Man Up Collective
Vixen Von Flex
Paige Frewer is a co-founder/operator of Eastside Studios, and the host and organizer of the drag show, Man Up. Paige has been producing and facilitating queer cultural events and alternative venue spaces since 2008, the same year they began performing drag as Ponyboy. Ponyboy is a glam king fag daddy, theatre gay wannabe, and dedicated lifetime gender-transcending party animal. Paige has a passion for creating fulfilling, equitable, and inspiring queer community experiences, and centring its most marginalized members in the process. Man Up and Eastside Studios events have served as fertile ground to experiment with bold new ideas for inclusion and community safety. In 2013, they helped create the Buddy System, a decentralized network of harm reduction-trained peer support staff who work to make queer and non-queer events safer. Paige just renewed for a second term serving on the City of Vancouver's Arts & Culture Advisory Committee.
Dominique Wakeland (they/them) was born on unceded Kwantlen Territory and graduated from Simon Fraser University in June 2019 with a BFA in Theatre Performance. They are a performer, dramaturge, director, and drag artist. Past credits include: Dramaturging “Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night”, (2018) Foot Faults in Foreplay“, (2017) and being the inaugural winner of Van Slam’s Drag Slam (2019). In 2019 they participated in the development and jury of the Vancouver Fringe’s, Fringe Forward Award. Dominique's practice is fundamentally movement and text based with an emphasis on the politics we bring in our bodies and how that manifests into knowledge. They worked as an Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Director with MISCELLANEOUS Productions, an East Vancouver theatre company for at-risk and culturally diverse youth. Currently, they are working with the PTC to develop their dramaturgical practice through the BC arts Council’s Early Career Development program.
Vixen Von Flex is constantly fine tuning his craft and dazzling audiences around the world. A feature performer for both Reign City Cabaret and Man Up Vixen has performed on Cirque du Soleil's One Drop Masquerade, Real Housewives of Vancouver, Waking Up With The Wagners Las Vegas, as well as being featured on National Geographic and winning the grand prize on Zany or Zoink'd on YTV. Captivation and a stunning visual is what this performer is all about, using his body as a canvas and always putting on a spectacle. Vixen Von Flex will twist and bend his way straight to your hearts! @VixenVonFlex (instagram), live DJ shows online at Twitch TV almost every weekend.
Jackie Shane, iconic gender non-conforming performer of the 1960s Toronto soul and blues scene, served as inspiration for our piece. Perceived as a gay man throughout her career, Jackie's trans identity was stigmatized to the point of erasure, but she challenged the limitations of her time, and left an indelibe mark on Canadian music history. Jackie's courageous rejection of the status quo of gender is an important example to this day, when, like Jackie in the 60s, trans and genderqueer individuals are pressured to assimilate or silence their identities. Gender non-conforming individuals engage in a form of political protest the moment they bring their bodies into public space. Our performance is a reenactment of an imagined hangout between members of Jackie's band after a show, a motley crew of characters played by members of Man Up drag show, whose genders are all but defined or distinguishable. Carefree, queer, and embodied, they joke and loiter against a backdrop of Little Sisters, iconic Vancouver sex shop and book store, remembered for winning an important battle in the Supreme Court for decensorship and queer liberation in the 1990s.
Facebook: Man Up Vancouver
Facebook: Trans, Two Spirit, Genderqueer, Intersex March
Organization website: Vancouver Dyke March
Making Queer History: Jackie Shane Part I
Womens Legal Education + Action Fund: Little Sisters v. Minister of Justice