We’ve discussed a few of those glorious creatures known as Fag Hags here on A Box of Paints. First up, it was the glamazon known as Vee, followed by the diva-tastic Michelle. Funny enough, all three of these women went to high school with me at Mater Dei in Southern California. Catholic school really brings the girls and gays together. Deborah come from, perhaps, the most talented and gorgeous family in the world. I am mildly (very much) obsessed with being the only son in the Porto clan. At MDHS, Deborah was a proud member of the dance team and eventually was Captain. I asked Deborah some questions about her big ‘ol fabulous life. She, thankfully, entertained my insanity.
Photo by Kimba Valenzuela
1. Debs, you and I didn’t do choir together, yet you sat in the choir room at lunch, everyday, freshman year… what gives? Was I that irresistible?
In a word, YES! Haha, I can’t believe you remember that. Honestly though, aside from your rugged good looks, I’ve always been jealous of people that have really, really good voices (yourself included, Mr. McDonald). I can SORT of carry a tune, but I certainly wouldn’t say that I have a great voice, as you well know. Both of my sisters are vocally gifted and were both in the MD choir with you at some point, as was my high school boyfriend and dear friend Michelle Hernandez (**see previous fab-hag blog) so I spent ALOT of time in there. I always hoped I would absorb the vocal talent by osmosis… I’m still waiting…
2. Of course, I remember! That’s when I fell in love with you! Tell me what facials are and why are you so good at them?
Ohhhhhhhh facials! Yes, I was the prouder winner of the Mater Dei Dance Team Showmanship award 2 years running (the 3rd year I wasn’t eligible because I was El Capitan Facials are the extreme performance faces that you make while dancing, singing, acting, or if you’re me, just living your every-day life. A wink with an open mouth can be a facial, pouty lips with a raised eyebrow can be a facial… heck, even a big toothy grin can be a facial if you work it enough. Facials are my life, and I pretty much pride myself on the ridiculousness and eccentricities of my facials. You’re welcome world…
3. Who is the first gay that you ever called your own and how did you meet?
The first gay I called my own was Ken… doll. As most young girls of the nineties were known to do, I was an avid Barbie collector and like most avid Barbie doll collectors, you need to have a Ken doll or two so that your Barbie can 1. have kids, 2. have someone to drive in the Barbie mustang with, 3. have someone to help morph the Barbie truck into the Barbie motorhome, 4. Have someone to date the other Ken dolls. But seriously, I understood what being gay was at a very young age due to my strong affiliation with the worlds of dance, music & theatre. My parents’ have also had a number of gay friends over the years so it has just been a part of my upbringing and I have been totally supportive of it all my life.
4. How many days can you go without singing a song from a musical? What musical melodies do you usually sing?
I can go quite a while without singing a song from a musical, but I always regret it. Those musical melodies always seem to creep into your head when you least expect it and then they refuse to leave. Like when you’re trying to sleep, teach or even cook. My favorite musicals are the ones that have the biggest dance numbers, hence those are the melodies I sing most often. I love me some ‘One’ (A Chorus Line), ‘All That Jazz’ (Chicago), ‘We’re In The Money’ (42nd Street), ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ (Hairspray), ‘Anything Goes’ (Anything Goes) and the like. I can also we found singing the more comedic tunes from Avenue Q (e.g “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist’), & Spamalot (‘Once In Every Show’). All in all, I love MOST musical melodies… except those from Light in the Piazza… is there anyone who even remotely liked that show?…. Didn’t think so…
5. I kept hoping that Light in the Piazza would morph and turn into a show about baking pizza. Bygones. Tell me about your relationship with wine.
This is very personal, David… So as usual, I’ll tell you everything. My relationship with wine is probably the longest relationship I’ve ever had aside from the ones I have with my immediate family. Wine has outlasted many friends, roommates, acquaintances, and certainly every man I’ve ever dated. Although I have my favorites, when it comes to wine, I don’t discriminate. I’m a sparkling, red, & white girl all rolled into one. I love Champagne, would drink it every day if it didn’t make me look like a lush. I’m partial to Chandon Rose because what can I say, I’m a sucker for pink champagne. As far as reds go, Argentinian Malbec takes the cake, nothing like it, for real. AND for whites, there really is only ONE worth consuming : Albariño… either from Spain or from Portugal, this is the best of the best (ok I’m a little biased because it comes from the region of Spain where my familia is from). But its delish. In conclusion, I love wine.
6. Cheers! You teach dance to a bunch of young-ins. Have you ever come across a young Lord of the Dance?
Indeed, I do and indeed I have. I have come across a few Lords of the Dance, some very young, and some older. Some extremely talented, others just enthusiastic. I recently had a 4 year old boy tell me, ‘Ms. Deborah, I want to wear a sparkley vest in the recital.’ Enough said We need Lords of the Dance to make the world go ’round.
7. You know how much I want to be a member of your family. If I did in fact become a Porto, what do you think I would have been named and why?
For the answer to this question, I went straight to the matriarch herself, Mama Porto. Her response is as follows : ‘This is a strange question, David‘, she said… Although it didn’t take her long to come up with an answer: Ryan or Christopher. Why? Not for any reason other than the fact that they liked those names
You also know that you always have been and always will be an honorary Porto. <3
8. How many Madrigal feasts have you been to? Which one was your favorite? Why? (Madrigal Feasts were these ridiculous Christmas productions put on by the MDHS choir. It’s basically dinner theatre set in the Middle Ages, attempts at comedy, and music from the renaissance. Just picture me in a FLAMBOYANT gold lamé coat and pants. )
1.) All of them (feels like it!)
2.) More than I can count (I’m working on it)
3.) More than I’d like to remember (It’s true, some of them I’d like to forget)
4.) Now that I’ve sufficiently procrastinated enough, I realized that I’ve actually been to 10, count them, TEN Madrigal Feasts… I feel like I should probably win some sort of award for that. My older sister Barbara was in 4 during her time @ MD (1997-2000), I went twice just to see YOU, Dave (& Ms. Hernandez) (2001-2002), & My younger sister Melinda was in 4 during her choir stint (2003-2006). I’d have to say that as much as I loved watching Barbara, you (Dave) & Michelle in all of your Mad Feasts over the years, my favorite has to be 2006, which was Melinda’s final one. My reasons are twofold: a. I was 99% sure it would be my last ever, and although I enjoy the pageantry of it all, 10 years is a long time to sit through Medieval Times meets Spamalot. AND b. My very own Papa Porto (after 10 years of threatening to do so), finally got up to ‘conduct’ the Mad Feast orchestra in a their rousing rendition of Sleigh Ride. The video is pretty epic… No really….
9. Finish this sentence: Milk milk lemonade, around the corner _____.
Fudge is made… DUH?! Anyone who was in elementary school during the 90′s knows that one.
Deborah is the FIRST HAG to actually answer this question correctly!
Poor Debs; Senior Prom with the gay dude.