This article was published on March 1st, 2014
Getting into drag is no small feat. There’s shaving, tucking, lifting and separating, and careful application of foundation make-up, and that’s just the start. Make-up can take hours to apply, along with prepping wigs and hairpieces, getting dressed and matching the right shoes and accessories.
“Each person is different when it comes to drag,” said JuJuBee, describing what it takes to become a drag queen. “I will tell you that it takes me a little over three hours to get ready!”
JuJuBee was the second runner up on Season 2 of the hit TV show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since being on the show, JuJuBee has become one of America’s favourite drag queens, performing at events, festivals, gay clubs and parties around the world.
“Expect to feel your toes going numb!” JuJuBee cautioned first-time drag queens. Going out in drag can take a lot of courage for a first timer. “Never assume you are better than anyone or the best at what you do; that way of thinking won’t allow you to grow as a drag queen or as a human being.”
Deciding to become a drag queen is the first step, but it’s part of a long process, including name, personality, and style.
“I’m not sure I could put a definite price tag to it, but it does take time with a lot of practice,” said JuJuBee. “I buy a lot of my stuff at this little place called Dorothy’s Boutique! It’s located in Boston, Massachusetts; you have to come for a visit! I also get a lot of things online.”
There are many different ways of coming up with a drag name. Some people believe that you can create your own, others believe in mixing up the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on, and others feel that drag names should only be given to you by your drag mother, a drag queen mentor.
“You can change it if you don’t like it,” explains JuJuBee. “Drag is an extentions of the person in drag and it can only be what he lets it become.”
On average, JuJuBee get into drag about three times per week, depending on her schedule, bookings and appearances.
“I wouldn’t say that drag is so much a lifestyle. To me, it’s my job. It’s a great job and I have a great time performing, but a lifestyle, not so much.”
While being a drag queen looks fun and glamorous, which it definitely can be, at times it can be hard.
“The hardest thing about being a drag queen is that sometimes people assume that we can’t do anything else,” said JuJuBee. “They take a look at the outside and assume the worst. I like performing as a drag queen because it is a outlet for me. It lets me become somebody for a few hours. Besides, girls are just prettier than boys!”