Fire Ball: Apoqlypse

Fire Ball to be hosted this weekend in Davies Center

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Fire Ball: Apoqlypse

Photo by Gabbie Henn

Photo by Gabbie Henn

Photo by Gabbie Henn

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Just less than a week before the eighth consecutive Fire Ball at UW-Eau Claire, it sold out.

The drag queen ball, titled “Apoqlypse” will have the theme of fighting for one’s existence in a time when bodies and identities are deliminited.

The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center has put the show on since 2012 and has themed each show with a target message. The people behind the show dubbed it  “a defiant celebration of Others. Monsters. Freaqs. Abominations. Unnaturals.” In other words it is a place to let the “freaq flag fly.”

The show will bring these pressing topics to life for the audience through the creative and energetic performances of 14 drag queens, including Headliners from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Asia O’Hara and Monét X Change.

Each year, all of the proceeds support the GSRC, which uses the money to support student social justice advocacy, according to The Fireball website.

Dominique DeGrant and Khloe Wold, drag queens who will be performing at the upcoming Fire Ball event, have been performing at Fire Ball since the show’s beginning in 2012, they said.

They both said Fire Ball has been growing each year, as well as its demand, as referenced by both nights being sold out. It is now one of the biggest shows on this side of the state, according to DeGrant.

The large venue size gives the performers the ability to utilize more tools to create their performance, whether it be specialty lighting or more stage room, Degrant said.

“Fireball really gives us an opportunity to use the stage and show everyone what we can do,” DeGrant said.

The benefits of Fire Ball’s venue go beyond allowing for bigger costumes and routines, DeGrant said. She said her usual performances are in bars, like Scooter’s on Galloway Street downtown Eau Claire. One challenge bar venue brings is that it limits the audience, where Fire Ball is an environment that can reach greater audiences.  

Khloe Wold, first found drag 10 years ago, she said. She said her first show was at Scooter’s.

“I just came out, and started doing drag all at once,” Wold said.

Over the past 12 years, the drag community has changed and grown, and Fire Ball itself has done the same, Wold said.

To go along with the theme “Apoqlypse,” Wold said she will focus on transgender rights in her performance. She said she wishes to “bridge the gap between drag and the trans community” because “drag doesn’t necessarily mean trans.”

DeGrant starred in the YouTube original reality show “Camp Wannakiki” in 2018, and Wold started Scooters amature drag last year to help beginner queens get on their feet

Wold said it has been a step up each year, since the show’s beginning and their start as entertainers.

In April of this year, the Chippewa Valley Theater Guild will have a benefit drag show that will feature performers like DeGrant and Wold.

Bryson can be reached at [email protected]

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