Friday, October 24, 2014

Chris E. Mistery: Embrace Your Darkness

Chris E Mistery is a queen from Orlando, Florida who is currently competing in a Florida Drag Race competition. Through her drag career, Chris has formed her own character and has faced some rejection from her peers but still stayed true to who she was regardless. 

1. Describe your drag persona? 

Chris E. Mistery is stupid, scary, and loveable.  Chris is someone you want to go on stage and hug, but don’t because you might get poked by something sharp.

2. If you could work with anyone who would it be and why?

I am a very lucky performer; I have actually worked with many of my biggest inspirations in the performance industry. One day I would like to work with Brooke Candy, but that will probably be farther down the road.

3. Who's your biggest inspiration?

Throughout the years I have pulled inspiration from many places.  But I can remember back when I started performing, I was greatly inspired by performers like Acid Betty (New York),Kayvon Zand (New York), Axel Andrews (Florida), Michelle Michaels (North Carolina), and Purina Chow (North Carolina).  The Internet is a wonderful thing, for many years (and still today) I look for new photos and videos of these fabulous performers and more, and draw inspiration from them for my own numbers.

4. In your opinion, what has been your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment would be gaining a name in North Carolina, despite how against my style the other performers were.  If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere with a little hard work and determination.

5. What has been your biggest obstacle that you've ever faced?

I began my drag career in North Carolina and for those who don’t know, it was and still is, a very pageant heavy area for drag.  Two of the recent Miss Gay Americas are from North Carolina (Kirby Colby, 2012 and Coti Collins, 2011).  Because of that, my style was not accepted at all throughout the state.  I struggled for a few years to get work around the state, and eventually did.  Now I am so proud to look back and see the roads I paved for girls who are following in my footsteps and bringing spikes and studs and blood to the stage in an area where rhinestones and glitter are the only acceptable adornments for your gowns.

6. Have you ever met someone you looked up to and were you star struck? If so, who was it?

When I was still living in North Carolina I was working as a Media Director and Promoter for my college’s Gay Union.  One of the final shows I booked, I was lucky enough to book Axel Andrews.  The entire time he was in town I remember being so excited to finally see his shows in person.  

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would love to be able to fly, could you imagine how amazing it would be to see my crazy self literally float onto stage. 

8. What competitions have you been part of?

I can remember one of my first competitions I competed in as a queen.  I will never forget it; I got on stage in roller skates, tights, and a tutu.  I tumbled, I spun, I did karate, and I even did a cartwheel, all in roller skates.  The crowd loved my number, it was talked about for weeks afterwards, and it is still one of my most requested numbers even today after all these years.  When I got my score sheets back, I noticed I received a zero for talent on one of the sheets.  In big letters on the bottom of the sheet was written only one sentence in big capital letters, “QUEENS SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR HEELS.”  Since then I have used that as inspiration anytime I face someone who tells me I don’t do things rights.  Always remember, its not the other performers opinions that are most important, your ultimate goal as a performer is to entertain the crowd and give them a memory to smile about and enjoy.

9. What's one thing you can't live without?

really hate when people ask me this, I could live without pretty much everything in my life, but the most important thing, the thing I would be the most devastated to lose would have to be my fiancĂ©.  We got engaged last year on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean ocean, and are the most perfect fit.  We say the rudest things to each other to show our affection, we always poke fun when the other messes up, and were always there when the other needs us.  He is my closest person to me in my life and I don’t want to imagine a life without him.

10. How do you deal with hate that you receive?

When I first started getting bookings around North Carolina, I can remember how much the girls I worked with hated my shows.  There was no glitter, no rhinestones, no gowns, nothing that said traditional drag.  When the host would announce me they would never refer to me as a drag queen, they would announce me as “The Freak,” or “The Drag Thing,” and would only refer to me as “It,” never she, or even he.  I embraced it fully, I became the underdog that every performer loved to hate, and that every patron was completely enthralled with.  I now live in Orlando, FL, and am respected by my fellow performers who began calling me she, and he and a drag queen, but after years of the other titles, they didn’t feel like they fit.  I asked them to stop, and to refer to me as a Drag Thing and It, it was then that I realized just how much the hate and shade thrown my way had shaped Chris’s character both on stage and off.

11. Why did you decide to do drag?

I am a trained artist in so many fields, from painting to videography.  I am always looking for more mediums of expression to create something fun to entertain and interest people.  Transitioning into a performance art such as drag only made sense as a next step.

12. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?

I wouldn’t change anything.  I don’t believe we should have control over another’s choices.  We should work hard to make our own personal lives exactly how we want them.  We have to be honest with ourselves, and our peers and never be afraid to take a leap of faith to achieve your goals in life.

13. What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve would have to be people who have a black and white view of the world, the world is filled with every shade of gray and binary situations are very few and far between.  People who can only see one way as right, and another as wrong, without being able to acknowledge the gray area in between just blow my mind.  I’ve tried to understand their view and why they view the world the way they do, but I just cant fully grasp their reasoning.

14. What do you do in your free time?

I’m actually a huge nerd; my fiancĂ© and I play tons of video games.  I also love SyFy, I watch every episode of Face Off and every SyFy Original movie on Thursdays.

15. What does drag mean to you?

The ‘E.’ in Chris E. Mistery stands for ‘Entertainment.’  First and foremost I am there to entertain.  Every time I get on stage, I want the audience to feel something; whether it is laughter, fear, or even a little sadness, the audience always enjoys the show more so when you can connect on an emotional level.

Find Chris E. Mistery here:
Twitter: @chrisemistery

The Drag Enthusiast

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