Imagine what it takes to meet and greet scores of people and have to occasionally say "no."
She's a San Diego drag queen superhero and a nightclub door girl; a job that requires her to deal with an unpredictable and sometimes rude public, but, “I love my job," she says.
Kickxy Vixen-Styles had a really diligent July. Of course, she’s busy every month as most of you who know her can attest, there is never a weekend when she’s not in the neighborhood burning up the stage as one of her favorite superhero characters at a drag show.
But July was especially tireless. Not only was Comic-Con in town, it was also the year of mega-Pride. Numbers estimate that over 230,000 people attended the parade alone.
The daytime events are great, but everyone knows that Pride really comes alive at night. Hordes of people in Hillcrest are trying to get into the most “happening” clubs and they don't want to wait in a line that circles the block.
Now imagine being in full drag makeup, duct and tucked, a wig creating a mini furnace on the surface of your scalp and heels that make you feel like you are standing on chopsticks.
Of course, Kickxy wouldn’t have it any other way; this is not only her livelihood, it’s a dream come true. There are very few people who can actually say that or do it for that matter.
On stage, she’s in control of her path and her endgame. Disrespect and the occasional jerk are a part of the job as she lip-syncs through the crowd.
Now imagine being responsible for vetting through all of them at the front of the house. Not that she’s there to turn people away. In fact, that’s the opposite of her job, but it does happen.
Working the door is a mystery to some. What exactly does one do? Is she security? I.D. checker? Host?
It's a mixture of all three.
“Well, my job consists of the VIP guest list,” she tells me. “All guests will come and check in with me. Also, if someone is interested in buying a VIP table I help with that as well. If someone has general questions they come to me.”
This could be considered a wonderful talent to have. Life sometimes introduces you to those people away from the door, away from the club, in everyday life. Kickxy will probably not forget you, and you won’t recognize her out of makeup, so it’s better to be nice.
“Working the door, means getting to know my community,” she says. “Getting a chance to meet people of all walks of life. Whether they're from San Diego or visiting. It's a privilege and honor to be the face of Rich's. When people walk up I'm the first one they see. So it means I have to be welcoming, fun and always look like the party.”
The velvet rope isn’t an electric one, but it should probably be respected in the same way. With San Diego Pride ushering in thousands of people, and some thinking they deserve to blow past the “commoners” waiting in line, handling the door is a daunting task.
“I think this year was way more busy than previous years. It just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. I think it's an amazing thing.”
Kickxy was working at Rich’s, one of the most recognized gay nightclubs in California, I can’t imagine the stress of having people coming at you from all different directions. But this ain’t Rich’s first time at the rodeo and they know Kickxy is the best one to work the door.
“I love what I do. Being a drag queen at one of the busiest nightclubs in our community is why I do it.”
Here’s a free tip I learned about someone working the door, never ask the question “don’t you know who I am?” If you are not on the list, then you’re probably not getting in, and now you’re not only embarrassed but simply uttering that phrase is an automatic red flag for next time.
In fact, Kickxy says that in addition to the stress of making sure her drag is on-point throughout the night, “sometimes people wanting to get in for free or are not on the list and I have to say ‘no’ can be little stressful.”
However, rudeness from people is usually expected, it’s an occupational hazard. But Kickxy never loses her cool. She is not sure exactly why people are rude, but she has a few ideas.
“I don't take it to heart or personal. Usually, if you’re clear and un-confrontational they get the point. And in all honesty, I think people are looking to party and most rude people are already a bit tipsy. I think some people are rude cause they just want to get in and not deal with the long line.”
And this is all fun for Kickxy she says. There is a family behind the scenes and they have each other’s backs. For as much force that comes from the crowd outside, the house has a powerful defense, and that is a reassuring thought; most of the community knows that.
“I love my job, I love my coworkers, I love the club I work for. But most of all I love being around my community and the people that make our Hillcrest a fun place to be.”