Over the years I have been bombarded with some interesting and very strange questions. Some have really made me think, others have had my eyes rolling.
One that pops up regularly is about work, and how I decide which venues to work at and why. This is particularly directed at the straight venues I work at. It is not as simple as, You wanna work here?
Yep. Good. It would be a lot easier if it was.
Usually the process begins with a straight venue approaching you with a wild idea -” having a drag show. It’s a huge leap for many straight venues.
If they are from the older generation, you’re met with their memories of the Albury or even as far back as Les Girls. It’s impossible to compete with someone’s memory. This sometimes is the biggest hurdle -” like most things, drag has changed. As much as we would love to revisit those genres of drag, it is impossible in some instances.
Once you have broken through this, you need to tackle issues of security. Working on the gay scene, they are used to us getting up regularly. But when you walk on to a straight stage, you are met with
A true performer pulls every trick from her handbag and wins them over as quickly as possible, but a strong security team needs to work with them just in case it gets a little hairy. I have only had a couple of issues with patrons becoming rowdy at straight venues, but the situation was dealt with so quickly the others around had no idea at all.
Once your safety has been looked after you dive straight in, developing a show for the specific venue, whether its adults-only karaoke, bingo, trivia or even cockroach racing.
Is working at a straight venue selling out? I have fun at all venues I work at. Like other cabaret performers, you need to go where the work is.
Growing up in a country town, the family used to go to the pub for a counter meal and listen to the old man and his wife on the organ, belting out terrible numbers. Pub entertainment seems to be in our culture, so it’s exciting to have it develop into something that wears a little more glitter.