101 Things Every Drag Artist Should Know
There are so many things to master as a new drag artist, and there's always more to learn. So where do you start? Whether you're just thinking about how to become a drag queen, king or artist, or doing it already, we've got you covered.
We spoke with our local drag community and others across Instagram, and prepared this checklist of 101 things every drag artist should know.
We've arranged this list in the order we think makes most sense, but you can also jump to particular sections using these links. We hope this list makes your drag journey easier!
1. How to pick a drag name
Every new drag artist needs a name! When getting started, think about what image you want to portray - are you a glamorous, funny or bizarre-looking artist? If in doubt, try a drag name generator!
2. What you stand for
What makes you want to do drag? Why is it important to you? A lot of people are going to have questions when you're first getting started, so think about a quick and simple way to explain your motivation and drive.
3. What makes you different?
As time goes by, the world is getting more and more full with drag queens, drag kings, club kids, drag aliens... and there are only going to be more! How will you stand out? What is your unique offering?
4. How to summarise your drag style in 3 words
This will not only help when introducing yourself, but also for interviews, and making sure your makeup and styling choices stay on track.
5. The origins of drag
There are several possible origins for the term 'drag' but one commonly accepted origin of the art form itself. Have you done your research into where it all started? Before thinking about how to be a drag queen or king, take a moment to learn about those that came long before us, in the past. We're going to let you do your own research on this one!
6. The most famous drag artists in history
You've probably heard about the drag queens of Rupaul's Drag Race, as well as other shows such as The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, Drag SOS in UK, or De Diva in Mij from the Netherlands. But did you know about other names in drag history, such as Julian Eltinge in the early 20th century, or Divine's rise to fame through the 70's? Learning the past helps when you're part of building the future.
7. Queer culture
Queer history is drag history. As time goes on and countries across the world go back and forth in their acceptance of LGBTQIA rights, we can't forget the roots of the colorful and beautiful queer scenes across the world. Learning about the Stonewall riots is a great place to start. Look up Marsha P Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, and Sylvia Rivera. While not all drag artists are queer, it's a treasured part of queer culture.
8. The different styles of drag
Maybe you know what style of drag you like and want to do; or maybe you don't! Either way, it's importance to accept others as you would hope to be accepted yourself. All drag is valid, from the most well-known beauty queens, female impersonators and pageant drags, to the club kids, bio queens, drag kings, and gender queers of the world.
9. The politics of drag
Drag is political. There's no way around it. Drag is an art form that incites feeling. If you're always surrounded by a loving queer scene (if so, lucky you!), you may not always see it, but there are also a lot of people in the world who don't understand drag and don't like it. Educate yourself about why that is, and why certain countries, cultures and traditions will not be as quick to accept you as others. Consider why it is that you love and believe in drag, and prepare yourself for the difficult conversations, so you're ready when they happen. Regardless of what anybody says to you, always be kind.
10. You may need to educate others on why drag artists exist
At some point along the way, you will get questions about why people do drag. You may end up in fierce discussions or arguments along the way. You may even lose a few friends. Try to stay cool and collected; educating others is part of progress, and even if it doesn't seem like it in the moment, sharing your opinions and experiences might open somebody's eyes and turn them from a detractor into an advocate!
11. How to 'proportionize' your body
Drag is all about proportions. Whether you're transforming from man to drag queen, woman to drag king, tucking, or just want to emphasize certain features... It's all about proportions! Try imitating padding using underwear, socks or fabric, to get an idea of how big you want it to be before making or buying padding. Proportionizing also applies to costumes and is why many drag queens wear oversize drag jewelry, to make their body shape appear smaller.
12. The difference between different types of body padding
Foam is lightweight, adaptable and cheap. It's good for hip padding but looks less realistic for body parts that would naturally be softer on a real human form - think breasts and bums for drag queens, or even bulge padding for drag kings. Silicone will look more realistic as it is softer and moves more naturally, but it is more expensive and can lead to sweat patches.
