Curtis Collins (aka Curtistine LaBaśha) is “still coming down from the high” off of his turnabout performance during the third annual “Big Switch” on Monday night at the Woodward Bar & Grill in Detroit.
“People didn’t recognize me,” he said about dressing in drag. “The process was fun. The show is different. I’m used to standing in the background watching it and now I’m doing it. I’m game for it. I had great friends to work with and a great support system.”
It was the first time Collins performed at the establishment where the hottest shows take place on “Fabulous Monday” nights in the city, according to Ray “RB” Calhoun of RB Entertainment.
As a promoter in Detroit for more than 20 years, Calhoun has been hosting shows like “A Night of Duets,” “Woodward’s Got Talent,” “313’s Finest,” and the “Miss Woodward Pageant” for the last 11 years.
“We always sit here and watch the girls do it, but now it’s time to watch the boys do it,” he said about the “Big Switch” hosted by Shauntrelle Blu with music provided by DJ Ray.
The winners – Fredrick “Fabulous” Hicks and Reggie Jones – were selected based on audience applause and went home with $250 each for the “prettiest girl” and the “showstopper,” respectively.
“I am the most nervous and critical of myself before I get on stage,” said Hicks, who is in his 30’s. “I have so many nerves running through me and I’m so scared, but once I get up there I say ‘OK, it’s too late. Let go.'”
Hicks is no stranger to performing. He holds the title of Mr. Woodward 2014 and 2015. As a hairstylist for 20 years, he is known for his ability to design wigs and often lends his fashion expertise to other illusionists.
This was Hicks’ first time dressing as a female, though. He drew inspiration from Diva Cliche.
“She is the total package,” he said. “I love tapping into the creative part of it. I pick an artist that I love and listen to what they’re talking about, go off of how their look is and get into the character of how they would be.”
Calhoun said many of the performers like Collins have never hit the stage before.
“But it’s open to all and anybody can participate,” he said. “Just hit me up on Facebook when you see a flyer and let me know you want to be a part of it.”
For those who want to switch it up, it costs money to acquire the right makeup, hairstyle and clothing, but Collins said, “Just go out there and have fun. I was nervous. I’m usually nervous about things, but just have fun with it. Go hard or go home.”
Hicks adds, “When it comes to doing drag, whether you’re doing old school or new school, always stay fresh, always keep it new, always be creative, and always be you.”
The Woodward Bar & Grill is located at 6426 Woodward Ave. in Detroit. Cover is $10 on Fabulous Monday’s. Check it out on Facebook or call 313-872-0166 for more information.