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For Carson Muneton-Germano, drag was “kinda a life saver.”
During pandemic shutdowns, Muneton-Germano needed something to stay engaged, particularly while being off work for a month. After being inspired by “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Muneton-Germano began watching YouTube videos to learn from “the ground up.”
“Being inside was hard, so it kept me busy,” the Rifle resident said. “It was all I did. I always loved makeup. Ever since I was little, I was always in my mom’s makeup. (With drag), I could literally make myself look any way I wanted.”
While putting on a wig seems simple enough, it gets a bit more complicated when you’re thrashing your head about, lip synching and entertaining on stage. Muneton-Germano discovered that wrapping packaging tape around the wig cap keeps everything in place. The next challenges came in the form of eyebrows and makeup.
“At first, I looked pretty bad,” Muneton-Germano said, a sentiment Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas echoed.
“It was a huge learning curve,” Alvarez-Terrazas, who lives in Glenwood Springs, said. “The makeup piece was trial and error. At first, I thought you just put stuff on your face and become a Glam-azon, but I soon found out that’s not the case.”
It’s also sometimes tricky for Alvarez-Terrazas, who’s 6 feet tall and a plus size, to find dresses, “but it’s interesting to see what I can make happen and what fits and looks good.”
And drag definitely revolves around looking, and feeling, good.
“Sometimes I don’t feel as pretty or handsome when I’m out of drag,” Muneton-Germano said. “Then, when I’m in it, I feel beautiful.”
Muneton-Germano spent downtime during the pandemic creating TikTok videos in drag and will debut on stage at TACAW Sept. 17.
“I’m excited to do the show, but I’m nervous because it’s my first time,” adding that the jitters stem from “just being in front of people — it’s such a silly thing.”
Saturday’s show will be Alvarez-Terrazas’ third. The first took place last April with three local drag performers at TACAW, and the second occurred in Glenwood Springs as a nod to pride month in June.
Alvarez-Terrazas first thought of creating a drag show last October but didn’t know where to start. Yet, word spread, and now two of the drag performers live in Carbondale, two live in Silt (though only one will take the stage Saturday) and one (Muneton-Germano) lives in Rifle.
“It was not until the end of last year that I wanted to embrace it to the full extent and to build community and come together,” Alvarez-Terrazas said. “Especially in my Mexican culture, I felt ashamed for my queer identity. Both my parents are Mexican immigrants. I was born and raised in Glenwood, and I hadn’t seen support or visibility in a strong way, so I decided to do something about it. Drag has been a bridge between my Mexican and queer identity; they don’t have to be separated in any way. They can live and coexist and thrive off each other.”
For Muneton-Germano, drag was a way to make it through a self-described identity crisis, which happened midway through 2022, when Muneton-Germano came out as gender fluid.
“The whole idea behind it is being able to express yourself however you please,” Muneton-Germano said. “Drag allowed me to find that inner child because kids don’t care at all. Honestly, it just makes me happier. It’s just whatever way you want to express yourself in whatever way you feel fits your heart.”
While Saturday’s show celebrates Hispanic heritage month, it also revolves around a theme of gender inclusivity.
One of Alvarez-Terrazas’ solo songs, “Alive,” touches on personal struggles of growing up queer and mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, then ends with a show of strength.
“We are who we are, and we shouldn’t be ashamed,” Alvarez-Terrazas said, adding that drag shows are a form of not only self-expression but also “art protest against society’s expectations.”
But, overall, the show is about having a good time.
“Expect a lot of fierceness, and expect a lot of crazy antics,” Alvarez-Terrazas said.
Among all the dancing and lip synching, Muneton-Germano said to “expect nothing but enjoyment, love and fun — and maybe some drinks now and then.”
What: Latine Pride +
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 17
Cost: $18 members; $20 in advance, $30 day of
More info: tacaw.org
DanceAspen celebrates its one-year anniversary with a selection of three performances, collectively named “New Horizons,” at Wheeler Opera House.
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