it, based on Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman, and a kilted cowboy based off a Kirin J Callinan red carpet look. Aside from cowboys, I also have a bunch of mostly disco inspired outfits, as well as a few more cosplays (The “Cuban Pete” outfit from The Mask, Zoolander’s “Derelicte,” a zombie hunter outfit, a few sci fi looks).

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why: There’s a Sexy Galexy number where the whole song is just him increasingly frantically snorting cocaine and it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Biggest challenge as a performer: I could be boring and say time. I teach full time so I need to be very careful with my time management to make sure I’m doing the best shows I can (while also doing my job to the best of my ability).  Being a teacher though, I actually spend a lot of time identifying my own challenges and setting goals to improve them – I keep a drag journal for this purpose. Boring, I know. So really, my biggest challenge as a performer changes between each show, as I decide on what I need to work on most at that particular point. Some examples include lip sync, better blending, more diverse makeup styles, not relying on any props or reveals, and choreography.

Some of your achievements: I’ve never worn makeup before so I’d call that an achievement. In all seriousness though I’d say getting to the Vic final of Dragnation last year was a highlight (I came third) as it was also my first foray into drag. I guess the fact that I can perform pretty regularly (presumably because the people booking the shows want me there) is an achievement in itself too!

Social media handles, any links you want to share: I post all my drag stuff at @randyroydrag on instagram

Something you would like to tell readers: I think it’d be cool to talk a bit about why I like drag as an art form in the first place. It’s so unique in that it’s essentially the performance, and the examination of gender. There’s no one correct way to do it, and in that I think inherently it is such a great avenue for examining what makes up masculinity and femininity. In parodying elements of gender that have traditionally been really limiting, I think drag is really freeing. Especially speaking as a non binary person that essentially had to “perform” femininity and being “female” against their will, drag has been a really healthy outlet to explore elements of gender expression, and to take control of that performance. Obviously like every community that exists there are issues, and I don’t harbour any ideas that I’ve found the ultimate utopia of free gender expression, but at the core of the thing, and in the community I’ve found, it has been good.

 

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Randy Roy, Drag King from Melbourne, Australia.  Hair, makeup and costume by Randy Roy.  Photographer: Daniel Sutton Photography @danielsuttonphoto

Buck Orchid – USA

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Buck Orchid, drag king, from San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

Performer name(s): Buck Orchid

Where do you live (and perform)?  San Antonio Texas, USA

Gender:  Female

Age: 47

Muggle day job:  Currently an independently working artist which means cobbling together office management, arts education, dance instruction, showcase facilitation, performing etc etc etc. I did use to work in non-profit theater as an arts administrator for close to 20 years before being made redundant. Alas.

Length of time performing:  As a king? Lately it’s been every two months or so. Since I joined a troupe I’ve had the opportunity to perform more regularly in our self-produced shows and we have been slowly picking up appearances and bookings. As a performer though I’ve been in the game since the mid-90s.

What you refer to yourself performance wise? drag king

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Buck Orchid, drag King, from San Antonio, Texas, USA. ‘Prince Charming’.

Why do you perform? Because I am a performer at heart. Specifically as a king, I get to tap into my masculine energy and live a persona that I think is pretty convincing…I enjoy the reactions of my audience. Especially the women 😉

How would you describe your performance style? Flirty, sexy, high-energy

What /who inspires you?  Spykey van Dykey is a huge inspiration as a king because of his style, showman-ship and artistry and let’s face it, he’s fucking hot. Jack the Lad is another inspiration because until I came across him on YouTube I hadn’t heard of another South Asian drag king before! As far as my styling goes, I think of Buck as a very “metro” Bollywood dude, so actors like Arjun Rampal, Ranveer Singh, John Abaraham, Hrthik ROshan are who I look at for styling and choreography inspiration. Finally, one of my first big numbers was a Prince tribute so as a fellow tiny brown man I am also very inspired by him especially since I have been a fan since I was little.

Some information about your costumes:

Well I am kind of petite so it’s been a process to figure out my best options. I have been trolling wish.com for tiny asian man clothes. My husband is a few inches taller than me and has been nice enough to hand off his clothes from his slimmer days etc. As a burlesque performer while I don’t sew anything I am pretty good at blinging out and adapting found items. I am constantly learning through social media from other kings, performers and costumiers about the best ways to dress Buck since I do have some specific aesthetic goals ( Bollywood male model lol).

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Buck Orchid, drag king, from San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

Your favourite act and why:

Currently my favorite act is still in progress but it is my Prince Charming pole dance because I went all out on the costume, which presented some challenges as a dancer. I think that when its nailed down it will be pretty awesome. My other favorite number of mine is one where I lip-sync to a mashup of shape of you and Urvashi ( a popular Hindi movie song) while hula hooping and stripping. Buck does like to get naked-ish!

