Editor’s note: This interview, which originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine, has been edited and condensed for space and clarity.
On July 1, 2018, Trevor Straub brought something new to Grand Rapids: daytime drag shows. Straub is the CEO/show producer for MI Drag Brunch, an entertainment company that produces drag shows in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
Straub said after regularly attending drag shows at Rumors nightclub he felt an “urgency” to bring the art form to a broader population through daytime entertainment.
The shows have been going strong — often selling out — ever since.
Charlsie Dewey: Can you share a little bit about yourself and your background?
Trevor Straub: I started involving myself in the arts community at the age of 6. Throughout my childhood, I volunteered with local community theater group STAGE-M and continued my studies with the Big Rapids High School theater department. Throughout those years, I learned every aspect of “putting on a show,” from hanging stage lights, doing hair/makeup, directing and, of course, being a performer. After high school, I was accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and moved to Los Angeles to further my studies and become a professional artist.
CD: Drag Brunch really took off in GR and even expanded to Detroit. How does it feel to see such a positive reception?
TS: It is absolutely gratifying. Sometimes one faces difficulties not because you’re doing something wrong, but because you’re doing something right. I strongly believe in this as we continue to spread our awareness and push the “boundaries.”
CD: For someone who’s never seen a drag show, what can you tell them about the experience?
TS: Drag Brunch is 100% unpredictable, that is the beauty and joy of it all. However, it is guaranteed to have you laughing, singing and dancing to the tunes, enjoying some of Grand Rapids’ finest eateries, and making new friends along the way. You truly never know what is going to happen.
CD: What do you enjoy about drag performances?
TS: I love the dramatics. It is larger than life, and such a relief from the everyday that makes it so enjoyable.
“Drag Brunch has provided me with so many new relationships within the community that I am eternally grateful for.”
CD: Have you ever done drag?
TS: I was actually put into drag by one of our Brunchette entertainers and performed for the very first time at our 1-year anniversary show! It was a great experience. I was able to walk the footsteps of my entertainers and gain an even stronger appreciation for what they do.
CD: Since beginning Drag Brunch, how has it changed/influenced you?
TS: I’ve been able to discover, study and appreciate an entire new art form that I’ve come to profoundly respect. Drag Brunch has provided me with so many new relationships within the community that I am eternally grateful for. Throughout my life I’ve always been taught to be bold, loud and let my artistic passion be my driving force. This lesson is something I will always continue to do.