Diva Rules By Michelle Visage

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I bought this book during Drag Con, where I actually got to meet Michelle! She even signed the book for me, which honestly made it a little more exciting to read. Diva Rules is partly about her life, but also largely a self help book for the misfits and freaks who consider themselves fabulous enough to be a diva. Definitely read this if you are ready to start feeling your oats.

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It’s inspiring to hear the story of a girl from New Jersey with big hair and big dreams, who actually managed to make it big. I especially enjoyed the praise through the words of RuPaul, her best Judy. I always think it’s endearing to hear someone speak fondly of someone they love and admire, and Ru clearly adores Michelle. From both of their perspectives, they had a clear connection from the moment they locked eyes, hunty. From there the chemistry just sparked, igniting a lifelong friendship and legacy. 

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One of my childhood friends was adopted, and it’s made a lasting impact on me. I have plans to get involved in either fostering or adopting in my future, and I’m also partial to those who have some experience on the subject. Michelle was adopted, as was her brother David, by two parents whom she praises immensely. She absolutely adores her parents and appreciates the life they gave her; Michelle’s only disappointment was that she was unable to inherit her mom’s big tits. 

I’m incredibly, overly jealous of the time that Michelle got to spend in New York during the up and comings of VOGUE (!!!), and the legendary children and houses featured in 03acd17c0c4d1e0ab48aaf731026608aParis Is Burning (available on Netflix). I mean, she knew Angie Extravaganza (!!!!!!!!) and was winning trophies for voguing before Madonna even know what it was. I mean, that is ICONIC. If she had written about having a kiki with Venus Extravaganza… omg, the fan girl in me might have actually gone crazy. It was during this time that Michelle got her namesake, Visage. She was entering in categories in the balls with her house, and one of the categories was “face”. Her first nickname was “Cara” – roll the “R” – the Spanish word for “face.” But when bedazzled onto her jackets and hats, people were mistaking it for the name Cara. So instead she went with the French word for “face” – visage. Bam! *Said like Alexis Mateo*

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Michelle is inspiring because she works hard, empowers others, believes in herself, and never gives up. She is loving, kind, full of wisdom and also not afraid to clock you for the wrong hemline. Her end goal is always to make those who shine, shine their brightest, including herself. Follow her Diva rules to do just that.

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I really enjoyed this book, and it’s a quick read for anyone who aspires to live up to their full diva potential (available wherever books are sold, or at her booth at DragCons). I also recommend watching Michelle as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, of course. She is also a current contestant on the British version of Dancing With The Stars (Called Strictly Come Dancing) and was on the British Celebrity Big Brother as well. You may also recognize Michelle from her many many years on the radio, or for her role in the girl groups Seduction and S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. The bitch works hard, okurr!

Tens across the board! Thanks for reading.

NYC DragCon 2019

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My favorite time of year has come… DRAG CON NYC!!! I went last year with one of my best friends, Rachel, and we were eager to get back again this year. We had a blast at DragCon 2018, but now that we knew the lay of the land, we were ready to make out even better than before for 2019.

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Okay first, let’s talk about my wig. I wore a white one last year, that was cheap and just ordered off of Amazon. I really loved it, but it was very obvious that it was a wig. Not that I cared, it was just fun to participate. I did the same thing this year and ordered a new wig online, this time picking a lavender color with bangs. After posting a few things on my Instagram, everyone was complimenting me and asking about “my new hair.” LOL – I had to let several people know that this was a wig. I honestly did not think that it looked super realistic, but I’m still getting comments about this look a month after the fact.

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Anyway, like I said, Rach and I knew what we were doing this year. We got there in time to watch the queens arrivals again on the pink carpet, and then we were quick to jump in some lines. We got to IMG-5735meet SO MANY QUEENS!! It was really incredible. It started with Michelle Visage, from whom I also bought a signed autographed copy of her book, Diva Rules. Kennedy Davenport had a short line at her booth, as did Jiggly Caliente, IMG-5743so we were already making out great just within the first few hours of the day. Soju and Ariel Versace were together in a booth, so we actually got to meet both ofIMG-5771 them at the same time. My favorite queen that I met that day was Willam, who has always been one of my all-time favorites. Willam was releasing his new line of makeup called “CoverBoy”, and was sitting in a giant chair taking selfies with fans. I told her I was a ‘friend of the pod’ (Race Chaser Podcast), and we talked about the shade that she threw on her season. It was unbelievable! RuPaul was right on the main stage for a majority of the day, playing DJ and dancing along to all his favorite songs. It was honestly captivating to just watch him up there, standing less than IMG-5741100 feet from me. Later on in the day, Rachel and I were sitting against a random wall to give our feet a break while we scarfed down some hot dogs from a street vendor. Rachel was right in the middle of sentence when she saw Ru walk around the corner, and she immediately yelled out a quick, “HI RU!!” I snapped my head around just in time to see Ru wave hello directly to Rachel before going into a VIP louge. IT WAS AMAZING.