13. How to put on hip pads
Finding the right place to position your hip pads take practice - too high and your crotch will look unnaturally low; too low and your legs will look like they have superhuman muscles. Hip pads also need to be thin at the edges to blend with the natural contours of your body. This can make them fiddly to apply quickly as they tend to bend, and you may need to adjust them while wearing nails or accessories that may snag your tights. Try putting your pads on first under a more comfortable pair of tights, then putting layers of tighter tights over the top. Alternatively, sew them into a specially made underwear.
14. How to secure other padding (breasts and crotch)
It's all about pouches! Stitch a pouch into your underwear to insert your pads in the right place. This will keep them in place while also absorbing sweat, allowing your body to breath. It also makes for a handy place to store tips! This works for both drag kings and drag queens alike.
15. When to use a corset and when to use a waist cinchers
Corsets are longer and will give shape to your whole torso, but are harder to cover with costumes due to their longer size. Waist cinchers are shorter in height so are easier to use with all kinds of costumes. If you're looking to hide either under a costume, make sure the corset or cincher is as thin as possible, and your costume fabric is thick enough to mask the edges.
16. How to cinch your waist
Easiest to do with the help of a friend, but practice enough times and you'll be able to tie a knot behind your back in no time! Tuck the ends of the corset strings into the back once you're done.
17. How to tuck
There are a lot of different ways to do this. If you're wearing many layers of tights, a lot of drag queens can get away with wearing tight shapewear and pushing everything back a bit. It's often enough. If you're going bear-legged or wearing a very small costume, research how to use a gaff, special tucking underwear or tape.
18. How to cover body hair
If you're particularly hairy, look for thicker tights or wear more layers - we usually wear 3-5 layers ourselves. The layers add opacity, while using different colored layers with fishnet tights on top will add depth. If all of your tights are the same color, you'll look like a Barbie doll and not so natural. To cover arm hair, try long opaque drag gloves.
19. How to protect skin when shaving
Prime. Prepare. Post-care! Be kind to your face and body, and always moisturise after. Good makeup requires taking care of your face.
20. How to plan a makeup look (face charts)
Face charts are used by makeup professionals to plan makeup looks and see how different products work together. Visualising your look can be hard if it's only in your head. A face chart will help you stay on track while painting, and take away some of the anxiety of the unknown. It's a great way to keep a portfolio of how you achieved each look, too!
21. The importance of good lighting and mirrors
When considering how to become a drag queen or king, it's easy to focus just on oneself. But lighting is everything! Good lighting will make applying your makeup easier. Bright, natural light will show you exactly how you'll look once you step out the door. There are lots of makeup mirrors available with stands and built-in lights so check them out online.
22. How to prime your skin for makeup
The more you take care of your skin day-to-day, the better it will look in makeup. Using primer helps to gently smooth the surface, hiding pores and small details, and making your makeup application literally go more smoothly.
23. How to color correct (beard; dark circles; spots)
Dark circles? Balance out that blue with some orange. Redness? Try some green. If you see a shadow where your beard, moustache or body hair would usually be, color correcting before applying your makeup will help to hide it. Researching the color wheel, and the effect of combining colors will help here.
24. The basics of color theory
Is your look going to use a single color with different hues? You're probably planning to use complementary colors. But will it be a split complementary color scheme? Secondary? Tertiary? Knowing the meaning of these terms will help to plan both makeup and costumes.
25. How to block brows
Use glue stick. Use spirit gum. Use Pros-Aide. Whichever way you choose to research and use, practice, practice, practice! This is truly a drag basic that you will need to use a lot.
26. The difference full coverage foundation makes
Full coverage foundation is made for drag! Full coverage means just that. It will completely cover your natural complexion. Day-to-day foundations that are not full coverage will still have some transparency. If you have thick facial hair, spots, scars or anything else you want to cover, full coverage foundation is what you need!
27. How to match your skintone
Nothing ruins an illusion like your face being a totally different color to your body. Consulting a makeup professional helps when first buying makeup. For example, does your skin have a yellow undertone or a pink undertone? Then, practising with your products makes all the difference.
