To Decadence with Love, Thanks for Everything! (2020) Movie Script

- I'm feeling good.
- Welcome.
- Invoking the power of Beyonce
and I feel like there's
enough sexual energy
in this room that, like,
I could light a match
without a spark.
So yeah, I'm feeling good.
- Will you all just,
like, please make room
for a massive drag queen,
and then everybody please
welcome to the stage,
the goddess their
is Laveau Contraire.
- How'd you get all
that to stay on there?
Or did you tie it?
- Crocheted it, yeah.
Took a long time.
I've been working
on this for weeks.
- I think the first time
I did Southern Decadence,
it was just as a drag queen.
I don't think I had
experienced it before.
'Cause I started drag
shortly after I moved here.
- It has been much worse,
but I recently
did some
brush washing and
tried to move some stuff around.
- So it was just being like,
what is going on here?
There's so much happiness
and queerness being
represented in the streets
and I can walk down the
street wearing a wig
and a dress and like
it's cool.
Nobody is bothered.
It's kinda like a second
Mardi Gras in a weird way and
if you're not celebrating,
then I hope you're
working 'cause
the money is out
there to be made.
- Okay, sounds good to me.
Pencil me in.
- Okay.
- All right, sounds good.
- All right, later.
- Come to me students
I'm waiting for you.
This is really exciting.
I think it's gonna be about
seven or eight people.
I'm really hoping
there aren't like some
people trying to sneak in here.
this is like a throwback.
So I came out 10 years ago.
Lets go again.
I came out to Bourbon Street
for the very first time.
What I didn't know is that
the first time I ever
came out to Bourbon Street
was in during
Southern Decadence.
So my experience and my
association with Decadence
was just like,
this is absolutely crazy.
My memory of seeing like
crazy costumes and me just
both enamored fascinated
and kinda terrified
by how much of a
spectacle it was.
And then now looking back
and seeing how much I wanted
to be part of that spectacle.
And lot of the reasons why I
love doing drag and burlesque
and all these other things
is because, you know, I'm
part of the spectacle.
I am the spectacle.
So I think
Southern Decadence like
really inspired that
and I wanted to be part
of whatever that was.
- Well,
it's gonna be bigger
than the Red Restaurant.
I did that.
I did the road show
that weekend and
I pulled in a thousand
dollars that weekend.
With Southern Decadence
it's gonna be a big weekend.
New Orleans is a great place.
It's a fun place.
Every city has its quarks but
this weekend,
if you're not a part
of this weekend,
then you're not a
part of living here.
This is a good weekend for that.
- Going into Decadence.
I'm super excited
because you know,
I did decadence two years ago
and I didn't really
enjoy the experience.
I think I was just
a little too green
to the performance scene.
I would just kinda accept
anything as it was.
And so now looking
back, I'm like,
I was really, really underpaid
the first Decadence
that I did drag hoe
but that's not the
case this time,
which is a great feeling.
It's a great feeling to
know that you're gonna reach
a certain like financial goal.
Like before there are any tips,
before anyone gives you anything
like your base is
your financial goal.
And I think that's a
really wonderful thing
that was not my
reality two years ago.
So right after Decadence,
I'm going to New York,
which I'm super excited about
because I think
in New York, there's
more opportunities for
kind of spontaneous
gigs to show up
because there's
just so many people,
there's so many
things happening.
You never know when someone
might just randomly need a queen
or a weird freaky naked mine,
clown thing, lady thing,
we'll see what happens, but
either way, I'm super excited.
Word to your kids,
don't do drag.
Performing during Southern
Decadence is a rollercoaster.
It takes a lot of patience.
It takes a lot of real power
at any point I'm
doing any kind of gig.
And it's like,
I think that's just
the pattern of my
life right now.
Like at any given moment
I could be doing anything.
So it always feels kind of
kooky because I'm going from
quite literally like,
like what lady Gaga says,
like club club, ice, coffee,
another show, another show,
ice, coffee, show.
And sometimes I feel
like I'm out of my mind,
but somehow all of it's working.
Typically and historically like
during the month of
August, September,
it's the slowest
time in New Orleans.
So there's not really a large
opportunity to make money
because drag and heat
don't go together.
It doesn't take a rocket
scientist to know that.