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To end the day, we went to a panel where Ross Mathews was reading an exclusive exert from his upcoming book, Name Drop. (His current best-selling book, Man Up, can be found anywhere fine books are sold.) I actually made sure that we were first in line, so that we could be front row. One of the staff noticed my eagerness for Ross, and actually gave us some free passes and also moved uIMG-5773s into the reserved section so that I was directly in front of Ross, completely in his eye sight! The panel was great, the exert was hilarious, and I got to talk to Ross to ask a question during the panel. He actually recognized me, and laughed about the fact that I had left him one of my famous voicemails earlier in the day. We took a picture together after the panel was over, and we are now definitely well on our way to becoming best friends. Just wait.

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And so concluded day one. We stayed with my friend Brian, who I’ve been close to since elementary school. He and his boyfriend live in Brooklyn, and the two of them provided us with some high quality NYC fun that night. We went to a Burning Man themed party, and were out til about 5 in the morning. I truly have no idea how I was able to be awake and functional for day two.

We got there the second day just in time to make it to Ivy Oddly’s Odd School – a panel about her fashion during her time on the show. Since she is the reigning queen currently, it was super IMG-5866cool to just be in the same room as her, listening to her iconic laugh. After that, we got right back to the booth lines. We were able to seeIMG-5890 Manila Luzon, who was always one of my favorites even before her time on All-Stars. We also got to meet the lovely Gia Gunn, who is such an influencing trans icon. There were plenty of other queens whose booths we may have been able to make it to, but some of the minimums kinda turned us off. (In order to meet a queen at her booth, you usually have to purchase something from her merchandise. Some required a minimum, so you had to buy at least $30 or so worth of stuff in order to get a picture. Personally, I don’t like the minimum purchase requirement, as it diverts some people from getting to visit some of their favorites.) The bestIMG-5854 queen of day two was the same as my favorite from last year, Ongina. I just love her so much – she’s so funny and adorable and 
super fun to just be around. I so hope to see her on an upcoming season of All-Stars or something, cause she is such a star and totally deserves more fans.

The rest of the day was spent doing some shopping within the vendors between booths and watching a totally awesome pole-dancing competition. We also had IMG-5895some fun playing around with the big photo props. There’s always iconic sayings from the show printed on huge signs with impeccable lighting. We spent so much time running around that we actually IMG-5911stayed all the way to the end of the event, where they started turning lights off and packing up to leave. We definitely got the full use of our tickets this year, between all the amazing queens we got to meet and the panels we got to attend. Not to mention, of course, all the photo opps for my Insta. The day ended with another street vendor hot dog and a long bus ride out of the city.

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DragCon is without a doubt one of my favorite weekends of the entire year, and I look forward to many many more! This tradition for us will not be short lived, and I’m thinking maybe for 2020, we’ll attend Drag Con 2020 LA…?!

Thanks for reading!

NYC Drag Con 2018

OH MY GAAAGG, HUNTYYYY! This was my first year attending RuPaul’s Drag Con, and I will never ever ever miss it again. I went to the NYC convention on September 29th and 30th. There is an LA DragCon every year as well in the spring, so as a result of the coasts there are different queens that are able to attend each one. Either way, I promise, you will not be disappointed.

drag con 1There was some shenanigans that happened on the Friday night of the event, but because of work, my friend and I were going to arrive into NYC too late to attend anything. So we made sure we got a fresh start Saturday morning to get there at the opening to watch the grand entrances of the queens.

First was the Crowned Queen arrivals! This included season 1 winner Bebe Zahara Benet, all-stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel, season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen, and the reigning queen from season 10 Aquaria. Next was the other arrivals of queens, including Mayhem Miller, Viviacious, Acid Betty, Blair St. Clair, Ongina, Miss Vanjie, and more. Rachel and I had decent enough spots on the pink carpet to see everyone walk right by us! (Other queens were at the convention as well that just did not take part in making a grand entrance.)

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Rachel and I decided to look the part of DragCon so we both wore silly wigs and jumpsuits to the event. Ru provided us with many photo opportunities, not just with our favorite queens in their booths, but also in a large photo area! This area had many different back drops, themes, props and displays to take pictures with – and we took full advantage!

