The Economics of Drag: No Contracts, Unresponsive Bookers, and Unreliable Payments



I'm a little bit pissed off that my hobby of cycling never leads to contracts and unreliable payments. Thank God I have a job that pays the bills or I'd be totally fucked.


Demand-side economics.


I'm willing to pay a $10 cover for quality drag. Fortunately I never have to pay for quality drag in Seattle due to lack of supply.


Who am i supposed to feel sorry for again? It's just like the local music scene, bitch need to make a name for herself before she get's paid mmmK?


And this is why marquee queens have managers and agents or take the business side of the business seriously. Yes, a manager and/or agent take a percentage of your fee but they are also business people that make sure the amount of the payment, the terms of payment and the schedule for payment are agreed upon prior to the booking the gig/show/appearance/hangout. They can also suss out what are good bookings and what are not.

If you are just starting out you should function as your own agent which means having the uncomfortable conversation around how much you're paid, how you will be paid and who will pay you. If you aren't comfortable doing that you then show business isn't for you.


Join the club - making $ via any creative medium is a big risk with slim chance of return on investment. As an old fart, I have seen access to materials, knowledge, and education in all manner of creative expression EXPLODE over the years, making creative hobbies very accessible to all. Today, it is a rare individual that isn't honing some art or craft, aided and abetted by the internet, YouTube, etc. Eventally, a friend says "hey you should get money for that" and another artist joins the fray. Supply and demand, supply and demand......

In closing - creative types are always urged to follow their passion. But that is ass backwards, you need to follow the passion of others, because that is why people give you their money: you tap into THEIR passion. If the # of people passionate about doing drag exceeds the # of people passionate about watching it...well....go read the article.


The performing arts are hobbies for the vast majority of the people who pursue them.

Community theater. Stand-up open mic. Choir groups. Poetry slam. Bands playing at house parties, or in bars for nothing more than drink tickets. The guitar in the corner of a room in half the homes in America.

People all over the world pursue these hobbies with no expectation of making a profit from them.

A few -- very few -- manage to commercialize their efforts, and just a fraction of those who do break even.

Drag is no exception.


...and for fuck's sake, Sam, stamp collecting is not a performance art.


No surprises here. Even more objectionable than not paying queens, Kevin Kauer once gave me the most pathetic rimjob of my life. When is the stranger going to report on THAT injustice? smh


Maybe its because drag queens area dime a dozen. Even the better ones featured here all look exactly the same, but maybe that is just the predominant style now.


Women get dressed, do their hair and make-up every day and no one pays them for their "act" either. Sorry, guys.


Wow, Every single comment is spot on. Let me just add this:

No contracts? Oh boo hoo. So write up a fucking contract then! I play music for a living. I spend several hours a week writing, editing, signing, and sending contracts, W9s, 1099s, stage plots, etc.

And contact through social media isn't as professional as email? Damn, it's too bad you can't just fix that instantly with the reply, "Hey thanks for contacting me, I'd love to perform at your show! Please email me at and we'll hammer out the details."

Talk about first world problems...


This may be the least essential article I've ever read in my entire life, prompting the least essential comment I've ever left in my life.


There seems to be an element of not understanding how reality works when it comes to a lot of "performers"