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Driveway Drag Show Brings a Drag Queen Performance Right to You

(The Triangle Trend) — Imagine you are sitting in a lawn chair on your driveway, hanging with your friends and family on a sublime Carolina night, when suddenly a clown car drives up and screeches to a halt. The doors open and out jumps a renowned, homegrown drag queen. Her entourage follows her out carrying props, backdrops, a PA system, and a costume changing station. This is a veritable roadshow in a car…this is the Driveway Drag Show Raleigh starring Amazing Grace. 

But, before we explore the Driveway Drag Show Raleigh phenomenon, it’s important to get to know the star of the show, Amazing Grace. 

Travis Lewis, who is Amazing Grace, dipped their red-painted toe into the world of drag about five years ago. A successful hospitality professional by day, Lewis found the time to participate in amateur drag competitions and pageants by night. During one of these competitions in the summer of 2015, Amazing Grace stepped on stage at Legends 

Nightclub in Raleigh for the very first time. Amazing Grace won. It was an overnight success moment and appropriately, it was also Independence Day. 

Entries into competitions quickly turned into headline engagements after Lewis had yet another storybook moment. In 2016, Amazing Grace won the title of Miss Gay North Carolina Pride. This propelled Amazing Grace to the top of North Carolina’s drag scene. Headlining publicity events, pageants, and a slew of shows all over NC, Amazing Grace established themself as a professional, hardworking, traveling queen. 

Lewis, a humble, upbeat, and winsome person, laughed as they compared themself to the proverbial onion—so many layers with more to uncover. In the same breath, Lewis shared that friends compared them to the peacemaker: neutral, fair, and an arbitrator.

Lewis puts it succinctly, “We’re not here to change your life—just your day.” 

Unfortunately, with the pandemic taking hold, life was about to change for everyone. Amazing Grace had but one question: 

“How do you perform Drag in a COVID World?”

During the early days of COVID-19, Grace was asked to perform for the Driveway Drag Show VA in Richmond, Virginia, and was compelled to bring this experience back to North Carolina. With a lot of guidance and a blessing from the VA host Michelle Livigne, Grace had all the tools they needed to produce a top-notch version of the driveway drag show here in Raleigh. 

From there, the slow but sure roll out of the Driveway Drag Show Raleigh commenced. It offered the experience of drag safely and enjoyably. Lewis noted that pulling drag out of the nightclub and moving it into North Carolina driveways was no easy task. 

But, the hard work that went into it was worth it as it exposed drag to a whole new, appreciative audience. Word of mouth ensued. Bookings multiplied. Success was had. 

“People have been so welcoming; cheering, laughing, enjoying themselves while, of course, practicing social distancing and COVID prevention. Queens moved to virtual tipping methods (e.g. CashApp or Venmo) to further promote social distancing during the performances,” Lewis said. 

And, because the shows last about an hour, Grace said they could schedule 2-3 per day—Friday through Sunday—between the hours of noon and 8 pm. These convenient time slots didn’t impede on late-night affairs and the shows are inherently more intimate—all good things in the world of drag. 

Lewis says that Amazing Grace takes the audience back to a time or a place that resonates with them, a kind of sentimental journey if you will. Whether it’s celebrations (e.g. birthdays, bachelorette parties, baby showers) or holiday-themed performances, Amazing Grace finds a way to entertain and connect with people. In the age of corona, people are longing to laugh and cry, so why not let a Drag Queen be your tour guide? 

Lewis said that while 2020 has been chock full of pleasant surprises, there is still a long way to go. Lewis confided that identity was an issue growing up. 

“It wasn’t until I understood myself and my place in the world that I was able to blossom,” they said candidly. When Lewis transforms into Amazing Grace, it is then, perhaps, that Lewis is most comfortable. 

“We’re not here to change your life—just your day,” Lewis said. Probably true, but in the process, Travis Lewis changed their own life.

You can find Amazing Grace and the Driveway Drag Show Raleigh on Facebook or Instagram, or you can book a show now by contacting drivewaydragshowraleigh@gmail.com. 

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