Open-Up: Show Your Drag

By Eva Andrews
Photo provided by Open Up

Pizazz. Snazz. And a whole lot of sass. Drag Shows pull out the true performer. It’s an intensive practice that results in a spectacular performance. From makeup to costumes to lip-syncing, drag shows are a lot of work.

Historically, men dressing as women wasn’t unheard of, and up until the 1660s in England, it was socially acceptable for boys or young men to play the role of women on stage. It was during the restoration period, when Charles II took the throne, that the practice ceased.

It has popped up throughout history in different forms since then, the lastest and most relevant forms are drag shows. But it’s not all about drag queens, or men dressing, performing, and acting as women and in women’s clothing. There are women or drag kings, who do the same in men’s clothing. Drag shows are not just for one gender.

It is all about the contours. What look are you going for? Masculine? Feminine? Androgynous? There are hours of tutorials online. Next you choose a song to lip sync. From there figure out a dance routine and let the magic begin. It’s a liberating experience. It’s self-expression.

Open Up began about 10 years ago, and “Open Up has retained its purpose of being a safe space” says Brooke Medina, the Co-President of Open Up.

It is open to the LGBTQIA community as well as allies. Here’s a refresher on the acronym: L-Lesbian, G-Gay, B-Bisexual, T-Transgender, Q-Queer, I-Intersexual, and A-Asexual.

The purpose of the drag show is to “be a form of self-expression and exploration, but it can also be used to make cultural and political statements” says Medina.

Medina relays that Open Up plans to expand its presence on-campus “through a lot of advertisement and events centered on drag performance, so look out for movie nights and events!”

Like Open Up on Facebook and support Open-up events! For information about Open-Up and the Drag Show in April contact: brooke.medina@salem.edu.

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