First Day of RuPaul’s DragCon LA 2018 Made A Great Impression

Hollywood (bluebay700) — RuPaul’s DragCon LA’s opening day is over and it made a lot of pretty good impressions… and some drama, of course. We’ll get into the good, the fabulous and the nasty.

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Then Good

When it comes to security, the convention is well prepared. Rows of metal detectors await attendees at the main entrance. It’s almost like going through a TSA screening without the stress. They didn’t made us take our footwear or take off apparel. There was almost no bottleneck, it was a breeze to get in. The guards were helpful, professional and nice… and some are even very good looking (like Gabriel, for example – the one who was guarding the Werk Room before it opened). They were diligently patrolling the lobby, exhibition hall, … everywhere.

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DragCon has learned all its’ lessons from the last four years. They’re well organized. There are visible signs to direct attendees to important areas, and if you can’t find any information panels near by, the staff (including the guards) are very helpful and friendly. They assist you with a smile, literally.

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The exhibition hall is a vast expanse. If you walk from end to end, you’ll lose weight. The bigger venue gave attendees a lot of breathing space to walk around, queue and do their thing without bumping into anyone. The extra space also made it possible for some talents to better manage their queues.

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Instagram-worthy photo opp spots are also a great addition to this year’s convention, like the Snatch Game set, White Horse from All over Stars 3, RuPaul’s “Covergirl” music video set, Warhol Drag Factory and… the iconic new Werk Room. The latter is the best addition this year, judging from the long line of attendees queuing in to do their own Werk Room entrance. Some were cute, others misfired, and some were worth airing on television. The Werk Room is my personal favorite… I mean, I would move in the, even if it’s just a set.

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DragCon red carpet also got an upgrade…. and it’s so pretty. Missing this on the first day is RuPaul’s gown. However, they added wall screens and floor screens playing RuPaul music videos and montages in a loop. It’s quite a spectacle.

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The exhibitors are also in full force this year. Some even come from so far away… like Australia! I roamed around and eyeballed each one of the exhibitors to get a first impression… while avoiding eye contact because I didn’t want to spend too much time on the first day. It was all reconnaissance. Of course, except when they gestured at me to come over, then I talked to them for a bit.

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Special mention on the new DragCon guide booklet. It’s fantastic! The information organization is very good, the design is excellent, and it’s compact.

The Fabulous

The fans heard the call to duty. And many of them wore their best drag… and I literally… gagged.

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Drag Race alums and judges, like Michelle Visage, were painted for the gods. Naomi Smalls, who was roaming around the hallways a few times, looked so tall and gorgeous! Manila Luzon, Chad Michaels, India Ferrah, Morgan McMichaels, Jiggly Caliente, Mystique Summers Madison, Raja, Kim Chi, Derrick Barry, Aja, Acid Betty and Detox, to name a few, were serving it to the children.

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Best of all, this year, Drag Race Thailand is well represented. The show’s fabulous host, Art Arya, and the larger than life co-host, Pangina Heals, made a surprise appearance on opening day. They were escorted by members of their delegation and Sky Casper Events (Heals’ management). I did practiced my Thai greeting, but that all went out the window once I saw them. All I could say was…. “E Na Heee!!”… at Art Arya… and… I blame Minnie Minaj and JAJA for that. Ha Ha. Sorry, I my brain malfunctioned form the shock and also starstruck. I helped myself to hugs… naturally. And I must say, they are really … amazing!

The Nasty

I only have a couple of comments. I don’t want to name names. Maybe it’s the situation, and the stress, but what is up with talents who are outright smug, and their handlers acting like jerks? Fame and grace doesn’t do hand in hand it seems.

Are corralled talents, hiding behind curtains, a trend now? Bianca Del Rio is a big star, yet she’s signing books and meeting fans in the open. Something to think about.

Shoutout to talents who didn’t hide behind closed curtains, and to handlers and managers who are pleasant. We sure could use more of them.

The Much Anticipated

Tomorrow, DragCon will be in full swing. Panels will take place, RuPaul will be signing and taking photos, and plenty of activities will continue.

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The great thing about a convention this big is… you’re not stuck with something you don’t like, because there’s so much variety.

I had a blast… and it exceeded my expectations. I have to congratulate DragCon again for all the organizational improvements. Well done, henny!

Check out some more photos from our May 11 coverage.

This year’s bluebay700.com DragCon press coverage is sponsored by K3Ops.

 

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