Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kim Chi: Chicago's Visual Fairytale


The Chicago drag scene is filled with fresh artists from Trannika Rex to Shea Coulée. While most drag scenes have a lot of performers that are somewhat similar, Chicago is more known for their very diverse performers that incorporate a "larger than life" feel to their work, and among all the madness is Kim Chi. Kim Chi is one of Chicago's hardest working performers that is most known for her fashion sense and unique makeup looks. 


1. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I began drag on November 2nd in Chicago. I'm a Halloween queen! Pearl asked me to go out in drag for fun with her so we did! The rest is herstory.


2. Where did you get your drag name?

Kim Chi is the signature dish of Korea. I wanted a name that sounds feminine but also represents my culture at the same time. 


3. How is the Chicago drag scene different from other drag scenes?

The Chicago scene offers a variety of personas and styles. There aren't a lot of 'drag houses' and most queens have a distinct style and persona that sets them apart from the other queens. Trannika Rex is a drunk party girl who is also a comedienne, Shea Coulée is a fierce performer who can serve a wide range of looks, Valentine Addams is a curvy, sexy girl who embraces her size, Sara Andrews is a beautiful glamazon who can serve an array of celebrity impersonations and has a wide variety of numbers (comedy, top 40, throwbacks, etc.), and Lucy Stoole is a bearded queen who is constantly serving new, creative looks and performances that accompany her aesthetic. There's just so many incredible talents here, I could go on and on about everyone!

(Trannika Rex, Kim Chi, and Valentine Addams)


4. What has been your favorite performance you've ever put together?

My Nyan cat performance! You had to be there to witness the tragedy.


5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from a variety of places. I'm obsessed with the over the top, conceptual fashion on the runways. Another inspiration of mine is anime and the fantasy world it can create for the viewer. That is why I cultivated the persona of Kim Chi, who is a live-action anime character who works as a high fashion model.


6. What does drag mean to you?

Drag means I can become anything I want to become and create a visual fairytale that gives me an immediate response and feedback from people. 



7. How long does it take you to get ready for a performance?

Not long enough! Hah! I normally take about three hours if I don't have to rush it. I can get ready in 20 minutes in a pinch.


8. Do you look up to any other queens?

PORCELAIN. Everything about her is amazing to me. Flawless make up, flawless performance, creative looks. I am obsessed with her.


9. What is something you really love about the drag community?

Each of us bring a different skill set that we can all learn from. My drag sisters and I have craft kiki's all the time, where we get together and work on looks for hours. Feedback, sharing skills, and critiquing each other really helps us grow as drag queens and artists.



10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
When the dressing room is too hot! The heat is rough when you're in drag!

11. A lot of people want to know: would you ever audition for Rupaul's Drag Race?
Never heard of it.

12. If you got on Rupaul's Drag Race...hypothetically...who would you want to do for your snatch game character?

Lance Armstrong



13. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

It's a small dream of mine to be able to perform in drag in Korea one day. Drag is not a thing there at all, and there's no audience for it. I'm hoping that'll change one day.


14. Besides Trixie Mattel, who else do you consider good friends of yours?

 All the girls I listed above plus many more!


15. What is your opinion on websites like dragqueenseating.com?

I support anyone eating!



16. Where can people see you perform?

I'm the main host of Neverland parties so you can catch me at any of the Neverland events! I'm also a regular cast member at Trannika's most wanted at Scarlet, third Monday of every month. I also host Liquid Brunch every Sunday there as well. You can also catch me regularly at Berlin's Drag Matinee, which is every Saturday.


17. What is something you want to change about the world?

One day, guacamole will be free as an addition at Chipotle.



Photo Credits:

Follow Kim Chi:
Instagram: @kimchi_chic
Twitter: @kimchi_chic

The Drag Enthusiast: 
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Tumblr: dragenthusiast.tumblr.com
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Evolution of Luci Furr-Matrix


Drag is an art form that is loved by many around the world. With phenomenons like Rupaul's Drag Race, it has become quite mainstream over the years. It's no secret that drag artists are people who take inspiration from past hardships and heartache, and in this industry, we need to have a backbone. Dealing with the judgmental minds of others and still keeping it classy, Luci Furr-Matrix has proved to be a golden needle in the haystack of queens with an out of the box look and a genuine and loving attitude towards everyone she associates with. 