But I think specifically
with Southern Decadence,
that the fact that there's
this large influx of people
that are coming from
all over the country
and they're coming
specifically to spend money
and they're coming
specifically to spend money
in queer related things,
obviously drag falls
underneath that umbrella.
So if you play
your cards, right,
if you are networking
with the right people,
it's an opportunity
to make a lot of money
that just was not there.
- Thank you so much.
- No problem.
Have a good show.
Be safe.
Happy Decadence.
- Thank you.
Alright no freaking out.
Drag guys like you haven't
had them out down yet.
Just you wait,
it's coming.
Made them in like 45 minutes.
- So like the tape we'll go
to first point we made it.
- Exactly.
- How are you feeling Logan?
- Hot.
But that's drag in the summer.
Now we have the skirt, right?
That we're gonna reattach
once I'm actually ready.
Five, six,
eight, nine, 10, 11.
- It's very in that room.
Just the hoe one.
- I just wanna take a moment
to personally thank each
and every single one of you
for being here tonight.
This is the biggest show
I do every single year.
There she is.
Come on with me.
This is the biggest show I
do every single year for fun.
This is just a show and a bar
surrounded by a sea of
thirsty drunk heads.
There are no wrong answers.
There are no wrong rules.
I just want you to
walk away having like
the best time of your life.
And then hopefully with
lots and lots of money.
So with that being said,
everybody, we're gonna
say fuck'em in the hearts.
One, two, three.
- Fuck'em in the hearts.
So a few years ago,
In the midst of all
the populous high
about being real.
But the same time I was
like, you know what?
New Orleans needs another
fucking Decadence Show.
- I'm too awesome for this.
Everybody thank you very much
and have a great fucking night.
- So backstory.
As a music kid I was
always like doing theater
and like performing that way.
And there's something
about it that
is both terrifying
and exhilarating.
And when I was in middle school,
I did this like talent show.
And I was like, literally
shaking before I went on stage.
But the second I got on stage
and the music started,
it was just like, I blacked
out and just did the thing.
- I thought about the first
time I was ever asked,
what do you wanna be?
I think I was about nine or 10.
And I said, the first thing,
I was just like,
I wanna be an actor
or less requires acting.
Drag requires a lot of acting.
When I'm a cabaret host,
I'm acting in a sense.
I'm being my real self,
but there are certain parts
where I have to suspend
the real Frankie
from the stage persona Frankie.
- So I moved to New Orleans
and pretty soon the city
had me under its spell.
And that was the
first time I was like,
this drag thing.
Maybe I should try it.
Then I started going out
to bars and basically
asking show directors,
relentlessly like,
hey, when can I be on your show?
Hey, when can I be on your show?
And eventually someone was like,
"Okay, fine."
You can be on this show.
- My first job in the city
was as a food and
beverage server.
Once I made the transition from
service industry to performing,
that was a little bumpy.
I was someone who were the
one to get my name out there.
So it was a situation
where I just took any gig,
whether it promised $300
or it promised me $3
or a vodka or soda,
I would take it.
- Doing shows for free.
Doing shows for just as many
tips as you could collect.
And I was like, okay, bet.
And from there now
I make my own gigs.
I create my own shows
and produce opportunities
for other Queens
who are just getting started.
- Doing this kind of work is
a little bit more fulfilling
because it's a little
bit more in line
with the things that
I've always wanted to do.
I've always wanted
to be on stage.
I've always wanted to be
in front of the camera.
That like truly makes me happy.
- Well, I see it's not
nothing wrong with it.
You know what I'm saying?
I don't know if they doing
it for an organization
or what's going on with it.
But I know New Orleans
and here in New Orleans,
the first quarter
would be at a place
for them to have that every year
so that they can, you know,
enjoy themselves, you know,
and be themselves
at the same time.
New Orleans is the
place to be for it.
This is the place to be.
- I'm doing a straight lip sing.
- But the second one.
- Yeah.
- Tonight we are here with
Bearded Lady Productions,
for installment of their
Decadence dance party
featuring drag and some
burlesque from your truly.
- I did this show for pride
and it was a ton of fun.
So I'm really excited
to do it again.
Yeah, it's great time.
Music is gonna be awesome.
Excuse me.
