If you ask any 20-something youngsters what they are passionate about, they are likely to give responses such as dance, music, photography, acting, etc. Rarely will you find someone interested in 'drag'.
But Ryle, a 22-year-old from Porvorim plans to make his mark in the field of drag through his performances.
GETTING INTO DRAG
Although drag is gaining popularity in India, it is slowly picking up in Goa. And, Ryle is using this platform to express himself creatively.
Having just started off in the field of drag, Ryle speaks about his journey of getting into drag. He says that he was introduced to the concept of drag through a show called RuPaul's Drag Race.
FINDING HIS PASSION
The show, RuPaul's Drag Race, made an impact on Ryle, and during the lockdown phase when he was going through a tough time, he was able explore his affinity for drag.
Ryle says, "I used to paint and draw, too, but I kind of hit an art block during the lockdown and that is when I thought I could use my face as art to express myself. I decided to let my face become the canvas, and see how this transformation would turn out."
Having graduated from Chowgule College, Margao, with majors in English and Psychology, stepping into drag was a completely different ball game for him. It was a tough choice and he did a lot of contemplating.
He shares that he thought a lot about what people would think of him, and what they would say. But, this didn't stop him from going ahead and doing it.
"I used to get anxiety attacks just thinking about it all. But then, I decided to just focus on the work and do it," says Ryle.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF DRAG
For Ryle, drag was never about gender, but more about the transformation that went into it.
He states that drag is more about the transformation aspect, than the gender expression. By that, he means the way a person really is and how he transforms himself.
BOOK OF SUFFERING
Speaking about his upcoming show on Saturday, January, 28, 2023, Ryle says that the show focuses on suffering. The theme of the show is 'Book of Suffering'.
"I will be performing on Ethel Cain's album, which will highlight suffering. I want to show that, in a book which mentions suffering, how does the suffering of one person become the motivation and strength of another person. What would that person, who suffered, find out what people feel after seeing the suffering of the one reading, and finding peace with it?" says Ryle.
REALITY OF SUFFERING
Ryle says that people deal with a lot of problems and their pain is immeasurable. "There are many people out there, who have suffered more than me and my pain is nothing in front of them. You can never know what people are going through," he said.
He further added that as long as ones mind is unclear and unsettled, he or she is unable to focus on what he or she wants to do in life, and that's when clarity is very important.
THAT FIRST PERFORMANCE
He recalls his first performance and says that he performed for the first time at the Goa Pride Parade.
"I did an act of Adam and Steve. For me, the performance was not at all good. I had a lot of things that were going on, and on the day of the performance, I had anxiety attacks just thinking about what people would say. I wanted to go home early; at the same time, adjusting to a queer party was kind of hard," Ryle said.
During the performance, he was nervous, his shoe broke and his costume malfunctioned and that made him more nervous. He remembers going straight back after the performance and sobbing.
"For me, my art is everything and if you are unable to give your best and perform for people, and do well, then it is injustice to the art you are doing," adds Ryle.
DRAG TO ME
Over time, following several performances, he has picked up courage and confidence and is slaying his way, entertaining audiences with his drag. He intends to let his work to the talking and looks forward to exploring his abilities with a wider audience.
"For me, drag is art. I wish to take it to the world and show a different side of drag -- as a medium of expression," states Ryle.
WHAT: The Book of Suffering, a drag performance by artysis
WHEN: January 28, 2023
WHERE: For The Record – Vinyl Bar, H.No 49, Mala – Fontainhas
TIMINGS: 4.45 PM