1. Who is Luci Furr-Matrix?

I feel like this is an exam I wasn’t prepared for…..30 minutes in, and I’m still trying to figure out the answer to this one….I suppose I would describe Luci as an ever-changing kaleidescope of night terrors, mixed with glitter & a touch of insanity.  When I first started out as Luci, I was going for sort of a “Bubblicious Demon” look, but I’ve been evolving with every performance, and always try to push myself & be different each time.  I rarely ever have a definite plan of who I’m going to be or what I’m going to look like, until I’m even done with the makeup.  I let me mind make that decision based on what I’m feeling at the moment.  No matter what I portray on stage, I’m the same off-stage as I am in my every day life.  I do my best to be friendly, welcoming, & supportive of everyone.  According to my friend, Edda Belle, I am “fun, fearless, and friendly - she is the wild party girl that everyone wants to be around!".


2. Where did you get your drag name from?

I had “quit” drag, but when I decided to come back for one more show, I had grown a goatee that I didn’t want to shave.  Mainly because it takes 3 months to look halfway decent because of how slow it grows.  So, when I told the show director I didn’t want to shave, he said “then don’t”.  I felt the need for it to make sense as to why I had the goatee.  I figured two things. 1) I wanted to reference the goatee in my name “fur”, and 2) the character needed to make sense…and the only name that seemed to make sense was “Lucifer” since the devil has a goatee.  So, it started as Luci Furr.  I then asked my long-time friend, Damian Matrix, if he would mind if I used the “Matrix” last name since my style fit his family’s style & I loved for what his family stood for.  And that is where “Matrix” came in.  


3. What does drag mean to you?

Drag gives me the opportunity to express myself artistically, in ways that I never knew possible.  I get to share with everyone just how screwed up & twisted my mind is sometimes….and THEY LIKE IT?!  Drag also helps me stay young at heart.  It’s like I get to do all the things I love at once.  I get to play, dance, sing, do arts & crafts, make costumes, act, and just be a big kid.  It has provided me with the opportunity to meet amazing people, and it also gives me an opportunity to be a positive influence in the community.  It has saved me from depression many times, and I don’t know where I would be emotionally without it.


  
4. Favorite thing about drag?

The endless possibilities of creativity and expression.  I don’t limit myself to a gender.  I feel very fluid, and free to be whatever I feel like.  It’s like being in a trippy dream & having complete control.


5. Least favorite thing about drag?

HEEEEEEELLLLLLSSSSSS!  OMG!!!! Whoever decided that drag queens should wear high heels, should be tarred & feathered, and hung up in the town square, and be repeatedly beaten for days!  Besides the pain, the damage that they have done to my feet is horrible.  I haven’t been able to feel my toes for over 10 years because of the nerve damage from heels.  F**K WHAT YA’ HEARD!!!! BUY FLATS!!!!!


6. What is something not many people know about you?

I actually started drag as “Beverly Hills” in 2000.  I was a pageant/fish queen for 13 years while I lived in Oklahoma.  I was Ms Gay Oklahoma USofA @ Large 2012, & also did very well at nationals that year.  I thought I would never do drag again, so I retired as Beverly Hills before I moved to Vermont, and Luci was “born".