I'm a polite queen.
- I'm excited.
I'm definitely doing more this
year than I did last year.
And I'm super excited about it.
There's just so many
events this year.
It's kinda like wow.
- As a performer,
it's kinda nonstop,
but also
everyone is just
out to have fun.
Like you could do almost
anything if people are like,
yeah, I'm here for you.
There's this money
raining down or whatever.
So like on the business
side of it, it's great.
it's a lot of work
but it's worth it
'cause you got to do.
You have a little
bit more liberties
during decadence to
get away with some stuff.
- You made it.
- It's Decadence,
let's get a decadent.
Decadence on three listen dance.
Throw some dance on three.
One, two, three.
- Throw some dance.
Please make one dancing
welcome to Franky.
- This next number
is buried as heavy.
Freedom like this I
just love being queer.
- I hope you had
a lovely time too.
You got the stage.
Take your pictures now.
And then DJ Holographic
is gonna take over.
- I think the community
of performance
that we have here
is super eclectic.
There's like just a lot of
young bubbling, aspiring
drag queens,
drag things,
drag clowns,
we're doing like some
really cool cutting edge,
gender, fuckery,
sort of art right now.
It's happening in like
great amounts here.
And it's really cool here.
And I think that
people are simultaneously
inspired by it
and it's challenging
a lot of gender norms.
And I think that
too we're sort of changing
the conversation of drag
or even cabaret in the south.
To be part of this community.
Everyone serves like
a different role.
I think for me,
like I served as sort of
role as you know, risk taker,
all around performer.
- Here in New Orleans,
the drag scene is
somewhat divided
and I've made it my mission
to just combine
them and mix them
because we have so much
to learn from each other.
So on one side you have
the pageant queens,
the glamor queens who are
wearing these sickening gowns
covered in rhinestones with
hairs looped to the gods.
And then on the other side,
you have this
underground sort of scene
that is pushing boundaries
of gender and delusion
and what it means
to be this or that.
And I think that I fit
somewhere in the middle
where I've started
my drag career
with those pageant
queens learning,
you know, how to put
together a polished package,
but then I would learn from
the more alternative scene,
how to be creative and how to
construct a message behind it.
And when you put
those two together,
I feel like it's super powerful.
So I really, really
loved being in the city
and getting those
two perspectives.
It's honestly a platform where
you wanna get on stage with
no wig
or no nails
or no hip pads
or whatever other people
use to define drag.
You can do that and you can
perform whatever you want.
Obviously they're gonna
check you if it's something
that's like not equitable
to other people or you know,
is offensive in some way,
but you do get the opportunity
to just be yourself and do you.
- So this is a production
put on by Laveau Contraire
and basically it's
showcasing people
that are unrepresented
in our community.
I'm really looking forward
to seeing the show myself.
Come see the show.
It's $15.
Let's be always lounge.
But it's really a lot
of talented performers.
And a lot of people I actually
know are friends with.
So it's gonna be
an amazing show.
- I was looking for
something big to do
something that
would be impactful.
And for some reason,
Southern Decadence Weekend
just kept sticking
out in my mind.
- This elderly couple is coming.
- I feel like I'm marching
an army down the street.
- I'm so tired.
I'm tryna like get my
energy back so that.
- Don't even think about.
- I'm gonna catch that second
wind it's gonna happen.
Happen sometime.
- Well you don't
really have a choice.
- Colors is an attempt to make
drag a little bit more colorful.
It's been pretty
white historically,
but we're making a splash
by having all POC performers
and telling our stories on
the main stage in a way that
brings them to the forefront
of everybody's minds.
If this was like the
only thing I was doing,
I'd probably be
like, great and fine.
So it's been a little hectic,
but I think I'm handling it well
because I'm still
here and still smiling
and I'm excited for one
more day of decadence.
Ready for it to be over.
- I don't know what the fuck
is going on with these brows.
Literally at all.
- Sisters, not twins.
- It has been a whirlwind
in the best of ways.
I feel like I've been
running around like a chicken
with my head cut off,
but I've also been like
growing as a performer
in like a short amount of time.
So I've been connecting
to the audience
in ways that I haven't before.
I've been like stretching
my performer voice
in ways that I hadn't before.
