Quarantine Diaries of a Drag Queen
By Victoria Carriage
2020 has brought us all a brand new queen and let’s be honest, she’s taking over the world … literally. Miss Rona seems to have appeared from nowhere but in a short space of time, she is already the name on everybody’s lips. As the world slips into self-isolation the only thing we are sure of is that these are dark and scary times for everyone and there are no answers to just how long this is going to go on for. As I sit alone in my living room watching a cheesy shark movie, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the current climate is affecting each and every one of us. I am lucky enough to have a full-time job as a key worker which has kept me busy however this is not the case for everyone. My social media feed is literally filled with post after post from performers who have lost their entire income with the closure of bars and clubs. I appreciate that it has affected many more people than just performers however this is what I’ve chosen to base my blog on as this is what I see more of. Over the years the cabaret scene has grown vastly and every day we welcome a new queen on to the scene. From live vocals at the Two Brewers in London, the dancing divas on stage at the Viaduct Showbar in Leeds right down to our very own Glitterbomb Queens here in Canterbury. I think you can all agree with me that all over the country we are spoiled for choice when it comes to live entertainment. That’s what makes the situation so devastating. Thousands of Queens from all over the UK have essentially been made redundant with no redundancy payout. For many this means that they cannot pay their rent, their car payments, their phone bill or even afford basic food supplies. I have seen many of my friends move from their homes and some away from their towns to go back to their parents so they can ride this out. The one thing I’m thankful for is that, at this time, they still have their health. However, with the ping comes the pong. From the devastation of Miss Rona we have seen the rise of social media shows and I, for one, am loving it. It is in the nature of a performer to …. Perform! This is first and foremost the reason why we all started in the first place is it not? I cannot tell you how many live shows I’ve tuned into over the past week or so. Some of my personal highlights have been Vivienne Lynsey Digital Ditty, Sophia Stardust & Friends and who hasn’t loved Delilah and The Tickles? If you haven’t yet seen it you are missing out! I have noticed that most of the shows come with a PayPal address linked into the description and while I understand that people are finically struggling, if you are able to tip these performers please do as we must remember that this is their job and their source of income. For years now we have seen the performers in the United States working the stage for tips from the crowd. This is not something that we have employed within the UK however, is this about to change? I have personally seen this happen and received tips myself after a performance at Glitterbomb. (I would like to take this opportunity to say a personal thank you to Dale and his girls for their continued support to all of the queens in Canterbury.) I would love to see this become more of a regular thing, especially for the local queens who are their week in, week out performing for you guys. We are all guilty of paying for a meet and greet with a queen who has been on the tv, or paying for tickets to see a show with queens who have been on the tv but have we ever sacrificed just one jager bomb at the bar and given that couple of quid to the queen on stage, the queen who has spent DAYS preparing for that 5 minutes on stage to bring you just a few moments of happiness. From the darkness of self-isolation, we have seen something beautiful emerge and while we don’t know how long this isolation will last I urge you all to find your local performer’s social media and follow them, watch their shows and, only if you can drop them a little tip but most of all, just show them your support and allow then to bring a little joy to an otherwise lonely time.
Please remember to stay safe, stay at home and look after yourselves.