Carmen and Manila, of Drag U, hold court at La Pomme.
You just got to meet these girls!
To say they are magical together wouldn't be an overstatement: they are bright, witty and funny. Oh, and they're beautiful too!.
It would easy to envision them emceeing a prime time television variety show in the not-too-distant future; an updated Ed Sullivan show with better looking ... way better looking hosts!.
Transgender has been edging more and more into the media over the past decade, so hey, who knows: it could happen.
In the meantime, anyone needing a vivacious pair to enliven an event should consider Manila and Carmen.
When I received an invitation in May from Outprofessionals (a large NYC-based LGBT organization) for the networking mixer showcasing two of RuPaul's Drag U professors (at LaPomme on 26th Street in Chelsea), I felt I should RSVP right away in case it sold out.
Then I remembered my once-monthly "Crisis Help Radio Show" was that same night, broadcast from the WVOX radio studio in New Rochelle in Westchester County. How could I do both?
The topic planned for that evening's radio show was "Making It as a way out of crisis. In the studio, my co-host Ken Kline interviewed members of the M-S-M Trio, and played a Mendelssohn song the three young excellent musicians recorded on their new CD. The trio (violin, cello and piano) are so amazingly gifted and create such beauty in their music.
My other co-host, Tom Sullivan was not able to be in the studio; he was en route from the airport.
So there I was in my car heading into Manhattan from a client meeting in Queens, listening to Ken, the M-S-M-Trio and my daughter Kelly sharing ideas about how to follow your passion and do something important using your talents.
As I pulled up to LaPomme with very little time left of my radio show, I signed in at the door, rushed inside to see Manila Luzon (aka Karl Westerberg) and Carmen Carrera (aka Christopher Roman) commenting on clips from Drag U episodes on huge overhead screens, explaining how the drag professors worked with genetic women to help them bring out their inner diva and become sexier women. Ironic, no?
I quickly explained to Carmen that I had minutes left of my show and inquired if she would go outside -- where it was quieter -- for a quick interview. She spoke on-air to my radio audience about her new-found success being a Professor on Drag U. After losing on Drag Race "it took a lot of courage and creativity" to seize the moment she said, when asked to join the Drag U show as a professor.
On Drag U, she said it was her "job to make the biological women feel comfortable with their beauty and sexuality," something she went on to say she loved doing.
I was thrilled to meet both Manila and Carmen and that my fantasy of having them on my show was realized. When I went back inside and saw how these two awesome girls held the room of eighty people captivated for an hour, I realized that they were indeed doing something they loved to do, were helping others achieve their goals, and all the while were entertaining audiences nationwide. Doing what you love, helping people and making a living from it; what a gift!