I've been having a lot more fun
and showing a lot more
confidence in my performances.
The concept of colors
is amazing on its own,
especially during
Decadence Weekend.
But then personally,
this is probably gonna
be one of my most
vulnerable performances
because it's my Katrina story.
And it just happens to be
the Weekend of Katrina,
which I didn't know
when I submitted for colors,
but it's gonna be a
celebration and a remembering.
- I said forgot my
short wig at home.
It's bald-headed hoe night.
- Does anyone have a time?
We'll tell them to come back
here when they are ready.
How about that?
And then as soon as that's done,
we're about to do a few
hands in and all that desk.
Sit on that.
Now that's what I
call "not drag".
So this is why I think
it should go sideways.
All right Laveau, it is 9:20.
- Here ya go, kids.
- Okay.
And I'm so excited
to put on this show
because I think it is like
the most important
thing to be doing
is putting black
and brown voices
to the front of the conversation
so that we can be heard
and especially in
a place in a space
that is super duper
whitewashed and
isn't an accurate representation
of what the LGBT community is.
or just
people in general.
So I just want to do this
important work with you guys,
and I'm just super grateful.
So thank you all for being here.
Thank you for giving
this your all.
And I can't wait
to see the magic
that you all bring to the stage
'cause it's gonna be
one hell of a night.
Are you ready?
- Yeah.
- Lets put our hands in,
down on rainbow up on glitter,
let's try it.
One, two, three.
- Rainbow glitter.
This is a decadence celebration
of the vibrant lives
and expressions of
some of the golf course
most brilliant
performers of color.
Through the art forms of
storytelling and performance.
Each performer will
use a specific color
to paint a picture from
their colorful lives.
Together the cast of colors
will splatter the
balls of your mind
with experiences
and perspectives
on what it means to live
in a more colorful world.
Let's give it up
for Synamin Vixen
That is my amazing daughter.
I love her so much.
This next performer goes
by the name of Frankie.
Does anyone know who that is?
- I want to give you a
story of why I do drag.
I grew up a lot
around a lot of women
being inspired by that as
like a little queer boy.
I imagine now that
as I'm doing drag,
I'm sort of drawing that power,
I'm sort of drawing
like that inspiration
where a lot of women didn't
know what to do with it.
So I think of myself as a
strong black fem figure.
The way I've always
thought of them,
like in their eyes,
even when they didn't see
that strength in themselves.
So that's why I chose
the color green.
And I'm gonna do a little
performance for y'all.
- Now you've seen
why it's so important
for me to do this show,
like the amazing artistry
that it's bringing out
in some of my favorite
people is astounding.
And I'm so grateful.
I know, right?
You weren't ready?
Well, guess what?
There's more.
- Because I knew it was never
gonna work out the whole time.
But I kept saying like,
like maybe,
just take a look
at this performance
and you'll see how
maybe ended up turning.
- But it's find that color
that resonates deep inside you.
And then like, turn
it up a little bit,
make it more vibrant all right.
I wanna see more
people living out loud
because we all have color.
Nobody is just dull, gray.
There is something about
you that makes you special.
And we're all here to
live a unique experience
if you dare to.
So I'm asking you
to be fearless,
I'm asking you to be amazing
and I'm asking you to splatter
the walls of your life
with a little bit more color.
Are you ready to see me perform?
- I also did with my community
because they didn't
really understand me.
I Was born in a
Bible belt state.
So Sippi, it was really
challenging and trying.
Well at the age of 17,
I ran away from home
and I just felt like
there was something better
out there in the world.
For 15 years,
I was a victim of homelessness,
sex work,
and substance abuse.
Well now to tell you three
years now and counting,
I moved to New Orleans
and I'm an HIV
prevention counselor,
trans advocate,
life coach,
and a female illusionist!
- Colors is finished.
How are you feeling.
- I feel amazing.
Everything went so perfectly.
I'm so grateful for this cast
and all of these
beautiful people
that we are representing
and I couldn't be happier.
I am feeling tired,
but I'm feeling very, very proud
of the work that we've done.
- With all of the people
in the margins of society.
I feel like we're doing
important work to be seen,
to be putting
ourselves out there,
to be telling our
stories because
I know tons of amazing
people of color
that do amazing work in the city
and they deserve
to be highlighted
and not just in February.
