Dazzling in drag
Sarah Sarder | Staff Writer
Cierra Edmondson | Contributing Writer
UNT political science major Eric Duran, 21, runs frantically back and forth from the bathroom to his bedroom. Duran is searching for a glue stick so that he can glue his eyebrows down.
Makeup bags of various sizes are scattered around the bathroom. The surface of the small counter is completely covered with foundations, cream blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, concealers and a plethora of other knick-knacks.
This is the life of a drag queen.
“When you get on stage, in an instant, you’re the character, you’re the song and you just perform,” Duran said. “Everything becomes about the audience and making them laugh, making them feel something.”
The process of transforming into Industria Revolutia, Duran’s drag-self, is no small feat. At the time of his character’s conception, Duran found himself heavily interested in Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction that blends fantasy, technology and designs based upon 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. This would become the basis from which Industria Revolutia would be built upon.
Duran imagines that Industria is an insane, mental patient that has escaped from the asylum. He describes her as being a lone-wolf and a black widow when it comes to her lovers.
“As a drag character, I like to have fun with Industria,” Duran said.
Duran’s roommate and friend Christine Carr, a first-year graduate student and linguistics major, said Duran was successful in doing so, calling his performances “inspiring.” Carr said she began doing drag because of Eric, and the two have performed together twice, with Carr in the role of drag king.
“Eric is very animated and he’s able to go into his character very well, and also portray very feminine movements,” Carr said. “Just being there and watching him perform, it’s a whole other experience. He just has a way of getting the audience engaged.”
In what he considered to be a very conservative high school, Duran experienced severe self-esteem issues. He found solace in watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality-based drag competition hosted by Logo TV.
For Duran’s first time in drag, he dressed up as Katy Perry for Halloween. He wore a rainbow corset, a tutu and pink heels for an event at his high school.
“It was interesting to put on a dress, but it’s fun and I just continued from there,” Duran said. “There was never any severe opposition to doing it and my parents are my biggest supporters.”
Duran’s step-father David Pritzker, 54, said he supports Duran in every way. He said he is happy that Duran is able to express himself in drag, and recalled supporting him at his first drag show. He even found that his son made “a pretty good-looking girl,” he said with a chuckle.
Duran often thrifts for pieces to add to his wardrobe, but he proudly admits that a significant portion of his belongings for drag have come from his parents.
Though he was “a little gunshy,” Pritzker went to the front of the crowd to give Duran the “tips,” which were donations being contributed to the GLAD organization.
“I’m a proud father, but I’m a little shy when it comes to coming up front and doing stage presentations,” Pritzker said.
When the time came for Duran to participate in his first drag show, the opportunity came to him through GLAD, a legal rights organization that is dedicated to the ending of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
The GLAD organization hosts drag shows every semester as a fundraiser, and Duran briefly became the vice president for a year.
“I was very nervous,” Duran said. “Of course there were going to be some sort of nerves before a show. My mom says that I will never beat my first show because it was my very first and it stood out the most.”
At the moment, Duran performs by lip-syncing, but hopes to later incorporate more comedy, stand-up and music with his ukulele. His most frequented location for performing is Mable Peabody’s, a local LGBTQ space.
Duran is in company of other drag up-and-comers. Among other friends, one of his three roommates is a drag king. They often encourage and support each other for shows and have performed together.
In the future, Duran hopes to use his education in political science by being a part of the law-making process and helping to strengthen the LGTBQ community.
“I like to show a more fun and silly side that says not to take yourself too seriously,” Duran said. “I try to live by that because I know that life doesn’t have to be so serious.”
Featured Image: Eric Duncan puts the finishing touches on transforming into Industria Revolutia. His drag-self is inspired by the Steampunk genre. Sarah Sarder
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