365 Days under the Duvey with Alana

It’s been a year since we last had you over to the SickeningGlasgow HQ for a kiki. What’s been happening in the time since we last saw you?

Has it been a year already?  Wow!  Might I say, you’ve certainly gotten more and more sickening over the last 12 months, haven’t you?  Looking gooooood!  I heard after a year you got upgraded from kiki to kaikai! <laughs> Jings, what hasn’t been happening over the last year?  Drag in Glasgow has just exploded, hasn’t it?  It’s amazing!

Well, I’m still with my awesome partner in grime, Dharma Geddon who has been slaying the whole game lately.  She just gets better and better!  Can we just take a moment to appreciate how talented she is? <pauses and stares off into the distance>

Anyway, speaking of our relationship, we spent our 5-year Anniversary performing at SUCK in Delmonicas!  Who else can say they performed ‘Cartoon Heroes’ by Aqua in drag with their other half on their 5-year Anniversary?  It was also our first time performing that routine, we thought it would be fun to debut a new Alharma/Dharmana/Dharmalanadingdong(?) duet for it.  It certainly was an Anniversary to remember, so much fun.

On the topic of Anniversaries, it was the Mothertucker 1 Year Anniversary show recently and to celebrate the girls plus the extended Mothertucker family (which included myself) got together for a beautiful plant themed photo shoot at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens to promote the night/show.  We got lots of amazing snaps from Frankie Hunter and video clips from Jason Pickering, which have all been put together for the new Mothertucker Teaser Trailer and promotional images.  It was such a fun day and the show itself in Katie’s Bar was phenomenal.  Dharma and I even won the award for ‘Best Guest Performance’ of the year for our ode to ‘Wicked’ performance of ‘Defying Gravity’.

What else has happened over the last year?  Oh, I walked in the Glasgow Pride parade with Dharma.  I also debuted my first YouTube series, my Dragony Aunt show, ‘Ask Alana’ and may have only recorded 2 episodes, woops!  Don’t worry though, I haven’t forgotten about it.  The World’s questions will still be answered!  Dharma and I have also just uploaded a new episode of ’60 Minute Gayme Over’… last year’s Halloween Special.  We’re not doing so well at uploading these vids, are we?  Just like ‘Ask Alana’ we haven’t forgotten about it and have some fun ideas in the works.  It’s certainly not the last you’ve seen of the infamous adverts!

I tried my hand at judging this year after being approached by gay wrestler extraordinaire, ICW and Discovery Wrestling’s Christopher Saynt to judge the Miss House Of Saynt Pageant in Katie’s Bar and what fun that was!  I think my reputation of being the nice queen may have went out the window after asking the contestants that question!  It was lots of fun though and would love to do it again.  Frans Gender was a worthy winner but, to be honest, the decision was a very difficult one to make as everyone truly slayed the house down boots mama yes gawd!

Above all that I’ve still been performing my wee tooshie off whenever I can.  I think I’ve performed at most events at least once.  I’ve done a few Mothertuckers and SUCKs, including SUCK’s Pride Special alongside special guests Athena and Anna Lies.  I’ve enjoyed performing at the Drag-Opticon in the STUNNING Britannia Panopticon Music Hall and Trigger in its new home of AXM. I even got the wonderful opportunity to open for the amazing Delta Work in Katie’s Bar.  What an amazing experience that was.  Delta was such a lovely and warm human being.  Such a great performer too.

I’ve recently been dabbling into Glasgow’s Cabaret scene which I’m thoroughly enjoying.  You can find Dharma and myself as your regular door whore’s at The Glitter & Grind Revue, an amazing cabaret night full of glitz n’ glamour, created and hosted by Tom Harlow and Kim Khaos in The Polo Lounge.  I’ve also performed at The Big Variety at the Panopticon and AllSorts Cabaret’s first show at their new venue Avante Garde.  I don’t know if you heard, but I also made my acting debut in the Mothertucker Christmas Pantomime ‘A Fistmas Carol’ as Mrs Dribbler and in EK Rep’s production of ‘Ladies Downunder’ in East Kilbride’s Village Theatre which was a hoot!  Boylana loved acting with the ‘Rep back in the day before work commitments got in the way so it was lovely to dip my toe back in, both in drag and out (I played 2 parts don’t you know!  Joe and Koala Bare, an Australian drag queen with an obsession for all things Kylie).

