By Hollis Taylor
I was honored to be asked to be a coach for the Amateur Drag Race 2014. First of all, the drag race was where I started a year ago. I was excited to see the newest amateur drag queens and kings and also to have a small piece in helping them develop their personal drag persona. My love for drag has a long history into my early adulthood even before I was out of the closet as a lesbian, butch, gender variant, and now drag king. Drag’s gender bending nature combined with music, creativity, and strong heart has kept me passionate about drag for many years.
In my personal drag experience I started at the drag race in order to explore the idea of being a drag king myself. I was in the race last year and I learned so much. I learned about how to dress, how to interact with my audience, and how to get their attention. I made a bunch of great friends also entertainers of all sorts. My performances led me to other places like being adopted into the DeAire family and performing at all sorts of family shows. I am part of a cast at a bi-monthly show that includes great benefits and even better friends. I have been invited as a guest performer at many shows in the area. I have been in 3 competitions and won 2 of them. I have the title of Mr. State Street 2014 and Mr. Lancaster PA Pride 2014. I am the first alternate for Mr. Hope 2014. The amateur drag race was a launching point for my drag persona, Izzy Ahee.
Now I have the opportunity to give back to a wonderful opportunity for new performers. I have been given the opportunity to help guide the newest kings and queens in the Central PA area. I was so happy to encourage two new drag kings to be part of the drag race. As I returned to the drag race, this time as a coach, it felt a little like being home. I get to see my drag mother, drag wife, great drag queen friends, and get to know the newest talent. Behind stage is fun and becoming a really great place for both kings and queens. Lots of cooperation and less competition, keeping it fun and educational for all of us.
The first week I was coach for Robyn Innocence and Maxwell Treats. Robyn Innocence has been so exciting to work with for the past 6-7 months and we have had many fun times together. I witnessed Robyn’s first experience and have been by her side for many of them. This time I got to support her in her search for the perfect performance and runway dress. I was so happy when she finally got me the pictures and I was confident in her ability to deliver the Spanish version of Frozen. I almost cried as she performed on stage and I was so proud. I feel more like a big brother than a nephew to Robyn but our family is special for many reasons.
Maxwell Treats had me inspired to stand and cheer! His performance of “Rebel Rebel” was amazing and it totally floored me. I was so proud of him and can’t wait to see what he does next. I was happy to show him a few tricks about make-up, packing, and facial hair.
Both of them had great attitudes about the competition and drag in general. They are helpful to other performers and have a back stage presence that is welcoming and fun. I am so happy to have supported them in their win!
I was also so happy to do a performance with my drag wife, Belladona. Of course we did something totally freaky “I Fink you Freaky” by DiAntwood. It was my first time doing techno rap and it was certainly a challenge. Those lyrics were tough to grasp and I didn’t perfect them in a week but the performance and live snake seem to make up for my lack of perfection in the lyrics.
Overall the drag race is proving to be so much fun as a coach, even more fun than it was a performer. My nerves were so out of hand in the competition that as a coach they are largely lessened, making the drag race tons of fun! If you live in the area I strongly suggest coming out to the show because the entire show is packed with excellent entertainment!