Drag Heals season 2 is now casting in Toronto. The second season of Drag Heals will showcase 8 drag kings and queens who participate in a 10 class workshop with theatre director Tracey Erin Smith, founder of Soulo Theatre. The ten workshops will culminate in 2 public shows at Buddies In Bad Times cabaret theatre in Toronto.
Each week a guest coach will join Tracey Erin Smith in exploring soul-deep story sharing techniques as well as the unique talents and skills required from a drag king or queen.
We invite self-tape submissions from all genders, ages, and ethnicities. 8 participants will be selected to win this 10 class course with Tracey Erin Smith and join the cast of Drag Heals for two live performances at Buddies in Bad Times cabaret theatre.
There is no payment for participation in documentary TV series. All theatre net proceeds from the performances will be split equally between performers.
We invite all interested parties to view Drag Heals season 1 on OUTtvGo.com (free week trial available) or on Amazon Prime.
How to apply to be part of the Drag Heals season 2 cast
Please include: your name, stage name, phone number, email, confirm you live in Toronto and are available for all dates in the shooting schedule below. Finally be sure to include answers to 2 of the questions found lower down in this post.
Feel free to get creative in your video. We want to see and know who you are and why you want to do this! Walk us through your drag closet, introduce us to your best friend, mother, roommate.
Applicants to Drag Heals season 2 must be available for ALL dates/times listed below:
DRAG HEALS season 2 SHOOTING SCHEDULE Sat. Jan. 4th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sun. Jan. 5th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sat. Jan. 11th/20 2pm to 7pm WORKSHOP Sun. Jan. 12th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sat. Jan. 18th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sun. Jan. 19th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Tues. Jan. 2st/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sat. Jan. 25th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Sun. Jan. 26th/20 11am to 4pm WORKSHOP Thu. Jan. 30th/20 6:30pm to 11:30pm TECH RUN Fri. Jan. 31st/20 Doors 7pm, show 8pm PERFORMANCE Sat. Feb. 1st/20 Doors 7pm, show 8pm PERFORMANCE
APPLICANTS – Please answer 2 of the following questions:
1) What have you survived and how have you survived it? 2) What excites you most about doing drag? 3) Who doesn’t know you do drag and why haven’t you shared with them? 4) In a perfect fantasy performance, what would you do? 5) If you’ve never done drag before, what excites you about trying it? 6) How do you think the drag king and drag queen worlds could benefit from working together? 7) What scares you about drag and the idea of doing an open-hearted course that will put you on stage in front of hundreds of people? 8) What will you bring to the others in the group?
SEEKING the following people for Drag Heals season 2
DRAG KINGS – Seeking seasoned and newbie DRAG KINGS that live in Toronto, are available for all shoot dates, are excited about bringing their drag and performance to a new level of professionalism and have a great big open heart and mind!
DRAG QUEENS – Seeking seasoned and newbie DRAG QUEENS that live in Toronto, are available for all shoot dates, are excited about bringing their drag and performance to a new level of professionalism and have a great big open heart and mind!
GENDER QUEER PERFORMERS – Seeking seasoned and newbie GENDER QUEER PERFORMERS that live in Toronto, are available for all shoot dates, are excited about bringing their drag and performance to a new level of professionalism and have a great big open heart and mind! Does your performance/look defy categories? Submit here and share why!
GUEST COACHES – Are you a seasoned pro in the fields of performance, singing, dance, make-up/hair, costuming, entertainment business, etc? We are looking for professionals to join us who will share their wisdom and experience! Tell us about yourself and what you can offer in coaching drag queens and drag kings.
Drag Heals season 2 further details
NETWORK: OUTtv Canada Drag Heals season 2 will air on OUTtv in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India giving participants the opportunity to raise their profile and be seen by millions around the globe.
Drag Heals is a documentary series that follows men who have never worn heels or make-up but have always dreamed of letting their inner drag queen out! Drag Heals is a 10 week inner and outer personal journey coached by Tracey Erin Smith and Vicki Lix that culminates in a public show.
Drag Heals will premiere on OUTtv Canada on Tuesday November 27 at 8pm.
My gift to you – get a month free of OUTtvGo.com You can watch our new documentary series Drag Heals and catch up on our other shows. Promocode: DRAGHEALS
RuPaul brought Drag Raceinto the homes of millions and made the once taboo art form mainstream. This newfound renaissance has inspired a new generation to explore the art of drag and challenge the constructs of gender.
