Charmagne by night, Kevin by day. Charmagne is a leggy sexy "Real Housewife of Sunnyside, New York" who dresses to the "nines" and performs at local competitions. Kevin is a fun-loving gay man who lives to be on stage even the midst of his boyfriend David's battle with cancer and tough competition from the many Drag Queens that inhabit the Isle of Manhattan.
Kevin McIntyre, 34, moved to New York from Rochester several years ago with the hopes of becoming a star on Broadway. Like many actors he wound up waiting tables, not making any money, and forgetting what it felt like to perform in front of an audience. Instead of tucking his tail between his legs and heading back upstate, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Performing was such a crucial part of his life that he decided after seeing a drag show on vacation, that he would pursue drag as well. He created a name for himself as Charmagne Aultra and hit the New York circuit of gay bars and lounges trying to make a name for himself. Not long after, his new love David was diagnosed with cancer and began heavy rounds of chemo, putting his performing career on hold. He accompanied David to treatments but on occasion he would dress up as Charmagne and go out for a night on the town. Two years later, David is cancer free, but Kevin finds himself exhausted and not sure if he wants to pursue drag or take a break from Charmagne to relax and enjoy life.
Ladies and gentleman let me introduce you to a friend of mine. She is skinny and I hate her for it. Ladies and gentleman give it up for Miss Charmagne Aultra.
In New York I’m still like fledgling. I’m Still…
The first year I started doing drag was also the year David got diagnosed with Cancer. So I was doing both at the same time. Like, and it was good and fun and distracting.
But I really wasn’t. There wasn’t like the push for the like full on job. Like look out New York, here I am. And now he just, this last January he was cancer free. It was after two years. And I think after that moment we never took a moment to like exhale.
And now its like life back to normal. That’s the part, that’s the part where things started to get hard.
You know like when I was performing and we were going to the hospital and everything it was just no brainer, you know, you just gotta do it.
You know, I would get home, change, shower, shave, change, make-up, hair, go out, have fun.
It was a really great outlet of just kind of you know, getting out there and performing. But it’s like that energy and that flow that you had in your life that just kept going going going and now that it has stopped I have found myself performing and being like: is this good? are they liking this? Am I having fun?
That’s when I realized, oh wait, something is…I need to take that moment and just dust all of that those past two years off me and take that moment to breathe.
I bought um my bra at like Victoria Secret on a Saturday in like Union Square. That probably was not like the best idea. And I was very honest with the sales girl I was like ‘this is for me. I need it for a performance.’ And she was like ‘well just try it on to make sure it fits.’ And I was like ‘UGH!’ I come out of the changing room, and this guy was like really loud with his girlfriend he’s like. There she is. I was like well, you can’t be shy if you want to do it. You gotta do it!
Before I started doing drag. David and I sat down and talked about it. We had to explain it to each other. What he thinks drag is what I think drag is. What it means to me, what it means to him, and if he was okay with it. If you don’t have support at home it’s not going to be fun.
And as a performer and a New York performer everyone’s like if you want to be successful you got to do your own thing. You got to create your own thing and so I created Charmagne, Charmagne Aultra.
I have known Kevin for many years now. In fact we used to work together at one of those many restaurants aspiring actors use as their survival job. But we had lost touch and suddenly I heard through the grapevine that he was doing drag. I was there two years ago when he did his first Star Search competition at Barracuda and haven't seen him perform since. In this piece you see him perform again at Star Search but unfortunately he doesn't win. His next endeavor as Charmagne is also to put a bathing suit on. The one he has looks like an American Flag with the sides cut out. He offered to show us the "full tuck" required to wear it
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