On Friday, August 11th, the Austin drag queen competition Butch Queen, which pairs first-time drag queens with seasoned coaches, celebrates its fourth go round on its biggest stage to date, outside at the Mohawk.
The show, presented by Sound on Sound Fest, will be hosted by its creator, acclaimed Austin queen Louisianna Purchase. Louisianna is also slated to open the show with “a jaw dropping heavy metal inspired number featuring the vogue performance group House of Kenzo.”
We hit her up for more information about the competition, the secrets to drag queen success and the art of being fabulous.
You say the Austin drag scene has exploded in the last five years. Any thoughts on what has driven the growth?
Drag has always been active in Austin, but really took off when the drag show, Poo Poo Platter started. It was, and is, an amazing showcase for left of center, or “alternative” drag. The increasing popularity of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ has definitely added to the influx of drag everywhere as well.
How did the idea for this competition come about?
I came up with the idea roughly three and a half years ago. The idea originally was to have a competition for burly, bearded or “butch” men, who have never performed in drag, to compete against each other for the title of “Butch Queen”. We would pair them with established drag queens in town, who would coach them on the ins and out of drag. The show is basically the same as when we started, but we’ve broadened from the original idea of just having butch guys compete.
Any good stories from previous rounds?
My absolute favorite moment was during the first Butch Queen. A contestant named Ivy Profin reached into a chest and pulled out two cooked Cornish hens, wearing them like boxing gloves. I almost fell out of my chair with laughter!
What criteria do the judgmental judges use to determine the winner?
We judge on look, performance, concept and most importantly, confidence.
Related: What are the essential elements that drag queens must have to be successful in competition?
Again, confidence! Not going on that stage thinking that you are going to win is the worst mistake.
What are the classic rookie mistakes that first time drag queens make?
Too high of a heel their first night out, not pinning in their wigs, and popping off their press on nails every time they reach into their purse.
Finally, do you have any general tips on how to be fabulous that you’ve picked up in your time in the drag world that mere mortals might be able to use in our everyday lives?
Never go to sleep in makeup, always carry a folding fan, moisturize and carry yourself with confidence!