As far as someone else’s act, currently I am blown away by Alexander the Great’s Ted Bundy act because it was really unexpected and he committed fully to it. I really enjoy being connected through the internet to so many kings though! I am constantly challenged and inspired and humbled by everyone’s creativity. Buck is the newest of my personas and definitely has work to do.

Biggest challenge as a performer:

Making sure I stay “in the pocket” with my physicality. I have a specific idea of what I want him to embody so I am still working on making sure I don’t slip into my “Black Orchid” more femme gestures. Secondarily I would say that San Antonio is still a market for drag queens ( and definitely all props to the hardworking queens who have made it so) and it is dispiriting to see that even within the queer community, we have yet to be taken seriously for bookings and acknowledgement.

Some of your achievements:

Recently I and the troupe ( Los MENtirosos) was booked to headline a local Fiesta “royalty” event. I’m still not sure how some people there felt about us but to me that’s an example of the kind of gig that normally wouldn’t go to a drag king. Other than that I never lip-synced until I started committing to the character and now I can say I know how to lip-sync in Spanish, Hindi and Arabic for certain numbers lol as well as in English!

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

Buck doesn’t have his own page yet but you can see his pics etc at https://www.facebook.com/blackorchidburlesque/

and IG: @shimarella

 Something you would like to tell readers:

Well here’s my general bio: Buck Orchid is a true Desi man who loves a strong drink, a good beat and the lovely ladies. He is a pocket Prince Charming who has been scandalizing and seducing his way through San Antonio and the South in the past few years. He’s better known…for now… for his family connection to Black Orchid, “The Transoceanic Tropical Tease”, who you can see in full femme action in San Antonio and beyond. Like all Bollywood heroes, he lives to pay sexy tribute to his favorite pop idols. He is also a member of Los MENtirosos, San Antonio’s only drag king troupe!TAG LINE: “Singapore’s Sultan of Swing, with a Thousand Ways to Make You Swing”.

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Buck Orchid, drag king, from San Antonio, Texas, USA

Mike Litoris – New Zealand

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Mike Litoris, drag king from Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Paradox Photography. Design: Caleb McNabb. Makeup and styling by Mike Litoris. Courtesy of Gag Collective

Performer name(s): Mike Litoris

Where do you live (and perform): Wellington, New Zealand

Gender: Woman (she/her)

Age: 26

Muggle day job: Sex Worker/Busker

Length of time performing:  2 ½ years. Done multiple gigs, usually perform once, sometimes twice a month. Performed at Wellington Pride Festival.

What you refer to yourself performance wise: Drag King

Why do you perform? For expression, to subvert and challenge the norm, promote body positivity, because I enjoy it.

How would you describe your performance style: Gritty, masculine, gay, challenging, powerful.

What /who inspires you: Other drag kings, my drag community, the wider drag king community. My partner (a transmasc drag queen).

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 Mike Litoris, drag king from Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Jeff Tolan. Makeup and Costume by Mike Litoris.

Some information about your costumes: Often self-created from thrift shop finds on a budget, I usually buy base garments, adding to them with embroidery, stitching, studs and rhinestones etc. as I see fit. I have a couple of standard outfits, and then I might have a couple of outfits designed specifically for a certain act.

Your favourite act (of your own or someone else’s) and why: My act, where I am a silver android, with light-up reveals and several cuts of electronica tracks. My best act to date.

Biggest challenge as a performer: Budget limitations

Some of your achievements: Performed at Wellington Pride Festival, including the afterparty with an international Drag Queen, Laila McQueen, part of a collective called Gag Collective, producing my own show bi-monthly called Open Mike.

Social media handles, any links you want to share:

Instagram: @mikelitorisdrag (https://www.instagram.com/mikelitorisdrag)

Facebook: Mike Litoris Drag King (https://www.facebook.com/MikeLitorisDragKing/)

Twitter: @mikelitorisdrag (https://twitter.com/mikelitorisdrag)

 Something you would like to tell readers: Drag is for anybody. If you feel like your gender, age, divergence or disability makes you less valid to try drag because of the overwhelming majority with privilege, fight to prove them wrong. You are valid. Your drag is valid. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Mike Litoris from Wellington, New Zealand.  Photo: Ngarongonui Mareikura-Ellery. Makeup and costume by Mike Litoris.

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Mike Litoris from Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Bernie Homes. Makeup and costume by Mike Litoris.

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

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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.

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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).