After having some fun in the photo booths, we made our way to one of our favorite queens: Detox. We had an amazing experience with Detox and her booth as a whole. First, the booth was right next to drag con 4Alyssa Edward’s, and we were lucky enough to be standing in line while she made her entrance to her booth!! That helped to make the line go super quick, so it didn’t feel like we waited long at all. We purchased photos for Detox to sign (there was a minimum, but Rachel and I were allowed to combine our purchases so it was only $10 each), and then were shown to where Detox was posing for pictures. Detox is soooo tall! Which is hilarious, because she was actually not wearing any shoes at all in the pictures. Her panel blocked it, and she was still taller than basically everyone. She talked to us for a second and we totally got starstruck and fumbled with our words. Then we got our autographs and photo and that was that. She was so kind and present and I loved her just as much after meeting her.

drag con 5When we got out of line with Detox, there was a short line for Blair St. Clair, so we jumped right in. Unfortunately, she was taking a break and took a long while to come back. The line really wasn’t long so we thought it would go quick once she was back, but she took A LOT of breaks. I could kind of see her while she was in her “backstage” section, and she was spending a lot of time looking in the mirror and fixing her hair while her fans waited. We were in line for about an hour with not even a lot of people in front of us. Her people definitely have her on a pedestal, because the treatment was totally different than when we met Detox. Blair just didn’t seem as down to earth, and her guy only took ONE picture. With Detox, I had like 15 to choose from, and with Blair we had ONE. I still like Blair, but I definitely like her a little less after meeting her.

drag con 12There are many panels that take place throughout the weekend, but it can be hard to get into some of them since seats are limited and there are some favorites in the house. We had several panels that we wanted to go to that got filled up, including Katya (insert heart shattering imagery here). We did, however, make it into a fashion discussion panel with Ongina, Bebe Zahara Benet, and Miss Fame. I absolutely adore Ongina and loved everything she said – she is a real treat. Bebe honestly didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation, but I find her beautiful and entertaining as hell. Miss Fame definitely felt the most qualified for this panel, flaunting her relationship with designers such as Marc Jacobs. Some of what she said was interesting but she totally talked for way too long and made it largely about her.

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YOU KNOW I HAD TO SEE MY MANS ROSS MATHEWS!! I wasn’t able to make it into the Judge Judges panel, but you best believe I was front row for Bossy Rossy’s Runway Games. In between his silly games, Ross did some crowd work and I was able to get his attention and tell him that he has talked to me on the podcast before! Heremembered when I called in and it mademe wildly happy.

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The second day, we were moving a little slow as a result of being out late the night before, but we had more queens to see! We didn’t do wigs the second day, as they had gotten a little itchy by the end of the day. Instead, we wore colorful outfits and took advantage of the shorter lines to do some shopping in the merch booths.

drag con 9Meeting Ongina literally might have been the highlight of my weekend. She was absolutely incredible, charismatic, and stunning. We really caught her at the end of the weekend, so the line was short and the merch was cheap – like, generously cheap! I told her that people in high school called me “gyna” and she called me her long lost cousin! She also spilled some T when I told her I saw her at the panel, throwing shade on Miss Fame for taking over. It was amazing. I felt like I was chit chatting with my friend for a minute, which is exactly the experience you want out of DragCon. Ongina is truly special, kind, adorable, one of the best queens ever ever ever, and I loved her so so so much more after meeting her.

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To have a great end to an awesome weekend, we made it into the final live taping of Rupaul’s  podcast, What’s the T? with Michelle Visage. There was 3 different tapings throughout the weekend, but the one we attended was with guest Kathy Najimy, who is known for her appearances in Veep, Hocus Pocus, Sister Act, and more. It ended with a song, which felt like the right way to conclude the festivities.

For more pictures and videos from DragCon NYC 2018, you can go to my Instagram @ginafinio and watch the highlights story on my profile.

Thanks for reading!

2018 Emmy Award Winners (sat & sun)

Getting excited for the TV red carpet event of the year?! The 70th PrimeTime Emmy Awards broadcasts live tonight, September rs_1024x576-180710125059-1024.emmys.7131817th at 8PM on NBC, hosted by SNL’s Collin Jost and Michael Che. Over the weekend, many nominations received their award on nights one and two that took place on September 15th and 16th. In case you need a recap, here is a highlight of several 2018 Emmy winners so far:

Samira Wiley, Handmaid_s TaleOutstanding Guest Actress on a Drama Series – Samira Wiley, Handmaid’s Tale

This Is Us - Season 1Outstanding Guest Actor on Drama Series – Ron Cephas Jones, This is Us

