QASU’s biannual drag show more than just a show, “This is our culture”

  Vivica Colada performing in a QASU drag show. Photo courtesy of Alex Ganeev.

Vivica Colada performing in a QASU drag show. Photo courtesy of Alex Ganeev.

The Queer and Allied Student Union is hosting its biannual drag show Oct. 7th at 7 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.

The event will be hosted by Androgyna Galaxy, Minneapolis-based drag queen. Programs Coordinator for QASU’s executive board, Sean Carpenter, will be returning for his second show at UMD as his drag persona Sascha Hottie.

"First time, it's very intimidating and nerve-wracking,” Carpenter said. “But the more times you do it, the less worried you are about it and the more fun you have."

Carpenter, a senior at UMD, says he attended his first show in ninth grade, when his fascination with drag began. When he came to UMD, he met his “drag mom”, a seasoned performer who mentors those new to drag.

"I found myself a drag mom and spent a lot of time on YouTube learning makeup tutorials,” Carpenter said. “Just being in the limelight... I've always wanted to have that feeling."

Mallory Uttermark, QASU member, will be debuting her drag persona Vince Charming, a “dapper ladies’ man”. Uttermark said that while she is nervous to perform for the first time, she has received an immense amount of support from her fellow QASU members.

Audience members should keep in mind that drag shows can be highly interactive. Tips are welcome and encouraged, as performers typically spend a lot of time developing their personas, and most fund their own makeup and outfits.

“If you don't want to be touched by a performer I wouldn't sit in the aisle at all,” Carpenter said.  “Tips are always, always welcomed and encouraged, of course never expected, but drag performers do put a lot of time and money into it. I say, 'if you like it tip it'.”

Sean has performed as Sascha Hottie in shows outside of UMD, including the 2017 Duluth Superior Pride Festival.

“If I could tell people something about a drag show, it’s that it’s a lot of fun and if you leave your preconceived thoughts at the door and just enjoy the show… It makes my job a lot easier if everyone else is having fun,” Carpenter said.

  Sascha Hottie at Bayfront for the 2017 Duluth Pride Festival. Photo courtesy of Sean Carpenter.

Sascha Hottie at Bayfront for the 2017 Duluth Pride Festival. Photo courtesy of Sean Carpenter.

While the show is meant to entertain, it also is a large part of queer culture. Uttermark stresses the importance of keeping this in mind and being respectful.

“This is part of our culture," Uttermark said. “This is an opportunity to come in and see part of what queer culture is about, because I think a lot of people don't really realize that this is part of our culture. I'm gay, I'm genderqueer... I think that's the biggest piece for me, that this is part of who I am."

The event will serve as a fundraiser for QASU to cover travel expenses for members on trips to conferences. Tickets are $5 and available at the door as well as on Friday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the lower level bookstore. There will be an ASL interpreter at the event. Purchased tickets are included in a raffle for gift cards.

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