By Garrett Palmquist
The Pride Network hosted its second annual Drag Show on Feb. 3, 2018 after technical difficulties forced it to be postponed from its original Fall 2017 showtime.
Drag shows involve performers singing or lip-syncing to songs while performing some sort of dance or pantomime. Performers often wear over-the-top costumes and makeup, generally as members of the opposite gender. For the Pride Network’s Drag Show, the costumes were notably tame—one performer simply wore pants and a feminine sleeveless tee-shirt—and the makeup, if any was present, was difficult to discern in the overly-dark Lower Hangar, where the event was held.
Six acts strutted their stuff across a stage drowned in technicolored lights, with a mock runway dividing the crowd into two sections. Of these acts, many appeared to feature differing combinations of the same performers, making it difficult to ascertain exactly how many individuals actually participated in the festivities. The audience’s participation was similarly questionable; aside from appropriate cheers and applause, there was little movement among the few dozen attendees. When the master of ceremonies asked for ten volunteers for an audience participation section (a contest of who could put on lipstick the best), it took much cajoling to bring barely half of the requested number of volunteers onto the stage. In all, the event finished in less than thirty minutes.
Rachel Rise, president of the Pride Network and the primary organizer of this second iteration of the Drag Show, was proud of the work that her fellow club members put into the event. “We had a solid team that all helped make it work,” Rise noted before adding, “We still made some mistakes and had some miscommunications, but…we came through as an organization and the quality of the event reflected that.”
Rise also brought up the Fall 2017 Drag Show that was forced to be postponed: “I’m glad [this event] happened, because we as an organization were trying to improve our campus image after having the cancel the previous one at the last minute.” When asked what’s next for the Pride Network, Rise said, “We’re seeking to provide more resources and services to the greater campus community through outreach and more educational events.”