Come on Over!
The song that I've selected to be played on the Blog is "Come on Over" by Christina Aguilera. This was the song that I used for my first drag performance, in Fall 2005. They were having a big Fall Festival in East Point, (Arts & Ale), and I was asked to perform, for some reason! Actually, I was asked the year before, but I backed out at the last minute. I guess it's always been a dream to be in a drag show, but I was afraid that I'd be terrible and the dream would turn into an embarassment/humiliation event. I didn't want to take a chance- hell I was in my late 30's. I should be grown up by now and not experimenting with dressing up as a female!
As the showdate got closer and closer, my outfit began to take shape. I had borrowed a pair of tight jeans from a waitress (her name was Lay) at the Main Street Bar & Grill. I was talking to her about what I could wear for the show and the next thing I knew, we were in the women's room and she was taking off these cool jeans and asking me to try them on. During the fitting session, the bartender, Cat, came into the restroom and asked what was going on. We explained the situation and then Cat suggested that we would probably wear the same bra size. She took her bra off and had me try it on. It was a cool bra-- a waterbra that had built in padding. Both the bra and the jeans fit, so it was decided that I'd come back the next day to pick them up. In the meantime, my friend Erin gave me a bag of clothes, including a black sequined, sleeveless too. Bruce, my sister in crime, offered a blonde wig. It was all coming together, and I knew I couldn't back out. The only problem was a drag name. I tossed around a few names in my head, and then Beverly suggested Keisha Lorraine. It was perfect. Armed with a name, some music and a flawless outfit, Keisha was ready for her premiere performance.
The night of the show I realized that I had forgotten two very improtant things-- I didn't have any makeup or shoes. It turned out ok, though. Someone slapped a face on me that night. I don't remember who did it, but it got done thank God! Since I was wearing jeans and doing a Christina Aguilera song, it'd be ok to wear the black Converse hi-tops that I'd worn to the dressing room. It worked ok.
Just before it was my turn to take the stage, I realized that I wasn't even nervous. I guess that once you get the costume on, you kind of become a different person. I was wearing a mask and felt like no one could see me. If my part of the show was a failure, I could blame it on Keisha and take no blame for it!
But I wasn't a failure. In fact, I was pretty good, if I can say so myself without sounding like a diva! The audience was hooting and hollering, and handing me dollar bills left and right. I felt like a star; I felt worthy; I felt that I had won a life-long challenge at last. I did dance steps that I never could've done as Brian. Keisha was a whole other person and she could say or do anything that she wanted. It was an incredibly freeing experience for me and I don't regret it at all!
I thought that this would be a one time thing. I figured that Keisha would be born and would die on the very same night. Not true. Shortly afterwards, I performed a dramatic reading from "Steel Magnolias" in drag, at a Memorial service (bad idea). Later, Keisha did a drag play at Jesters Cafe entitled "Lesbians from Outer Space" (kind of another flop). Then came the PALS benefit 2005, the Fall Festival 2005 and another PALS benefit last June, 2006. I feel like I made some improvement with each show. I'm no longer scared or embarrassed to do what feels right. I don't think I'm making a fool of myself. And if I am, so what? Every show is for a good cause and we raise thousands of dollars for charity each time that we perform. Nothing wrong with that! Plus we have a hell of a time in the dressing room backstage! Jello shooters, anyone?
Thanks for joining me on another walk down Memory Lane!