DIY: Drag Idol

Winner of Drag Idol 2007 Lola Lucci aka Matthew Sheppard shouldn’t have to drag you to the finish line.

Performing as a drag queen doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s more than just glitter and lip gloss.

Weeks Before

Start choosing your songs early, because you’re going to want to work your clothes, makeup, dance moves and, hell, even your cocktails around your songs. Choose something upbeat that other people have heard of, but has not been overdone (i.e. pass on the “It’s Raining Men”). Add them to your iPod and listen to them everywhere Metrobus takes you.

Begin shopping for clothes and accessories early too. Value Village and other thrift stores rock my socks, and sometime you might find a lasso, scarf, or phallus which you can build an entire number around.

While getting clothes, make sure you get all your necessary supplies. You’ll need shoes, accessories, and jewelry for each number. You’ll also need some makeup and at least one bra (bonus points for different colours with different outfits). Finally, you’ll need a few pairs of control top panty hose—they give extra support for those hidden parts.

The biggest obstacle, however, for any drag queen is to get her hands on a damned hair piece. They can be pretty pricey if you go for a high end one from eBay, but, I mean, once you include shipping, even a cheap one will cost you a few hours pay. Your best bet is to lie, cheat and steal your way into borrowing a wig from another drag queen—if you can be so lucky.

Sure I once traded a pack of cigarettes so I could use a wig for a night, god bless Doris, she’s right good like that.

All I’m gonna say about routines is practice the hell out of them, know your words and your steps, and for the love of god: be creative.

Days Before
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more tragic than some drag queen with a set of legs in need of a mowing. The hair removal ritual is a longer process than any novice prima donna could imagine.

About two to three nights before performance date, you should spend an entire evening devoted to dehairing. You don’t want to shave body hair too early or there will be stubble, but you can’t do it the day before either, in case you get razor burn or a bad reaction. Soaking in a warm bath for at least 20 minutes can also help remove dirt and oils from your skin and causes hair to expand, making it softer and easier to cut.

Make sure to get any exposed area where you might be looking too hairy, like your chest, underarms, legs, back (eww… back hair), etc. A drag queen with lots of hair (especially dark hair) needs to tone it down. If the hair is too long for a razor, then try trimming it down first with some small scissors. If you don’t have much leg hair (especially if it’s light-coloured) then just double up on panty hose and you’ll be best kind.

For facial hair, you can stick to your normal routine as long as that routine is to get rid of all of it. If you can spare the bling, go to a salon and get those eye brows done too. No, seriously, get them done. No one likes a uni-browed diva.

Hours Before
Before you start perfecting the hair and makeup, you are going to have to perform a few anatomical duties.

Remember those control top panty hose you bought? Well now is the time to put them on and shove your junk back near your trunk. This is going to be especially necessary if you’re wearing tight fitting clothing, and expect that you’re going to need re-adjustments during the night. You’re also gonna wanna add some knockers to your outfit. Every queen has her own preferred size and substance—I like socks. They give me about a C cup and are guaranteed to stay perky. But not too perky.

For hair and makeup, try to enlist at least one of your fagnets (if no one else is available to help you with it) if you havn’t done it before. In drag world, more is more, so keep caking on the blush and eye shadow.

Minutes Before
Arrive in style and convince some old closet case with a wife to buy you drinks (it won’t take much). Slam back two or three and now you too are ready to perform and become St.John’s next Drag Idol.

Illustration by Kira Sheppard.

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  1. rachel · February 14, 2011

    loves sassy ms. lucci

  2. marianne · February 14, 2011

    janny randz got my vote!!!

  3. rachel · February 14, 2011

    yes, suzi-q was fabulous… with a little more work on the artistic component, she could go all the way for sure.