Fall queens and the super clench
Hello my darlings. I hope this day finds you all in a great mood. Probably not, all things considered. But you won’t hear me talking about anything negative or apocalyptic here. Instead, I thought I would tell you a few little tales of drag in years gone by. In other words, I just want to sit back and remember a simpler time — when the biggest decision I had to make was, “What am I gonna wear in the show tonight?”
Picture it: Rose Room, 1998 — the old, little-bitty Rose Room — and on stage is a blonde and beautiful, tall drag queen singing a country song in a stunning pink and orange gown with a really long train. The crowd was loving it; the beauty was getting tipped profusely: Dolla bills over here, dolla bills over there. She saunters down the center isle to collect more of the coin and accolades, elegantly thanking each person that tips her with a slight squeeze of the hand as she takes the bills from her adoring fans.
More bills to the left; more bills to the center. Oh my goodness! More bills to the right of her! She is in the back of the room near the spotlight and by now has made a complete circle as she takes tips and lip-syncs her heart out. What’s this? More bills to the right again, and more bills to the center.
The fans crowded into tiny, packed room are living for her. Suddenly, as she completes her turn to walk away, she realizes that her train has completely entangled her feet, and — “TIMBER!” Down she goes!
Everything goes into slow motion as she topples over straight to the ground. Money and fake nails fly as the room collectively inhales. Luckily, she was not hurt. Maybe her pride was a little wounded, but as the entire room waits with bated breath, she looks up laughing. A sigh settles over the entire room then eventually turns to giggles. No one wanted to laugh until we knew she was okay, but once we saw her laugh it made it okay for us to laugh, too.
She unraveled her feet and was helped up to finish her song. She handled the whole thing like a complete professional, laughing it off and going right back to making her money — a true dizzy pro. I probably would have faked an injury or just died of embarrassment.
Our next tale from the drag side is about me. I do not share this story lightly, and I do not like the subject matter at all. But these are desperate times, so please learn from this tale.
The day started as most days do: I slept late, got up and had lunch. It was a Sunday, and I had to emcee an early event in the Rose Room. The benefit I hosted went great; we raised a lot of money, and the people in charge of the show kept bringing me shots.
This was back in my Southern Comfort and lime days. It’s weird how you can taste certain memories.
That show ended, and I had about two full hours before our regular Sunday night show. I was buzzed pretty hard, and I figured I had better eat something. So I ordered pork and green beans from a Chinese restaurant that is no longer in business. It tasted fine, but I did notice a little bit of an unpleasant aftertaste when I was done scarfing the food past my unhinged jaw and into my gullet.
Our regular show went on just fine; I was still feeling fabulous. Then during the second show, as I was onstage performing “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks, my stomach started to sing along. I ignored it and finished my song.
After my song I went to the bar. My stomach had stopped speaking, so I thought, how about one more shot. I quickly learned that was a mistake. My gut immediately started to recite the Gettysburg Address. It was gurgling so loud that one of the other girls even asked me if I was okay. “I’m fine,” I told her. “Just a little bubble gut — no big deal.
I think to myself, “Just power through. You only have one more performance, and you can get out of drag and go home.”
If you know anything about my drag, you know I am wearing a full corset, four pairs of tights and pads. So using the bathroom quickly is not something I can do. And, of course, it seemed that night every girl in the show was doing double songs or a long-ass mix.
Time was creeping by so slowly.
I just kept telling myself, “Just power through. You can do it; just one more song” — all while my tummy is rumbling like underground fracking.
Finally, I throw on a cute little stretch dress and get called to the stage. I strut out with all the confidence in the world, but then, I am about 12 seconds into “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson when my body tells me to RUN — not walk — to the bathroom. I do a quick thank you and goodnight bow for the crowd then take off doing the “I’m-about-to-poop-myself” walk.
As I’m tearing off my hair and dress, my guts decide I should already be in the bathroom. I do the super clench (We all know the super clench, and thank God for Beegles — it’s like Kegels, but for your butt) and head for the bathroom. I am standing as straight and as tall as I can to keep everything in place as I tear away my corset and start to pull down my pads.
Then I look up to see I have not closed the door all the way, and I was not in a position I wanted someone to walk in on. I lean forward to shut and lock the bathroom door, and rip off my tights and pads just in time — barely. If my aim had been even a half inch off … I don’t want to think of the mess there would have been.
The noises coming out of that bathroom had to have sounded like that scene from Bridesmaids. I must have done the courtesy flush about 10 times.
Luckily, my Rose Room sisters ignored the whole situation, bless ‘em. That was until I had to ask Asia to hand me my boy clothes. She asked if I was okay and I said, “I am now, whew!”
I am banking on every one of you having your own super clench story. I know I am not the only one that has happened to. Not such a good time.
I hope these stupid stories lightened up your day or made you smile. I smiled writing it. Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova