I find that some people are taking this time to return to their creative roots. It’s not necessarily about being productive. Instead, it’s about using your art form as an outlet. I attended an excellent Instagram Live by @privatepolicyny that really drove this point home.
It was an Q&A with Andrew Nguyen, a multi-talented drag queen known as Dynasty. The Live began with a show-stopping look – a bouncy Avatar Airbender-inspired wig tied under the chin with a Chanel ribbon, fierce green and gold makeup, and a delicately thin slip dress. After we finished gushing about the look, the conversation then turned into a heart-to-heart.
Dynasty noted that it was the first time returning to drag since this whole virus business began. They had also been observing how people have been using social media in the best of ways. Formerly in-person events had been seamlessly converted to Zooms or Lives. It was indeed ‘the new normal’, as it was being put.
They reminisced about taking the subway, exchanging horrific tales like war stories. They noted the fact that as bad as the subway may have been, it was something that was very quintessential New York. As quintessential as the man who stood in a chicken suit on a Broadway intersection, bewildering and entertaining those that passed him by.
Yet, there was a side to New York that was fake, which Dynasty recounted with a story of an internship that brought tears within the first week. Still, beneath this surface, there were countless gems of individuals that were ‘real’.
Dynasty and the designer conducting this perfectly ‘off-the-cuff’ Q&A reminisced about finding those real people at Bubble_T, a Brooklyn-based community of performers and artists that embraced Asian heritage. A pink fan was displayed onscreen, emblazoned with the Bubble_T handle.
Dynasty then turned the camera so that the viewers could see a neat arrangement of jewelry on the table. A modified jade necklace was held up to the lens, sporting a twinkling diamond within its center. It had been a present, like many of the other pieces on the table. The camera wavered over silver and gold chains before Dynasty was in the frame once more, sporting a pearl choker that we all responded to with heart emojis and more gushing.
Each piece was coordinated to an outfit which had been coordinated to a song, Dynasty explained. Songs were selected via those zany subway rides and the moves soon came along with them. It was whatever felt ‘natural’ at the time.
The Live approached the end of its allotted time as Dynasty curled up in the armchair and struck a few playful poses in our direction. It was the perfect portrayal of being ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go.’ After all, there was no ‘real’ event to attend.