By Carlotta Gurl
VANCOUVER — Hello all my beautiful people and welcome to Carlotta Gurl’s warped, wild, and wonderfully weird world. First of all, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for all the positive feedback on my last two columns. It does this old queen good to know she can entertain the masses not only with crazy cartwheels and carefree onstage antics, but also with humourous stories and vivid experiences culled from her amorous youth as an up and coming entertainer in the city. Although my mind may have gotten a little foggy (due to the occasional bender and the subsequent repercussions), this queen has still retained at least 50% control of her faculties, thus at least half of what I say makes sense, and the other half I can chuck into my old trunk of fried wigs.
This column has become a passionate vehicle for me to express my creativity in a new and uncompromising way. I believe it is very important for all of us to show our creativity any chance we get. We get so obsessed and weighed down with the pressures of money, position, and the creature comforts we so need to survive, sometimes at the detriment of our spirits. Being creative allows us to escape the ordinary, if only for a brief time. We all have some creative part of ourselves tucked away somewhere that’s screaming to come out. Do yourselves a favour and embrace this. Take that art class you’ve always wanted to take, express that interest in that theatre company you’ve always been interested in, or dress up as that character you’ve always wanted to dress up as. Take that time, if even a little, to nourish your artistic side. You will find yourself a much happier and more fulfilled human being because of it.
People always ask me my thoughts on gender and if being a drag queen has ever made me think about becoming a woman. For sure I have entertained the notion on more than one occasion, I have definitely done drag to the point where it felt like I was living as a woman. But really that is quite the exaggeration, I mean what woman would be as garish and slut barring as me? I’m lucky that I’ve always been quite comfortable in my own skin. For those that feel they have not been born into their right body, I think it is very important they make the necessary changes they need to become a whole person. We are only on this planet for a short time so embrace who you are and you are most happy being. Sometimes the path to becoming your authentic self can be a rocky one, but that is the choice we all need to make to find happiness in our lives. Be who you want to be and take the time to find out who that is. We are all a work in progress, me more than anyone I assure you, so take the steps you need to feel whole as a human being. And sometimes when you make those changes, you find the most interesting and wonderful things about yourself as a person. There is much truth to the old adage: “Life isn’t about the destination, it’s the journey.”
OK, I do seem to get lost in my own personal diatribes on life, so maybe I should bring this article back to its intended format: answering questions and giving advice, Carlotta Style. Here’s a doozy of a question I received recently that I feel behooved to address:
Dear Carlotta: I’m a drag queen in hiding. I’ve always dreamed of being centre stage, but I’m just too nervous and scared of being judged by my friends. I’ve spent so much money on wigs and dresses, but fear no one will ever see them ‘cause I’m lacking the confidence. Do you remember your first time? How did you beat stage fright? What can I do to calm my nerves enough to accomplish one of my dreams?
– Dragless in Delta
Dear Dragless in Delta, the best advice I can give you is to grab the bull by the horns, or in our case, grab the queen by the heels and go for it. The best way to get over stage fright and nerves is to get up on that stage and do it. There are many great performers downtown, and probably closer to where you are, who have weekly shows who, I’m sure if you approached them and asked them respectfully, would let you come and do a number in their show. Isolde N Barron, Peach Cobblah, Alma Bitches, Jane Smoker, Valynne Vile, Sienna Blaze, Mz Adrien, Jaylene Tyme, Berlin Stiller, and myself are just a few of the many great performers who have regular shows and have opened their stages from time to time to many new performers looking to make a debut in the drag scene. As for your friends, who you feel may judge you and cast aspersions on you for doing drag, give them the chance to see you do it for themselves. You may be pleasantly surprised how they respond. So my dear dragless, work your look, study and practice your songs, build up your confidence with rehearsal and patience. Then when the time is right, hit that stage hard and show them what you’ve got, and even if it’s not as amazing as you dreamed the first time, it’s a great way of getting your feet wet and getting the lay of the land when it comes to being in a drag show. My first time was a bit of a train wreck I have to say. My look was not polished, I didn’t know the words to my song, and I was flailing about on stage like a fish out of water. But I wouldn’t trade that experience, as it gave me the courage to better my craft and become who I am today, the Fabulous Freak Carlotta Gurl. Go for it Dragless in Delta, and hopefully I will see you on that stage soon.
Until next time my precious Gurls out there, love yourself, express your creativity, love the gender you want to be, love your life, and, most importantly… love me. Keep your freak half flying. Love you all.BC, British Columbia, Carlotta Gurl, creativity, drag, drag stage fright, LGBT