Drag Jollification: Spreading joy with UCR’s Drag Club

Courtesy of @mxsstjames via Instagram

The Drag Club at UCR hosted its first virtual drag show on Friday, Feb. 19 with featured performances by Amber Saint James, Brennda Joyy and Luxe the Drag Queen. The event was hosted by Drag Club president Victoria Osio, a third-year political science major, who played music at the beginning of the event to hype up attendees and set up the atmosphere. Despite the event being set to begin at 6 p.m., the host waited a few more minutes to make sure people arrived. 

Once the event began, attendees were shown a video with information about drag jollification. By definition, jollification is a merry celebration with others, or merrymaking. In this context, drag jollification means a lively celebration with drag, and that is exactly how this event can be described. The atmosphere was filled with high energy as club members commented in the Zoom chat that they were eager for the event to begin. Their contagious enthusiasm transcended the screen. 

As the event was held on Zoom, all performances were prerecorded. Despite being limited to a screen, attendees were able to see the amount of creativity and hard work put into the performances. To start off the night, the vice president of the Drag Club, Olga-Marie Davis, a political science major, was first to perform with an impressive six-minute long performance where Davis’ creativity shined as they performed a monologue. Davis utilized different camera angles and sported a retro-style dress. People in the comments went crazy over Davis’s performance, sending compliments throughout. 

Up next was a performance by “Vinnie Paradise,” a psychology major who prefers to be known as Bartley. Bartley claimed that the character’s inspiration was to be as “douchiest as possible.” Vinnie Paradise partied and drank on the screen, which was a fun reminder of the college experience currently on hold because of the pandemic.  

The last student performance was by Osio, who performed “Man to Man” by Dorian Electra and later “Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood. Before showing the video, Osio told attendees the performance was recorded in the middle of the night as their entire family slept. Nonetheless, Osio delivered a moving and powerful performance that made viewers go crazy in the comments. It was awe inspiring to see people unite in such a fun way and celebrate their individuality. 

What followed next was the long awaited performances by Amber Saint James, Brennda Joyy and Luxe the Drag Queen. After some technical difficulties, Saint James was able to pull up the videos. Brennda Joyy was first to perform, and I was stunned at their beauty. A sparkling red dress was the showstopper of the performance. Attendees in chat were commenting on how amazing their performance was. 

After Joey’s performance, Luxe the Drag Queen immediately appeared on screen. Luxe sported a sort of clown-inspired outfit for the performance that was stunning and fitting as “Funhouse” by P!nk played. Luxe’s performance was very animated and exciting. After Luxe’s performance, the screen suddenly went black, and an emergency message popped up on screen. 

It was the beginning of Amber Saint James’ performance, who sported a stunning blue dress with blue thigh-high boots. Saint James utilized different film techniques, which gave the appearance that backup dancers had joined as the screen was split into three. This just expounded on the high energy dance performance that viewers had the privilege of witnessing.  

Overall, the event was a success and created an outlet for students to showcase their creativity via performances while having a fun jolly time doing so. The next event will be Drag Ball on April 8, which is hosted by Drag Club at UCR. Look forward to it and expect stunning outfits and high energy.

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