One thing about a drag performer’s birthday: we are going to milk that sucker for every dollar it’s worth. My name is Chicki Parm and I am a local drag performer here in Richmond, and I’m coincidentally typing this blog post on my birthday. I thought it would be fun to share what a working drag performer in the city’s schedule might look like, especially when trying to cram as many gigs as possible in the days surrounding a birthday! Here’s what my week looked like, with expanded descriptions for most of the shows.
Guest blog by @Chickiparm
Equality VA Dinner at the Richmond Convention Center
Extra Cheese at Fallout – This was my big birthday blowout. Extra Cheese was a monthly show I had for five years and had included my big birthday show for almost the entirety of my drag career. Last year I decided to let the show go to focus on others however I couldn’t give up my juicy huge birthday show here so now it’s annual! I will always round my birthday to the nearest Saturday for profit’s sake. Fallout in Shockoe Bottom has several monthly/bi-monthly shows and will be revisited again this week!
Bangin’ Drag Brunch at Tang & Biscuit – I wasn’t the only celebration here! Hosted by Sutton Iman and Amber St. Lexington, this show marked three years of drag brunches at Tang. This is genuinely one of my favorite brunches to work in the city. Mimosa towers are a staple here and crack me up every time I see them. Their drag brunch can usually be found on the third Sunday of the month, but like with this show, realistically sometimes gets bumped due to scheduling conflicts. Tang also puts on scattered queer nightlife events such as balls and themed parties.
Outta the Jar at Fallout – The actual day of my birthday takes us back to Fallout. Outta the Jar is hosted by Sweet Pickles and is on the third Monday of every month. You can find me in the show on even-numbered months. Outta the Jar encourages, get this, out-of-the-box drag and is known for its signature Pickles Pageant, a rapid-fire five-minute mini-pageant, taking the place of an intermission.
Quenched Wednesday at Thirsty’s – We are getting to the bread and butter of my weekly schedule! I have two weekly shows, with this being one of them. Thirsty’s is a smaller, neighborhood-y feeling New Orleans-themed bar in Forest Hill. The staff here is probably my favorite to work with because they put the most effort into taking care of their drag performers, and should definitely get their flowers for it! Quenched Wednesday is a quicker show with only three performers in it per week, which I personally love, and I know many of our regulars love it for that reason as well. You get an action-packed hour though! Because of its neighborhood-y feel, I find Thirsty’s is where I personally know the most crowd members as well as them knowing each other. The amount of fun I’ve had on their patio after our Wednesday shows should be criminal. Never a cover, the show is at 10 pm and is 18+.
Chicks of Babes at Babes of Carytown – A classic choice and my other weekly show! One of, if not the most well-known queer spots in the city. I started the Chicks of Babes Thursday show here coming out of quarantine and it’s been an honor to work at such an iconic queer spot in the city. $1 PBR cans, tacos, and tots are their specials every Thursday. $5 cover, the show is 9 pm and is 21+.
Hard Candy at Fallout – Right after my Babes show I am sprinting back to Fallout for a special late-night show! Hard Candy is a touring show run by Daniel Cole of Louisville, KY that brings drag performers from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dragula to cities around the East Coast and Midwest. We usually have two of these per month at Fallout. It’s been incredible getting to work with drag performers much more famous than I that I really look up to. My favorite part about Hard Candy’s and luring people in with the TV drag performer, only for them to find out how amazing our local drag scene is as well. This particular one will serve as a late night after a party and will feature Joey Jay from RuPaul’s Drag Reason Season 13.
And that’s the week! If you haven’t gotten into the Richmond drag scene yet, you are sorely missing out. I travel a lot for drag as well and I always find myself thinking that Richmond does it better. Not only are our performers top-notch, but our crowd is really in our corner and knows their role in the show as well. I do shows here, there, and everywhere, but I wanted to stress again that Wednesdays at Thirsty’s at 10 pm and Thursdays at Babes at 9 pm are my bread and butter two weekly shows, and where you catch me most frequently. Come see for yourself why Chicki Parm is everybody’s favorite Italian dish!