Jade Elektra: How to Win Over Your Audience At Every Performance

Part of making a great impression on stage is also how well your music sounds and is received
Kinkster MAG, Ask Jade Elektra, Drag Tips #2
photo: Jorial

DRAG TIP #2

If being a female impersonator is what you desire to do professionally make sure that your music is of the highest in sound quality. You can do whatever type of number you like. Be as creative as you want….but remember that each bar or venue has a different sound system. If it is a crappy sound system, I guess it won’t matter. But if it is a really good sound system it will make you sound really bad if your CD or MP3 is of poor quality.

Being that I am also a DJ out of drag, I always make sure that whatever I am doing in a show or performance has the best sound to it as possible. Over the years I have made many mixes for showgirls, strippers and pageant queens. And although people don’t think about the work that goes into mastering and mixing a talent number or concept performance, they most definitely remember if there is some horrible edit or dip in sound quality.

I just recently read a post where Miss Continental reprimanded two queens for stealing talent numbers. As a DJ, I must confess that I have had at least five queens come to me over the years and ask me to “recreate” a talent from pageant videotapes. I always try to convince them to do an original idea over copying someone else’s idea. I even know of one particular queen who does nothing but troll pageant videos to get ideas for her next competition. This is just as bad as having a poor quality recording.

It is just as important to have a good quality recording as it is to have an original version or mix of a song. And there are a few ways to make sure you have the best quality recordings:

1) When downloading music from the internet make sure that the “bit rate” of your download is above 190. Ideally, a bit rate of 320 is the best.

2) When you have a mix done, consult with a professional DJ. I know a lot of you girls think that app you downloaded can do everything, but the truth is that when you start manipulating speeds of song quality and time stretching of vocals distorts the sound quality. Only a professional DJ would pay attention to that detail. And when dealing with a professional DJ….please respect his opinion and his limits. Many queens think that they can get any two songs mixed together. Sure it can be done, but will it be effective and sound good?

3) Once you have your good recordings make copies and leave the original CDs at home. I have watched many queens over the years carry around their music without cases, thrown in the bottom of their drag bags, scratched up, with dust or food stuck to them and then hand them into the DJ or sound tech who is playing the music for the show. And when the CD doesn’t play, skips or just flat out stops the queen will look over at the DJ like it is his or her fault. I have tried for many years to drill this idea of protecting your music and show material for years. At least store your mixes and remixes on your iTunes so you can always reburn them when you need them. But with such disposable music and ways to store it, today’s queens don’t treasure the material they do on stage. To them….it will be yesterday’s news in another week.

I can remember when queens had cassette tapes and would march over to the DJ booth as soon as their performance was over to retrieve them and make sure that those treasures made it safely back in their collection.

So, remember….part of making a great impression on stage is also how well your music sounds and is received.

Need help? Have questions? Curious what Jade would suggest? Submit Ask Jade questions here.

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Jade Elektra came out as a gay man and started performing in 1985. A seasoned Female Impersonator, Recording Artist, Actress, Out HIV+ Activist (positive since 1989) and a DJ. Ask whatever you'd like! DISCLAIMER: All opinions and advice in this column are only represented by Jade Elektra and are no way an endorsement by KINKSTER MAG.

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