If you’re a big “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan, you probably eat up every second of each episode, and relish at a peek behind the scenes on “Untucked.” But only the luckiest fans get to see the queens of “Drag Race” up close and personal, at the official and exclusive parties thrown every year by Voss Events. The man behind these Events for the last seven years is Brandon Voss.
Voss first got involved in the world of “Drag Race” when he booked season one winner BeBe Zahara Benet and season two winner Tyra Sanchez in a live lip sync event. Not surprisingly, people from Logo and World of Wonder Productions came and were so impressed that they wanted to do more formal “Drag Race” events with Voss. From season three on, he was the man in charge of the famous premiere and finale events. Voss’s vision only grew bigger from there, as the premiere parties became mini-tours across the country, the finale parties were the only spot to witness the winner being crowned and receiving her check, and an annual drag zombie Halloween show called “Night of The Living Drag” as well as an annual drag Christmas show were created.
“I think the franchise has gotten really strong, people love these drag queens,” Voss told byteclay.com. “When I started doing this back in season two and three, bars and clubs would just book a girl from the show and that would be all, so I was like well forget that, let’s just book all of them and I started booking these big massive groups of them for these events. I think that’s what really brings people out, when they can see fifteen of their favorite drag stars performing together as opposed to just going to a bar and seeing one of them.”
And it’s not just gay fans who turn out in droves. “A lot of people think these are gay events but they’re really not,” Voss said. “Obviously there are gay people there but there are a lot of girls that are fans of the show. There are just as many straight women as there are gay men.”
This year’s season eight premiere party, taking place at The Mayan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles on March 1st, promises to be quite the event. “[Fans will] see the premiere episode before it airs, meet the queens and see them perform,” Voss said. “[Season six winner] Bianca Del Rio is hosting this year, which is different because it has typically been [season two and season three queen] Shangela. Bianca Del Rio is pretty funny so that makes it a fun time.” Although there will be five different premiere parties all across the country between February 22nd and March 1st, the Los Angeles event will be attended by RuPaul herself. Voss revealed that during the L.A. event, RuPaul will be doing a skit from her upcoming new game show on Logo, “Gay For Play Game Show,” with some of the audience members.
In terms of RuPaul herself, Voss revealed that she is not a typical drag queen. “What’s funny about RuPaul is he’s the most recluse drag queen I think I’ve ever met,” Voss said. “He doesn’t like to get in drag, first of all. Ru also keeps to himself, doesn’t drink, doesn’t party. I don’t have any crazy stories about him because he’s just not crazy. He’s very shy for a drag queen, it’s funny.”
After so many years working with the “Drag Race” girls, Voss has many memories that stick out in his mind. One such memory involved Shangela, season four winner Sharon Needles and an unfortunate death drop during the 2012 Halloween show. “Sharon Needles was performing with some crazy door prop on the stage and Shangela was hosting the event,” Voss explained. “Shangela decided to do an impromptu performance and drops into this crazy death drop on the stage. The leg that she fell down on went straight back into the door so it snapped in half and she broke her leg. She had these hot knee high boots on filled with blood so we called an ambulance. The funny thing was she kept face the whole team, she was being wheeled out on that stretcher and I’ll never forget it, she was smiling going ‘Hallelu!’ I’m like, ‘bitch, your bone is coming through your leg and you’re still shouting hallelu’.”
Aside from the premiere and finale parties, Voss also revealed he will be involved in RuPaul’s DragCon this coming May. “The one thing DragCon was missing last year was a performance element, you can go there and meet all the queens but there’s no real performance,” he said. “This year we’re adding a performance element that I’m producing with World of Wonder downton on the Friday night before it kicks off.”
After all these years working with the “Drag Race” queens, Voss is so consumed by drag that people have started calling him “The Drag Guy.” “I like drag queens. I just know all the drag queens, I do all these drag events,” Voss said. “I’ve just amassed such a database, not just of ‘Drag Race,’ but of drag fans in general.”
One may think being ‘The Drag Guy’ may have inspired Voss to take a dab at the art-form himself but surprisingly, the answer is no. “I’ve never done drag and I’ve never had sex with a drag queen, those are the two questions I always get,” he revealed.” “I’m 6’4″, 200 pounds so i think id be a really ugly, manly drag queen.” Indeed, Voss may never be America’s next drag superstar, but without him and his events, those who do get the title would have no where to shantay, shantay, shantay.
For more information or to purchase tickets to a Voss Event, please visit www.vossevents.com