So I put together this show
that would combine
performance with storytelling
in a way that humanizes us
and lets people see the
person behind the sludge
that you see when
we hit the stage.
Just so that they understand
that there's so much more to us
and that we are not
to be forgotten.
- My best friend Amy was gay.
I was 15, 16 years old.
It was probably 1980.
she said,
we're gonna go down
in a French quarter
and go see the
tech events parade.
So we came down here and now
I had no clue what it was.
And I was just so fascinated
and it was just amazing to me.
The costumes and the
dresses, the wigs.
It makes my heart happy
knowing that I'm
from New Orleans
and all these people
love it so much.
- Once you pick people
up and you know,
you form a
conversation with them
and then y'all begin
to talk about things.
You relate to the
people in a way that
gives me a feeling of humanity
and that this world
is a great place,
especially in New Orleans.
Besides the things that we
deal with on a daily basis
is really good people
all over the world.
It's not a black, white thing.
It's not a build a
wall Mexican thing.
It's not that these are people.
So people that wanna
live and wanna have fun
and wanna change with life.
And when the city
comes together,
like for Southern
Decadence and football
other great events,
and everybody's so kind to each
other this time of the year,
everybody's so loving
and Southern Decadence is
you can just feel it in the air.
I just can't even describe it.
- I feel like New Orleans is
its own little kind
of liberal bubble.
It gets referred
to a lot as that
because, you know, I
think people who are queer
have a little bit more room
to be themselves in this city,
but it still is the south.
- The king of kings
and the lord of lords.
- This is the band that
was on Gene's Po-Boys
that is no longer
Gene's Po-Boys.
And Gene's mama was sick or
she'd be here with us today.
It's grand marshal two years ago
when he carried my
bat and my flags.
So welcome this
Southern Decadence.
We're not just family,
we're proud to be family.
- It's like any other random
Sunday in New Orleans,
because often there is a
parade for some random reason.
Everyone in the city
has a costume closet
like straight queer you know.
We always love an
opportunity to dress up and
be ourselves in new
and exciting way.
So I feel like it's the
heartbeat of the city really.
- Happy decadence every one.
- Grand Marshall, number 42.
Happy Southern Decadence.
- It's important for us
to have moments like that
where it's just pure community.
If we think about
like a lot of things
that have happened in
the past couple of years,
pulse and other
attacks against people
who identify as LGBTQ.
I think it's important
to have moments like that
of celebration,
camaraderie and support
because like a lot
of queer experience
can be cloaked in
a lot of darkness.
It's important for
us to have parades,
have drag shows,
have celebrations where
we're holding hands,
where we're expressing ourselves
and we're seeing the future
where people right
in front of us.
- I feel like with
anywhere in the world
as a queer person, you kinda
have to find your tribe
it's hard
living in a society
that doesn't necessarily have
your best interest in heart.
So I think it's so important
to keep putting
ourselves out there,
to keep fighting the good fight
and to step into these spaces
that are largely white,
largely cis-gender, largely male
and saying, hey, we deserve
a seat at these table too.
- This is an exciting
time to go to New York.
So I'm super
excited to be there.
It's gonna be fashion week.
It's going to be drag on,
you know, decadence is over
and I don't really think
I had an actual moment
to catch my breath.
And now just like a
typical Frankie fashion,
I am getting ready to coach
to a whole other state
and be there for
almost two weeks.
And I feel like I haven't
even gotten the moments
of fully processed that
and it's like, okay, and
the next thing and go.
I'm just gonna be
excited to be there.
'cause it's gonna be
such a beautiful time.
And I'm actually gonna get to
experience fall in September,
which is something that doesn't
happen here in New Orleans.
Yeah, 'cause I
think at some point,
I would love to move.
So it's like,
I think going to New
York is kind of like
me testing out different places.
I definitely see
that the next chapter
or the next evolution
of myself as an artist
is gonna involve
me not being here.
And so it's gonna be
very healthy for me
to be separated from the
city for almost two weeks.
And so I'm very excited to
see where that takes me.
I don't know where
everything's at right now.
Prosperity Gregory bag.
I'm gonna put in my left
pocket the entire time.
