Bring Out the Kings!: Gage Gatlyn
Official MySpace: www.myspace.com/gagegatlyn
Cris Long: What influenced your decision to start performing drag?
Gate Gatyln: I regularly attended a Thursday night show in Jacksonville, which included a 'talent competition.' The Host of the Show mesmerized me every time I seen her perform. Watching her made me think that I wanted to do it, but 'she' was a queen.. So I said, "Well, I want to do this, but If I do, I will be that good, or I won't do it at all." There were no kings in Jacksonville at the time, that I knew of. So, I did the talent show...it went over so well, and I enjoyed it so much that I took it to other bars in Jacksonville. It took off. The calls started coming in from all over Florida. As I competed more and won more titles, even more bookings came. Until eventually, I couldn't work a regular job, in order to continue to perform.
CL: Do you credit a specific person or entertainer for your performance decisions? If so, who and why?
GG: Well, no. I perform for the audience. So, if anything, they get the credit. I have always tried to perform what I believe the fans will enjoy, not what I enjoy performing. Although I do enjoy it most of the time. (smile) My partner has a hand in it as well. There are songs she loves to watch me perform...so I will pull those out when she wants to see them. Or, sometimes she will just come to me and say, 'I heard this on the radio, you should do it..' If I like it, I do it, and sometimes, if I don't like it, I do it anyway. If a song is popular and highly requested, I do it whether I like it or not.
CL: Would you say that the latest style/fashion trends play a part in your song and costume choices? If so, what trends have you executed on stage?
GG: I try not to use trends or other designers. I make my own. I also design fashion and costuming, and they do play a huge part in my performances. My costumes will almost always have something to do with the music. Normally I design for the song.
CL: Do you perform for non-profit? If so, what organizations have you been affiliated with?
GG: I have, and still do. To name a few..
CL: What is the most rewarding experience you've had performing?
GG: I can't really tell you one.. Almost every time I step on a stage and see the faces of the fans is rewarding. They love it, and I love that they do. When the show is over, and I go out to mingle and sign photos, the fans tell me stories about how I have somehow touched their lives. It is amazing to me.
CL: If you could give advice to aspiring drag kings what would it be?
GG: I actually just gave this advice to an aspiring drag king a couple days ago:
CL: Would you share your coming out story with us?
GG: I was dating a
girl at 18. I really liked her, and of course thought we would be together
forever.. So, I took her home to meet my mother. The whole time we were
there, I never once told my mom that she was girlfriend or that I was
CL: Where do you regularly perform? Please include all venues.
CL: Have you won any titles? When? What songs did you perform?
GG: I held eight titles in one year. The most held by a drag king at one time in a
CL: Do you have any signature moves or techniques to help you work the crowd?
Other kings will tell
you I do.. (laughing) They point them out to me all the time..but I never
really thought of them as signature.
CL: Did/do you have a special person who mentored you?
GG: Unfortunately, no. 98% was trial and error.. As I travel from state to state, every now and then a queen will throw me some advice. I am very appreciative for the queens I have worked with for that. The queen I mentioned earlier, helped me out with a couple of makeup tips.
CL: Any Drag Queens that helped you break into performing?
GG: Well, the one I was telling you about in the first question - Rhiannon Todd of