London-based drag personality, Charity Kase, has completely changed the game for what a queen can accomplish in 100 days with some Plaster of Paris. Harry Whitfield, the creator behind Charity, has given himself the loaded task of creating an elaborate drag character every day for 100 days, which all began January 1st (while most of us were nearly dead on our bathroom floors).
Charity's elaborate looks go much further than just facial prosthetics and makeup; each character also comes with a short story attached, capturing a personal and fully realized "being," all stemming from Charity at the core. The creative process and ingenuity behind 100 Days of Drag is astonishing, and unlike similar challenges, such as Phi Phi O’Hara’s 365 Days of Drag challenge, in that Charity creates a completely new look every day—none in advance.
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In an exclusive interview with OUT, Whitfield discussed his inspirations, what happens to looks after they're complete and how he plans on coping when day 100 finally arrives.
OUT: Do you create looks in advance or are they developed each day?
Harry Whitfield: I have a list of about 10 characters in a notebook, which I wrote around day 15, but I 've actually only crossed one of them off so far. I like to feel the character on the day, even if they don’t come to me until after hours of frustrated research… in bed with pizza.
What inspired you to take on this project?
I mainly wanted to improve my makeup and special effects skills, and show the world the extraordinary versatility of Charity Kase.
Is it difficult keeping up your personal life, while also completing a look every day?
Very. I think if I was just doing a makeup look each day that would be a lot easier, but I’m making all my prosthetics and costume pieces on the same day too. When you’re a perfectionist, you can spend all day making something look right, and that’s me all over. I’ve often been forgetting to eat and also been sleeping a lot less, but it’s all worth it for the art.
What do you do after you create the character?
It all depends. I love going out, although most of the time these days the character vanishes much quicker than they arrived. My skin is pretty sore from using prosthetics every day, so I try to keep it resting if I can.
Day no 21 #100daysofdrag Her skin peeled grotesquely off of her protruding bone structure, rotting more and more every day. Without her eyeballs her face looked eerie and morbid. Once fair, her complexion was now an off violet colour and the stench was almost unbearable. The stubborn fisherman however refused to part with his prize catch. #thelittlemermaid #ariel #100daysofmakeup #dragqueen #artqueen #sfxmakeup #5fingerssfx
Do you have any desire to add performance to your drag?
I have performed a few times now, but it’s something I would definitely love to and will be doing more of. Recently, I’ve been doing little Instagram live lip-synch videos when I’ve finished each look, and I have a few things booked for the next couple of months, too. I’ll be posting more info on my social media closer to the time.
What has been the most difficult part of this project?
The most difficult part has probably been not having a break. I know that’s obvious, but there have been plenty of days when I've woken up and putting soggy cotton wool and toilet paper on my face is the last thing I want to do, but those are the days I end up impressing myself, which is quite motivating.
What has been your favorite look so far?
My day 39 "HIM" look from the Powerpuff Girls stands out to me and also the llama from day 37, but it's hard to even remember most of them now.
Day no 39 #100daysofdrag Her usual grin grew wider as blood splattered the surroundings. After years of toying with those pesky little girls, they would most assuredly be a problem no more. How unfortunate that the professor made them perfect blender size. #Him #thepowerpuffgirls #100daysofmakeup #cartooonnetwork #londonqueen @wowreport #mug #clubkid
Have there been any looks you wished you did differently?
My hung-over looks are the three I dislike the most and wish I could change, but I guess that is to be expected really.
Who has inspired you to do this?
I can’t say one person in particular inspired my series; I think I wanted to challenge myself artistically, but I’m inspired every day by fantasy TV series, films and books. My personal drag inspirations are Raja Gemini, Divine, Anna Phylactic and Ryan Burke to name a few.
Day no 30 #100daysofdrag Her battered body throbbed from the years of piercing and stabbing. Jaded, she was, of being used as an anger outlet. How was the teddy bear so cuddle worthy, and she so deserving of this daily torture? #voodoodoll #100daysofmakeup #dragqueen #fivefingersfx #londonqueen #clubkid #londonqueen #dragmakeup
Outside of "Charity Kase," what do you do?
I paint on clothes and create custom wearable artwork in most of my free time. I sell them at www.internetchav.com. I also just started tattooing; I’ve nearly filled in all of my leg space now, but I would like to carry on with that in future so it's just finding the skin.
What happens after day 100?
Tune in on day 101 to find out.