Drag show etiquette

Harmony Nyte performs at XY Bar in Wichita, KS. Photo by Christopher Clark.

"There is nothing worse than a Sunday brunch Karen crawling on the stage and grabbing an entertainer."

by Harmony Nyte
The Queen’s Column

This month, I’d like to offer a few suggestions when attending a drag show. Maybe you’re a regular at the local bar enjoying the Saturday night show or possibly attending your first-ever Sunday brunch show with a group of your friends. Let’s face it. Drag shows can be intimidating.

Here are some suggestions to make your experience enjoyable for yourself, those around you, and the entertainment. Many bars around the country have drag shows. Although all shows are different, these are a few tips that are universal when attending a drag performance. 

First and foremost, you are there to experience the entertainment. Many of the performers put countless hours into preparing their work. Applause is always free. If you see something you enjoy, don’t be afraid to make some noise. Clapping and cheering is what gives an entertainer their wigs. It’s always encouraging as an entertainer to know the audience is genuinely enjoying the show. 

Don’t forget to have fun! It’s a break from the real world when attending a drag show. It’s time to let loose and enjoy yourself.

When an entertainer is performing, there are a few suggestions on how to tip successfully. If you’ve been to a drag show before - you may know that it’s reasonable to tip the entertainment if you are enjoying their performance.

Tipping is always appreciated. It’s often appropriate to approach the stage to offer a tip. Keep in mind to be respectful of the entertainer’s workspace. Merely standing near the stage, slightly off to the side, and holding out a tip is entirely acceptable; it’s also very respectful.

Keep in mind you don’t want to walk on the stage; you may get hit by a flying wig or injure yourself or the entertainer. There is nothing worse than a Sunday brunch Karen crawling on the stage and grabbing an entertainer.

Also, please stay off to the side of the stage area - it allows the others attending the show to have the ability to see the entertainer performing. If the entertainer is in the audience moving around, just hold that tip up in the air from your seat. Trust me; we can see a dollar in the air from a mile away in the dark. Consent is always in!

However, please always ask before touching any entertainer, but that’s life in general. Consent is “in.” 

Remember, this is live entertainment. If you can see us, we can see you. Being engaged and in the moment is very respectful and appreciated by all entertainers. Giving your undivided attention to the entertainment goes a long way.

Now, let’s be real. You are in a bar, and you’re with your friends. But when an entertainer is on stage, try putting down your cell phone and bopping around to the music. Looking out in an audience as an entertainer and seeing eyes glued to cell phones can often be discouraging. It makes it seem as though you are not enjoying the performance. Just be mindful next time - again, having a connection from the entertainer to the audience is what keeps the night enjoyable.

Overall, just be kind and respectful. Remember to tip your bartenders and bar staff. Go out there and enjoy yourself. We are here to entertain! 

Copyright The Gayly. 7/23/2020 @ 9:00 a.m. CST.