While RuPaul’s Drag Raceis a competition, Drag Heals is a documentary journey that follows men who have never worn heels or make-up but have always dreamed of letting their inner drag queen out!
These men (and aspiring queens!) enter Canada’s first ever drag class to explore how to create a compelling drag persona based on personal experience. For most, this is akin to a second coming out process. The culmination of the Drag Heals workshops will be a public performance where they will face down their fears of stepping into the limelight.
Drag is typically viewed from a distance; Drag Healsgives unparalleled access to the creation of a performance that is more than just your average lip synch. The classes are structured so the men must reveal their true selves in preparation of their public performance. In order to do it, they must be brave and vulnerable.
As performance time draws near, the urgency to create a compelling piece forces our Queens to face down their nerves and personal demons in order to deliver a quality performance for people who have shelled out money to see just that.
Deeply personal and raw, the Queens in Drag Heals tackle prickly issues like gender identity, mental illness, heartbreak and feminism to better understand themselves and their queer experience in an otherwise straight world.
Natasha Balakrishnan is of South Indian origin born in Kerala, India; brought up in the middle east, Kuwait, and moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of fifteen. Natasha is a professional dancer, choreographer, and a working actor in Toronto, Canada . Her latest starring role is in Charlie David’s Shadowlands anthology TV miniseries.
Natasha Balakrishnan’s passion for dance, arts, and the entertainment field began at the tender age of five where she started off with theater/drama and dancing for local shows. Her main expertise lies in the classical dance form known as Bharatnatyam and proceeded to expand her talent with many other styles which include Bollywood, Hip Hop, Bhangra, and Contemporary incorporated with fusion.
Having performed in many platforms, Natasha Balakrishnan carried on her pursuit for dance in many different countries like New York, Germany, Kuwait, California, and India, and was further able to showcase her talent on National TV for the television show named ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ Season 1 in 2012.
She started her own YouTube channel as her outlet to creativity and passion for arts where she directs, choreographs, and incorporates acting through her concept videos. Her classical fusion choreography to ‘Taal se Taal Mila’ by A.R. Rahman has reached over a million views on YouTube. Natasha was awarded ‘First Runner Up’ and ‘Miss Congeniality’ at the 2014 Miss India Canada Pageant and ‘Miss Best Talent’ at the 2015 Miss India Worldwide Canada Pageant. In 2014, she was featured on a billboard advertisement for South Asian designer Boutique- ‘Aalayaa’.
Natasha was featured in the film ‘Dr.Cabbie’ with Bollywood stars; namely, Vinay Virmani, Isabel Kaif, and Kunal Nayyar. She performed for the Pan Am Olympic Games 2015 Opening Ceremonies with Cirque Du Soleil representing her Indian culture and heritage, including several other shows and corporate events, which include the Toronto Raptors basketball games, the WE Day concert, WE Day music video with Kardinal Offishall ft. Karl Wolf, and Holt Renfrew’s Uncrate India just to name a few.
With her professional expertise and training in the field, she has been fortunate to judge dance competitions; namely, in Detroit and in the City of Toronto, experiencing young and fresh talent on some amazing platforms. Natasha has also performed with Indian film music composer, Anirudh Ravichander, and collaborated with award winning rapper, Lady Kash, from Singapore. She choreographed for her recent song release “Supermodel”, composed for the film ‘Graghanam’; the album bagged by Yuvan Shankar Raja’s, U1 Records.
Natasha is working meticulously towards pursuing a career in films and is honing her acting skills by training with other budding artists in Toronto, Canada. She was a competitor, performer, and actor on Season 2 of OMNI Television Documentary series named “Bollywood Star”
Tell us about your story in the Shadowlands anthology. What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?
Natasha Balakrishnan: I play Thalia in the Shadowlands anthology and she is someone who brings a lot of love and humanity in a world that is affected by the war where people are becoming inhumane and vile.
Her love for Alex is immense and while he is no longer the same man she fell in love with, she refuses to believe that she cannot bring him back. His narcissistic ways and his obsession for perfection has left him no room to give love to anyone but himself.
Thalia will stop at nothing to make him see clearly but when it is all too late, she recognizes the Alex she treasured is gone and must put an end to the evil that persists. My main challenge with Thalia was playing a woman from the 1920’s Berlin and really understanding her love for Alex.
How much of yourself goes into a character?
Natasha Balakrishnan: I believe that while you take the essence of you, and your passion into your work; you are playing a life, a person, which requires you to explore and tap into the spiritual, emotional, and physical being of that personality/character and its not about who you are but the life that you’re taking on and you live the reality of that character.
