Creating Your Drag Queen Persona for Performances
Drag queen art is at a peak in its popularity. Drag performances can be found in many pubs and bars, while shows like RuPaul’s increase their presence in media. The love for this form of art is growing with time, allowing newcomers to start their drag journeys. But sometimes, they struggle to create an original and appealing drag persona.
The key is to incorporate aspects of your personality into your drag persona and wardrobe. Feel free to draw inspiration from some of your influences, but avoid letting others tell you what to do. Soon enough, you’ll be able to pull off incredible looks and performances. This article contains more information about that, so make sure you read it!
1. Bring out what you like the most (or least) in your personality
Creating a believable drag persona requires you to be true to yourself. And we all have things we do and do not like about ourselves. But in the end, the combination of aspects of our personalities is what makes us unique. Drag art is supposed to be a way of expressing ourselves in a new way, which is exaggerated sometimes. It means that you are going to amplify some different parts of your personality, and you get to choose which ones. These can be either positive or negative traits, as long as they are meaningful to you.
You can be straightforward, proud, modest, introverted, or even narcissistic. If you feel like you relate to a personality trait, you can base your drag queen persona around it. It helps you to portray a more unique and authentic character since it has so much of you in it.
2. Meet other drags in your region
Meeting other drag queens in your area can be a somewhat rewarding experience. The drag community tends to be supportive of newcomers, and they can give you some inspiration. Make sure you do some research in nightclubs, bars, and pubs near you to see if you can find a group of drag queens.
They can give you some valuable tips as well, such as the best places in town to perform drag and where to buy supplies. Besides that, sometimes regional drag groups have other unique characteristics, such as an accent on inside jokes. They can teach you all of this stuff, which can be used to improve your own drag persona. With that in mind, you can choose to join them later to perform together or follow a solo career. But even if you choose to be an independent performer, you’ll gain experience and new traits for your persona by interacting with local drag groups.
You may find said groups on social media, as they usually advertise their shows and performances on the internet. You can start on Instagram and Facebook and refine your search by looking in specific areas such as the drag queen subreddit. If you’re lucky, you can even get a match with other drags in dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr.
3. Choose a meaningful name
Your drag name is one of the most important parts of your persona. It’s there to introduce you and your performance. Usually, it reflects the other aspects of your drag persona, so people know it’s you when they hear it. A good drag name is unique and gives the viewers an idea of what your show will be about. And because of that, drag queen names are varied, reflecting the various types of drag personas out there. This is not the time to be generic!
Many drag queens choose their names based on an event or person that defined their lives, something important. Others try to tie their names to historical figures or specific tropes from their performances. And sometimes, they name themselves after some aspect of their physical appearance. It’s a way of making the name something personal and meaningful to you. It will help if you keep experimenting with wordplay, looking up other drag names, and thinking of what defines your drag persona. By following these tips, you’ll make sure that your name is unique and original.
4. Be original, but allow inspiration
As you can see, my whole point here is that you should be original. But drawing inspiration from other drag queens or even celebrities and historical figures is a valid way of building up an identity. You can allow yourself to be inspired or even pay homage to other people you look up to. It’s a matter of balance between authenticity and influences. A good thing to do is to mix up matching characteristics from your many influences.
This way, you won’t end up as a copy of someone else. Rather than that, you’ll create something new and unique that still speaks to the audience. There’s no problem in incorporating popular gimmicks and behaviors into your drag queen persona. That is, as long as you remain original and true to yourself. What I mean is that you shouldn’t let your influences dictate your identity.
5. Make your wardrobe a reflection of your personality
After you define your drag queen’s persona, it’s time to define how she looks. You must pick each item for her wardrobe, thinking of her personality. I mean, is she a goth who only wears black? Does she prefer vibrant colors or pastel tones? Brighter colors portray happiness and extroversion. White and gold let you express fierceness and pride. Play around with colors and come up with a few color palettes for your queen. Besides that, it’s important to choose the kind of outfit accordingly. Revealing outfits are powerful. But something with more coverage can improve your feminine features. Remember that drag isn’t about passability and that you’re encouraged to dare. It all depends on your drag’s persona.
RuPaul, for example, is extroverted and empowered, and he shows us that through his daring and powerful outfits. They are often “bigger than life,” with large appendages and accessories to reflect RuPau’s personality. Another famous drag queen, Trixie Mattel, uses her backstory of superation as defining feature of her outfits and makeup. They are all quite unique and work as a reflection of some of her personality traits, such as resilience and determination.
This logic also applies to hairstyles, as many wigs are available for you to choose from. They vary in size, style, and color. If you’re aiming for something more artistic, choose wigs with a lot of hair and vibrant colors that match your outfit. It’s rare to see drags with natural hair colors, but you do you. Be creative!
As you can see, being a drag queen involves a lot of creative thinking. You can get a lot of advice from more experienced drags and resolve your indecisions. But keep it unique and original by being true to yourself and to your personality. Feel free to express yourself in various new ways when building your drag persona. But avoid doing whatever makes you feel uncomfortable. In the end, the whole point of drag is to enjoy the experience along with your audience. If you have any idea for a unique, original performance, please tell us about it in the comments!
What is the most important thing to think off when creating a drag persona?
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