Students and professionals will come together to dazzle the community with their gowns and performances Wednesday night.
USD Spectrum: Gender and Sexuality Alliance is hosting a professional and amateur drag show on Wednesday to promote the LGBTQ+ community on campus.
Carrie Minette, a member of Spectrum and senior computer science major, said the drag show is important to USD.
“One of the reasons it’s important to have a drag show on campus is because college is a great place to explore different cultures,” Minette said. “I can’t think of anything that’s more symbolic of the LGBTQ+ community culture than drag.”
The show is bringing in professional drag queens that have helped mentor students that will also be performing. There will be around six or seven students performing. Martina Shakers is also a professional drag queen who has performed at past USD Drag shows will be emceeing the event this year semester instead of performing.
Shakers works at Sioux City Pride and is an alumna of USD. She started drag around 16 years ago accidentally and has been performing on a professional level for around 10 years.
It started when a friend had her perform a monologue and lip sync to Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and the crowd “went absolutely nuts.” Shakers credits this moment to how she fell in love with drag.
“I found my favorite addiction and my favorite past time and that’s how I started doing drag.” Shakers said.
Jacob Holmberg, a sophomore criminal justice major and vice president of Spectrum, is performing in drag for the first time as “Vodka Lynn.”
Holberg jumped at the opportunity to do drag when Shakers attended a Spectrum meeting and spoke of the show.
“I was like ‘Yes!’ and emailed her before she even got home that night,” Holmerg said.
Part of preparing for drag is choosing a song to lip sync and dance to, and Shakers said it’s important to consider the audience.
“You have to play to your audience,” Shakers said. “What is their music preference? What is going to make the crowd go nuts that night?”
The song will also influence the costume the performers will wear, along with the mood of the show.
In preparation of the show Holmberg has also been wearing high heels to get his feet acclimated to the different style of shoe. He’s been walking around campus in four-inch heels and during his performance, he will be touting six-inch stilettos.
Minette said drag isn’t simply putting on makeup and a dress, but actually creating and performing a new persona.
“Well it’s kind of like getting into character for theater,” Minette said.
Many people may have heard of drag queens, but the term drag king may be something new to them. Drag kings are women that dress and perform as men.
“We (drag kings) are not as popular, and we’re not sure why,” Cynthia Curtis president of Spectrum and senior earth science major, said.
Instead of dramatic eye makeup and padding to create emphasized curves, drag kings use short wigs and in some cases binding to appear more masculine. Kings can also use socks to place in their pants to create an illusion.
Curtis is a drag king and mentor. She will be mentoring two students for the first time, as they perform as drag kings for the show.
“I was totally excited by that, it’s the first time I’ll be a ‘drag papa,’” Curtis said.
Spectrum has been tabling and selling tickets for the show for the past two weeks to generate interest and awareness of the event. They hope to sell 400 tickets to fill the Muenster University ballroom where the show will be held.
Shakers said she is excited to come back every year for the drag shows in the fall and spring.
“The students are so fun,” Shakers said. “I always look forward to the student show so much.”