7. When and why did you begin doing drag and how have you evolved into who you are as a performer today?  

I began doing drag on October 31, 2000 in Oklahoma City.  I knew I always wanted to try it, but never thought I would actually do it.  Well, it was Halloween, and I decided that I would go out in drag.  There was an open-talent night that night at the club, so I decided to perform.  It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but that clearly was not the outcome.  I performed and competed in pageants from 2000-2007, when I could.  I had a partner during that time that did everything in his power to make sure I knew he didn’t approve of me being a queen, even though he was one himself.  I started off night one, basically alone in the clubs.  I didn’t have any close queen friends at all.  I continued to perform because 1) he tried to tell me I couldn’t, and it’s in my nature to not people tell me what I can & can’t do, & 2) I LOVED IT!!!!  I quit in the summer of 2007, and then came back in 2011 after I met my husband & he encouraged me to perform again, after he saw how excited I got just watching RPDR the first season.  I came back at the end of 2011 with a goal I had for years, of becoming Ms Oklahoma USofA @ Large, and I won in 2012.  I then moved to Vermont in 2014, thinking I would never perform again since there are no gay bars, and gave up drag again.  Then I was asked to perform at VT pride that fall & came up with the person of Luci Furr.  I took all of the experience I had with makeup, costume making, & performance, and created a new persona that broke all the typical drag rules.  Everything that I had been taught wasn’t drag, became my style.  The change completely opened my eyes artistically.  I don’t feel like I have to play by rules anymore.  I can be whatever I want to be, and I feel that people get me.


8. How do you deal with judgements from other people when they judge you based on your out of the box aesthetic?

At first it hurt me.  It’s hard to be judged.  I don’t have a thick skin at all, and I want people to like me, but not everyone is going to like me.  And I can’t change that.  I started off by defending myself, but I quickly got to the point where I wasn’t going to get all hurt & defend myself for my artistic choices every time someone didn’t agree with my aesthetic.  At the end of the day, I have to be happy with who I am as an artist.  And those people who judge me based only on my aesthetic, clearly are not a big enough influence in my life for me to give two shits.  Those people are not my friends & family, and if that’s all they see is my artistic expression on the outside, it’s their loss.  I’ve been that queen that played by the rules and tried to be what everyone thought I should be for way too many years.  Screw that.  I’m having so much more fun now.  


9. After what happened with Queens of the Week, do you plan on starting your own YouTube?

I do have my personal youtube channel, and I REALLY need to get more videos together to put on there.  I was going to jump right back in to it, but I got delayed with work, and taking over a huge event here in Vermont each month.  Now that I’m now focusing all my energy on being an artist, and performing is now my career, I need to jump back in with both feet & do everything I can to promote myself.  I do have several ideas for ideas on my personal youtube channel, and I’m going to be posting things VERY SOON!  I have been writing some music that I plan to get on there very soon, as well.  



10. Where do you take inspiration from?

I take inspiration from things that aren’t considered pretty or beautiful.  I like to look at things that are disturbing, creepy, unconventional or just ordinary, and try to figure out how to make them fabulous.  I love working with objects that most queens wouldn’t even consider using to make costumes & create looks.  I do a HUGE amount of shopping for drag at the $1 store.  Give me an object to incorporate in to a look & I will make it work.  


11. Do you have anyone that you look up to as an inspiration?

My biggest inspiration in the drag community is most definitely my drag mother, Mia Adams.  She has always believed in me & supported me.  When I had no friends, she made sure I kept going & performing.  She took me with her all over several states, giving me the opportunity to perform in new venues, and meet new people.  She truly cares for her drag family, and is so supportive of all of us….all 14,236,447 of us.  As far as an inspiration for my current persona & aesthetic, that would be Damian Matrix.  If you don’t know who he is….LOOK HIM UP!!!!  He is an amazing drag king, former Mister USofA MI, and one of the sweetest people and best friends you could ever have.  


12. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Not giving up drag.  Even though I’ve tried twice now, and had many years where I didn’t fit in with any of the cliques, standing at the back of the club by myself, I kept going.  Now I’m in a place where I have a much bigger following than I’ve ever had, and I’ve made so many great friends & created a drag family I can be proud of.  



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

 ****WARNING****PAGEANT ANSWER****PROCEED WITH CAUTION***

 This is going to sound so cliche, but honestly…..world peace.  I am honestly one of those people that wants everyone to get along.  I am a true hippie at heart.  I want everyone to love, respect, and appreciate each other, and not be divided by our differences.  


14. What should people expect when they come to your shows?

They shouldn’t expect anything, but prepared for everything!  I am all over the place, and you never know what I’m going to look like or what I’m going to do.  I typically LOVE high energy dancing, but I’m almost 36 years old & not exactly petite…so I feel it for daaaaayyyyss afterwards.  I have been getting more in to comedy, singing, exploring my acting side.  If I’m putting on a show, I promise I’m giving it 100%.  


