Fabulous Fundraiser

The Maltese

The elements of any great party are essentially the same: music, brightly colored costumes (sequins are a bonus), mood lighting, and an enthusiastic crowd. One of the best things about Pride Week is that you can count on all of those elements being out in force. On Saturday August 3rd at the Maltese, a few of Chico’s drag queens and kings were out to help raise money for Chico Pride. There was a pretty sizable crowd of people there to support the cause; after I spent some time just milling around and trying to avoid the giant clouds of hairspray that exploded through the curtains set up for the “staging area,” the performances got underway.

Each performance took place on the Maltese stage, and involved lip-synching and varying levels of choreography. Overall it was entertaining and fun—an experience I’d recommend to most people. The key word that should be at play in any drag show is “fun.” For anyone whose only experience with drag shows is watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, I’d advise giving our local players a shot. However, there are some things you should probably keep in mind

1. Stay out of their way. Audience interaction is generally part of the show, and I gather that tips are appreciated, but when a queen has a path of travel planned out, and you throw a proverbial wrench into it, be prepared for them to stomp right over you.

2. Tipping. It is encouraged, and certainly appreciated by the performers. If you are going to tip them though, don’t initiate physical contact with them; just hold those bills out and they’ll get to you. Don’t put the cash in their cleavage or anywhere else inappropriate unless it’s clear that they want you to. And since queens aren’t usually known for their subtlety, trust me—you’ll know. Some people are torn on the tipping issue. I don’t think it’s very common for a venue to shell out a large percentage (or anything) to the performers, so they might want you to give them something for their trouble. And it definitely is trouble.

All those wigs, that makeup, the costumes and heels—it all costs money. And no, our local queens aren’t out doing backflips a la Drag Race, but at a certain point you just have to stop trying to compare. The courage it takes to get up on stage in any capacity should be rewarded.

3. Be enthusiastic! You probably paid a cover to be there, and it should be fun, so live it up! Make some noise (NOT boo-ing, don’t be a dick), and support them. Lastly, have fun! You’re there for a show, so enjoy yourself.

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