Spectrum’s Spring Drag Show saw the Muenster University Center Ballroom full of energy on Wednesday night for a show of nationally known drag queens, kings and professional entertainers.
For the past 20 years, Spectrum has hosted a biannual drag show. The Fall Drag Show is typically for students who want to try and perform drag for the first time. The performances are mainly put on by students in “baby drag” along with some professional performers.
William Kayser, junior criminal justice major and Spectrum president, said the Spring Drag Show is successful because people who attend the Fall Drag Show usually return.
“Our Spring Drag Show is just for performers, so we get a couple more expensive performers,” Kayser said. “We advertised it very well so a lot of people were really interested in it. It’s something that not everyone sees everyday but once you let yourself experience it and take it with an open mind, you enjoy it.”
The drag show is Spectrum’s way of promoting their organization and giving students the chance to experience something different and entertaining.
Sarah Mathison, junior psychology major and Spectrum vice president, said she always looks forward to the drag shows, this one in particular.
“The people who have been coming for years always come back,” Mathison said. “You generally go in now knowing what to expect and you have a great time. There are people that get so into it and it’s really cool to see.”
Kayser said he also gets excited for the Spring Drag Show.
“My favorite part is behind-the-scenes, so I get to interact with the queens and get to know them a little more,” Kayser said. “For anyone in the audience, the atmosphere is full of energy.”
National Showman Matthew Steele has been performing at Spectrum’s drag shows for the last four years. Steele said a lot of work goes into his performances.
“I choose my music selections, and then it’s kind of a toss up between music and what costume I’m going to wear,” Steele said. “I typically try to pair them together. When it comes time to prepare for the show itself, I put on some stage makeup and get into costume and embody the character I’m trying to portray.”
Steele said he loves interacting with the audience and grabbing their attention.
“I like when I go onstage that I’m able to captivate my audience and have their undivided attention,” Steele said. “I love inspiring other people. We go on stage and wear costumes and entertain but it’s about enjoying yourself and expanding your horizons.”
Typically a drag queen’s routine for getting ready for a drag show is a little different than a showman’s.
Giselle Jacobs is a drag queen who has also been performing at Spectrum’s Spring Drag Show the last few years.
“Usually I tend to pick a song or costume that correlate with each other and tell an accurate story on stage,” Jacobs said. “I can take what’s going on in my personal life and channel it through a song and have fun with it or get really dramatic. My makeup usually takes me about an hour and then I get into costume. I want everything to be covered in rhinestones and feathers and I make all of that on my own and put it together.”
Jacobs said she loves performing in this drag show because of the entertainment and interaction with the younger generation.
“For me, it’s kind of therapeutic,” Jacobs said. “It’s fun. It’s not about a stigma or fitting a certain social environment to come to it. It’s about having a good time and to enjoy yourself. You don’t have to be a member of any group, you can be whoever you want.”