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Friday, August 21, 2009

'Trauma' Spurs The City's Drag Queen Job Economy

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 4:59 PM

click to enlarge Heklina as Liza -- or is it the other way 'round?
  • Heklina as Liza -- or is it the other way 'round?
Even in San Francisco, jobs for drag queens outside of the regular bar show circuit are scarce. (In fact, the unshaven and tattooed guy bagging my hummus at Trader Joe's yesterday told me he moonlights as a performer in a dress and make-up.)

Well, here comes NBC to give the draggy job market a temporary boost. Word is that Trauma, the new TV series jump-starting the city's flaccid film industry, had a Treasure Island casting call this week for multiple drag queen parts.
In line for the audition was none other than Heklina, the founding queen of Trannyshack, the iconic weekly drag show that ended its 12-year run last year. Filing in alongside the actors trying out for housewife and kids roles, the queens auditioned for parts like drag queen "flapper," or drag queen "party girl."

Heklina herself read for the "drag Liza Minelli" role. She donned a

1970s-era Minelli get-up to recite lines for a scene in which a show at

the Castro Theatre turns into a drag-stampede, resulting in multiple queens being rushed to the hospital with injuries. The horror, the horror!

Heklina isn't sure if she got the part or not, but she did score one

role. She says she was told to pencil in the episode's filming dates of

September 1-4 to serve as the "technical advisor" for all things

drag queen.

What exactly does the "technical advisor" do?  "I think they want to be

sensitive to the needs of the drag queens on the show," Heklina says.

"And maybe say, 'This is what would really happen,' or 'This doesn't

feel real.'" 

So, Heklina, what would a proper drag queen would do if she was caught in a stampede? "Probably try to protect her wig and her shoes. She would probably wait for everyone else to run past her. Have one of her assistants carry her over the crowd."

And that's why Heklina will be making the big bucks.  

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Lauren Smiley


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