Courtney Love, Lana, and Rupaul
I’ve never been to a convention before, but when Rupaul announced that tickets for the first ever DragCon were going on sale, I bought in almost immediately. Held at the LA convention center, this two-day event consisted in a schedule of meet and greets with past contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, panels and screenings of iconic films and a main floor filled with vendors hawking wigs, cosmetics and general drag queen merch, AKA heaven if you’re a person like me.
A good friend flew out from New York to accompany my boyfriend and I during this two-day romp surrounded by men dressed as women. The crowd in attendance was in actuality quite mixed. The beauty of a show like Rupaul’s Drag Race is that it has helped normalize a once marginalized part of the world. As a child, my parents never would have dreamed of taking me to something like this. Yet behold, I was surrounded by straight couples, gay couples, the old, the young, teenage fangirls, leather daddies, fashionable performers dressed and painted to the gods, and a guy or two unashamedly walking around in a crocheted mini dress - no wig or makeup to be seen. In the center of it all was the “Ruseum,” a section set apart by gargantuan mannequins sporting Ru’s gowns that she’s worn throughout the 7 seasons of this show.
Unfortunately this weekend involved standing in a lot of lines. There were a couple of times where we waited in a line only to be told that the performer was going to leave and be back in two hours. Granted, this convention was so relatively small that you got to see all of your favorites simply walking around. It was much easier to bogart your way through a line and to grab a quick selfie in between panels than to stand around in a line. After the first day, my body was exhausted. Luckily breakfast burritos and Advil exist because I don’t think I would have survived otherwise.
Monday rolled around and I had another event to attend for which I had purchased the tickets 6 months prior. Lana Del Rey at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Courtney Love seemed like another event that I couldn’t miss out on. I can’t say I took the best pictures. Why filter your photos through Instagram when sangria weakens your photography skills regardless? My friend spent the majority of the first half of the show frustrated that between our big gulps of sangria, Instagram would not post. Courtney got on stage and praised the crowd for their appreciation of flower crowns. Lana sauntered later on and wailed her way through a set that was disappointingly rooted in her latest album. At one point she stopped her set and took photos with her legions of fans. Some teenagers were escorted out before the show even started. Overall, it was what I had expected.
Last and not least I dragged my boyfriend to the taping of the season finale of Rupual’s Drag Race. I bought this ticket mostly to see Rupaul done up in drag. It did not disappoint. The preshow was hosted by last year’s winner, Bianca Del Rio who is essentially an insult comic in a gown. It was fabulous. I was seated only rows behind countless people that I admired and watched on TV. Miley Cyrus was there. I witnessed Jinx Monsoon send an assistant back to the bar for a glass full of vodka and watched her casually sip straight alcohol for the rest of the night. The producers of the show had Ru read queue cards that were written on the spot and required a few takes to get it right. Ru’s expletives of frustration were enough to satisfy me for years to come--I will take those memories to my grave. My only complaint was that we were there for about 6 hours, I skipped dinner, and my feet went numb. We ended up in the In-N-Out drive through around 1am. Come to think of it, you might see me on TV come Monday. I’m the girl dressed in black with only one hand painted with red nail polish.
Here’s a fun fact: they had to film three different endings with each contestant winning the show. You can thank Perez Hilton spoiling season 4 for this measure. This way not even the contestants will know who wins until the episode airs.
All in all, as exhausting as it was I’m glad I pulled through it. On Twitter, music fans have coined the term “PCD” or “Post Concert Depression.” This was the first time that I have truly experienced this feeling. I wish regular life was like this all of the time. Or maybe I should just move to Weho. The jury’s out for that one. Los Angeles is such a unique place that all of these things can happen at once. My first convention was definitely not my last. Y’all ready for CatCon?