Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, May 10, 2012 | 3:31 a.m.
Drink & Drag in downtown Las Vegas
Drink & Drag, Las Vegas’ first and only drag queen bowling alley and gaming lounge, celebrated its grand opening last week at Neonopolis.
The 22,000-square-foot venue boasts a staff of 24 full-time drag queens, and they mean business: Each lovely lady has her own vanity in the dressing room, overseen by drag mother Desarae Penda’vis, who helps keep the staff looking sharp and in top form throughout their daylong shifts.
Drink & Drag also has two full-time costume designers on hand to produce fabulous new sartorial creations for Drink & Drag theme nights like “White Wedding Wednesdays” and “Hollywood Night.”
But these girls don’t mess around -- one minute they’re nailing a choreographed group performance to “It’s Raining Men,” the next they’re in the back kitchen doing dishes in a wedding dress.
So how do they handle it? Read on as a few of the ladies weigh in on the challenges of their workplace, their personal inspirations and the best beauty tips for working an eight-hour shift in full makeup and heels.
From: Las Vegas, born and raised.
Your drag style: Class and elegance.
Your inspiration: I've been performing for 20 years this year, and my inspiration is my mother who has proceeded me in death but lives with me in my life. Because I strive every day to be better than before.
The top beauty tip for working an eight-hour shift in heels and full makeup: Don't forget your lashes, and as long as your beard and mustache are covered, you've won half the battle!
On life as a drag mother: I've been a drag mother since 1994. I'm humbled and I live every day learning from my mistakes so that I can be even better with each new child that I have. I feel blessed to have planted seeds and watch them grow. I have five daughters outside of Drink & Drag that work for the company: Anye Gotti, Elena Penda'vis Perez, Lauren Christensen, Justice Counce and Des'ree St. James. It's such a blessing and an honor for them, as well as all the girls, my new daughters, of Drink & Drag that they look up to me. My goal is to not let them down.
Des'ree St. James
From: Austin, Texas
Your drag style: I'm very much the go-go dance diva. I love to get onstage and dance the house down. As for fashion, I'm into bodysuits, crazy fabrics and couture jackets.
The top beauty tip for working an eight-hour shift in heels and full makeup: Lots of powder, a big powder poof and some stone flats.
Your inspiration: I've been performing since the age of 5 but started doing drag at the age of 18 and have been doing it ever since. My inspiration is Beyonce -- a true diva in her own right. And the queens of the national pageant industry.
Your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas outside of Drink & Drag: I like competing and drag pageants.
From: Ocala, Fla.
Your drag style: Classy, yet slightly trashy. I can wear a gown, but something will be off. You might not notice what, but you will want to watch to figure it out.
The top beauty tip for working an eight-hour shift in heels and full makeup: Wear a sensible heel. And paint on that smile!
On the joys and challenges of working at a drag bowling alley: Who doesn't love bowling? And then adding drag queens? I love the energy of a brand new concept and the anticipation of what to expect when at Drink & Drag. The most challenging aspect would be finding time to use the bathroom.
Your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas outside of Drink & Drag: Spending time with my dogs and boyfriend.
From: Oahu, Hawaii
Your drag style: Bold, skimpy, yet tasteful.
Your inspiration: I've been an entertainer for over 20 years, and the one who most inspires me would be my mother.
The top beauty tip for working an eight-hour shift in heels and full makeup: Look flawless, feel flawless, and you'll be flawless.
Your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas outside of Drink & Drag: Finding time to sleep!
Elena Penda’vis Perez
From: Los Angeles
Your drag style: Hollywood classic.
Your inspiration: My drag mother Desarae Penda'vis.
The top beauty tip for working an eight-hour shift in heels and full makeup: Glue and spray.