Student anticipates exhilaration of drag show performance
When Treavor Hammons steps out onto the stage Friday night, his appearance will be drastically different than normal.
Instead of wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of sneakers, as he usually does, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities senior will sport a wig, high-heeled shoes and jewelry. Hammons is one of about 11 drag queens who will perform in The Official MSU Drag Show this weekend.
“I’ve always wanted to participate in an annual drag show, (and) this time it fell in my lap,” he said.
The event, which is presented by the University Activities Board, or UAB, Respecting Individuals on Neutral Grounds and the Residence Halls Association, will take place at 9 p.m. Friday in the International Center. This year’s theme is Friday Night: It’s a Thriller.
“It is an MSU classic event,” UAB Films Director Hilary Young said. “It’s like one of the big closing events (of the semester). It’s a good show, (and) it’s good fun.”
Hammons has performed at several other drag shows before, but this will be his first large-scale event.
Because of the size of the show, he said he plans to make the most of the night and hold nothing back.
“I’m going all out — hair, makeup, everything,” Hammons said. “It might be the last time I get a chance to perform in an MSU drag show, and it’s also the first.”
Hammons said he first decided to become involved with drag shows because he loves being able to showcase his talents, and he feels as if performing at such events is a fun and effective way to do so.
“It is exhilarating to feel all the energy from the crowd,” he said. “That makes me feel good because the performance I try to put together touched somebody else.”
Hammons said his performances typically consist of lip syncing and dancing, as well as keeping his viewers engaged and interested.
At Friday’s event, Hammons plans to perform to a song by rhythm and blues singer India.Arie, who is one of his favorite artists, and hip-hop artist Rihanna.
“The first is a personal set for me, and the second is to go along with the theme (of the show),” he said.
Detroit resident Holly Hammons, Treavor Hammon’s mother, said she is glad to see her son doing something that brings him so much joy.
“I’m excited because he’s been trying to get a spot (in the show), and this is his first year he was able to get a spot,” she said. “He’s happy, and I’m excited for him.”
Holly Hammons described her son as being an individual who isn’t afraid to set himself apart from the rest of his peers.
“Treavor is a very unique person,” she said. “He likes to stand out, (and) he’s not a follower. He walks to the beat of his own drum.”
When he dresses in drag, Hammons said he is able to become someone other than the person he usually portrays, which he enjoys doing.
“It’s just another side of myself,” he said. “It’s putting more of myself into a different persona.”
Hammons said one of his favorite aspects of performing at drag shows is the opportunity to connect with his audience, and he looks forward to sharing his work with the expected large crowd at Friday’s event.
“I’m going to have fun with it, rock out and see where things go,” he said.