And lastly I’ve tried my hand at hosting a couple of times now.  Still finding my feet a little with that but I’ve hosted a couple of nights at Chalky’s Late Night Cabaret in Chalky’s Late Night Lounge and KLASH in Planet Bar through in Edinburgh plus a cheeky co-host of Trigger back in the Classic Grand days.  But my biggest hosting job was at… DHARMA AND I’S VERY OWN SHOW!!!

Yes, that’s right, very recently Dharma and I were approached by the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club at Glasgow University to host a one off show as part of their Welcome Fortnight to which we were super excited to get involved with.  We called the night ‘Drag 101’ and schooled an audience who may not have ever been to a drag show before and taught them everything they need to know.  We had amazing special guests who totally gagged the children, Lacy Rain, Markee De Saw, The Haus Of Diamond’s Jessica Diamond and Ann Phetimine plus Dharma and myself.  The audience were amazing and the night was a big success.  So much so, Drag 101 may not be the one off show it was originally intended to be.  Watch this space people, lesson 2 may be coming sooner than you think!

Gosh when you think back, it’s really been an action packed year and every bit of it has been just FABULOUS!!!

pride-march-by-michael-james

 How has your drag aesthetic and performances improved in the last year?

 Oh I don’t know.  I’d say my drag aesthetic probably hasn’t changed too much.  But then again if you ask others, they might possibly say it has… for the worse!  I’m still just as clueless when it comes to makeup and still just as disastrous when it comes to fashion sense. <laughs>

I’d probably say my wigs have gotten shorter.  How more queens haven’t embraced the wonder that is a short wig, I’ll never know!  No more hair in the mouth getting in the way of lip syncs and no more hair in the eyes making me walk into things!  Bliss.

Shoulder pads quickly became an Alana standard.  Yup, I’m a shoulder queen!  I love my shoulder pads, the bigger the better!  I wanna give Alexis Carrington and the Golden Girls a run for their money!  And trousers, TROUSERS!  Oh god trousers!  Yeah, I think I’m more of a comfort over style queen.

In terms of my face, with lack of makeup knowledge and skills I tend to keep it quite simple but I am liking it more these days.  So either I’m improving the Alana look or I’m just used to it now.  I’ve tried recently to do a couple more out there looks which have been lots of fun… when they work!

In terms of performances, the first noticeable difference, I’d say, is I’m getting more confident in performing.  It’s taken a while but I’m finding what I can do well and what works for me.  I may not be able to do a death drop but can certainly put my rubber face to good use which is always fun during performances.  Please note my face isn’t actually made of rubber! <laughs>

I’ve maybe taken a bit more of a theatrical route in performing, particularly when at the Drag-Opticon.  That grand stage just asks for something theatrical!  I like to take on a character.  Maybe enjoying acting plays a part in that.  Some of my favourite performances I’ve done involved taking inspiration from different characters.  Roger from ‘American Dad’, Grizabella from ‘Cats’, Gary Coleman and Nicky from ‘Avenue Q’ which has introduced to the world Jimmy The Puppet!  My literal right hand man!  I like to make people smile and hopefully my performances these days are doing that.

Sometimes I do like to change it up a little and slow it down from all the fun characters and do a more dramatic number.  There’s something about a performer who can just stand there and barely move yet still command the whole room’s attention just with a facial expression or a quiver or a lip that just, ooft, makes me queef.  One of my favourite performances I’ve done was my ‘Proud’ performance as I felt it’s the closest I’ve came to achieving that.  Oh, and I still can’t dance to save myself <laughs>

 

 

Have your drag influences changed since we last spoke?

Not really, I’m still inspired by a lot of the same people.  To be honest, anyone with the guts to be themselves, get on out there, looking however they want to look (doesn’t even need to be in a drag sense), get on a stage and perform in front of people inspire me.  It takes proper balls to do any kind of performance piece and anyone who does deserves major respect.

I’m still a bit fangirlish when it comes to the Manchester Queens.  The Family Gorgeous are just absolute legends.  I’ll need to start practicing the puppy dog eyes in case Cheddar and Anna are on the look out to adopt a child! <laughs>

Dharma inspires me every day and always encourages me to push myself creatively and in terms of performance.  In my eyes she’s one of the Top Trumps in the Scottish scene.  Maybe I’m just a little biased.