I don't know how it's
gonna be with TSA.
I'm just gonna go ahead
and leave this in the bag
and then
I brought the crown
of success handle.
Then when I'm like
while we're there,
just to keep our good energy
and, you know, success means
a lot to different people.
But for me, it's just like,
if I can make quality contacts
and network with people,
I think it's gonna
be successful.
I think my focus should
be less about money
and more about like connections
and seeing people, meeting them
and being like,
hey, what do you do?
How can I be a part of the mix?
That kinda stuff.
So you always got to have a
piece of home wherever you go.
And New Orleans is magical.
So ima bring that to New York,
hopefully people like it.
And if not, I'd
have fun either way.
- Okay, here we go.
Off to another crazy adventure.
Let's see did I pack my sanity?
I did not.
- Run that queen over!
- Good morning.
Good night.
Good morrow.
- When we get to the airport,
I'm gonna get like a smoothie.
I think a vitamin booster
to try to stave off post
decadence like Kim Cough.
I'm gonna get coffee too.
- My God, I mean,
I felt like I could
use so many words
to describe this decadence but,
aside from it be exhausting,
I was really proud of that
I had the endurance to do it
and I got to like be in
so many great shows
and candy show.
Laveau Show was like absolutely
beautiful and inspiring.
And what I particularly
liked about Laveau Show
and I told this to her online
and I texted her about it
was this that she managed to
find something that was like
artistic and vulnerable
and meaningful
in the midst of something
like an event like decadence,
where it's just so much
chaos happening around us.
It was really nice to kinda
have like a quiet, safe space
to just do something like that.
So that was beautiful.
- Yes.
I learned so much
this past decadence,
not even just as a performer,
I learned a lot as a producer.
In here
so that it seems
like some sort of
organization is happening
- It really just
showed me what it takes
to put all of that together.
And then also to
do the important
and meaningful work that it was
just inspires me to
create more spaces
for transgender people,
non-binary people,
people of color.
It's important to me that
my work means something
and be meaningful
because otherwise we're
just playing dress up.
I want to do what I
do for the community
and for the people around me,
because drag is a fun.
Okay, it is really fun,
but like you're putting
your body through so much
and you're wearing heels
for hours at a time.
And all of these
different things,
your skin is screaming
for like oxygen.
But the look on people's faces
when you do a number
and you're performing and
to have them come
to you and say like,
this made me feel this or
this made me feel seen,
or thank you for touching
on this topic during
your performance.
That is why I get out
of bed in the morning.
That is why I do what I do
so that I can
inspire other people
to be their most authentic self,
to live at the height of what
their gender expression is
just so that they can feel
free as I do when I perform.
- So during decadence this year,
I really pushed myself
to the limits physically.
And I feel proud that not
only did I make it out alive,
I made some really
quality contexts.
I've made money enough
to go on a really cool and
exciting trip to New York.
I was able
not lose sight of why I do this.
I think the reason I perform is
one of the few things
I think in my life
that really feeds my soul.
A lot of times I do
things to pay the bills
or I do things so
that I don't go crazy.
But art and performing is
the only thing in my life
that truly feeds my soul.
And I think that's important
for every single person
to find the one thing in
life that feeds their soul.
So I perform not only
because it's fun,
not only because it's
exciting, it's exhilarating.
I perform because
I could not imagine myself
doing anything else.
I think part of
the problem is that
I need to narrow down
what my aspirations are,
but I think in a
larger sense that
I wanna direct certain
like cabaret shows,
I would love to produce
large scale shows.
- I just wanna keep
pushing the envelope
and keep growing as a performer.
So I'm just going to be
trying to use my platform
in the best way possible
and putting myself out there,
even though it's scary
and sometimes difficult,
but I want to show people
that we can all dream bigger.
So I'm just going to
be producing more shows
everything a little
bit more seriously,
even though this
is make-believe.
- I would love to have my own
dance school at some point,
but these are sort
of later goals
and I'm not giving
myself hard goals because
in performing and doing
all things that I've done,
it's kind of just like easy
to just like find
things along the way.
And sometimes the answers change
as I discover something
new about my art and so
really I'm just kind
of riding the wave
and just seeing wherever I land.
It's an exciting journey too.
Until next year decadence.
See ya.