Hillcrest resident Katrina Duall will represent San Diego in the La Femme Magnifique drag Pageant in Sacramento.
One San Diego drag queen will be heading to Sacramento on January 22, to compete in the showgirl drag pageant California La Femme Magnifique (CLFM) and she couldn’t be more excited.
“It's a fun pageant. Very festive and sparkly,” said Katrina Duall, who takes the business of female impersonation, and the contest, very seriously.
“This will be my second year competing in the California prelim, set in Sacramento, in hopes of gaining a ticket to the International Pageant in Portland, Oregon, Labor Day Weekend,” Duall told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
Duall, who lives in Hillcrest, will be joined by another San Diego performer, Miss Pearl (below left), who will compete in the recently-added plus-size division.
La Femme Magnifique was created by Darcelle XV in Portland Oregon in 1983, making it one of the longest running pageants in the circuit.
Performers fly in from all over the United States to take part in the completion, some traveling internationally from Mexico and as far as Canada.
One of the things Duall likes about this particular event is its stringency in adhering to certain traditional ideals.
“I am excited to go because of the drag standard that the pageant expects of the contestants,” said Duall. “I'm an old-school queen. I am all about feathers and sparkles, high drag, big hair, big jewelry.”
One of those standards is that the contestants may not have any physical alterations done to their bodies, something Duall says, for lack of a better term makes it, “a Butch-Queen pageant.”
CLFM pageant producer, Misha Rockafeller (above left), née Michael Kennedy, won 20-years-ago, a victory he will never forget, “I spared no feather, rhinestone or bead. I won and I won big. As I celebrate my double decade as La Femme Magnifique International it seems like last night.”
During the production, Kennedy continues, there is no time to see what those around you are doing. It is a fast-and-furious competition that is solely reliant on your ability to focus and take direction.
Says Kennedy, “During the competition you have no sense of what is happening around you or what the other contestants are doing except the occasional glimpse of a costume in the changing rooms. Everything is very scripted and it seems to happen very quickly although seamless.”
Kennedy recalls that night 20 years ago, and how much it meant to him to win La Femme Magnifique. He says it was a shock because the presenters created an element of surprise as they walked toward the first runner-up with roses in hand.
“My heart sank I thought damn I just lost! But then right at the last moment she jumps the other way and hands them to me,” Kennedy says. “I shrieked the most blood curdling shriek. Nearly dropping to my knees I became that hopeless and utterly uncontrollable winner you see on Miss America.... I had just won the Olympics for Drag Queens!”
It is that excitement that San Diego’s Katrina Duall would like to experience herself. She will participate in four categories: Black and White Presentation, Evening Gown, Talent, and the Grand Finale: Las Vegas Showgirl.
Her victory in Sacramento would mean a trip to Portland on Labor Day to compete on the international level. If she slays the competition there, she will come away with a crown, sash, flowers, prize packages, and $500.
Taking the crown would be an emotional victory for Duall, and as Kennedy says, a prestigious honor within the community.
"La Femme International has helped shape my last 30 years as an entertainer that is true, but La Femme Magnifique International and the pageant created a respect for the art form."
California La Femme Magnifique takes place on Sunday, January 22 at The Center at Twenty Three Hundred 2300 Sierra Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95825.
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