HOMEDRAG
COREYMICHAELSMITHSON.COMPAINTINGS

DRAG is a terrific means of letting out the pageant princess in all of us. Don't get me wrong, I am quite comfortable as a bearded 6' man with a potbelly and tattoos, but I do get a real thrill out of tarting myself up in cheap paint and clomping down public streets in dangerously severe high heels. It's hard to find good shoes in size 13-Wide, I must say, but that doesn't stop me. I'll just cram my big hairy stinking bunioned feet into a pair of teensy heels and spend the rest of the night in excrutiating pain. Because I LIVE AND DIE FOR BEAUTY.

My finest hour as a drag queen. Presenting "MISS DOLPHIN SAFE TUNA 2007" and her consort, Zoë Fabulous, at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. In addition to a four-boned cotton crinoline with Pierrot ruffles, I wore a steel cage with my hair laquered over it, about thirty tampons, over a hundred plastic six-pack rings hand-stitched together, dozens of plastic sea creatures, ostrich feathers, false eyelashes, fishnets, artificial flowers, pearls, doilies, rope, and an antique lace shawl that had seen better days. Zoë and I were the belles of the fucking ball. Zoë Fabulous is even more of a faggot than I am ... having spent nearly a month designing and sewing her own beautiful costume, complete with custom trim and sequins galore. She looked absolutely ravishing. And so, I might add, did I. In the background, you see Crawful version 2.5, puppeted by Justin Davila and Steve Guzzi.

BRINGING IT to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, 2007 and 2008. As you may have noticed, I managed to reincorporate many of the components of the 2007 costume in the following year's outfit ... hence, the theme of "recycled materials". It's all META n' shit. Note also that my artificial eyelashes didn't make it very far. Great on the subway, less great in 90-degree heat on a sun-blasted stretch of asphalt. The glue melted into my eyeballs, and I was in utter blind agony for 3/4 of the afternoon. But no matter. I looked fucking fabulous, and that's THAT. (*Snap*!).

I was voted best legs two years in a row at the Memphis College of Art during our annual ... uh ... "talent" shows. So fuck all you skinny anorexic bitches who rolled all your oh-so-very-superior eyes at me during competitions ... I look better in fishnets and heels than you do, and YOU JUST CAN'T TAKE IT, CAN YOU?!? How's that third pregnancy coming along, Miss Popular Cheerleader of 1992? How are you enjoying your secret double life as a married fag-o-sexual, Mister Popular Football Jock? Promoted to manager of the Taco Bell yet, Mister Homecoming King Runner-Up? Oh, not yet? Well, maybe someday, keep trying. That's right, you just keep on trying.


I never really attempt to look very womanly in my drag. There's not much chance with my build and beard to present a vision of classy feminine beauty, like, say, Katherine Hepburn. Or even Mae West, for that matter. Oddly enough, I never feel more masculine than I do in really overwrought costume gear, with plenty of layers all cut up and strapped together with fabric ties. It makes me feel especially manly and tough. The night these pictures were taken, I walked from the Lower East Side to 32nd Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, from 3:00 to 5:00 in the morning, and NOBODY messed with me. I did get some catcalls, and every single taxi on the way home slowed down to a crawl, but most people just stood there with their mouths agape. I almost caused my second drag-related traffic accident, when a sanitation truck driver spent too much time looking at me while making a turn, and he barely missed broadsiding a minivan. Fucking righteous. Also note the delicate "blush" and eyeshadow I applied ... with a moldy kitchen sponge. It brings out my inner sixteen-year-old virgin, don't you think? There's no place like home ... NYC.

 

Nothing will get you beaten up faster than bad drag. I believe that good drag causes traffic accidents. I caused a teensy-weensy fender-bender in Memphis, TN, shortly after the above streetcorner photograph was taken, my first of two drag-related traffic mishaps.

To see this scary queen in action, click here to see a clip.

Shown above is "Hillary Topheavy", a retired divorcee with two estranged kids and some hormonal issues. She's going through "The Change", and as a result has "a slight moustache problem" that she's very self-conscious about. I hate to tell her that the solution is not to add MORE PANCAKE MAKE-UP, but she won't listen.
As you can see, I come from the "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" school of make-up. Trowel it on, girl, just trowel it on. Concepts like "subtlety" and "prettiness" need not apply to the modern drag monster. Who needs to "conceal" anything? Paint it up like the side of a fucking barn and go out anyway. Hillary Topheavy drinks a lot. I mean, a lot of a lot. She wishes her kids would call more often. Oh, and she loves to shake her increasingly fat ass on the dance floor. She loves the nightlife, she loves to boogie on the disco round. Yeah. She'll blow you for a can of PBR. Or for a cigarette. Hell, she'll blow you just to blot her lipstick. Cause that's how she rolls, baby.

At right, Hillary getting herself ready for a night on the town. Seriously, girl, lay off the tuna/Frito casseroles and Budweiser. Get some exercise ... I mean some kind of exercise besides fucking and dancing and drinking until stupid-o'clock. I mean, come on, honey, how many groceries you gonna pack in that trunk? That's a lotta boom-boom shaka-laka boom-boom to stuff into a itty-bitty room. You look like 200 pounds of HOLY SHIT in a 100 pound bag.

As an aside, when I purchased this pantsuit for Hillary, the cashier at the Goodwill looked at me with disbelief ... and pity. I never once cleaned it, because I loved the ring of fake tan makeup around the collar and the faint stink of old lady ... unfiltered MORE cigarettes, talcum powder, cheap makeup, spilled booze, and medicated sweat. It's AUTHENTIC, yo.

These are stills taken during principle photography on "BRIDEFIGHT", the central chapter in my drag opus "THE FIGHT TRILOGY". The other two chapters, "GHOSTFIGHT" and "FAERYFIGHT", can be seen on my VIDEOS page. My character, "The Bride", is signalling to a mate (presumably lost at sea), using semaphore and dance to communicate with passing ships. "THE FIGHT TRILOGY" was shot on location in coastal Maine, at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts during three consecutive Octobers. For several intense days, I journeyed into the rocky wilderness and communed with my inner drag queen, lugging two suitcases full of weird crap across ravines and boulders and forest glens, dancing very hard for hours on the barnacle-encrusted rocks. What you're not getting from the pictures is that the Atlantic water in October is BUTT-FUCKING COLD. And those barnacles hurt. A LOT. Nonetheless, it was an absolutely magical experience. To do this kind of drag in such a severe, majestic environment was a true test of my commitment to faggotry. I've never felt as pure and as focused as I did during the "FIGHT TRILOGY" shoots.

Once again, the inimitable Zoë Fabulous and I, bringing every inch of our imagination to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, 2011.  This year, Zoë was a "TREASURE CHEST", and I was "Miss Coney Island Leftovers, 2011". 

The outfit was a big hit, though it terrified some people on the subway, as you can see above.  I spent about two months cutting up leftover pie tins, casserole pans, tin plates, cupcake molds, etc., and then stitched them to a crinoline with zip-ties.  So many nights, so many tiny cuts.  You cannot even imagine how LOUD this thing was when I was prancing down the street.  I sounded like an earthquake in a dollar store.  I LOOKED like an earthquake in a dollar store.

This year's sunburn was perhaps the most awful, simply because there was a mesh pattern involved.  Oh well.  It was worth it, just to get a kajillion photographs taken with strangers on the boardwalk.  Right now, I am appearing in family slideshows from Peoria to Key West ... "And we saw THIS in Brooklyn!"