The following is an interview between Aldo Polanco, Managing Editor and Joe Radinsky ’23, main planner for Carleton’s a Drag, a student-run drag show.
Aldo: What is your vision for the show?
Joe: With the drag show I wanted to highlight powerful and visual expressions of queerness at Carleton. I wanted the drag show to offer freedom to experiment with gender and performance while also being a big queer celebration. Not everyone has a makeup or performance background, so I wanted to do a drag makeup workshop so that people who are interested but maybe don’t have experience could learn the basics and start playing around. For me, drag and makeup are all about having a good time, and that’s what I’m hoping for the show!
A: Where did this idea come from?
J: I was inspired by my friend Cosmo for the drag show he put on at his school, and that made me want to do it even more. The idea had been in my head for a while, and I really wanted to do it during Winter Term, but with COVID-19 and crappy weather I didn’t think it would be the right time. So I told my friends I was gonna do it. I talked to the Cave and Student Activities Office (SAO) to confirm the space and the event. Then I reached out to Danny Mathews at the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) and Danny really helped with funding, logistics and encouragement.
A: How did you get people to get involved?
J: I started spreading the word during winter term, trying to bully my friends into participating, and then posted on Instagram over spring break. There was a lot of initial interest, and now we have 10 people performing and two hostesses — all Carleton students, which I’m so grateful for. It’s gonna be my first time performing in drag — I think everyone’s first time — so the show is gonna be super energetic and there are honestly no expectations besides having a good time.
A: Are you hoping to do this again next year? What does the future of the show look like?
J: I want this to be a yearly event at least. I’m starting an official Carleton’s a Drag student organization so that we can continue this after I graduate. And I hope to do other drag-related events during the year, probably more makeup workshops, maybe a RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party, things like that.
A: As part of this project you hosted a drag makeup workshop, how did that go?
J: The makeup workshop went really well! Danny had initially contracted a drag Queen from the cities to lead it, but she wasn’t able to make it, so I had to teach the workshop. We focused on makeup tips for both drag queens and kings and some overall tips about highlighting, contouring, gluing down eyebrows, etc. My goal was for people to feel more confident and excited to work with makeup and I think it was a success.
A: Great! What are the details of the show for those wanting to enjoy?
J: The show is this Saturday, April 23rd, in the Cave at 8:30 p.m., and doors open at 8 p.m. Bring cash or Venmo to tip the performers and hostesses (all Carleton students), and come with lots of energy!
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