No doubt one of the coolest things that happens at Brown each year is the Annual Brown/RISD Drag Show, which features performances by students and acts from Providence and beyond. Hosted by the LGBTQ communities from the two schools, the event aims to provide a fun and welcoming space in which people can play with gender performance and artistically express themselves. In doing so, the performers hope to give visibility to those who experiment with gender-blending and gender-bending. The event also aims to raise funds for Lifelines, RI, a local group that helps Rhode Island’s LGBTQ community through advocacy and support.
To find out more about the show and those behind it, BlogDailyHerald sat down with two of the performers, Anthony Rivera ’13 and Abe Pressman ’12.
BlogDailyHerald: Why did you decide to dress in drag or cross-dress?
Anthony Rivera: This show will be my first time dressing in full drag (hair, makeup, …massive body hair removal *sigh*). A good number of my close friends have participated in the show in the past, as competitors and as volunteers, and I decided that it was time I show of my talent and ass-ets to all of College Hill.
Abe Pressman: About three years ago, I dated a friend of my sister’s who mentioned that she had borrowed a princess outfit from my sister with my first name on it, and wondered what the deal was with this. I drew a blank… until my mother went and got the photo album. Apparently several of my guy friends had, around the age of 6, gone through a phase where we would dress up and pretend to be princesses. So I decided maybe I should try to start doing that again, and it’s been a lot of fun ever since.
BDH: How will you dress/express yourself tonight? What will you be performing?
AR: Initially I planned something very thematic; I wanted to tell a story. Then I thought: “Screw it–I want to have fun and everyone watching to have fun too!” Essentially, I’ll be serving up BODY, LEOPARD, and REALNESS. I hope Brown and RISD can handle it!
AP: I’ll be leading a rather nerdy act called “Dungeons ‘n Drag.” We’re playing off a few nerd cliches, with some videogame-inspired costumes and music; I’ll be dressed as a generic princess.
BDH: What is the favorite part of your outfit or performance?
AR: I love the music medley I put together, but who said I was wearing much to begin with…?
AP: 3 inch heels. I hate what they do to my feet, but I love the feeling of overcoming the unique movement challenges that heels present.
BDH: Who is your favorite transgender performer/character/person?
AR: Reppin’ for the Puerto Ricans in the LGBTQ community–Leiomy Mizrahi. She became very popular after appearing on America’s Next Best Dance Crew a couple of seasons ago, but she’s been putting in work for years. Talk about performance quality & style.
AP: I don’t know if I really have one. I saw an episode of Ru Paul’s drag race once, and it was pretty funny; but I’m really not well acquainted with the whole scene, despite the fact that I attend all sorts of events dressed as a woman several times every semester.
BDH: If you could dress up as a person and perform as them, who would it be?
AR: There isn’t enough Ratty food that would get me a donk like J. Lo’s, although I imaging dancing to some of her club hits would be entertaining.
AP: Carmen Sandiego. I love the stylish thing she does with red, it’s so chic with also a hint of deadliness. I’ve even got the name I’d use picked out—”Carmen Sanfrancisco” (a homage to the city of my birth)