Soon after Luis Fatale and Aries Fatale and the Highland Lakes Equality Center decided to put on What A Drag! show and fundraiser presented by Rae’s RBar and Grill, the performers set out to find the perfect host. They didn’t have to search long or far as they went with an entertainer known for her performance skills, engagement with audiences and wit.
Kara Foxx-Paris, Ms. Austin Entertainer 2015, said she is looking forward to serving as the MC for What A Drag! The show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Smithwick Dance Hall located at Heart of Texas Ranch, 205 Hickory Creek Road in Marble Falls. Advanced tickets are $25 and includes a catered meal from Super Taco and a cash bar by Brass Hall.
“I’m super excited to be apart of it,” Foxx-Paris said about the Marble Falls show.
Foxx-Paris has been in entertainment since she was 14. She is a freelance makeup artist and was a former cast member in the Sketch Comedy Troup, “The Latino Comedy Project” that toured the Seattle Sketch Fest, Vancouver Sketch Fest, and the San Francisco Sketch Fest. She has also been a featured entertainer at Charlie’s Austin in Austin.
Originally from Puebla, Mexico, Foxx-Paris arrived in the U.S. as a child. She began performing two decades ago in theater arts in the Rio Grande Valley after seeing drag performer and activist Erica Andrews in beauty pageants and drag shows. Andrews was from Allende, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and died March 11, 2013 in Chicago because of complications from a lung infection.
“I wanted to be able to be like her one day,” Foxx-Paris said. “People still talk about her as an inspiration.”
The Rio Grande Valley Region was conservative with few gay bars and facilities, but Foxx-Paris noted that area helped her cultivate her talent and drive to succeed in the industry. The one common element, no matter where she is performing, is people want to experience high-quality entertainment and will pack venues if the show is something that interests them, she said.
“It’s from the darkest places that some of the best entertainers are formed,” she said.
Even back then drag performers were purposely dramatic, she said, because entertainers were stretching their minds and challenging each other and attendees. Every performance was done precisely — from being meticulous on choosing the proper costume and makeup to finding the spot-on music and dialogue — entertainers didn’t leave anything to chance in their aim at keeping attendees on the edge of their seats. The result produced high level, high intensity shows that wowed and amazed audiences and inspired others to enter the industry.
“It was something you looked forward to,” the MC said.
As she was growing up as a performer, Foxx-Paris also grew in self-acceptance. She is a transgender female and transformed from “a skinny boy to being this tall busty female who was lucky if she got three out of 10 roles.”
But she never let that stop her as she saw acting as another outlet and discovered how much she loved performing and seeing how it has touched people’s lives.
“Me performing and letting my voice be heard, it allows me that opportunity to release that as well,” she said. “It works both ways in that aspect.”
Foxx-Paris accepted the MC role at What A Drag! on the spot for several reasons. This is a fundraiser to help the HLEC fulfill its mission and will bring her to the Marble Falls area for the first time. She really likes knowing this type of show is being offered in an area of this size, which dispels the myth about small towns and entertainment, she added.
“People are willing to open their minds and hearts to the LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “To be apart of that is even better.”