Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My 1st time being paid for it

I really do appreciate the diversity that exists among my friends. I don't want all of my friends to think, act, or look like me. I enjoy the other viewpoints and experiences from those who are different from me.

Several years ago, while reflecting on the previous night's big holiday open house we'd thrown, I said to Spouse that I wanted a drag queen friend to round out my circle of friends. That seemed to be the only category I could think of that was missing at our party the night before.

Fast forward several years to the summer of 2010. One Thurs night I agreed to accompany some friends to the Blue Moon bar/night club for cocktails and karaoke, hosted by the local celebrity Mona Lotts. It was a lot of fun and Mona was especially kind to me after she heard me sing. I continued going there for karaoke most Thursdays and became 'friends' with Mona on facebook. But it wasn't until early Nov when the tourists were all gone that we really became friends. There were about 6 of us at karaoke 1 night and Mona joked that it would be her and me singing to the tables and chairs. We talked about our lives, jobs, partners, etc. and I truly found her to be an interesting person. Before I realized it, I had a drag queen friend!

Then 2 weeks ago I sent Mona a message suggesting that she and I sing a duet of "Baby Its Cold Outside" at karaoke, now that it was appropriate to sing Christmas music. To my surprise she wrote back and said that she and Tim (1 of the club owners) had just been talking about that exact same thing! So that week Mona and I did our duet which turned out nicely. At the end of karaoke Mona and Tim asked me if I was willing to perform the duet with Mona in the club's big Christmas Show the following week.

Of course I said yes. All week long I practiced the song at home, we sang it together at karaoke on Thurs night, and then practiced it with a little choreography on Fri afternoon to get ready for the show Fri night. As I was about to leave the rehearsal Fri afternoon, Tim asked if I would do him a favor. I said sure and asked what it was. He wanted me to don a Santa Claus costume and join Mona and the other performers on stage for the show's finale. I laughed and said okay.

When I arrived at the dressing room Mona and the other drag performers had finished their make-up but were still wiggling into their girdles, styling their wigs, rethinking their jewelry, and putting on their glamorous gowns. Although I'd watched RuPaul's Drag Race on TV, I'd never witnessed this firsthand. Mona introduced me to everyone and asked Miranda to show me the Santa costume. When everyone was dressed we went over the performance schedule and my queues.

I watched the 1st several numbers from out in the audience, then slipped out the back and met Mona in the dressing room. We got our mics and then positioned ourselves to go onstage. I was wearing black dress pants and a red sweater. Mona was wearing a green antique satin 2-piece skirt/blouse set. We were introduced, our music started, we took our places on stage and sang our duet. The audience was very appreciative and generous with their applause.

Back in the dressing room Mona changed her hair and outfit for her next number while I struggled to get all 12 pieces of the Santa costume on over my clothes. There was plenty of room in the costume, it just wasn't easy to bend over once I'd put on the big padded belly to get the rest of the pieces on, but I did. I stood next to the stage entrance so I could hear what was going on inside. Then, dressed in full-on Santa 'drag', I joined Mona on stage and waved to the audience as 'snow' fell from the artificial snow machine, catching the lights and looking amazingly real. It was pretty spectacular!

Back in the dressing room I got out of my Santa drag and talked to the girls as they removed their false eyelashes and fingernails, girdles and make-up. I was truly amazed at the transformations as each 'lady' became a man again. Each breathed a sincere sigh of relief when they 'untucked'. Tim came in bearing envelopes for everyone, containing their payment for performing in the big Christmas show, including me. Although I'd sung in public many times before, it was my 1st time being paid for it (and dressing up as Santa too, I guess). I also received an invitation to Tim's holiday party which I am very excited to attend. I'm hoping to get Spouse to come with me.

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the duet or of me in the Santa drag, so you'll just have to imagine it from my wordy description above.

It was REALLY a fun experience to be involved in the big Christmas show, both singing with Mona and dressing as Santa Claus. Its also been a lot of fun to get to know Mona and Tim better and to think of them as friends. I wonder what else is in store for me?


Java said...

That sounds like SO much fun! Wish I could have seen it.

behrmark said...

Congratulations on your drag queen friend!

Kevin said...

well that story just thrilled me to bits!

baby, it's cold outside could very well be my favourite "winter" song! loves it!

Ron said...

Great story! I wish I was there. I would have videotaped it. If you're doing it again, let me know. History (or "her"story) was made. I never travel without my camera or Flip video. Event like this needs to be shared with the community.

the cajun said...

Great Story. Sounds like it was fun time. Hope you are enjoying Christmas in VA and I hope that we get to meet in person in the new year.