August 31st, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
This past weekend was nothing short of incredible. The show was nothing short of a blast to share in with the rest of the cast of Beach Party, and of course, my mama, Virginia West. From show to show, I am constantly humbled by the amazing support of Columbus for its drag community. Major thanks to all of the people behind the scenes who made this weekend such a fantastic success. From sets to music to lights and performance, it is no secret that it takes quite a bit of work to get a show like this off the ground.
This cast was so exceptionally amazing to be apart of and share in this experience. Major thanks to Michael Bishop, Kira Ruckman, Matt Griggs, Kendra Knoxx, Barbie Roberts, Pretty Punasti, Candi Panties, Fancy Punasti, Alexis Stevens, Mark Bryan, Julie Hazlett, Lydia Feddern, Freesia Balls, Sandy Von Lipshitz, Natasha West, Maria Garrison, June Bugg, Jason Pirucki, Michael Phalen, Robert Younkman and the staff of Axis Nightclub, Kate Collins, Patrick Butler, Eric Allesandrini, Alan Saunders, and of course, VIRGINIA WEST. I am given the amazing opportunity to welcome back Virginia during call backs in the run of her show. Each time, I fear that what I have to say may not do justice to what I feel about my friend. I know I have said time after time that Virginia is the rock of our drag family, and that much is very true. She is the glue that holds us all together, and though it may sound trite to many, it is a reality for many of us. She has a gift at making everyone feel welcome. She is caring, loving, and giving. I could go on and on and on. What I was reminded of last night during call backs is something very unique to Columbus and to many of the drag queens in this city. Not all, but many. What we do is a gift. What we share with one another is a gift. Every show process, at least for me, is like a time capsule. I can think back to the first show I ever did, and remember what was going on in my life, as a recent college graduate trying to find work. With every show comes a different cast bond and a different energy, but that energy then takes us to show time where we are given over to the audience to feed off of and challenge ourselves. It is the best give and take relationship one could ever hope for. Honesty in every step. You know when the audience is going with you and willing to travel on the journey you set out, and you can tell when the audience has been left at the train station, looking around awkwardly. Either way, it is honest. In this experience, you learn what works and what doesn’t for you. You learn how to adjust quickly.
The stage is providing life lessons. I am lucky to share in these experiences. Nothing is ever guaranteed and nothing is given. I know that each and every moment I am on that stage, I am lucky to have the chance to perform for people. I am blessed that people want to see me. I am humbled by the generosity that exists in this city. What we have here in Columbus is very special. I say it time and time again, maybe to the point where it has worn off some of the shine. But the truth is the truth. Columbus is an amazing support network. Not everyone may get along but they certainly do rise to the occasion when someone is in need. COMMUNITY. I am reminded of that in and out of every show. And what does this have to do with Virginia, you ask? She is the one who brought me into this world. She is the one who has shared this experience with me. She is the one who, when others were doubting me and calling me booger, stood by my side and pushed for me.
With every main stage show, I try to take something away that I have learned throughout the last few weeks. Again, these shows are filled with lessons and opportunities to learn, and if those are missed, then people just aren’t getting what they should out of the process. With BEACH PARTY, I was reminded of how special what we have here is. I am not talking about the Axis shows per se, but talking about the history with which I am able to share –with amazing entertainers like Mary Ann Brandt, Lorayne Love, Blossom, The Lady Alexis Fontaine. I will have to say, admittedly, that some of this feeling was brought out of me by Lady Bunny’s visit to Columbus just a week before we opened Beach Party. In our conversations, we talked about many things – from Wigstock to Drag U, and out favorite topic of course, music. We also talked about some of the vibrant entertainers that have worked and continue to work around the country who have made defined paths for others to easily walk down.
Virginia West made it easier for me to be who I am as an entertainer and express myself the way I choose to do so. Mary Ann Brandt made it easier for me. Georgia Jackson and Sonya Ross made it easier for me. Brazon made it easier for me. Darah Landon, Missy Marlo, Maria Garrison made it easier for me. The list goes on and on and on. The point is for me to be able to do what I do, someone had to come before me and pave the way. And because of those people, I am laying down my own road for someone else to travel down and veer off of to do their own thing. A family tree if you will. Thank you, Virginia, for again and again reminding me of what it is we share in and for allowing me to share that stage with you. I love you so much and am so proud to be apart of this particular drag family. Congratulations on an amazing show and bravo for continuing a long tradition for so many of us to share and for many of us to dream bigger.
Show Cast Thank You's Uncategorized Virginia West
Tags Alexis Stevens Axis Nightclub Blossom Brazon Candi Panties Columbus Drag Queen Columbus Ohio Drag Darah Landon Freesia Balls Jason Pirucki Julie Hazlett Lady Alexis Fontaine Lorayne Love Lydia Feddern Maria Garrison Mark Bryan Mary Ann Brandt Natasha West Nina West Sandy Von Lipshitz Sonya Ross super drag queen Virginia West Virginia's Beach Party
Written by Nina