By day, Will spends his time deep in research as a lab manager at Northwestern University of Evanston, IL. Meanwhile, Tony spends time working the grind at a marketing job in Chicago, Illinois. Though they don’t know it, they live parallel lives.
Both openly gay, these two men make a complete transformation into drag queens a few times each week. Tony calls himself a marketer by day and Tasha, a female impersonator by night. While in drag, Will goes by the name Ariana.
Tasha has been participating in drag shows for close to twelve years, and frequently performs at Hamburger Mary’s in Oak Park. In a recent show, Tasha donated all proceeds to victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016. While Ariana has been performing voluntarily at drag shows only for a few months, she is beginning to receive requests and gain popularity.
The process of transformation is surely the work of artists. It can take up to five hours each performance night and requires meticulous makeup application, full-body hair removal, clothing adjustments, and prostheses to mimic a woman’s form.
Both men find an outlet in performing in drag. While they are content with themselves and within their careers, they find these performances as an opportunity to play with gender, saying and doing things that might not fit their 9-5 persona. And they sure know how to work a crowd.