DRAG ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Texas All American Gent Nathan C. Paris
After starting off in the back of the stage as a backup dancer he went from the back of the stage to the front of the stage in a short amount of time. In 2006 he performed a medley of songs as his first performance as a Drag Artist, since then his career has taken him around Texas and the country as a leading Male Entertainer in the industry.
ArizonaDrag.com is proud to highlight the career of Texas All American Gent 2020 Nathan C. Paris
What was your first experience with the art of Drag?
My first experience in the art of drag was when I started out as a backup dancer for several entertainers in the RGV (Rio Grande Valley). I danced for Opening Productions, Pride Events and Pageants.
Do you remember the first song you performed, the first stage, how you felt about it?
The first time I performed was in 2006 @ Club Xcape in Harlingen, TX. I performed to like 6 different songs but I couldn’t even tell you what they were. The funny thing is it wasn’t an actual mix. We used to have to twirl our finger in the air to let the DJ know you were done with the song and fade it into the next one. I literally only performed the first Verse and chorus of every song and waved my finger for the next track. I remember thinking "Wow I’m killing this performance", but now that I think of it not once did I ever actually Lip-sync. I guess I was just excited to perform.
How did you get your drag name?
When I began this career, I didn’t even realize that male entertainers had stage names. It all happened so fast. I really didn't have time to come up with one so when the emcee asked me what my name was I gave her my government name. It wasn’t until my second performance which happened to be the next day I changed it to Nathan.
Does Nathan Paris come from a Drag family? Any drag children?
Nathan Paris comes from the Paris empire in the RGV. Valerie Paris is the Haus Mother. When I started tho I did have several mentors in the community who really helped me grow as an entertainer. I have a drag father, as well, who goes by the name of Rico Cavalli. I do have drag children. They are Jasper Maddox, Frankie Boy, Cherry Paris Van Cartier & Whorechata.
What is your style of Drag?
When I was in my beginning phase I told myself I never wanted to stay comfortable and not be afraid to try new things as far as drag went. My style varies. I definitely like to invest in my costuming. Looking flashy, grand and showing body every now and then keeps the audience wanting more. I also enjoy working with makeup and having fun creating horror characters, super heros, campy looks and anything disney.
What does Drag mean to you?
Drag means so much to me. I appreciate the history of drag and love to hear all the stories from all the entertainers who have been in the Industry for years. I feel like knowing and acknowledging those who have paved the way, who have built the foundation is important for the continuance of a legacy; as well as creating a safe space for other artists to express themselves.
What is or was your main goal when you became a Drag Artist?
Initially it was to have some fun, meet new people and travel around the nation. As I began to take the art more serious and learn the business side of it, my goal was to create a legacy of my own. I feel that's what most of us want to leave behind.
What makes you different from any of the other drag artists?
Some may say it’s difficult being a male entertainer in this industry. I completely disagree. You have to find what exactly you are good at and run with it. From my perspective what makes me stand out is that not only do I perform but I emcee as well. Being an emcee, especially a male emcee, opened so many doors. I was able to do this successfully which allowed me to become a show director.
What has been your greatest moment as a drag artist?
My greatest moment as a drag artist is any moment I am able to give back to my community. I have been involved with many organizations within Texas to help raise awareness or raise money for different charities.
What has been your most embarrassing moment as a drag artist?
I recall this one event I was hosting and while on the mic just being an emcee, I look over and the spotlight flashes at a table. Well I was in complete shock! There sitting at the table were all 4 of my sisters who came to support the show. It was their first time and came to surprise me. Of all the shows they decided to attend it had to be the day I’m wearing a bandana, high-tops and a thong! I was so embarrassed! I rushed through the show as quickly as I could and put my pants on. I ordered them a round of shots afterwards so they wouldn’t bring it up.
Who are your Drag idols?
Oh gosh I have so many that come to mind! I’m only going to name one though so as not to get flack from anyone. Alyssa Edwards is a boss, period! She is smart, talented, a business owner and has such a successful career in this industry. She was one of the first queens I would always look up to and still do.
What’s the biggest difference between Nathan on stage and off stage?
What you see is what you get. I have always been outspoken, love to make people laugh and enjoy being the center of attention. In this industry you have to be a people person in order to be successful.
You’re a man of many hats, you're a show director, pageant promoter and you’ve done some projects off stage, most recently the Men of Texas Calendar. What motivates you to do so many things at once and what’s your inspiration behind it?
My motivation comes from learning and taking advice from some of the best entertainers in the business such as Brittany Andrews, Kitana Sanchez and Roxy Ross. They inspire me to challenge myself, never take no for an answer and always create new ventures for me in the business.
In the beginning of 2021 you produced and successfully launched a Man of Texas Calendar, which you plan to continue and do yearly. What was the idea behind the calendar and where do you hope it goes in the future?
The idea behind the Men of Texas calendar was to showcase the amazing male talent we have to offer in Texas. It represents unity, camaraderie, and the sense of brotherhood in the state of Texas. As for the future of the calendar I wish to continue showcasing Male entertainment but will also be adding a “Queenz of Texas” Edition. Stay tuned!
You’ve competed in pageants throughout your career and later this month (February 26, 2021) you will step down from your title as Texas All American Gent. What can we expect from you at your step down?
My step down is going to be the pageant of the year. I have people coming in from all over the country. It’s going to be a night filled with love, great performances and top notch drag entertainment. The looks for my step down are all created by Rico Cavalli so you know they will be over the top.
Are there any plans to compete in the future? Is there one particular title that you hope to achieve before you retire as a Drag Artist?
I have been going non stop since I won Mr Gay Texas America in July of 2018. Shortly after I stepped down from Mr Gay Texas America I won Texas All American Gent 4 months later. I told myself after this contest I would take a year off and take a break from pageantry. I do have in mind what I would like to do next, but anything can change from now until then. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about you?
When it comes to trying new food I’m pretty close minded. I hate seafood but I have actually never tried any. I just know I don’t like it. I’d rather eat something I know I like versus taking any chances.
If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?
Iron Man. His intelligence, sense of humor, and ability to adapt and grow make him one of my favorites. Even with his status as a genius, billionaire, philanthropist, his character remains the most flawed and the most human.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to continue working in the entertainment industry as well as working full time on television/radio hosting doing what I love.
Anything else you would like to add for our readers?
We are currently living in a world where there is a different type of "new norm". For some people it may be difficult to conform to certain situations. Remember, we are all in this together especially within the entertainment community. We have had to adjust shows and events to certain standards to ensure the well being of our fans and audience members. I believe we help bring a little bit of joy to people during times like these. As someone who is able to adapt to any last minute occurence on stage, this pandemic has taught me to be prepared for anything to happen.
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