Drag Queens teach UT student how to stay fierce

Peyton Sims, Life and Arts Reporter

While Tension applied pink eye shadow in front of a light-up makeup mirror, Alysha Pretty kept audience spirits high with BuzzFeed quizzes and interactive icebreakers. In their own ways, the two drag queens influenced the crowd to smile, laugh and be themselves. Rather than just learning about the process of transforming into a drag queen, students watched the process unfold in front of them.

On Sept.22 , local drag queens Alysha Pretty and Tension hosted a seminar called “Get Fierce” at UT through the drag company Extragrams ATX. The event taught students the process of drag makeup and allowed them to learn more about themselves, each other and the world of drag.

“I had been doing my makeup at home a lot on my own, but after seeing drag races, it gave me momentum to go out and do it myself,” Tension said. “It’s nice to know how things are progressing with drag and that it’s not just a creepy-terrible thing that everybody has the mentality that it is. I’m just as young as everybody else (at this event), so it’s nice to see that anybody can do this and it’s not just for one person; it’s for anybody.”

Alysha Pretty (left) poses with Tension (right) at the “Get Fierce” event. Connor Downs/ The Daily Texan

Psychology junior Paige Meyer heard about “Get Fierce” through one of her student organizations that highlights inclusivity to people of all sexualities and identities. She said she loved the opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community and the relation to drag.

“The drag performance was one of my favorite parts, but I also loved learning the history of drag,” Meyer said. “While I don’t want to be a drag queen myself, I love seeing how beautiful the art is from afar.”

Alan Morales, a theater and dance freshman who performs drag himself, said he believes everyone should try drag at least once. They said they attended “Get Fierce” because they love Alysha’s humor and wanted to learn more about UT’s Drag community.

“As a student who does drag, it’s fun because a lot of people are very supportive,” Morales said. “You don’t think about being too pretty or too funny or too anything, you just be yourself.”

Performers through and through, Alysha and Tension said they both have a natural passion for entertaining and want to continue spreading their enthusiasm for drag shows, costumes and makeup across the Forty Acres.

“Have somebody help you get all dressed up and go through the work of getting ready so you not only appreciate what we go through but you have the opportunity to feel that same fantasy,” Alysha said. “What I love about drag is once you feel that (fantasy), you can tap into it whenever you want to be that diva.”