South Texas Pride Q&A: San Antonio talent competition gives drag performers a chance to shine locally

Watch the Q&A video podcast with Rey Lopez in the video player

San Antonio is brimming with new local drag talent, and one competition is helping entertainers strut their stuff in front of a live audience. Watch the South Texas Pride Q&A to learn more about the Drag Me to Fame competition.
San Antonio is brimming with new local drag talent, and one competition is helping entertainers strut their stuff in front of a live audience. Watch the South Texas Pride Q&A to learn more about the Drag Me to Fame competition.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio is brimming with new local drag talent, and one competition is helping entertainers strut their stuff in front of a live audience.

Rey Lopez, with Rey Lopez Entertainment, says he started the Drag Me to Fame competition nine years ago to showcase up-and-coming entertainers.

“San Antonio is full of a lot of local drag queens, people that wanted to be part of my show. So I kind of already have a cast that I usually use in every single show,” Lopez said. “I felt bad that I would have to say no to some people. So I basically generated this competition, a challenge competition.”

Drag Me to Fame includes drag queens and all types of performers, from drag kings to singers. Lopez says there is a winner every week during the competition, and then there is a monthly winner after the weekly victors compete.

“This gives them an opportunity to be part of my cast, at least for a month. At the end of the year, we have 12 monthly winners, and then we have a full-year competition of 12 contestants or more,” Lopez said. “And then whoever wins that yearly competition gets to perform with me for a full year at all my events.”

The talent competition can be compared to TV shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race and Dragula, which are drag competitions on a national scale. Lopez is also responsible for bringing the Drag Race talent to the Alamo City. He says the contestants on the show help elevate drag locally.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race has helped a lot to show that drag doesn’t have to be a certain way; it can be anyway,” he said. “And there’s no wrong way or right way of doing it as long as you have the talent to entertain and show yourself and be a good performer.”

Lopez says his local competition challenges are fun and meant to push people to think outside the box.

“Some of the girls didn’t like the challenge when I would ask for country (songs) and all that, and then they end up performing really good, and they end up liking themselves as a country performer,” he said. “So the contest itself is to help you find something about you that you may not know or that you didn’t want to go into because that’s not your type of drag.”

The competition welcomes all types of drag, and Lopez says it’s not about the kind of performer but how they use their talent with the challenge assigned.

“The competition is open to anybody that has talent, anybody that wants,” he said. “We’ve had people that are drag kings, male performers. We’ve got everything. You know, there is a challenge every week. And as long as you can incorporate your talent with the challenge, you’re good to go.”

Lopez encourages any new talent to sign up and bring their friends to vote for them in the audience. He said while not all performers may be the audiences’ favorites, moving past the initial performance helps elevate their drag.

“Don’t settle for the first look or don’t settle for your first performance. You know, dig into it and do different things,” he said. “People may like it. People may not like it, but you’re not going to stay stuck on something.”

Click here to learn more about Drag Me to Fame.

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KSAT’s South Texas Pride series has launched a new series of Q&As to bring the community more long-form LGBTQ+ content on KSAT.com, the KSAT newsreader app and KSAT-TV on streaming devices. Click here for more South Texas Pride stories.

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About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio for five years. Before living in SA, Ivan covered border news in the Rio Grande Valley.