Tomorrow (later today, actually) I'll be heading down to the studio, in drag. I wanted to take a few minutes, before the show, to talk about the process of making this happen and why it's unlikely to happen again (I think you'll agree I've got good reasons). That said, this is a positive post - because the process has been educational and that's something that I tend to enjoy.
First, I'm probably not going to be very attractive (but I'm sure someone out there will certainly disagree). I'm a big guy and it was difficult to find clothes that fit, so this won't be any sort of slinky, sexy number...because my body just won't do that.
We had difficulty finding a dress in my size that didn't cost a fortune. We ended up settling on the Urban Nomad versatile skirt from Earthbound Trading Company. It's actually a pretty cool item and I think I can safely recommend it. Beth got one as well and mine won't be going to waste as I already have a good friend who would like mine after the show is over. (It's late, so I'm not linking all of these items...Google is your friend).
I wear a 48R suit jacket and we had one hell of a time finding any bra that would actually fit. We settled for a cheap 52DD bra from Walmart that we're going to stuff with socks and other things to give me the breasts I'll need to hold up the dress. We also grabbed a plus-sized camisole, which will give me a layered look. The bra and camisole probably won't find a home, so I'll box them up for future costume events that are less extravagant.
We picked up cheap jewelry at the mall, but I only had one of my ears pierced. I didn't want to take too many shortcuts, so we went ahead and got the other one pierced as well. (Actually, we re-pierced the one that had previously been pierced, as it had partially closed up.) I actually like wearing the earrings, so that will probably stick around.
Shoes just weren't going to happen. Any shoes in my size were a ridiculous expense for what is, most likely, a one-time event. We settled on some cheap, but stylish, orange flip-flops and Beth hot-glued some sunflowers on them.
Saturday morning, I went to the nail salon for a full manicure, pedicure and eyebrow waxing. No, I'm not joking. I now have gorgeous red fingernails and toenails - and much less bushy, though still far-too-dark eyebrows.
This evening, we attempted to use a Nair-like product to remove hair from my legs and upper body. Absolutely no hair was removed by this cheap, dollar-store knock-off. So...as it was late, out came the clippers that I use to trim my head and beard and off came the body hair. This was followed by a couples shaving session that, I'm pretty sure, strengthened our relationship.
We didn't remove all of my body hair, though - which prompted Beth to point out that having hair from my nipples to mid-thigh gives the impression that I'm wearing a girdle of hair.
Later today, I'll get dressed, put on my wig, drive to a friend's house for the final make-up and then down to the studio.
I'll spend some time tomorrow talking about what I learned, but the past few weeks have been very informative. I have a great deal more respect for what women and drag queens and people with gender-identity issues have to go through - and I'm not just talking about the shaving and shopping (when nothing fits). More on that tomorrow.
Now for the reason this probably won't happen again: it's expensive.
I'm extremely grateful to everyone who donated to Camp Quest and I'll do almost anything for a great cause. I'm proud of our team, I'm proud of PZ, I'm proud of Camp Quest and I'm very proud of everyone who helped send kids to camp...but the money I spent on nails, makeup, outfits and other expenses will, in the future, simply be donated directly to Camp Quest (or whichever organization I'm raising money for).
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I did this and I think the money was well spent for what I learned - but I'll try to come up with cheaper incentives in the future, and just donate money directly to the charity involved.
And now, on with the show...