Thursday, May 17, 2007

King Samatakah

There was a period several years ago when I considered performing as a drag king. At the time, I was hanging out a lot at AsiaSF, since it was down the street from my office. I hung out there so much that despite its ambiance, it felt like Cheers to me. I sat at the end of the bar and often drank the drinks that didn't turn out right (the cosmos that were too sweet, for example, which is why I don't drink them anymore) or experimental recipes. Around that time they had a male-to-female gender illusionist (who looked about nineteen, to me) and I thought maybe I could do that too.

I discussed it a little bit with an AsiaSF acquaintance whose boyfriend was about five feet tall, and she had some suggestions about how to dress to hide my natural curves. I knew what song I would lip-synch, because I knew the clientele of the restaurant and I knew they would like Bob Malone's song "It Took An Older Woman (To Make A Man Out Of Me)," part of the lyrics of which are "I can't lie when I look her in the eye/ 'Cause she's heard all the lines/ And she won't stand for no slack in the sack/ I got to keep her satisfied... I'm not the way I used to be/ It took an older woman to make a man out of me." I'd noticed that songs that touched directly on the "Is she/isn't she" mystery and were full of innuendo were very popular at that time.

Furthermore, I felt that with practice I could pull forward the "male energy" to play the role. Aside from the costume, there would be mannerisms to practice and a voice to learn, but I felt like I could do that... I seem to have a lot of memories of being told I was walking or standing "like a boy." I'd acted in a few plays and I loved "Let's Pretend" as a child, in which I almost always played a boy or a man.

Ultimately I didn't do it. I didn't need to badly enough to follow through, and drag kings weren't and aren't what AsiaSF is really about (in fact, the one female-to-male gender illusionist didn't work there very long). Sometimes I think about just dressing the part, to see what I would look like, and what it would feel like.

1 comment:

pj said...

I recently watched a movie on drag kings and have started 'walking like a man' into work in the mornings. It helps me to carry that confidence.

I have always been interested in doing drag...and yet I haven't gone for it. But I haven't been doing much of anything performance oriented lately at all.

It would be fun to see you perform!