On Sept. 5, Lakeside Winterguard held a benefit drag show at the Oswego American Foundry and it was a hell of a way to spend a Friday night. Genders were not only bent, but bent over and spanked.
Drag performers from around Oswego and Syracuse litup the evening with their bright personalities and stunning moves. They lip-synced, danced and seduced the crowd.
The audience gleefully stuffed dollar bills into the plunging necklines of queens, or dropped them into a king’s fedora, handled like an alms-basket making rounds at a sexy, sexy church.
The show kicked off with the ensemble of queens doing a musical number from “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Other highlights were a condom-inflating contest, an auction for a rhinestone-encrusted bra and a fun take on The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ Safari” by the ensemble of kings, complete with surfboards. The night was packed with cheering laughter and surprise lap-dances.
Drag queen Macy Parade hosted the show. Her alter-ego Gary Smith was an Oswego State music and theater double-major, and is the director of Oswego’s Lakeside Winterguard and Colorguard. She emceed with lots of glitter, cattiness and snarky, naughty humor. She was also responsible for organizing, booking and advertising the event, a tall order.
“By the time I go through all the planning, setup, makeup, getting dressed and then greeting people that come in, the show is actually the easy part. “Once the show starts, my blood pressure can go down a few notches,” Macy said.
Since fall of 2012, Lakeside Winterguard has been having regular fundraiser drag shows at the American Foundry, about once a month. According to Macy, three weeks out of the month are spent preparing with group rehearsals and costume making. Each performer usually does two individual songs, in addition to a group number.
For queens, backstage dressing can take up to two hours. They apply complex make up, body-padding and “four to five pairs of tights” before the costumes even go on.
“The makeup is like theater makeup, but five times more intense,” Macy said.
Even in all that and a pair of high-heels, they can move with astounding athleticism and energy.
DeeDee Bustier is a queen who not only played the part of campy vixen, but also had a big hand in organizing the show. She has been performing for the Winterguard fundraisers at American Foundry for a year now.
“The drag community in Oswego is not big but it is growing. We are also not just performers, but we are more like a family,” DeeDee said.
Tim Haresign lives in Oswego and regularly attends the Foundry shows. He tries not to miss any.
“My two favorite performers are Jackson BumpNGrind, and DeeDee Bustier.” Haresign said. “I love Jackson because that Drag King can do Michael Jackson better than anyone I have ever seen. I also love DeeDee because along with being a great entertainer, the man behind DeeDee is a close friend of mine and one of the sweetest guys you will ever meet,”
The next show at American Foundry will be the Miss Lakeside Drag Pageant on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.
Local kings and queens will also appear at the Oswego Gay Pride Parade on Oct. 12.