Your average guy knows about a few things on topics like sports … lawn care … beef jerky… these are the sort of things that generally fall under the (admittedly stereotypical) umbrella of “guy stuff.” But drag queen pageants? Not so much.
That’s not to say that an event like the Miss’d America Pageant — which takes place 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa — can’t be a good time for your average dude. After all, it’s a fabulously fun night hosted by the one and only Carson Kressley (best known as the main guy from that old Bravo show “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” in case you can’t place the name).
Fall is a time when we get to enjoy experimenting with jackets and outerwear. There is nothi…
This is sure to be an amazing night for any and all who attend, it’s just that in order to fully appreciate the evening, a bit of knowledge on what it is and what its contestants are all about would come in handy for those of you who humbly plead ignorance to the whole thing.
Oh, and before anyone hops up on a soapbox and starts ranting, we get it — there are plenty of “regular guys” out there who may be well-versed in drag competitions, and for that we offer our most sincere tip of the cap. But for the rest of you clueless folk who may be just on the verge of buying a ticket to the pageant, what better way to wrap your head around the whole thing than an interview with one of the contestants in this year’s competition, a lovely competitor who performs under the name “Pattaya Hart”? Luckily, we scored that for you. Thank us later. See you at the show.
Atlantic City Weekly: Where did you grow up? Tell us a bit about your background.
Pattaya Hart: I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. I went to school for advertising and marketing and had been working in the marketing and fashion business for over two years when I decided to move to New York to pursue an American dream — my dance training. I trained in ballet, jazz, musical theater, street jazz, hip-hop and tap at Steps on Broadway in New York City.
I started booking shows and gigs within a year that I was here, and I’ve never looked back. I am very humble and grateful for every opportunity that has led me to be where I am, doing what I do nowadays.
ACW: What made you want to get into the world of drag?
PH: At the beginning it was just a fun way to earn some extra money. I was introduced to the world of drag by a bunch of my dancing friends who “dragged” me out to watch a weekly amateur competition.
I thought to myself, “I could totally do that,”so I did. I dressed up and competed at several of these competitions around the city. Then, from networking, it became my part-time paid gig.
Nowadays it is the fact that drag has no rules and boundaries, it is all up for your personal interpretation of your own imagination, that makes me want to get dressed up and perform.
ACW: Do you have one onstage persona? If so, tell us a bit about it.
PH: I don’t have just ONE onstage persona, I sometimes do specific characters and impersonations for certain performances or shows.
My main persona, Pattaya, is a very fun, ditzy, sassy, fierce, good-time girl, all in one. When I perform onstage, sometimes I do the funny, ditzy character, but sometimes I would picture myself as those idols I look up to (Chita Rivera, Kristin Chenoweth, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jennifer Lopez). You will definitely see many sides and personas of Pattaya on stage at Miss’d America this year.
1. The Boneyard will reopen for the event. One of the best spots to catch original music in …
ACW: Have you been a part of Miss’d America before?
PH: Yes, this year is my second attempt in running for the crown and title of Miss’d America. I competed at the Miss’d America pageant in 2015, where I placed 1st Runner-Up to my sister, the amazing Fifi DuBois.
That was my very first time competing in any pageant, so it was such a great experience. I learned and grew so much from it. The Miss’d America pageant will always have that special place in my drag journey.
ACW: What do you have planned for the Miss’d America pageant this year?
PH: I’m planning to bring out my big guns! I’m a perfectionist. I take pride in everything I put out there, so every time I compete in a pageant, I always make sure I’m representing myself to the very best ability I can. For this pageant, I choreographed and directed the entire performance for the talent category myself, and I also collaborated ideas with uber-talented friends and designers for all my outfits.
ACW: Do the contestants get along for the most part, or is there a lot of fighting backstage?
PH: Surprisingly, we are all nice to each other, at least to each other’s face — just kidding. Seriously, it is like a sisterhood. I find it very refreshing to see that all these queens that show up to compete at all these big pageants are so nice to each other and also help each other out as much as they can … giving advice, being extra eyes, zipping each other’s dress up or even lending some backstage essentials.
I personally have never seen any drama nor fighting backstage, and hopefully it stays that way.
ACW: What are your thoughts on Atlantic City and its connection to the drag scene?
PH: Atlantic City is one of the most popular cities in America that people think of when it comes to entertainment. Just like Las Vegas or New York, Atlantic City offers all sorts of shows and attractions.
From my knowledge, Atlantic City has been a great ally and gives great support to the LGBTQ community with all their events and fundraisers, for example: the notorious Miss’d America pageant.
It makes people who come out here, either on vacation, business or other purposes, be aware and open-minded about the community and all the LGBTQ-related things that go on around the city.
I would ideally love to one day create a drag/showgirl/cirque revue show here in Atlantic City. I would love to bring some fantasy experiences to the big stage.