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This month’s edition of Untucked, we had a great kiki with the amazing Cristina Rae. She has been all over the Nashville scene for years, starting back at Cabaret 2 with some of the greatest performers in Nashville's drag history. She is a high energy gal with good ole southern flair and charm. So sit back and enjoy as we get to know this incredible staple of our drag community.
What can you tell us about your first time in drag?
I started going to the Connection when it was open here in Nashville to watch the shows. I was so intrigued by all the great costumes and entertainers. So one night I went to The Cabaret Episode 2 for a talent night. I showed up with a pair of tie dye pants and a tank top and wanted to go out and do a P!nk song, and I thought I was something. Santana was in the back and said nope. He sat me down, gave me some makeup and some boobs, and put a wig on my head, and said, “Ok, that’s a start.” So it began.
Who are some drag performers that inspire you?
Samantha Close, Bianca Paige, The Princess, Nichole Ellington Dupree, Deception and so many more!
How do you differ from other drag performers?
Well, I have now been given the name mama, because I guess that is really how I am. I love performing and helping others, and, when I do, my heart and soul is there. I love it and wish I could do more of it. It is a great outlet for me. But, I guess I need to put it like this. Everyone is different in how they do things and how they look at things. And that is ok.
I look at things like this: don’t get in the drama because you will only hurt yourself, be true to yourself, and don’t lose who you are. Everyone else thinks you need to be something or someone you’re not. It’s not been easy, but I am grateful for it everything I have gotten to do so far.
What is your favorite song or performance?
I do a lot of P!nk and Jessie J, because it is close to my style. I would have to say right now Jessie J’s “Flashlight” and P!nk’s “So What?” I get told I do a great P!nk, so I keep studying.
You’re known for your emotional ballad performances. Where do you draw that emotion from?
Life experience can be a great way of channeling emotions for it. Listen to the music and find some point in your life you can relate to it…. When you do that you can connect with the audience and they feel your feelings and it is something amazing happens every time.
Would you say the drag scene is more political here or in other cities?
Well as most know I don’t get into the politics, but it’s everywhere really. That is another thing so many people deal with that I think is sad.
Do you feel the pageant world is more political than the drag community as a whole?
Yes and no…. A lot of people have their opinions about some pageants: you need to be competing for five or six years before you might possibly win, and some you may not. I can also say that, for some queens and kings, it may take a few years to even understand the pageant system and be able to put together a great winning package. So that is where it can be a hit or miss.
How does your family feel about you doing drag or even being gay?
For the most part my family is very accepting. I have a loving husband, dad, mom, and grandfather who have seen me. If my grandmother were still here, I am sure she would come to see me, which is amazing. I wish more people had that kind of support. My grandfather is 84 years old and makes my mom bring him to Play Dance Bar to my performances on the Open Stage Nights.
Was it always that easy?
This is a hard topic. My mom was 15 and dad was 18 when I was born. My grandparents did a lot of the raising of me. I was raised on a farm in the country, which caused me to have to stay in the closet for a long time. I went through hell falling out of that closet. I have had to learn to accept myself, and living out there you don’t have an LGBT support group. I am glad so many kids have that more so now than I did.
Have you faced other hardships due to being a drag performer?
Drag is not cheap as a lot of people know. So pushing myself to become a better entertainer costs a lot financially and you push yourself mentally. It is easy to go buy a shirt and pants off the rack, but it takes thought and planning to really make drag come to life. I know, believe me I have had to do the off the rack thing in my life. Don’t think for a second people will not clock you for it.
Did drag strain your love life?
Over the years it’s been hit and miss. Dating can be really hard when you are a drag queen. There are so many people that look at you being a drag queen as being such a negative thing as if you’re not good enough to date and won’t give you the time a day because of it. I am glad that today I have a caring and loving husband. I wish so many others could find that also.
How has your profession and lifestyle affected the holidays?
I have missed a few Thanksgivings and Christmas’s because of either shows or because of family acceptance. Sometimes in my mind it was easier just to stay away. Some of my family now I don’t visit because of that. I have learned to accept and love myself and that is what is important.
What is it like during the holidays for drag entertainer?
It is an interesting time. Usually there are lots of parties and special events going on. But as a show performer you do have to miss family events if they live out of town. It’s like retail: you have a job to do and you have to realize our fellow entertainers are family also.
Christina Rae performs at Play Dance Bar the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, and at Lipstick Lounge the 1st Friday of the month. She will also be an occasional guest at Mad Donna’s Drag Bingo. You can follow her on Facebook.com/christina.rae.9210 and on Twitter @christinarae84. Walker Photography does a good deal of her photos, and you can check them out on Facebook as well.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.