Students prepare drag routine

“How do we make ourselves appear to have breasts?”

This is the question on junior Sean Van Aacken’s mind as he prepares his first ever drag performance.

Van Aacken

IMPACT student organization is hosting UW-Whitewater’s third annual Drag Show. The Moulin Rouge-themed event will be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow in the Young Auditorium. Tickets are $7.

Being the chair to the event, finding fake breasts is not the only challenge Van Aacken has ahead of him.

“It’s been difficult trying to sync everyone together with being in college and needing to attend all the meetings,” Van Aacken said.

IMPACT began planning the Moulin Rouge Drag Show the week after homecoming. Ever since, the executive board members have spent four hours per week planning the big event.

Switching to a bigger venue from previous drag shows has also turned out to be more difficult than expected. Van Aacken has been to 10 different meetings with Young Auditorium to get everything for the show in order, and he expects more to come.

Between all the meetings and his class work, Van Aacken hasn’t had much time to prepare for his performance. He has only had one full practice run so far, on top of needing to prepare his costume, fake breasts included.

Luckily, Van Aacken and fellow first-time drag performer senior Devon Winfrey have had help from experienced drag queens. Even with the help of a mentor, these two amateurs said they worry how their performance will turn out.

“It’s a lot of acting,” Winfrey said. “Once I get on that stage, I’m not Devon anymore. I have to turn into this crazy, evil, inner diva that I don’t even know is there.”

Winfrey also admits he is having trouble finding a costume. Having never shopped for women’s clothing, both Winfrey and Van Aacken said they are experiencing a hard time deciding what to wear.

“I don’t even know how to walk in heels yet,” Winfrey said.

Van Aacken and Winfrey will be accompanied by three other amateur performers, as well as five drag queens and three drag kings.

Although Van Aacken and Winfrey did not want to reveal too much about the show, they did admit to having a variety of performances, including skits and dance numbers.

The above photograph was taken from last year’s Drag Show. IMPACT hopes this year will be as big of a success.

Many drag performers also use improvisation during the show as a way to interact with the audience.

“In the nature of drag shows, a lot of [the performance] is shock value,” Winfrey said. “It’s exposing people to new things and saying ‘how crazy can I get.’”

Winfrey has looked toward R&B singer Mya from the “Lady Marmalade” music video as inspiration to create shock among audience members.

Although preparing to act as the opposite sex has proven to be a challenge, Van Aacken and Winfrey both agree it has been a fun experience.

One of Winfrey’s favorite parts of working behind the scenes is making changes from the last two years.

“We’re pretty much revamping the entire show and turning it into something new,” Winfrey said.

Van Aacken is also excited to see how this year’s drag show will compare to previous years.

“When I became chair of the drag show … I wanted to go big or go home,” Van Aacken said. “Putting on one of the biggest events of the school year and seeing the final product come together has been the most exciting part for me.”

Although the Moulin Rouge Drag Show is still in the production stages, Van Aacken, Winfrey and the rest of the committee members said they are excited to see the end result, and anxious to see if they can learn to walk in heels.

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