The stories in the Shadowlands anthology TV show were inspired by the Shadowlands book which was inspired by Greek mythology. What was your experience in creating a remix of these ancient classical tales?
Natasha Balakrishnan: When I first got the audition for Shadowlands, I was very eager and I had immediately done my research on Charlie David, his book, and the Greek Myths tied to my character and Narcissus. I was more than ready for the audition!
It was very exciting playing someone from the 1920’s; something completely out of my comfort zone and knowledge. I am thankful to Charlie for believing in me to play Thalia. When I booked the part, I did tons of research on the ‘Golden 20’s’, got coaching, watched tons of movies in that era, the types of music, and wrote a backstory for Thalia and her love interest with Alex whose characters were inspired from the Greek myths of Narcissus and his Echo.
What aspects of the Shadowlands anthology TV show are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?
Natasha Balakrishnan: I am excited for the audience to see it all! I had the privilege of watching it with my team at one of our film festival premiers and it is definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions and quite the tales that Charlie David takes you through.
I loved the uniqueness and creativity brought in each episode. They are each shot in a different time period which is thrilling. I would love to have the audience experience what Charlie David and the entire team has put together throughout the Shadowlands anthology series.
What was the hardest scene for you to do and why?
Natasha Balakrishnan: I wouldn’t say anything was particularly hard but I definitely found it a bit challenging. I had to shoot a very intense scene right when I got to set the first day. We started the shoot for the ‘Narcissus’ episode with my scene where a gun is being delivered to my house with a note to kill myself by someone who I truly love.
I had to go through many thoughts in a short spam of time and I found that a bit of a challenge; to jump in and out of emotions when circumstances prior to that scene were not shot yet. But that is what I loved most about Thalia and this film production; I felt challenged/nervous by this role and wanted to give it my all. Like the saying – “What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.”
Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?
Natasha Balakrishnan: Well I surely believe that creative inspiration is sparked through influence and there are many wonderful people who inspire me everyday. My mother is my biggest inspiration because of her strength and courage to always persevere no matter what. This is a huge driving force to pursue my passion and to stay focused and optimistic.
Also, fine artists like Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Lawrence, Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin, Meryl Streep, Alia Bhatt, Morgan Freeman, Amitabh Bachchan, and Leonardo DiCaprio just to name the least; inspire me to work hard everyday on my craft and to never stop learning and growing creatively.
Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet?
Natasha Balakrishnan: Oh yeah of course, there’s tons I dream of playing! I definitely have miles to go and want to live a thousand lives through this career path of mine.
I would LOVE to play an action-packed role like a boxer or a marvel superhero!! I love watching strong female oriented roles and I would love to take on those.
In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.
Natasha Balakrishnan: Apart from my love for acting, I also have an immense passion for dance, music, and poetry. I started my own YouTube channel back in 2014 which is my biggest creative outlet. I began producing, directing, and choreographing my own dance/concept videos by reaching out to local artists and collaborating with them to create art.
It’s an amazing feeling to see your vision come to life through team efforts and I truly enjoy working on them. When I first started my YouTube Channel, I just needed a platform to be creatively inclined. I never really imagined how many people I could reach out to until one of my videos went viral and hit close to 3 million views.
It’s a wonderful feeling when people around the world enjoy your work and it really encouraged me to constantly keep producing anything and everything I had the urge to create. I definitely have tons of creative stuff planned in terms of acting, dance, and music that I can’t wait to release them.
With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?
Natasha Balakrishnan: All of the above really! Film and television is a source of entertainment, an escape, a fantasy, a story that incites conversation, and conceivably allows one to look into things that might have never sparked their interest before and I just absolutely love all of it.
I enjoy being in front of the camera, taking on different lives, and studying them. Art is a study of humanity and understanding the beings that live amongst us. Art is a universal language that truly connects people across the world and can be used as a very informative/influential tool. My motivation as an artist is to tell real people’s stories because in the words of my guru – “Art imitates reality”.
What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?
Natasha Balakrishnan: While I am constantly auditioning and working on my craft as an actor/performer; as a creator, I have always loved poetry/music and I write quite a bit of poetry/lyrics on my own time.
This spontaneously ventured into a very exciting new realm for me this year. I wrote, produced, sang, and creatively directed my first single with the help of a brilliant team. It is currently in post-production as I am eagerly and nervously waiting for its release.