This Week's Guest: Drew Droege
Why do villains get to have all the fun? Surely you've noticed that Darth Vader has a better time than Luke Skywalker, that the Joker relishes his misdeeds, and that Skeletor lives in a party house. One of my favorite movie lines ever is when Magneto tells Rogue "we love what you've done with your hair."
Drew Droege may have come to your attention on YouTube, performing as the character Chloe, but he's been inhabiting colorful characters for years. In fact you can see Drew onstage in his new show, Bright Colors and Bold Patterns. It's running from September 16-18 at the Barrow St in New York, then Monday nights at Celebration Theater in LA starting September 26.
His whole life, Drew found himself unable to resist the devious charm of over the top villains, particularly women like Divine and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman. There's just something irresistible about the way they chew/claw the scenery, and when he moved to LA to be an actor, he discovered that he could put their colorful turpitude to use as inspiration in service of his career.
This Week's Recommendation: I'm So Beautiful
Thanks again to Drew for joining me. And don't miss him in New York and LA -- his show Bright Colors and Bold Patterns is running from September 16-18 at the Barrow St in New York, then Monday nights at Celebration Theater in LA starting September 26. The show's about a gay man who's scared that with the onset of gay marriage, he'll become respectable and boring -- the worst thing that can happen to anyone -- and if you're worried about the same thing happening to you, allow me to make a recommendation: head over to SewersOfParis.com and look for Drew's episode, which I'll be posting along with a very special music video.
The video's called I'm so Beautiful, and it stars Divine singing ferociously about her incredible beauty. Now, just to set the scene here: she is wearing a dress that looks like uncooked ground beef, a wig that looks like an albino tumbleweed, and the rouge on her cheeks is so emphatic it looks like a sunburn. And there is simply no way you could dress Divine that she would not be a strange sight. But she's made up her mind about how she looks: she is beautiful, as she sings over... and over ... and over ... in a tone so aggressive you don't dare argue.
The song's a nice little pep talk -- if this vision can determine that she's beautiful, surely so can we all. And what I love about it is that it's so sincere. Divine is definitely not the butt of the joke here, an ugly drag queen meant to be laughed at. No, her incredible boast, her flaunting of her body, and the room of mirrors she's in makes it clear that she knows precisely what she looks like and if you don't agree that she's beautiful, there's something wrong with you.
In all of her roles, Divine exhibits a power to create a strange alternate reality, and to then insist that you join her inside. She makes it so easy to play along, to agree, to be a part of her weird world. That's an amazing gift, because if you ever feel too boring or too respectable or too much of a stereotype, all you have to do is nod your head along to this bellowing drag queen, and agree, yes, you are beautiful, and suddenly you're as otherworldly as she is.