How to Embrace Your Inner Drag Queen
By Liana Lozada
Life and performance advice from the soul to the stage, with love from the queens that grace the Virgin Hotels’ stages
“You better work!”
RuPaul changed the course of pop culture with “Supermodel (You Better Work).” Since its release in 1993, the song has defined owning confidence and poise and catapulted RuPaul further into iconic status. He continued to drop life gems throughout “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and his Masterclass on Self-Expression and Authenticity—and the lessons reverberate far beyond the drag stage.
One of our favorite RuPaulisms is “You’re born naked, and the rest is drag.”
(Can we get a “YASSSS, QUEEN?!”)
So we decided to tap Virgin Hotels’ spectacular queens to dig deeper into this famous quote. We tapped Dallas-based drag show director and hostess Jenni P and Nashville-based Vidalia Anne Gentry (a.k.a VAG) to discover how we can all find and embrace our inner drag queen.
Your technique should serve your artistic intentions.
“Your audience only cares about technique up to a level of proficiency. This applies to all artistic and performance endeavors, whether visual art, ballet, music, drag, etc.; once you’ve crossed the threshold of “technical proficiency,” your audience is more concerned with entertainment value, expression, and connection. I wish I had learned that technique should serve the artistic intention at a much younger age. I would have gotten out of my way as an artist much faster.
To be clear, I’m obsessed with approaching art technically. As a classically trained viola player and pianist, mastering technical aspects of the medium has always been highly regarded by my mentors and peers. Personally, technical proficiency has served a significant meditative purpose in adulthood, but approaching your craft from a purely technical perspective devoid of artistic intention will likely produce a performance that reads as dry, boring, and uninspired…and who wants to buy a ticket to that!” -VAG
Set your own path and try new things.
Branch out. Be brave. Don’t do what everyone else is doing or something just because it is a trend. I tried different music, costumes, and hair. Now that I’m older, I’m buying even more customers. I’ve never been a fan of big hair on myself, and drag right now is bigger than it has ever been. But when I do big hair now, I love it more. – Jenni P
Devote your time to the things you love sooner than later.
“One life lesson I wish I had learned at a younger age is to be more willing to stand up for and fight for myself, especially regarding how my life fits into a prescribed format. If I had known then what I know now, I would have looked within and identified what I loved, what made me feel loved, and devoted my time to that.” -VAG
Embrace the path of others around you.
“All drag is valid. I’m glad that drag has become more mainstream; now you have performers with beards. I appreciate it if [a certain style] is what you love. When I was young, I had a chip on my shoulder. People judge your performance and drag; a lot of times, I had to come across as tough. As I’m older, I’ve moved away from that.” -Jenni P
Know your worth.
“Don’t let others make you feel less than valued. Love yourself and have confidence and self-respect.” - Jenni P