28. How to contour (don't overcontour)
Contouring is the key to reshaping your face (or even your body), but it's a skill to do it right. Contour too strongly, and you'll end up looking like a zebra. To get the desired effect, you first need to choose the right foundation colors for your face. Then you have to blend them...
29. How to blend makeup
Blending is a fine art - Literally! It's legit. No matter whether you're going for soft and feminine, strong and butch, or bold and arty, blending your makeup is the difference that will transform your makeup work from a 'good attempt' to a piece of art.
30. How to emulate hair (brows; beard)
When drawing on brows (or even facial hair) with makeup, remember that hair has texture. To emulate hair when painting your face, you will need to mix different shades, brush sizes, and brush directions to create a natural looking effect.
31. Different eye shapes
Do you know whether you have almond or round shaped eyes? Have you learned the difference between a monolid and hooded eyes? Know what you're working with before trying to copy a makeup tutorial, and keep an eye on other artists with a similar natural eye shape when looking for inspiration.
32. How to glue lashes
Easier said than done. When you unpack your first lashes, it will look like you simply apply glue all around the edge and then stick it behind your natural lash line. But stop! Drag lashes look best when they are lifted at the outside edge. Glue the outer edge higher than your natural lash line for maximum effect.
33. How to customise lashes
The 301 false eyelash is a standard drag eyelash, for volume, length and impact. You can customise any type of false lashes by stacking them for more volume, cutting them to make shorter sections for dramatic effect, or even by trimming the hairs to give a whole new shape. Use lash glue to stick 'em together in their new formation.
34. How to apply a lip
Sharpen your lip liner pencil. Use a darker shade for the outer. liner than for the inner lip color. Experiment with lipsticks vs liquid lipsticks. Know that lip gloss is a recipe for disaster if you're wearing your hair down.
35. How to correct makeup edges
While blending is important, sometimes you want clean, sharp lines. If you make a mistake or a your makeup smudges, don't stress. You can use a liquid concealer to paint over it. If necessary, correct with a liquid formula then reapply colors over the top.
36. How to fix shine
We want highlights to pop as much as the next person, but nobody likes a completely shiny face. As your makeup becomes subject to heat and you start to sweat, your makeup will start to shine. You can correct this by delicately reapplying a tiny amount of powder to shiny areas with a powder puff.
37. The importance of buying good quality makeup
Quality is key! Buy cheap; buy twice! Cheap makeup or non-brand products are generally not as pigmented or long-lasting as premium brands. You may come across some exceptions, but buying from a reputable supplier means tried and tested products. Not only that, but it means they will have passed all the required health and safety checks for your country, which is super important!
38. The importance of quality brushes
Many makeup brushes use real animal hair. There are many vegan brushes available now that do not. Either way, it's important to know what you're working with. Real hair brushes will hold product better than synthetic brushes, and make it easier to apply. If you're using synthetic, no worries. Just research how to get the most out of them.
39. How to remove makeup once you're done
Shower oil is your friend for makeup removal. If you use strong adhesives for your brows, you will need a strong adhesive remover. Professional products like Ben Nye Bond Off! will remove adhesives like Pros-Aide, but normal makeup removers will not. Gentle makeup removers are key when you're doing makeup regularly. Try not to scrub your skin too often as this will stress and damage it.
40. How to conceptualise a drag look
Just like with makeup, planning is everything. Start planning a look by sourcing inspiration. Use social media like Instagram and Pinterest; watch runway shows from years past; watch drag shows from other drag artists. Take all the ideas you like and collect them. Sketch out how the finished product will look once your costume, wig, makeup and footwear is all combined.
41. Where to shop for drag costumes
Luckily for you, we've written a whole blog post on the subject! Check out our post Where Do Drag Queens Shop? to discover 9 places to shop are perfect stores for drag artists. Oh, and if you haven't already, check out our fierce selection of drag supplies!
