Ongina and Yara Sofia Rocked LEO PARTY XI

Neighbours Nightclub in Seattle recently concluded a hugely successful LEO Party XI event. The event was organized by Joe Torres, and hosted by Aleksa Manila, Roxy Doll, and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The show was packed with an amazing line-up of local singing talents and drag entertainers, including Miss UTOPIA Atasha Manila, Miss Neighbours Anastasia Beaverhausen, Markos Sisters, and headlined by RuPaul’s Drag Race alumnae Ongina and Yara Sofia … to name a few. All proceeds of the event to benefit the Seattle Counseling Service. The whole experience reminds me of Drag Race Untucked … warmth, tears, “drama,” performances … and it was all sickening it made me gag. :) (in a good way). Let me explain …

Tangent time: My primary mission for this event was to meet Ongina. Up until August 10th I haven’t meet any alumnae from Drag Race Season One. There’s always something that happens that keeps me from breaking that impasse. When Tammie Brown was in Seattle, I couldn’t go to her event because I was already planning on meeting Detox. Or when I travel to another city, I’d miss a show just a few days earlier. So when I heard about LEO PARTY XI, I was dead set on going. I already meet Yara Sofia a couple of years ago in Vancouver at Post Modern nightclub, so it was great to see her again. This would be my first time covering an event at Neighbours Nightclub. I haven’t meet the event organizer, Joe Torres, in person, so my “nervous self” was counting on Atasha Manila to be there. :) There was a lot of pressure on her from me to show up but she didn’t know it :) . Luckily, she was going to perform in this event … and all the sweat on my forehead evaporated when she miraculously showed up at Starbucks, next to Neighbours, to see me! You wish for something and a drag queen shows up. lol :) Yes! Yep, no need to look at the flowers!

Warmth I got to the club an hour early, because … that’s what I do… I go early or I’ll implode! I was doing a recon, trying to get myself familiar with the terrain … where to position my weapon (camera), attempt to bond with the “other troops” (other photographers), mingle with the local inhabitants (staff), and identify their chief! For some reason I kept asking for “Roger” … who the heck is Roger? lol I was actually looking for Joe Torres … pitfalls of leaving your notes behind! Of course I was only confusing the staff … which explains their puzzled look, and in turn made me squint even more … typical of me. Anyway, they finally figured out who I was looking for …after a quick game of Jeopardy! Finally I got my introduction and blah blah blah … so I said. I was impressed at how warm and accommodating the staff and Joe where. All so nice and friendly! Even the DJs and photography crew where nice! I almost considered moving in! :) For some reason I have this impression that nightclub people have this … “Don’t talk to me, I’m busy. Go out and line up!” kind of attitude, maybe I got that from the movies (pause) or experience from a past life? It’s a mystery. It was a pretty good first impression for me. (pause) Maybe it’s a Seattle thing? Anyway, I saw Ongina and Yara Sofia walked in … I cried, lol, no … I said “Hi” … in a calm and collected manner (I have to emphasize that). Atasha Manila was walking about, half-baked :) … so much fun. I managed to get a selfie with both Yara Sofia and Ongina before the show, impasse … destroyed!!! (echo) (echo) … and … get to meet Atasha’s drag mother Aleksa Manila! Photo op ensues. Performances The show’s programme was long and sickening … so many painted ladies, so many reveals, so much tips! Since I’m not familiar with all of the performers yet, I’m not going to attempt to guess and make a mistake who they were … so there was Cher (of course), Britney Spears, Madonna (duh), and then Atasha Manila did a group performance with three other amazing young queens (or princesses?). Ongina did her first performance … she is so bubbly! She wore a very cute short dress, I can’t describe it, just check out the pictures! She’s like a cute bundle of joy. She’s a fierce performer. Great choreography, great lip sync, pose … give face… yes! Yara Sofia kept the energy up … with her edgy look, zero waistline, and performance with an attitude. Echa pa’lante! :) A few more drag performances followed that included glam, nude drag, campy, and funny? It was also great to see R Place’s mainstay performer Amora Dior Black, who did a jaw dropping choreography number, and security staff … Chris :) I’m actually starting to see quite a few familiar faces in these events, which is very comforting. Tears Throughout the show Aleksa Manila and Roxy Doll where giving out raffle prizes, making special announcements about Seattle Counseling Service, and giving acknowledgements. They gave a special award to Joe Torres for his years of support to the organization. And Ongina sang, albeit briefly, “Happy Birthday” to Joe in Tagalog … it was coincidentally his *beep*th birthday. :) Did I mentioned buffet was available to VIP ticket holders? It was yummy. All that photography and fangirling makes me feel hungry and thirsty ;) … So who cried tears of joy? Guess. Drama Ongina and Yara Sofia did their second amazing individual performance. The queens agreed to donate their tips for the night to the cause, which was very generous … and in an effort to raise more donations to surpass the previous year’s amount of fifteen thousand, Ongina challenged Yara Sofia to an impromptu “lip sync for your life” match! Ha! Everybody was living! (can I write that? “living”?) … Ongina asked the DJ to play the last track on her CD, and Yara Sofia asserted that the song has to be in Spanish! That didn’t happen. lol Unfortunately, Ongina’s CD was already tucked … away, so Aleksa and the girls decided to just play any RuPaul song. It was settled, a remix of “Cover Girl” was chosen… or was it “The Beginning”? It was amazing to watch Ongina and Yara go head to heels on the platform and on the floor for a lip sync duel … almost like the real show! By the time the song was over Ongina was wearing Yara’s hair. lol … So who sashayed away? The broken glass that Ongina threw on the floor earlier :) (out of love) … right after she started humping on Aleksa’s leg. LOL … and I’m like, yes! I paid for this! This is the spectacle that I drove four hours for! All in all the event made over sixteen thousand seven hundred something bucks and spare change. So great job LEO PARTY XI! Well done! Photos will be posted at a later date … so stay tuned! ps: C’mon RuPaul’s Drag Race Season One!

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