Status can be a funny thing. Of course, it is most obviously expressed through shiny hardware and easily recognizable logos, but it gets far more interesting when you start to observe the more subtle signals — the way you tuck your shirt, or what you eat for breakfast, or your particular brand of notebook can mark you as in or out. And, of course, what counts as a status item varies wildly across human tribes. In our series “Insider Goods,” we’re talking to members of different tribes (some with their real names, some anonymously) to learn about the niche status items among Broadway actors, ballerinas, or brain surgeons.
Today, we hear from Yvie Oddly — winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 and current performer on the upcoming Werq the World Tour, which comes to New York City on October 19 — on the tights, setting powder, and snacks that are popular among drag queens.
Lots and lots and lots of tape. I use a bunch of different types of tape for all the different things I do in drag. When I’m tucking myself I use vinyl dance floor tape or boat tape because it’s elastic. When I’m just making an outfit, I either use gap seal tape or packing tape. And I use gap tape to embellish my costumes sometimes. I tape my extra head skin back with my tucking tape as well, and lots of queens tape their heads just to keep their wigs on.
Lots and lots and lots of glue. Hot glue’s really good for quick costume fixes or just odd crafting jobs. And superglue is super-essential for so many different things in drag, like keeping your nails on, or jewelry — even though it’s not recommended to superglue things to your head. I use Elmer’s glue sticks to glue down my eyebrows, and Spirit glue (a costume adhesive) to keep my wigs down, and hair bonding glue to keep my lashes on. All the adhesives, drag is sticky.
I’ve only been a Ru girl for eight months, and so far have spent six of them more away from home than not. I’ve had to learn how to become way more organized and budget my time well, and still fit in time to take a bath or rest if need be. I actually take a whole slew of vitamins every single day, including Emergen-C. I always like to pack some kind of CBD oil to rub on my joints and sore bits — it helps with the pain. I don’t have a favorite brand, I keep experimenting. I’m still looking, I’m on the search.
Now that I’ve started touring quite a bit, I’ve gotten to see what really works for me. I like to buy some of those tiny, collapsible, fabric travel bags that help you organize things, so I can put outfits in there. And gallon-size bags are so helpful to keep everything in order while I’m on the road.
I use the standard iPhone headphones. I have different playlists for everything, but my getting ready playlist is mostly rap, because it’s a really cool headspace to get in, it makes you feel confident, and makes you feel like you can do anything, which is a good energy to take into drag.
Backstage, we like lots of tiny little finger snacks and candy, because drag queens need to eat too, we’re human beings. But when you’re cinched, padded, tucked, and taped, there’s not necessarily always space for real food. Personally, I like hot Cheetos and Red Bull.