Cassie’ past: Gays of shade & ‘hos
Howdy peeps, how the hell are ya? I was just thinking about the old days and how shady the queens used to be. Don’t get me wrong — there are still some messy queens (there always will be), but these days the drama is not nearly as horrifying. I remember once, years ago, this very talented drag queen (who shall remain nameless) got pissed off at me because I turned in “I’m Every Woman” to do in the show. She apparently thought she was Whitney Houston and no one else should be doing it. Bitch, please. If there was a show going on in 1992 and 1993, someone in that show was doing a song from The Bodyguard. Every song on that damn soundtrack was a huge moneymaker and I had to pay my rent.
So while I was on stage serving a little Whitney un-realness, this messy-ass thing in a wig was downstairs in the dressing room pouring an entire bottle of sprit gum (wig glue) into my suitcase. She ruined two of my little ’ho dresses and a pair of purple crushed velvet thigh-high boots. I was pissed off and out for blood. When I confronted this heifer, she said, “Gurrl, I don’t know what happened to your cheap clothes, but it wasn’t me!”
Then she turned smiling and sashayed out the dressing room door.
I was livid but I had no proof; Donna Day didn’t need proof. When she found out what had happened, she said, “Miss Thang, no ma’am!” She unzipped said queen’s bag and poured an entire bottle of baby oil into it saying, “Karma is a bitch!” Then she zipped it back up with a wink and a smile. I gasped with horrified delight. Whoever said two wrongs do not make a right never worked in a drag show.
I waited for the repercussions from the nameless queen, but nothing ever came of it. I think she feared the Donna Day as much as the rest of the world and kept her big pretty mouth shut. As pissed off as I was that night, I really remember Donna having my back. She was fiercely protective of her sisters and I was lucky to be one of them. So basically what I am saying is: Some people can be just awful, shade being thrown everywhere, but there is nothing like the feeling of someone you respect having your back.
Now to use my powers for good!
Dear Cassie, I have often wondered why there isn’t a school for drag. Literally, a place where aspiring performers could learn not only the fine art of make-up and hair and fashion, but also the theatrical aspects of the business — the difference between being just a drag performer and being an artist. Acting, theater and performance art are all key parts of being a great performer. It would be awesome if some of the very talented and creative entertainers of our community could mentor and guide new aspiring performers through the do’s and don’ts of drag. Just a thought from an old, old showgirl. By the way, I love your column and read it every chance I get. Hugs, Michael Doughman.
Dear Miss Michael Lee, I think a school for drag is a great idea but would be a tricky thing to pull off. First off, true up-and-coming showgirls have a real thirst for learning. I remember going to the Wave to see the shows and thought of it as school. I had the best teachers, too. I learned a lot from Valerie Lohr about the business and how to be professional. I learned about hair and lip-sync from Celeste Martinez. CoCo was the most incredible overall entertainer. I was obsessed with China Blue’s makeup, and I learned much from you, Michael Lee. I would go to your shows and be inspired by your comedic timing and how comfortable you were on stage. Cassie Nova is the culmination of all of the gals that inspired her and I hope that she has done the same for others.
Second, have you tried to talk to or help any of these young queens? They think they already know everything. Then they want to wonder why their careers aren’t going anywhere. A true showgirl never stops learning. So if you ever want to be the Dean of a Drag University, I will be there with lashes fluttering. Thanks for everything, Cassie.
Dear Cassie, Is it right to date someone when they are still considered married but separated? Not just living together and seeing others — like living in two separate states, with no emotional connection. Thanks, Cameron.
Cameron, Of course it is OK. They need to get off their ass and get that divorce finalized. It’s hard for someone to commit fully to someone till they close the door on their past. Good luck, Cassie.
Dear Cassie, I’ve hosted a local drag show at my hometown bar for several years. A couple months ago, the bar owner asked someone else to book the girls and be in charge of the show. I let it slide without saying anything, then it happened again the next month. In a very professional manner, I emailed the owners asking what was going on. Had I done something wrong? I explained how it made me feel and how I’ve put a lot of time and effort into them to make sure they are successful and that the bar and performers were making money. They had no good answer as to why and went back to having me do the scheduling. Now it’s happened again! Someone who has been performing with me was asked to do it and essentially wanted my blessing. I told this individual to go for it but that I wouldn’t be a part of it. So what would be your advice to me. Thank you, KS.
Well KS, Although your situation does not sound fair, I have a news flash for you: The show will go on with or without you. Whenever you work in bars — or anywhere for that matter — you have to work with many egos and personalities that may not have the best communication skills. Your best bet is to show up when you are scheduled to work and put on the best show that you can because there will always be someone to come along and replace you. Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way of doing what is most important to you. Are you there to book girls and be in charge or are you a performer who just needs to be on stage? It’s hard to do but try not to get all butt-hurt when they ask someone else to help out. Just do “you” and put on a good show. As for your friend, be supportive. Don’t get bitter, get better! Cassie.
Beware the shady queens but fear the shadiest queen of them all … the one that has her own column in Dallas Voice! Muah-ha-ha!!
Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous. XOXO, Cassie Nova.
If you have a question and want to suggest for Ask a Drag Queen — or just have some juicy gossip to share — email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 20, 2015.