This is a post from contributing drag artist, E! The Dragnificent ~ Sue
Twinkle! is an amazing kids drag variety show that lets kids express themselves the way that they thrive in performance.
This annual show was founded by my mother, Dré Aliquo-Varela in August of 2014. The first-ever twinkle show was put on at the former “Wall Street Nightclub” in Columbus, OH. All the kids inspired everyone with their acts that made us think “wow.” That’s why we still do it every year. (Though we did skip one year since 2014 since I had just moved to Pittsburgh that year.)
Twinkle! was created because my mother and I had not seen hardly any kids drag shows. We wanted to show trans and gender fluid kids how they can feel accepted in a space that welcomes every type of creative and performance art, especially drag. We still want to show kids that there are other kids like them. For 5 years the show has successfully projected just that. Because of that energy that we have shown with this annual show, we have a crowd of audience members every year. It is wonderful to see so many people support and care about the talents of these kids. It also means so much to me when new performers come every year. It shows that there are more kids who are expressing themselves through their art, and it just gives me an amazing feeling knowing that.
In many years of Twinkle! we’ve had kids just come up to the stage from the audience and perform. We’ve had kids perform who do comedy or sing or any other talent. Backstage the kids always love to meet each other. Everyone is very kind and supportive of each other which lifts the energy up every year. A lot of the kids that perform in the show I don’t even know until I meet them backstage, but still we have the bond like we’ve been best friends forever. Last month we held Twinkle! at the Warhol Museum in the Northside of Pittsburgh, PA. There were amazing guest performers like a 14-year-old kid drag queen named “Regina Reign” from Delaware, and a dancing kid drag queen named “Little Miss Mayhem” from Toledo, Ohio.
There were many amazing young (and older) performers who shined on stage:
From faraway Delaware, the opening act was a drag queen named Regina Reign, a sassy and fierce queen who brought the house down with her lip syncs and trained dancing. She spun, high-kicked and death dropped to thrill the audience. (For those of you who don’t know what a death drop is, it’s a dance move where the performer literally drops backward down to the ground suddenly. )
Local grown-up performer Honey Hellcat did a cute act dressed completely as a cat! It was a cute song from Aristocats. She climbed on furniture through the audience and acted like a cat.
There was Michael, a 5 year old little queen who danced to the song Work B**** by Britney Spears, which was very unexpected and cute.
There was Modelle Rossi, a 13 year old drag queen who lip synced her heart out in pajama realness and charmed the audience.
There was 16 yr old queen Hexxan Nacht, a new queen to the drag scene who fiercely performed with high energy!
We had the amazing grown-up Maehem Galaxie who sang a beautiful song about friendship.
We also had a teenage singer named Saniya who wowed us with her long and high notes, and bold energy! And bunny ears!
We had a beautiful grown-up bellydancer named Heather. She had the most beautiful smile even though she was dancing with a sword on her head!
Grown-up Arla is a local comedian who sang a song from The Little Mermaid.
Performing at Twinkle! for the first time was Finesse, a member of the local performing troupe The Velvet Hearts! who performed a beautiful gold Lion King act with dramatic gold wings. She was dramatic and very graceful.
Velvet Heart! and local hyper drag queen Morrigana Regina performed with passion and purple elaganza.
I was excited to perform again. I did two solo acts, including my dramatic “This is Me” act, and a new act using a song by my favorite singer Billie Eilish.
And finally we had 13-yr old Miss May Hem, a special guest from Toledo, Ohio, who performed a high energy dance with athletic and exciting kicks, splits and death drops!
Follow me on Instagram at @ethedragnificent or on Facebook “E one kid’s journey,” to learn about next year’s Twinkle! show. And you can definitely always send me a message if you want to perform next year’s show or if you have questions. If there is one thing I’d like to say to these talented kids is to keep your head high and be your truest self while breaking boundaries, because you all are bright rising stars!