Last night we hosted a very special Matserclass here at Delamar Academy. Gracing us with their presence were two top performance artists, Tom Scanlon and Steven Cleverley. These boys are West End dancers, singers, actors and as we discovered, laugh-a-minute comedians. What more could you want on a Wednesday evening? The dynamic duo came in to teach us all about Drag Make-up. We felt this was an important area of the industry for students to learn about, especially those who wish to go into theatre or fashion. So what better way to learn about it than from a pair of real working Drag Queens?!
The fabulous evening started with glitter cupcakes, prosecco, camp music anthems and a red carpet into the main classroom, which was bedecked in glitter balls and lights. We don’t do things by halves here at Delamar.
Tom started off by telling us how he fell into the Drag world through a last minute live gig, courtesy of Steven who could no longer do the job. Steven was affectionately referred to as Tom’s “Drag Mother”. In a baptism of fire, Steven gave Tom a quick Drag make-up lesson by doing half his face and sending him on his way. Tom then had to do the other half of his face for the job.
“I looked like Phanton Of The Opera. One half was beautiful, the other was lopsided and deformed.”
He made us howl with laughter by recounting the pleasing news that he:
“Still got paid!!”
Steven’s background was with the original cast of a huge West End show Prisilla, Queen of the Desert. As a gigging Drag Queen and long time performer, he has been in the industry for many years perfecting his craft. Interestingly, Steven told his mum he was a Drag Queen at a very young age before he told her he was gay. These two sassy, animated Queens had a refreshingly honest and relaxed approach to their work. Tom was extremely critical of his (clearly) strong make-up skills, comically holding his breath when drawing on the eyebrows and telling the students he will probably do everything they are told not to do. It was sheer joy to watch from start to finish.
Products from Kryolan, Mac and Elmers washable school glue sticks came out of camp make-up bags, to be applied thickly and blended to perfection. One student asked if they “bake” with loose powder.
“No. I’m not Mary Berry darling. I don’t have time for that.”
Tom then demonstrated how he enthusiastically pats the powder puff into the face with a degree of force to make Steven’s head shake. He then went on to explain how he successfully auditioned for a part in Kinky Boots after watching the award winning show and falling in love with it. He learnt more make-up and wig tips from his fellow Queens. During a long stint on the musical sometimes doing his make-up twice in one day, Tom saw his skills and confidence develop much further.
The evening progressed with constant laughter, sharp wit and a make-up demonstration to rival any top YouTuber. We were #blessed to be sharing the room with these two fascinating and talented characters who even gave us an outfit change at the end and answered every question imaginable.
Thank you so much to Tom and Steven! They must and will come back soon to do this evening ALL OVER AGAIN for our next intake of lucky students.