Tiffany Haddish, SNLOutstanding Guest Actress on a Comedy Series – Tiffany Haddish, SNL

Katt Williams, AtlantaOutstanding Guest Actor on a Comedy Series – Katt Williams, Atlanta

Queer EyeOutstanding Structured Reality Program – Queer Eye

United Shades of AmericaOutstanding Unstructured Reality Program – United Shades of America

RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag RaceOutstanding Host for a Reality Program – RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race

U.S.S. Callister Mutato Building EventOutstanding Television Movie – USS Callister

Mandy Moore, So You Think You Can DanceOutstanding Choreography – Mandy Moore, So You Think You Can Dance

Game of ThronesOutstanding Special Visual Effects – Game of Thrones

James Corden_s Next James CordenOutstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama – James Corden’s Next James Corden

one-direction-joins-james-corden-for-carpool-karaoke-720x720Outstanding Short Form Variety Series – Carpool Karaoke

Rick and MortyOutstanding Animated Program – Rick and Morty

Robot ChickenOutstanding Short Form Animated Program – Robot Chicken

Alex Borstein, Family GuyOutstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Alex Borstein, Family Guy

Dave Chappelle, EquanimityOutstanding Pre-Recorded Variety Special – Dave Chappelle, Equanimity

Tune in tonight at 8 PM to see the rest of the big winners! (For a list of nominations and some predictions from someone in the industry, click HERE!)

Thanks for reading.

Podcast Favorites #3

podcast  Here is another round of my current favorite podcast suggestions! (#1, #2)

COMEDY:

Off The RailsOff The Rails with Sarah Colonna and Josh Wolf – This podcast is going back a couple of years, but is super worth the binge. After “Josh and Ross / he said he said” ended, Josh kept his old school radio style podcast going with a new co-host. Sarah is hilarious and their conversations are a perfect combination of relevant issues and absolutely ruthless and disgusting ideas. I’m a big fan of both Sarah and Josh from a comedy standpoint, so I recommend going a google search for their material as well.

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Fairly Normal with Josh Wolf – Eventually, Josh goes solo on the podcast and Fairly Normal was born. Josh actually has an incredible story of how his family was created, and the episodes with his children are some of the most interesting. (TBH I should probably read Josh’s book to get the full story, cause its genuinely fascinating.) Some of the episodes include and guest and others are just solo rambles from Josh on the road, but all are entertaining. All the episodes of Off the Rails and Fairly normal can both be found under this logo on the Podcast app.

3 Girls 1 Keith3 Girls 1 Keith – This is a new podcast, and I only listen to the shortened version on iTunes. Apparently there is an extended version on Spotify, but I like the shortened show well enough. Amy Shumer, Bridget Everett, and Rachel Bloom partner with their friend Keith to talk about taboo topics and humiliate Keith as much as possible. If you are a fan of Amy Shumer’s, this is a good listen. Covering everything from love to pets to anal, it’s a quick and funny show in typical Amy Shumer comedy.

 

DRAG RACE:

Race ChaserRace Chaser – Sorry not sorry that I am a HUGE fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and this podcast is EVERYTHING! Alaska and Willam are diving into each episode one by one as their love letter to the series. I am having a blast watching an episode from season one every week and listening to Alaska and Willam dissect it with their wit. There are some special guest appearances from the queens featured on the episodes and lots of inside information. If you are a fan of Drag Race, this podcast really is a MUST. I’m also obsessed with Alaska and will listen to anything with her voice in it.

Whimsically VolatileWhimsically Volatile – If you know Drag Race, you know Katya. Previous to listening to this podcast, I did not know Craig, but Katya and Craig together create an absolutely ridiculous and over the top duo. This podcast is full of inappropriateness that you just can’t find anywhere else. Katya (Brian) really goes deep into some truly gruesome stories that you can’t stop listening too. There is no lack of entertainment here, that’s for sure.

 

OTHER:

Getting CuriousGetting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness – Jonathan is my favorite of the Fab 5 on Queer Eye, and I can never get enough of him. Needless to say, when I found out he had a podcast, I immediately started binging. This podcast is super informative – Jonathan goes keep into topics that make him curious with experts from that field. This covers everything from politics to social media to a diva cup. I’ve already learned so much from listening to this podcast and there is so much information left to discover. Also, Jonathan is the best.

Self HelplessSelf Helpless – This was such an easy binge listen for a crazy person like me! If you have ever had anxiety, read a self help book, or practice the art of Feng Shui, you have to listen to these girls. Comedians Delanie Fischer, Kelsey Cook, and Taylor Tomlinson come together to talk about their experiences with self help, anxiety, and so much more. There is always a comedic relief, but also a lot of great insight. They also did an episode where they covered The Five Love Languages, and a book I am currently reading called “You Are A Badass”. Highly recommend!

