RuPaul and Composition Pedagogy

I’ve been watching Drag Race recently (the drag version of America’s Next Top Model + Project Runway) and enjoying it. Seasons 2 and 3 are available on Netflix and I find myself drawn into a world of “people being creativite in a realm I do not fully comprehend.” I watched Project Runway for the same reasons (I even watched the hair cutting one a few years ago…Shear Genius, was it?) and while I did take up sewing I’m pretty sure I’m not going to take up drag anytime soon. Famous last words…

RuPaul has several tropes and catchphrases on Drag Race that are appropriate to my composition teaching and, I think, to creative artists everywhere:

  • “Creativity, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent” (the four main traits they look for in contestants, also the four main traits composers should be working on)
  • “Don’t f*ck it up” (RuPaul’s version of Tim Gunn’s “Make it work”)
  • “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anybody else?” (Can I get an “amen” up in here?)

No, I haven’t told any of my students to “sashay away.” Even when they deserved it.

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