By Jonathan Bratthall Tideman and Ross Milne
Student by day, resident Redwood Drag Queen by night
In many ways Bryan Pendant is just like other students at Humboldt State University: going from class to class, studying hard at the end of each day and hanging out with friends. However, every Friday night, he performs a drag show as his female alter-ego, Kandy Krush.
Kandy is bold and brash. She is a self-confessed “diva” who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her.
Pendant, a child development major at Humboldt State, said as Kandy Krush he will “drop it so low, I won’t be able to get back up.”
Pendant started doing drag after taking part in a dance battle with one of his close friends. After hearing the audience cheer for him, he felt they would love him as a drag queen. After that night, Kandy Krush was born.
On average around fifty people turn up every Friday to Kandy Krush’s performances at the Redwood Dorm’s common area, this, unfortunately leads to many of the shows being shut down due to the excess of people as it is considered a fire hazard.
“When I perform I’m like, oh my god, all these people are here to watch me,” Pendant said. “How did they hear about me? I thought there was going to be like a few people, but there was like eighty or ninety people and they had to shut it down because it was a fire hazard.”
Pendant said he has always felt he has needed to do something different with his life, being very introverted throughout his teen years and coming to college. He felt he needed to change and drag artistry appeared to be the answer.
“Through drag I express myself and my feelings,” Pendant said.
As Kandy Krush, Bryan sings, dances and mimes for the audience putting on a show that is bursting with emotion. He often starts off with fun, early-2000’s pop songs including Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” which perfectly sets the tone for his show and gets the audience cheering immediately.
Pendant’s favorite song to dance to is “Dontcha” by The Pussycat Dolls and it is clearly an audience favorite also. He said he loves the song because it allows him to have fun with the people watching him, getting up close and giving them personal dances. Kandy Krush clearly has her fan-base, and they’re a dedicated one too. However, he often ends with a slower song to play himself out.
The favorite part of performing for Pendant Bryan he says, “is getting up close with my audience and giving them a personal dance.”
Pendant hopes to one day take Kandy Krush on the road and be on the hit TV series, Rupaul’s Drag Race, by the time he is 30 years old. By then he hopes to have developed his act a lot more and have more routines.
He loves the art of drag, performing it gives him a “rush of adrenaline” and the most rewarding part of performing in Pendant’s eyes is seeing the look on the faces of his audience.