42. How to style a drag costume
Ok so another situation - you've got the costume already but don't know what to put with it. Referring back to the color wheel we mentioned earlier is a great start. Then review if there are secondary colors, or subtle undertones throughout your costumes that you could match with shoes, hair, headpieces or makeup. Visualise different shapes and styles of matching pieces (for example, small strappy shoes or thigh-length boots) and put each option into a yes/no list. You'll gradually get down to a shortlist of options to help decide your finished look.
43. Picking costume colors (and matching to a show)
The psychology of colors is important. Dressing in red or wearing a red lip immediately conveys confidence, passion, drive and fire. White is a virginal, innocent and pure color. Yellow is vibrant, energetic and fun. Picking the right color of costume for your performance can make all the difference to how the audience responds to you.
44. How to emphasise your best bits
Are you tall and thin, and want to add shape? Are you short with big shoulders, and want to balance them out? Highlighting your best bits can do wonders. If that's great legs, show them! If it's big, beautiful eyes, let them shine! Audiences notice the most obvious things first, so don't waste time worrying about what you think are flaws. Focus on the good stuff.
45. How to sew a basic costume
As anyone who's ever watched Rupaul's Drag Race knows, knowing how to sew basic drag costumes can make or break a drag artist! Some basics... A bodysuit; a bathing suit, and (for queens) an evening dress. These skills will save you if you ever need a costume in a rush and it doesn't arrive, or if an upcoming show asks you to work with a very specific theme.
46. How to alter costumes to fit
The trick is to look expensive while spending as little as possible. Making alterations to cheap costumes that you buy online can make them look a million dollars. If it fits you flawlessly, everyone will think it's custom-made!
47. How to brief a designer
If you have specific concepts you wish to create, or if browsing drag shops online is not for you, you'll need to work with a designer. This can work in so many ways depending on you and the designer you select. The two extremes are (1.) Being very specific on exactly what you want and only wanting it made that way. And (2.) Giving the designer creative freedom to make anything in there own style. Find the balance between these two extremes that works for the two of you. Draw a basic sketch. Discuss materials. Talk through how and when you'll wear the garment (for example, will it be hot or cold?) The more information you share, the better the result will be.
48. How to work with a stylist
If you end up working as a model, or for clubs, parties or events, you may have your look styled for you by a stylist. This means they will choose what you will wear to make you fit in with a wider theme. In this type of work, you can show preferences of course - they want you to be confident in your look - but know that they have been hired specifically for this task. You cannot always wear exactly what you want, but just like a fashion collection, you will look perfect as a group with everyone else.
49. Always wear underwear
You never know what might happen in a show. Costumes can rip or fall down. You may slip and end up on the floor. Accidentally flashing the audience with a Barbie doll style smooth crotch ruins even the best of illusions.
50. Always stretch before wearing heels
Some basic exercises will save you from injuries. Roll your ankles, flex your toes, and stretch the calves and achilles tendon. You'll thank us later.
51. The different types of drag footwear
Drag footwear comes in all different shapes and sizes. A stiletto may look elegant, but a thicker heel will be easier to walk in. High heels will look more dramatic, but you can also add height with less discomfort by going for a built-in platform under the ball of the foot. If you're dancing, look for a heel with an ankle strap, or wear drag boots for added security. Lastly, consider the material. Soft materials will stretch and mould to fit your foot. Patent leather and hard toe caps are rigid and will cause pain.
52. How to walk in heels
Need we say more? Practise that strut on repeat at home, honey!
53. How to avoid foot pain from tights
Wearing multiple layers of tights is great for covering padding or body hair. But it can be agony for feet. Free yourself by cutting the corner where your big toe goes. This will allow more stretch in the fabric layers, as well as letting your feet breath. If you're wearing big enough shoes, you can even cut off the whole toe cap from your tights, or wear ankle length tights if your look includes boots.
54. How to recover your feet after a long gig
Stretch. Soak. Foot rub. Repeat.
How can you become a drag queen or king without a little wig knowledge? While they're not compulsory (as seen in Rupaul's Drag Race season 13's Joey Jay) it's good to know the basics.
55. Difference between synthetic and human hair
As time goes on, synthetic wig technology looks more and more like real hair. In fact, they're made of plastic. This means you can not treat them the same as human hair. Research how to use steam to straighten or curl your wigs, and do not use products made for human hair.
