“If you are looking to achieve a full womanly figure, you need to tame the beast,” says BaNaka. “Like a magician, you have to make one thing disappear.” There are many YouTube tutorials offering specific advice on this particular disappearing act. But, as the local drag sensation notes, “you’ll need duct tape, two Advil, and a lot of patience.”
As a regular at Town, Cobalt JR.’s, the Dirty Goose, and Number Nine, BaNaka is dolled up nearly every night of the week. She has learned, over time, how to sometimes avoid the dreaded duct tape. “I cheat,” she says. “I wear flowing gowns.”
“One has to be taught, ‘This is where you go to find this, this is where you go to find that,'” says Ziegfeld’s Ella Fitzgerald, the doyenne of D.C.’s drag scene. “You can’t just go out and say, ‘Well I can do that’ and not know any basics.”
Barring finding a local drag queen to mentor you at the last minute through your makeup and wig application, try YouTube, which offers a treasure trove of tips in applying makeup, earrings and wigs, the kind of things previously only found, says BaNaka, in “the back of a smoky bar, from a half-drunk drag queen.”
Still, when all is said and done, it’s all for naught if you can’t walk the walk.
“I don’t care how pretty you are if you walk like a lumberjack,” says BaNaka. “Always test out the heels first. The old school saying is, ‘If you can vacuum your house in your heels, you’re good to go.'”
She offers one final, critical bit of advice for dressing in drag for Halloween: “Have fun! Don’t take it so seriously! This drag Halloween season! Be safe! Be sassy! Be sexy!”
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