Harrisonburg’s Miss Statuesque To Raise Funds for St. Judes
Alex Saady, a Mass Communications major and French minor at VCU who aspires to work in International PR, has been performing as Vivienne Hardwood for about eight months now. Saady started off doing theater makeup and continued to do so for about five years and moved to Richmond from Virginia Beach in hopes of doing theater here. Shortly after moving, Saady realized that he could only do theater at VCU if he was a theater major and was disheartened.
To liven up his mood, Saady and his friends went out to Godfrey’s in downtown Richmond and it was there that he met his drag mother Michelle Livigne. After seeing each other around town Saady and Livigne became good friends. Shortly after, Teddie Gregson, a former sales associate of GAY RVA, asked Saady if he had any drag queen friends that would want to perform in an event but by the end of the conversation, ended up inviting Saady and he accepted the invitation and that was his first Drag performance.
Saady is a contestant for Miss Statuesque, a non-traditional pageant hosted by Rhinestone Mafia Productions designed to put the community first out of love for the many people that give to the Harrisonburg drag and gay community. Each contestant in the pageant is allowed to perform two numbers and whichever contestant collects the most tips is considered the winner of the pageant and will work for the charity or organization for a year to raise donations and at the end of the year, they will make a lump sum donation. All of the tips earned the night of the pageant, will go to the current reigning Miss Statuesque Charity, this year the donation is going to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“For this pageant, I think it’s really about focusing on the fact that you’re there to raise money. Of course we’re going to put our best foot forward, but it’s for charity,” said Saady who is passionate about giving back to the community that helped him get his start.
The Richmond community is no stranger to drag. VCU holds Virginia’s largest collegiate LGBT event, the Virginia Commonwealth University Drag Ball. Godrey’s has been in Richmond for almost 17 years. RVA police are also the second in the state to form an LGBT Liaison Unit that will help to build a stronger relationship between Richmond’s gay community and the local PD police.
“Places like Godfrey’s and Nu and Babe’s have all given opportunities for younger drag queens to showcase their stuff and I’ve had opportunities that I would not have been given to do free shows and amateur shows,” said Saady.
The Miss Statuesque pageant will be taking place this Saturday at The Artful Dodger Coffeehouse & Cocktail Lounge at 8:00 p.m. If you can’t make it to Harrisonburg, but would still like to make a donation to Vivienne Hardwood for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, feel free to contact Alex Saady via email.
“Hopefully it will lead to more dialogue and we can have some more events in the future.”July 26, 2016
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