56. Basic hair styling
Just like learning to make a body suit, learning to add volume to a simple wig is one of the most valuable skills you can know! Invest in a teasing brush, extra strong hold hairspray such as Got2B, and use a wider combed brush to gently smooth the top layers.
57. Gluing a wig lace
If you're going to be doing any more than standing still, you need to secure your wig. For all wigs, it's advisable to wear a wig cap with a strong hold duct tape around the edge, then to hook the wig combs underneath the tape. For hard-front wigs you can add security by pinning them to natural hair (if you have it). To glue lace front drag wigs, spirit gum is your friend. Use the spirit gym sparingly so it doesn't drip, and once the lace is stuck, gently powder over it with translucent powder to remove shine.
58. Cleaning wig lace
You can use a toothbrush or a cloth. Rubbing alcohol is the quickest option for removing wig adhesive and all the makeup that will inevitably get caked into your wig lace.
59. Maintaining a wig
When you're done with your wig after getting out of drag, hang it to air out. Store your wig well on a hanger, wig stand or in a wig box. For 'shake and go' wigs, you can store them in a tight plastic bag for maximum space efficiency.
Advanced wig styling:
60. How to straighten synthetic hair
Steam, a good detangling brush, and a lot of patience!
61. How to curl synthetic hair
You'll ideally need rollers, but can use anything that the hair can wrap around. Steam the wig intensively, preferably using a wig oven (an upturned box full of steam will do).
62. How to style an up do
Change things up with an up do. This can be anything from a simple ponytail to a full homage to Marie Antoinette. Either one looks more sophisticated than simply putting a flat wig on your head, unstyled.
63. How to add volume to a wig
Teasing is the first way. This involves gently backcombing the lower layers of the hair. Alternatively, you can add in hair accessories made for this purpose. These are usually a lightweight block or pad that hides under the hair to add volume. You can even stuff your wig with plastic bags! But if you're going to go really big... double up...
64. How to double stack wigs
Buy two and stack them up. Double stacking takes practice as it requires sewing. Essentially you will wear two wigs that are on top of one another. The lower wig will sit slightly further back than normal, to hide the wig line. You will use the wig line of the upper wig, and then secure the back of the upper wig to the top of the lower wig.
65. The importance of networking
Where would the drag community be without helping one another? Before the Internet, drag tips and tricks could only be passed on by word of mouth, or through spending time with a drag family. While makeup tips are now available all over the Internet, you still can't truly get far in becoming a successful drag artist without connecting, supporting and investing time into the people around you.
66. How to connect with the drag community online
If you don't have drag shows around you, or you can't go, connect with the community online. Join a Facebook group such as Drag Depot, which has a member count with 5 digits! Watch a live stream on Twitch. Take a moment to like someone's photo and tell them they look great. Acknowledge the craftsmanship somebody put into making their costume. You'll feel better for it and they'll probably support you in return.
67. How to take great selfies
Once you've spent so much time on your look, great photography is important for showing it off. Find bright white light. Take photos front-on if possible to avoid shadows. Play with angles to find your best side.
68. How to pose for the cameras
As a beautiful artist, chances are people will take photos of you if you go anywhere. Learn your best angles. Practice where to put your hands. Accentuate your best bits. Most importantly, enjoy the moment.
69. How to rock a photo shoot
Photo shoots are another level. If you have the chance to work with a professional photographer for a shoot, bring lighting or pose ideas to the shoot. Share ideas with your photographer. Listen to their inputs - it's their job to make the pictures look good. In the end, the final photo selection should be a joint effort. That's the moment to share if you have any big preferences on the photo choice or editing style.
70. How to retouch drag photos
Consider retouching elements that don't look as good in photos as they could, but do not over-edit. It looks inauthentic and everybody can tell. Gently smoothing a few spots is fine, but keep it to a minimum to avoid looking unnatural (unless that's your thing!)
