Paradox Rei couldn’t stop gushing about their first experience of performing in the Highland Lakes during the What A Drag! show in September. That’s the reason why they wanted to return for this year’s show “Fascination” presented by Haus of Fatale on March 14.
“Fascination,” which is a fundraiser benefiting the Highland Lakes Equality Center, starts at 6:30 p.m.at the Hill Country Community Theatre, 4003 FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores, with a catered dinner by Super Taco with homemade desserts and a cash bar. Tickets are $35 for one, $60 for two, and $100 for four.
“Ever since the first one, I had such an amazing time,” said Paradox Rei, who identifies as non-binary. “I remember thinking, ‘I hope I get invited back.’ It was an amazing experience with the performers. When I heard about the new show, I was over the moon and excited for it.”
Paradox Rei calls themselves a “drag entity,” a term they coined that is a mix of a drag king and drag queen and doesn’t have a specific gender. To them drag is a huge form of expression that welcomes individuals of all walks of life: race, gender, orientations and identities.
“It gives people more room to ask ‘what are your pronouns and why?'” they said.
They began as a drag king but realized that “it didn’t necessarily fit the mold,” they said.
“With me calling myself a drag entity non-binary artist and referencing drag creatures and drag entities, it’s almost more neutral of a term,” they said. “There aren’t many artists who are plus-sized or have a disability. There’s a lot I represent. That’s a very satisfying thing.”
Paradox Rei has appeared on shows for Rey Lopez Entertainment, Haus of Coven, known as San Antonio’s only alternative drag troop, and Dragantula that has “been very prominent in the alternative drag scene,” they said.
“Coming to San Antonio, people deserve to see a different style of drag,” they said. “It’s interesting to bring in a different kind of drag. There are so many distinct styles of drag.”
They noted they still perform in shows all over the country and have taken more of an active role in organizing them as either a producer or co-producer.
“I definitely want to branch out to different venues and showcase different forms of drag,” they said. “My partner who’s a drag king said, ‘I can see you’re becoming a very good producer.’ I sold myself entirely short. Thinking about producing is a life changer. I get a thrill out of showcasing different talent. I think it’s stuff that should be applauded and celebrated.”
As for “Fascination,” Paradox Rei noted the two acts will allow performers to share personal things about themselves with their costumes, songs and other aspects.
“You’ll see another part of myself,” they said. “I’m excited about it. One of my performances I’m doing tells my experience. I’m going to do something very personal. I want to encourage and inspire. Telling my story on a personal level highly challenges myself.”
Paradox Rei said they are looking forward to performing in the Highland Lakes and giving attendees a night they won’t forget.
“I’m not going to miss it for anything,” they said. “There’s always something new, something for you to do to keep pushing and pressing the envelope to make people feel comfortable. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Ultimately at the end of the day, drag is something you do for yourself. It takes a level of dedication and self growth.”