Thursday, February 1st was just going to be a regular night at home watching AS3 with my mom as far as I knew. That is until fate intervened. Mariah Balenciaga posted a flyer that she was hosting Drag Bingo and the AS3 viewing, and Adore was going to be her co-host. A local friend said she was interested in going since she loves both of them, and a Southern California friend said she had room at her table, so the decision was made – we were going on a road trip! This trip wasn’t just about Adore – I had more on my mind! John, Danny’s cousin, was in town and I was hoping he’d be there because I’ve missed him and had a gift for him that I finished last fall. I messaged April Showers and asked where she’d be because I had been holding on to a gift I’d made her way back in June. I had high hopes but knew if just a couple of things came through the drive from Sacramento to LA and back for just one night was going to be worth it. What actually happened was more than I could have dreamed!
We got to the restaurant while my Southern Cal friend was still driving, so we didn’t know how things were going to be set up. It was just a restaurant, no stage area. We sat down and after a while, I noticed someone at the tables along the wall was wearing a nice wig, but it wasn’t an Adore wig. Then someone at the table in between us moved and I saw John, then I shifted and saw Adore. They were just sitting there chit chatting. I got brave, grabbed my gift for John, and walked up to where they were sitting. I caught Adore’s eye and she started to stand up but I went to John first. I gave him his picture frame. He’s always so sweet and his smile is enough to make my heart melt! Then I went and hugged Adore and we talked about some of the beadwork gifts he has/had on display that I’ve made & that a friend has made.
I went back and forth for two days on whether or not I should give Adore my Witch Hunt piece, but decided to just give it to her because of our conversation. I also showed her the piece I’d made for April and she asked if I’d posted it before. I said yes and she said she remembered seeing it. Then I had a tiny one for Mariah and I told her that I’d taken about a week to do the Witch Hunt piece and a week for April’s piece and that I had an hour to do the one I made for her with mini beads. I also said next time she comes to Sacramento I’ll have a proper one for her. She said she’ll give a heads up so I have time to prepare.
For the most part, people left Mariah and Adore alone, but here and there would walk up and ask for pictures. It was nice to see them in a relaxed atmosphere and not getting mobbed. At one point I decided to go to the bathroom and as I was walking Adore got up and opened the door to the women’s restroom. It was full so she went to the men’s restroom. I started laughing because if you know my story of the first time I encountered Adore that took place in a bathroom and it’s still the best non-meet and greet story I’ve experienced or heard of!! Nothing weird, just a bit of a deer in headlights moment when the most beautiful mermaid ever nearly catches you with your pants down! So while I was in line in the bathroom I was smiling to myself, and then Toxic started playing and I started laughing again. I got a few strange looks, not gonna lie. But thinking about if Adore had been in that bathroom with me when that song came on, and how much she loves to sing it, yeah, it was a bit too much!
Let the hosting….begin!
The rounds of bingo were fun and then Adore was funny hosting the viewing party. It was dark in the restaurant and it was just not an appropriate setting to record anything, so other than a little bit of audio I don’t have any pictures or video from that part of the night. Mariah left after Bingo and Adore and John headed out as soon as the show ended, but Adore was going to get out of drag and head to Micky’s where we were going to try to catch Shangela, so that’s where we headed.
We got to Micky’s just as the m&g was ending so we didn’t get a picture. A little while later we were able to catch up with Shangela, who remembered my friend from a drawing she did on Instagram. I took a picture of my other friend with Shangela since they’re friends, but since she wasn’t “working” anymore I didn’t ask for one. I told her we’d see in her in Sacramento in March anyway. She was super sweet and I really can’t wait to see her perform!
After that, I said I wanted to try to see April Showers and my friend took us over to the club she was in. While we were looking for her she was actually on stage performing so I got to catch part of her number, and then she came and found me afterward. She was so excited to finally get her hands on the piece I made her more than half a year ago. I told her I didn’t finish it in time because I was working on that scarf for Adore (I showed it to her when I saw her at OC Pride last June). Her piece was so intricate that I didn’t want to rush it, and I’m glad I didn’t because I like the end result a lot. The other day I hopped on her live and we bonded a bit over being birthday twins and she showed off my artwork! If you don’t follow April I highly suggest you do. Check her Instagram, ItsAprilShowers, and you’ll see how amazing she is! She’s not just gorgeous, but her costumes and numbers are works of art!
We headed back to Micky’s where Adore and John showed up with their friends. We took a group picture with them (not pictured) and I got a picture of John. My friend also introduced us to dianadzhaketov who was out of drag but was such a sweetheart to talk to and wrote a lovely message on my shirt. Later she hugged me like I’ve never been hugged before and I have to say I fell in love with her energy! She’s so gorgeous and fun – go follow her too!
Eventually, Mariah popped back up in full face and said she’d left the Drag Bingo to get to a gig in San Bernardino and just got back! If you know what Southern California is like, that drive is no joke! Not only does Mariah deserve her name Mug4Dayz with how beautiful she is, that’s one hard-working queen! I can’t wait to see her back in Sacramento again! Or maybe Modesto…hint hint to my local promoters!
We headed out and hugged Mariah and Adore goodbye, then went to get something to eat and reminisce about how that night was everything I could have hoped for and then some. We met so many other people that night, queens and otherwise, and everyone was so lovely and kind! The local queens in Sacramento/Modesto are so sweet and welcoming and it was nice to experience that in LA too! Drag Race alums are only a part of the magic of drag. If you can, get into your local drag scene and support your local queens. If you can’t, ask those of us who do attend shows locally for some recommendations on queens you can watch on youtube and follow on social media. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!