How does a drag queen get ready for a show?
How does a drag queen prepare for a show? Do they listen to loud club music, sip drinks or maybe even pound shots? Are costumes and glitter strewn across the floor? This may be true for some queens, but not for Sam Mount. During Mount’s preparation ritual, soft electronic music plays from a small speaker as he concentrates on applying just the right amount of Elmer’s glue to his eyebrows and transforms into Miss Ophelia Up, his drag alter ego.
In the hours before Machine Nightclub’s Monday Drag All Star competition, a scene resembling the preparation of a normal workday unfolds. When Mount isn’t performing as Miss Ophelia Up, he attends Northeastern University. “As far as I know I’m the only chemical engineer drag queen,” he jokes.
Since joining the Boston drag scene this summer, Mount has performed in several competitions, though he has yet to win one, at a popular gay club located in the Fenway area. However, he did mention he was the winner of a pork rind-eating contest held after his first competition. As a new member of the community, Mount says he has yet to form close relationships with other queens within the scene, so instead turns to YouTube tutorials and RuPaul’s Drag Race for advice and inspiration.
Though this night concluded with another loss, Mount gave no indication of disappointment at the outcome, but rather was motivated to delve deeper into the drag scene he yearns to be accepted into.