California EOY - Jan 12 - House of Blues, Hollywood, CA
Forget what you think you know about drag because honey, it’s quite different from your perception. Often when we refer to drag in the gay community, we refer to camp and burly men dressed in women’s clothes with makeup from hell and mother’s 1950′s dress. If this is your perception of drag in our community, I invite you to take a look at the world of gay drag pageantry. This art form of female illusion and male lead is a highly established, highly stylized and fierce competition between men and women in a variety of local, regional and national contests. While “drag” has been a cornerstone of cabarets and live theatre since the Middle Ages, drag pageantry is said to have been established in the LGBT community in the 1970s in the post Stonewall era.
When you travel across the United States in search of drag pageantry, you think of such hot bed markets as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas & the east coast. These markets have been engaged in the world of pageant competition since the beginning. California, on the other hand, has always been known for “camp and comedic,” according to Erin White, Executive Director of California Entertainer of the Year. “Thankfully, California has moved into a new era with some of the most jaw dropping illusionist and formidable talents.”
The Entertainer of the Year pageantry system is one of the major “four” pageantry systems in the United States. It is a system that prides itself on creativity and talent. And because of this emphasis, dozens upon dozens of entertainers (since EOY’s inception in 1990) have coveted the title of Entertainer of the Year, FI and Mr. Entertainer of the Year. California joins a list of more than 15 preliminary contests whose goal is to send the winner and first runner-up to the national contest in Louisville, KY. Executive Director Erin White is excited to add California to the system and feels with the huge pool of viable competitors in California, that his system has “a shot at taking the national title this coming year.”
Not only will the contest be exciting for both contestants and spectators, but this year’s preliminary pageant is also a major fund-raising event. The “Heel Hate” silent auction is designed to raise money for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Starting on January 4th, people from all over the world will be able to bid on autographed high heels from celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Shania Twain, Cyndi Lauper, Shakira, Paula Dean, Salma Hayek, Lauren Conrad and Lea Michele (from “Glee”). If you want to bid on these items, head to the website “charitybuzz.com” or you can bid at the night of the pageant. Another charity that the folks at California EOY are working on is the NOH8 Campaign who has been raising awareness on the issue of gay marriage through a year-long photo “silent protest.” All of the contestants will have a NOH8 photo in the program and there will be a souvenir NOH8 poster of the contestants.
And if that wasn’t enough to entice you to come see the pageant (January 12, House of Blues-Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California), maybe the star-studded judges panel will. Judges this year include: 2008 EOY winner Nina West, National Title Holder Alyssa Edwards, Actress, Author and 1999 Tennessee EOY winner Calpernia Addams, Singer, Dancer & Actress Aubrey O’Day, American model and television personality Holly Madison, Co-Director of Miss California USA Shanna Moakler and the producer of Logo TV’s Rupaul’s Drag Race Matthew Rose.
Needless to say, Click Click Expose is excited to be chosen as the official videographer of this year’s inaugural contest. As you know, we have been filming gay pageants since the days of us getting our start in Houston, TX in 1996 – so our cameras have been around the block a few times – but never have we been more excited than coming into a new market with new ideas and a fresh outlook on the pageantry community. Look out everyone, California EOY is looking to make its mark in the world of pageantry.
So details you say…details: buy your tickets at: www.ticketmaster.com or the California EOY website at: www.californiaeoy.com. Ticket prices are: general admission $18.00, reserved seating $25.00 and VIP Platinum seating $45.00. Never seen an EOY contest before, check out this preview trailer we created of this year’s 2009 National contest or more than a dozen EOY preview videos on our very own video sharing website Planet Q TV (Just click on the button that says Planet Q TV). This year’s contest will be held at the world-famous House of Blues – Sunset Strip on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Doors open at 6:30pm. Showtime is at 7:00pm. See you there…