There are a great deal of things I can handle with grace and ease, but one thing that really, really irks me is when performers do not give credit where credit is due.
Whether you've been performing a short while or hitting the stage for many years, you would not have gotten where you are without the help of others. Bar owners, show directors, fans, friends and other performers have been a part of your journey, step by step.
Inevitably in this business there are those who begin to achieve a modicum of success and suddenly they become convinced that they are the "shiz-nit, beeatch!" And trust me, they'll tell you so!
This topic came up because recently a young King in my area and I were having an (unfortunately heated) discussion regarding perceived issues within our community. This is a young man I had taken under my wing, shared my knowledge with, coached through pageants and helped in any way that I could. He is a very talented entertainer and a great deal of fun to watch when he performs.
Through a mix of youth, ego and bad advice from a particularly toxic individual in this kid's life he informed me recently that he was going to quit drag. I believe that everyone should be able to make their own decisions and no one should ever have to do something they don't want to do. If it isn't fun anymore, it's time to move on. So when this guy told me his decision I told him that I would no longer bother him with messages/texts about bookings.
His response was something like "you never got me bookings anyways." I was so stunned I nearly dropped my phone into my wineglass.
In the three years I've been performing, I have hosted a multitude of shows and booked this young individual probably close to 50, 60 times. And that's a low estimate. He has performed in benefits, fundraisers, and "big deal" shows like Rainbows Festival and Kings For A Cause at my invitation. I'd be willing to bet, actually, that 90% of the shows this King has done were Anson Reign shows, and another 5% on top of that were shows in which I'd booked him.
When I received that text I was absolutely blown away. It was only a few weeks ago that I'd booked him at a fundraiser for a title holder who was preparing to go to Nationals, and he elected to no call/no show. I suppose I could have reminded him of said incident, but in all honesty I feel like it would have been merely beating a dead horse.
A dead horse ain't gonna listen. Why waste my breath?
Now I'm not saying I expect this fella to tattoo my name on his ass and wear shirts solely dedicated to my honor. I don't need any butt kissing, or any special treatment. All I wanted was a little recognition and perhaps a little gratitude.
Now I'm merely speaking about one recent experience in my life because it is fresh in my mind, but I'm certain that there are many people reading this who can relate in one way or another. You extend your hand, you extend the olive branch and someone kindly throws it back in your face.
There is a difference between confidence and cockiness. One is good and one is not-so-good-at-all. All of us have grasped a helping hand at one time or another, and I think forgetting that is a dangerous thing. I wouldn't be where I am without Brandon Packer, Mikaila Kay, Club Vibe or Miss Tuesday. I will be eternally grateful for everything they've given me, and I know I still wouldn't be making achievements without at least a dozen other people in my life who have influenced me, mentored me and helped me to consistently be the best that I can be.
When an entertainer starts forgetting the people who have helped along the way, that's when I think an entertainer starts forgetting what really matters; they start forgetting themselves. The truth of the matter is you are probably not as much "hot shit" as you think you are - not saying you're not hot shit, just that maybe it's time to deflate your head a little bit, take a look around and remember to be grateful for the people who have helped you get where you are.
The best performer is a humble performer.