A week ago, Oct. 25, the biannual OUTober Drag Show hosted by NMSU’s LGBT+ Programs featured the most student performers ever since the first on-campus drag show seven years ago.
While many student performers from Tuesday’s show have performed in prior shows, the event also featured many first-time student performers.
NMSU film major Vivianna Montoya, who uses the pronouns she/they, performed for the first time under the stage name V as in Vendetta.
Montoya performed to a mashup, which included “Monster High Fright Song” by Monster High, “Gimme More” by Britney Spears, and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” by ABBA. Montoya was dressed as one of the characters from the Monster High series. She said she was inspired to perform after watching the OUTtober Drag Show for the first time in 2021.
“I chose to perform just because I thought it would be really fun and it could be a hobby I could really get myself invested in,” Montoya explained. “I also just like dressing up and I kind of wanted to experiment with my feminine side.”
With the Monster High franchise receiving a reboot, Montoya used it as inspiration for choreographing her routine.
“I felt it was very nostalgic, especially because a lot of Disney is recreating Monster High and I thought doing the old Monster High would be very memorable and nostalgic to the audience I was performing to,” Montoya said.
The budding performer spent four days before the show getting everything ready and practicing for her performance, and said she still felt nervous when the time came to get on stage. Despite her nerves, the crowd cheered and sang along throughout the entire performance. The experience gave Montoya ideas for what she can do if she were to perform again.
“I obviously need time to regenerate and heal, but I would absolutely do it again — so much fun,” Montoya said.
The OUTtober Drag Show also had many returning student performers including Xavier McCombs.
McCombs, a senior journalism and media studies major, performed as Triple XXX to the song “Lightning” by Little Mix. This was his second time performing at an on-campus drag show event.
“I feel like for the second time I was more comfortable and confident in myself and in my performance compared to the first time,” McCombs said.
McCombs chose the song “Lightning,” not only because it reminded him of Halloween, but because he could add his own mix to it. McComb’s experience from previous shows made it easier for him to start preparing for his performance in advance.
“I planned during the summer … I ordered my dress from Amazon and got my shoes while I was here and I practiced my choreography at home,” McCombs said.
Despite using time to his advantage by preparing beforehand, McCombs was also nervous to perform.
“I was more anxious and more nervous,” McCombs said. “But this time … I was more excited. It was like a different kind of energy that I brought.”
McCombs will be graduating in the spring and has already started planning and anticipating his last performance.
Graduate student performers took the stage as well. Jay Yun, an electrical engineering graduate student, performed as Khaotiqa for the third year.
“I felt anxious initially … at the start I definitely felt a little overwhelmed,” Yun said. “During the performance, I felt like I was in the moment of the song and focused on what the lyrics meant to me.”
Yun performed to a mashup of “Freak the Freak Out,” from the “Victorious” sitcom, and “Break Free” by Ariana Grande, which tells Grande’s story of her breaking free from the Nickelodeon channel.
While other performers used songs that matched the tone of Halloween, Yun decided to take his performance in another, lighter, direction.
“It was Halloween and everyone was going to do something spooky or dark. I wanted to go more on the lighter side and have a good contrast compared to everyone else,” Yun said. “There’s a layer of comedy to it. I’m throwing shade at ‘Victorious’ and adding an extra layer of comedy by exploiting her for when she did say I think we all sing.”
There were many Aggies supporting fellow Aggies at this year’s OUTober drag show. From the crowd’s exciting energy and cheers, the student performers said they felt encouraged to perform again in other shows.