Lacy Rain is an insane genius, like a mad scientist who creates beautiful Frankenstein performance monsters in her castle.  I can’t really put into words how inspiring she is.  All I could possibly say is go see her perform!  I really miss Lafaunda Cox’s presence on the scene, I hope she comes back soon.  I also missed Charlize De Werk, I’m glad she’s back!  It may be controversial but I like October Fist, leave her alone.  CJ Banks, Frans Gender and Lucy Stewpid really make me laugh.  I’m definitely a House Of Diamond fan too.  I have to say, I’m a bit of an Eli Buck fan, he’s a beautiful young man!  Violet Grace and Demi Decay are FAR too flexible for their own good!

The whole Scottish scene is amazing right now.  The creativity, imagination and talent on show at any night you go to is just unbelievable.  Sometimes our scene may come across as a little rough around the edges in some eyes compared to other more polished scenes (I could be wrong there).  There’s a rawness about our scene that I love and I’d never want to disappear.  You could say there’s a little something in everyone in our scene that I could probably take inspiration from.

Anyone doing drag these days are always going to take some inspiration from a Drag Race queen or 2.  It’s such a huge part of our culture now that it’s hard not to have an opinion on it.  Ru herself is obviously a legend and I’m still drawn to the quirkier, funny and warm queens in any season.

house-of-saynt-promo-image-by-david-j-wilson

 

What are your thoughts on the new series of Drag Race All Stars?

 Ooooohhh that was an interesting season wasn’t it!  After one or two seasons that maybe didn’t quite have the excitement as some of the others, this just came along with a bang, didn’t it? I thoroughly enjoyed this season.  I always had a soft spot for All Stars so I was excited to hear another was coming along. I was a little disappointed there were no Season 1 queens.  Ongina could have been an awesome return!

I felt for Tatianna.  Being the only queen from her season must’ve been tough, she was the underdog from the start having no one else from her season there.  I thought Morgan McMichaels would have been a fun one to return from her season.  Gotta give her credit, she didn’t let it phase her and she slayed!  ‘The Same Parts’ has went down as one of the most memorable moments in Drag Race herstory!

As much as all the Season 5 queens were legends, I felt it might have been a bit of the Season 5 show.  Only Adore from Season 6?  Possibly one of the most talent filled seasons.  Where was Bendelacreme (all the previous Miss Congenialities were in All Stars Season 1), Milk, Courtney Act etc.  Was sad not to see Willam in there too.  I’ve always liked the idea of giving a first eliminated queen from a season a second chance to prove themselves.  How gag worthy would it have been if Porkchop walked in the door on episode 1?  Kelly Mantle or Tempest Dujour I’ve always thought could have had a bit more to prove.

In terms of the season itself though, it was really entertaining!  It was a shame to see Adore go.  I’ve always liked Adore but I could see why she felt the need to leave.  I would have liked her to stay though to prove she had what it takes and see how far she’d go.  I think she could have went all the way to the final.  She’s such a loved queen.  Alaska killed it in just about every challenge, Katya was amazing as always and Detox too.  Her runway looks though, OMG!  I was a little disappointed in the childish reaction to being in the bottom 2 from Alaska but if you were looking at the stats she was definitely the right winner and in terms of entertainment her, Katya or Alyssa definitely.  Was a tough one to swallow when she went home, both times!  I’d have been happy at Alaska, Katya, Detox or Alyssa winning.

 

What lies ahead for you, Alana?

 There’s actually not too much ahead of me at the moment.  Right now Alana’s living the quiet suburban Stepford Wife lifestyle she was born for.  This doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty more Alana Duvey to come but for now I’m having a little break after being so busy.  You can still see Boylana out and about regularly supporting Dharma and continuing to be her number 1 fan.  There may be 1 or 2 little project ideas running around in my head so watch this space!

 

Where are you performing next?

 Well there’s a certain night with Dharma making a return as mentioned earlier, keep your eyes peeled for that one.  I’ll be on the door for the Glitter & Grind Revue at Polo on Friday 28th October, this time I’ll be joined by the awesome Bearberry McQueen as Dharma is performing at this one.  There’s also an extra special end of month edition of SUCK at Delmonicas on 30th November.  I don’t know if I can say too much about just yet but I know it could be one of the best!  It’s very exciting.  Apart from that, the diarrhoea is pretty free and I’m loving it.  There’s still a few nights I’ve never performed at which I’d love to get involved with such as The Rabbit Hole, Such A Drag etc through in Edinburgh and I’d like to follow in Dharma’s footsteps by doing a wee turn at one of the AXM Presents nights in Glasgow.  So who knows what lies ahead for me, I’ll be sure to make plenty of noise if I’m booked for any performances in the future, as I always do!

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