71. How to ace social media
It's important these days! There are millions of articles about how to use social media so all we'll say is - be yourself! In the end, everyone wants to feel connected, and if you pretend too hard to be something you're not, you'll eventually run out of energy. Share your personal stories, inspirations and experiences and people will want to see more.
72. How to connect with your audience via video content online
Ever watched a makeup tutorial or live stream performance that had you hooked from start to end? Chances are that person made a lot of eye contact with the camera. Talk to your camera lens (not the screen on your phone; the actual camera!) and maintain eye contact for more engaging content.
73. How to speak on a microphone
If you're planning to host a show, record a podcast or take part in events, know that some microphones take sound from all angles, while others are directional and require you to speak directly into the end. Learn which one you're using, and use it well.
74. How to support your local drag community
Whenever you can, head out to a drag bar to see a show. Supporting both the venues and the artists is important for fostering a great culture in your local area. Buy an extra drink; tip that bartender; tell that performer what they did well. You'll make friends and it might even open opportunities!
75. How to plan a performance
Before going on stage, always have a plan. Decide whether you will start on stage or make an entrance. Structure the song or act into sections and know what you will do to keep it interesting throughout. Plan and practice as much as you can, but always leave a little room for flexibility on the night. You never know who might be in the crowd to interact with.
76. Mixing tracks
Free mixing tools like Audacity are great for mixing tracks for free. Watch a few tutorials and you'll be making your own mixes in no time!
77. Your checklist of items to pack for a gig
If you're going to work as a drag, you will always want to carry certain things. Hairspray, a hairbrush, translucent powder and a powder puff are always useful, as well as extra nails and nail glue in case any fall off. You'll also want to consider how you'll get home and what you might want to wear. If you arrived in drag and will change after the gig, also consider how to carry home the outfit you were wearing when you arrived.
78. How to pack light (minimum makeup, brushes etc.)
Prepare for anything, but don't bring your whole wardrobe or you'll never be able to carry it! When working in drag while traveling, bring the minimum number of palettes possible, and a condensed selection of costumes and wigs that are easy to pack and transport.
79. How to overcome stage fright
Breath deep. Pretend you're doing it at home alone. Imagine everyone is naked. There are lots of supposed remedies for stage fright. Even the greatest performers in history get stage fright. Remember that this is ok. The feeling of nervousness is very close to the feeling of being excited. Remind yourself that you're only nervous because you care, and caring means you'll definitely do well!
80. Basic dance steps
We're not asking you to learn how to do a dip or a death drop, but at least Google some basics like how to box step.
81. How to nail a lip sync
What does every drag artist need to know? The words! Nobody's going to buy that lip sync if you're missing entire words. Practise, practise, practise! Alternatively, take a singing class and smash out a live song.
82. Performing with feeling
Truly delivering a performance means bringing it from the heart. And if you're not in the mood to lip sync in drag that day - fake it 'til you make it!
83. How to connect with your audience
There are two ways to perform. Either blast energy outwards, or captivate your audience and draw them in. The most captivating performers are those who connect with their audience in a personal way. Flirt a little. Hold that person's eye contact for an extra second. Remember that you are the reason they're looking at the stage. Own it.
84. How to host a show
Not compulsory, but if you can, get some practice co-hosting a show in a smaller venue. Learning and practising while someone else does most of the hosting will give you great practice in case you're ever asked to host by yourself.
85. How to hype a crowd
Some days your crowd will be small, tired, or it'll just be a little too early in the day for craziness. If you're working as an entertainer, your job is to bring good vibes to the venue. Engage with your audience - get them excited by telling them about what's to come, reciting drinks offers, or simply making a joke.
86. How to 'read'
Because reading is what? Fundamental! Be real, but keep it fun. Nobody comes to a show to be insulted.
87. Stage lighting
To take your show to the next level, integrate lighting. Different colors can set different moods for your performance, and complement your makeup or costumes beautifully. At larger venues, you can even use lighting cues to turn lights on and off in key moments. It can be hard work and take a lot of time, but makes a huge difference.
88. Always bring perfume!
You may be a sweaty drag after a performance, but don't let yourself be a smelly drag.
