By: L.R. Zimmerman
“It’s about finding a character and making it larger than life.” – Victoria Kennedy
Drag culture isn’t typically highlighted in mainstream media and it’s a damn shame. The exception being the infamous RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I was explicitly told to STOP WATCHING because, to quote Queen Victoria herself, “that’s not fucking drag!”
Drag is far more than a man or woman who exaggerates femininity or masculinity through performance art. Drag is about finding a character and making it ‘larger than life.’ It offers an escape and allows the performer to become an entirely new entity. Many drag performers work for years and spend heavily to perfect their illusion. Once the performers are fitted into their custom ensembles and their face, flawlessly painted, the person underneath the layers of tights and essential duck tape disappears almost completely. Through their journey of self expression, drag performers vanquish the doubt and delusional bullshit the world feeds us and discover their true, beautiful self. Victoria Kennedy’s Boot Camp at Blackthorn offers a safe environment for anyone wanting to express themselves through drag.
Drag is bold and brave. So, to go along with the theme, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and film my first ever mini documentary. I chose Victoria Kennedy’s Drag Queen Boot Camp to push past local media standards and give some much deserved recognition to our local drag culture.
Victoria Kennedy’s Drag Queen Boot Camp is the quintessence of local drag culture. Not only is it one hell of a show, it’s also an outreach for anyone interested in finding a new mode of expression. Victoria says, “I don’t want to see drag to die in Joplin. That’s the whole point [of Boot Camp]. I want to help you get better because it takes more than one person to do drag. Period. …I want to know that the torch can be passed off to the next gen that can carry it and do it justice.”
VK’s Bootcamp occurs every 2nd and 4th Thursday at Blackthorn Pizza and Pub in Joplin. Check out an upcoming show and support your local drag scene!