Queens of Heart

Queens of Heart tries to do the first cognitive examination of drag performance, applied in one of the oldest existing female imitation clubs in the United States.

Darcelle XV Showplace in Portland has become a ritual place for young women attending bachelorette parties before getting married.

Darcelle XV, co-owner, entertainer, and activist, consoles and challenges the crowd, from the brides gone wild and their anxious male partners, to homosexuals and lesbians commemorating their act of "coming out", to grandmas bouncing back from disease or divorce.

After four decades of continuous performances Darcelle has become a legend in the Pacific Northwest. She guides thousands of people who come to the club each year to celebrate or mourn important moments in their lives. The club invites people to free themselves of repressive inhibitions but it takes considerable skill to manage the intense emotions that often emerge. And that's an art that requires a deep understanding of human psychology.

When Darcell is interviewing a bachelorette or a birthday and all of a sudden they tell her something that is way beyond what she should hear... she's expecting, she has five children at home... and so she has to level off and make them feel so comfortable, make sure that they know that she hears it, understands it and that she can empathize with it.

When guests come in Darcelle XV Showplace they think it's like Alice in Wonderland, they think they can do whatever they want, that everything around them is theirs, it's their place... and they're just there to have a good time.

But, sometimes it gets frustrating for the performers because some of the quests will definitely have too much drinks or they'll be just so excited and happy to see the drag queens, happy to be free of the men in their lives, to be free of the working... and that creates euphoria which is not so easy to control.

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