NancyNancy – I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. Nancy is one of my all time favorite listens, and I cannot wait for them to start the new season and bring me more episodes. Nancy is an LGBTQ podcast that goes though so many issues in the community. To put it simply, this podcast is so real. The hosts Kathy and Tobin go through their experiences with coming out, cover relevant news stories, and shed light on statistics and ideas within the LGBTQ community. This was an eye-opening podcast with so many more ideas to explore. Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or not, this is worth the listen. I promise.

More to come! I am always looking for new podcast recommendations and suggestions, so please comment if you have any favorites to share.

Happy listening! Thanks for reading.

Podcast Favorites #2

podcast  As I become more of an active podcast listener, I have stumbled upon many more favorites to recognize. Additionally, some shows mentioned in my first podcast post needed some updating. Here it goes:

UPDATES:

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Anna Faris No Está Calificada – Good news: one of my favorite podcasts is now available in Spanish! The same episode available in English is copied in a second language, which is awesome for a Spanish learner. Bad news: only one episode was released, several weeks ago, so I am unsure if I should expect this to continue.

This Is Love

This Is Love – Bad news: A new episode has not been released since March. I am not sure if the show is expected to continue at this time. Good news: There are still six really great episodes to listen to, and I do highly recommend them all!

Tiny Leaps, Big ChangesTiny Leaps, Big Changes – Bad news: I had this show categorized under “Short, Daily Listens” and I stopped listening because they were no longer that – short or daily. He went through a period of long interviews released inconsistently and I grew uninterested and therefore, I unsubscribed. Good news: I checked back today out of curiosity, and it looks as though this guy has gotten back into his normal rhythm. I am considering putting this one back on my list, even though I am not as interested as I once was.

spotify-new-music-friday-artworkNew Music Friday – Bad news: these guys released three episodes and then never returned. See ya. Good news: you can still listen to new music every Friday delivered to you in a playlist on Spotify.

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The News, From BuzzFeed News – I am still a big fan of Reporting To You From BuzzFeedNews, and their new show is very good as well. Same idea – relevant news stories, but now delivered as a weekly summary each Saturday. Episodes are roughly 20 minutes long so it’s still an easy and quick listen.

 

Women Representation:

female criminalsFemale Criminals – The whole premise of this show is behind the fact that when someone mentions a serious criminal, you might not immediately picture a women. This show dives into the minds of famous criminals such as Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, the Columbian drug lord Grisela Blanco, and many famous serial killers. My only critique is that I wished that some of the stories did not carry over into two episodes, but all the stories are still worth the listen.

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The Bechdel Cast – I recently wrote a post about The Bechdel Test which challenges female representation in film. This podcast’s group of women dives into different movies and analyzes how women are portrayed in both new films and the classics. The tone is light and funny while also highlighting a lot of important feminist ideas and issues. I recommend going through their list of available episodes and listening to where your favorite movies fall on the “nipple scale.”

 

LGBTQ:

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It’s A Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Podcast with Mr. Malone – Fagsy Malone (who is currently attempting to drop the nickname “Fagsy”) walks through what a typical day in Malibu is like. Famous neighbors, an art class of children, and fun interviews with a motley crew. I really enjoy the deep ideas explored here as well as the light-heartedness that comes with a glorious Malibu morning. Fagsy also has a podcast called “Under the Bus with Fagsy” where I don’t believe he will be posting any future episodes, but they are still worth the listen if you enjoy his sense of humor. JUUUUDY! Ugh, too much.

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Josh & Ross (he said, he said) – This show is actually super old… like, 5 or 6 years old… but it’s entertaining as hell. Of course I found this show as a result of Ross Mathew’s current podcast, Straight Talk with Ross (this is the show Ross had with comedian Josh Wolfe in 2012 and 2013 prior to starting Straight Talk), and this show feels a lot like an old school radio show. The content is absolutely hilarious and is great to put in my ears while I work.

what's the teeRuPaul’s What’s The Tee? – I started listening to this naturally because I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, BUT the podcast doesn’t actually talk too much about Drag Race overall. There are some guest judges and favorite contestants that make appearances on episodes of the show, but most of the conversation does not surround the competition. Instead Ru and Michelle Visage talk about contemporary issues, tell their stories and families, go through challenges they have faced, and more. Oh and don’t forget about different wig, nail and make up tricks that are Ruvealed! All Tee all shade.

As I said before, if anyone has any recommendations or hosts their own podcast, please feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading.