A Rainbow over Harford County


After a few days of intense rain, and melancholy weather, I finally decided to come out of my Havre de Grace art studio. I have been locking myself away to finish my second book, “#RockStarLife SEASON TWO!!”, dropping this Halloween. The rain had stopped, with the sun starting to break through the gray clouds, and I went for one of my famous walks around Havre de Grace. I looked up at the sky and saw a rainbow reveal itself in front of me, and I instantly cheered up as I looked at its splendor. Seeing the rainbow felt so ironic because after an intense writing session during the gloomy days, the sun was starting to come out as I was going to start a string of publicity events for my upcoming Costume and Cocktails Halloween Bash at the Bel Air Armory with the Harford Artists Association on October 19th.

My first event was at a Drag Bingo, held by the Upper Chesapeake Bay Pride organization at the historic State Theater in Havre de Grace. I know the State Theater very well; it holds a special place in my heart as it is the first place in Harford County I went out in female illusion drag during a Midnight Movie production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, done by Frankie’s Midnight Runners on a previous Halloween that I absolutely enjoyed every minute of. I have also performed in a stand-up comedy open mic night this past winter with Big Timing Comedy, hosted by Havre de Grace local comedian Thezz Grimes, and was pleasantly surprised by the level of comedy talent performing, on par with Los Angeles comedy clubs. During this comedy show appearance, I autographed the greenroom wall with my name and angel graffiti symbol. I just knew this drag show was going to be special.

I used my art contacts to secure a spot on the VIP list for the Drag Bingo. As I mingled with UBC Pride’s board members in the lobby, I noticed some familiar names on the wall as artwork on exhibition. I will let everyone in on a Harford County art insider tip… this art gallery in the lobby of the State Theater is where you can find, and purchase, the mind-blowing edgier artwork done by many local artists, including Liz Lawson and my artist friend, Ezra Berger. After socializing, the drag bingo began with local drag performer, Dustyn Dawn, hosting with another drag performer, Adam Anthrax. Both performers presented stellar drag lip-singing dance performances between calling bingo card numbers. Dustyn Dawn is spectacular; she has the fabulousity and performance talent of a star showgirl and the smart coolness of a celebrity socialite heiress. Dustyn Dawn owns a drag theater company, Absolutely Dragulous, and puts on some of the best drag shows in the area. Adam Anthrax is an incredible drag king, meaning their drag performance is of a male illusion, contrasting the female illusion drag performance style most people think of when they think of drag performing art.

After the show, I met with the theater technician of the event, Patrick Yarrington, who also works at the State. With a building this historic, and like much of downtown Havre de Grace, it must have a resident ghost or two. He gave me a small paranormal tour with a minor EVP session on the balcony. We didn’t capture anything but did feel some spiritual energy as Patrick spoke about some of the paranormal encounters people have had in the building. The next day, I had an appearance booked at Bel Air’s Frist Friday celebration the following day with Harford Artist Association. I was passing out flyers and mingling with attendees of this summer season street festival, all of whom were so excited at a drag show finally happening in Harford County.

That Saturday, I had an appearance to En Plein Air paint in female illusion drag as my stage persona, Zenobia Darling, at the UCB Pride celebration, held every October at the Concord Point Park in Havre de Grace. I arrived and was greeted by Dustyn Dawn and Adam Anthrax, along with the Baltimore Drag legends Dee Dee Derèon, Venus Fastrada, and The Vagenesis. They were performing along with musicians Bryce Bowyn and Tony Aye!, local Havre de Grace band Middle of Nowhere, and Magician Adam Stone. I set my travel painting easel up in the middle of the audience to paint the performance scene in front of me, feeling so much excitement at the level of drag talent performing in Havre de Grace.

As I watched the drag performers put on a top-notch drag show, I got inspired to put them into the painting I was creating in the audience. I got the background done, and I began to take photos of the drag dolls in action. Afterwards, I took down my easel and began to mingle backstage with the performers during the rest of the show. Going to Towson University for theater, I have seen and met several of the drag artists performing today. It was a mini reunion as all Baltimore drag performers have a familiar family bond and look out for one another. I snapped photos and generally enjoyed being in my hometown in drag with my fellow drag peers. Baltimore truly has some of the best drag talents in the world and is consistently and preposterously overlooked for mainstream drag tv shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Boulet Brothers Dragula.

That night after the UCB Pride festival, I was back in my studio to finish my painting “#RockStarLife: Havre de Grace has Pride!!” and saw that The Baltimore Sun published a feature on the day’s celebrations which featured me painting in drag with a shoutout in the article. But this isn’t the only time you can see a dazzling drag show of this level in Harford County. Every last Sunday of the month, the State Theater in Havre de Grace holds a special drag brunch, hosted by drag icon Brooklyn Heights, and featuring several Drag superstars including Iyana Deschanel, Sorority Diamond, Bambi Necole Ferreh, Kayden Amore Chloe, and Washington Heights. Washington is a drag friend of mine who has booked me in her shows before and is a genuine Drag Rockstar. The ladies put on a stellar show, and one that will blow you away with the level of drag artistry showcased during their brunch show.

A rainbow is sunlight being shined through a prism of water droplets in clouds, creating a glittering pageant of colors that arc across the sky. I innocently see rainbows as the sun making the sky happy again after an intense storm and drag performing art is very similar. Drag can be a healing art practice, with most drag performers experiencing a more intense life that has caused fractures to their spirit. Drag brings this transcendent light back as it shines through these cracks, creating the mesmerizing display of colorful drag pageantry you see at drag shows around the world. The audience can feel this positive energy; it’s why drag is so important to support, as it has the same effect as seeing a rainbow in the sky. If you are having a depressive episode, I encourage you to watch some form of drag, through YouTube or even better live and in-person, as it will instantly bring a smile to your face, even if you are going through an intensely turbulent time. By shining a greater light on the drag talent already thriving here, and the venues and people who support this performing art, it will create the most alluring rainbow over Harford County.

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