89. Always bring flat shoes and a change of clothes
At the end of the night, you're going to be tired. Unless you have big plans to stay up all night, chances are you're going to want to get out of those painful drag shoes as soon as possible once the club closes. Bring some flats or trainers to ease the pain.
90. How to register your business
If you're making money through drag, you must report this to the tax authorities. Even if this income is cash and never touches your bank account, it is money you have made. The first step is to register yourself as a sole trader. The steps for this vary per country so please consult your local tax authority.
91. Basic accounting
Real talk, working in drag means you will need to know some basic mathematics and administration. Keep a record of your earnings and outgoings per month, and how it balances out. Track the invoices you have sent and whether they have been paid or not.
92. How to pay your taxes
Most likely you will be categorised as a self-employed sole trader, though the exact terminology depends on your personal situation and the country and location you live in. Always check with your local tax authority to see whether you have to report your earnings monthly, quarterly, annually or a combination of the above. They will not seek you out to educate you unless you fail to pay. It's your responsibility to educate yourself.
93. How to organise storage
Drag requires a lot of stuff! Get some ideas for how to keep it tidy by checking outour blog post about how famous drag artists such as Alyssa Edwards organise their drag storage rooms.
94. How to look after your body
Drag can be draining, both physically and emotionally. The mental energy required to plan, rehearse, prepare, pack, travel, host, perform, mingle... it's a lot! Plus you'll most likely be in uncomfortable costumes a lot of the time. Spend time on your body. Take a bath; stretch; moisturise. Take a 'no makeup day' at least once a week. Having a healthy body is important for maintaining a healthy mind.
95. How to get ready quickly
Sometimes you just won't have time to get ready 100% perfectly. So over time, compile a list of all the most important things you need for getting ready. Practise a simple makeup look. Always have a small bag of essentials ready to go. Keep a handful of 'shake and go' wigs, so you have options if needed last minute. Curly wigs are great for this as they are small to pack but maintain volume!
96. Professionalism (Punctuality & Manners)
Arrive to gigs on time, or better, be early. Be thankful to people who offer to help you. Give time to those who wish to compliment you. Be polite to the people around you; you never know who they might be!
97. Confidence and conviction in yourself
If you're doing drag because you're confident; great. Let that confidence grow and your creativity will shine. If you're doing drag as a way of building confidence, that's also ok, but do everything you can to transfer that confidence to you day-to-day life. Having confidence and conviction in yourself, your work and your art will take you anywhere you want to go.
98. Don't let people walk all over you
While it's importance to take opportunities that comes your way, you may meet people along the way who try to take advantage of you. Remember that nobody wants to pay for something they can have for free. From events organisers to photographers, don't work with anyone for free unless you also benefit from it. Know your worth, or you set a precedent for drag artists to not be paid for their work.
99. It's not all about you
We don't know if you're someone that needs to hear this or not... but drag is not all about the drag artist. Drag is an art form that has been around for many years, before its resurgence in popularity in recent years. Remember that you are part of a community, and the people you are working with or entertaining all play their own unique roles too. Even if that's just to contribute financially by paying for entry, buying drinks and giving tips, those people too are part of what keeps you and those venues in business.
100. You are the face of the queer community
Whether you mean to or not, drag artists stand out. You will find people who look to you as an example of strength and bravery. Some day someone will say to you "I wish I had the confidence to do that" and you will feel it deeply, and realise how amazing you are.
Standing out can be a good thing, but remember that others may also look to you to set the mood of the room, or as an example of how to behave.
Lastly, and most importantly
101. Do what makes you happy, not what makes others happy. Don't follow others - carve your own path!
Drag artistry is all about individuality. It's a beautiful way to expressive oneself, build skills, get out into the world, and to open opportunities that would not otherwise have been available. Enjoy every moment of it along the way. Whether you find yourself moving towards singing, dancing, hosting or live streaming, do whatever it is that makes you happy. Don't copy others or try to be anyone else. Be yourself.
Did you learn something from us about how to become a drag queen or king? Got a suggestion to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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