This year marks my 11th year professionally. Over those years, I have been put in situations that are from mild to wild.
I’m the first to be aware of safety. Dressed up as we are draws not only good but sometimes bad attention. It’s important to be aware of this.
Even at some gigs, I’ve found myself standing on a stage looking out in the wilderness, and thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into”. With the power of my smart mouth and security by my side, nine times out of 10, it’s usually fine and there is no drama.
One Saturday night many years ago I worked with Penny Tration at the Cock and Bull. When we entered the stage, there was a roar from the crowd, not a supportive ‘here are the girls’ roar. More a ‘what the fuck do we have here?’ roar.
The show seemed like it went on forever. We used every showgirl trick we could to win the crowd over, but nothing worked. We cut the show early and escaped out the fire door, both a little shaken.
Are there places that drag is unacceptable? Is there a time when you should say, “No, I’m not going in there to work”?
Recently a group of showgirls went to the Royal Easter show in drag, catching the train to Homebush. During the day, in very fem clothes these husky-voiced ladies seemed to have a great day and met no trouble. Could a day like this end up in disaster instead of a show bag full of laughs?
I’m a strong believer in not putting yourself in an unsafe situation. As much as I would love to say it’s safe to walk home in drag, it’s not! It would be great for me to be able to hold my boyfriend’s hand everywhere in the world, but there are places you can’t.
I just hope no one ends up hurt before this starts to sink in.
In saying this, I have just finished calling two-up at the Harbourview Hotel in the Rocks, in full drag, for the eighth year. We are packed to the rafters and I have regulars who have been coming for the last eight years to see me. Most of the punters are 20-something men who cheer and applaud when I get out of the taxi.
We all need to be aware of our surroundings and look after ourselves. Being in drag doesn’t give you a free pass. Safety is the ultimate key.