15. Where can people go to see you live?

I am the producer & show host for First Friday at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT.  That is held the first Friday of each month, and is a show & huge dance party.  I also perform the 3rd Saturday of the month at The Local in Rutland, VT.  That show is at midnight.  On occasion, I get to Albany to perform at Rocks or Waterworks Pub.  Now that I am focussing 100% on being an artist, i am most definitely looking for bookings!!!!



Photo Credits:
https://facebook.com/elijahthurston?tsid=0.4124155333265662&source=typeahead

https://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008306685315&tsid=0.9118984017986804&source=typeahead


Follow Luci Furr-Matrix:
Instagram: @lucifurrmatrix

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast 
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic 
Tumblr: dragenthusiast.tumblr.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Alison Sideshow: Undead Freakshow

Performing at the fresh age of 18, Alison Sideshow is more experienced than most people perceive her to be. She's performed several times as a dancer before she even ever started officially doing "drag" and already has a handle on who she wants to be perceived as for a drag performer.




1. Who is Alison Sideshow?

Some undead bitch who is a mystery to scientists everywhere. I pretty much came up with her character when I was really high one day. I was like “Hey, what if my drag persona was an undead girl who had natural lavender hair? Yeah, that sounds legit."


2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I’ve been doing drag-style makeup in my bedroom mirror since I was like, 14. When I finally turned 18, I jumped on the chance I had to have my first show. It was a fucking mess, but it helped me come out of my shell so much.
I started doing drag because it seemed like such a fun and creative way to express yourself. I’ve never been able to draw or paint on a canvas or anything very well. I can’t paint a canvas, but I can paint my face!! I’ve always been so amazed by the way makeup can transform someone, and when you put a character to that, it’s a nice time.


3. Where did you get your drag name?

I’ve always been really in love with all things freakshow/sideshow related, so thats kinda where the last name came from. “Alison” is the name of one of my old friends, but i won’t go into that.
The funny part is, everyone always spells my name “Allison” so i get to feel like Willam when i tell them “NO EXTRA L”.



4. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Woah, well… I guess in general, one of my biggest inspirations would have to be Yölandi Visser of Die Antwöord. Her aesthetic is something I strive for honestly. In other respects, my friend Neon Hitch is also a big inspiration to me. Neon’s proved to me that you can be fucked over time and time again and still come out on top.


5. What is your biggest accomplishment?

I’d have to say getting my first lacefront. That was a moment.


6. What has been your biggest obstacle so far?

Not getting discouraged. There's a lot of pressure when you do drag to look a certain way. Perfect hair, perfect crease, etc. But how can one person define that? I’m learning that as long as I stay true to the crazy undead hooker bitch that Alison is, there’s nothing that can stop me. 



7. How do you deal with hate?

I retweet it.


8. What is your biggest goal for the future?

Um... Lord, I don’t know. Owning a goddamn Versace dress? I don’t really set long term goals for myself because i don’t want to set myself up for failure. If you just live in the moment, its a lot easier to get far in life.


9. What do you love most about the drag community?

The amount of support there is! I’ve met SO many wonderful human beings. 



10. What do you dislike most about the drag community?

For every supportive person, theres 5 annoying bitches who wanna talk down to you and say you need to look different. I don’t like how everyone thinks you need to look a certain way. You gotta accept that everyone has different ways of doing drag. Theres so many different styles, you shouldn’t waste time being hateful like that.


11. What is the biggest lesson you've learned about drag?

You can never have too much glitter.


12. What is your favorite song to perform to and why?

Ooh. Thats a tough one. I’d have to say it’s a tie between Bodyache by Purity Ring and Sick Like Me by In This Moment. Mostly because i always have so much fun performing those songs, and the crowd loves it as much as I do.



13. What is your favorite brand of makeup to use?

Wait bitch are you buying me a care package? Haha, I’d have to say Kat Von D. Always really good coverage for her foundations, and her lipsticks are perfect.


14. Who has been your favorite drag queen that you've met in the past and why?

P E A R L. I absolutely adore that beautiful bitch. She makes me so fucking wet, I swear.


15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Detox, Raven, Pearl 

Oh gurl… Marry Pearl, kai kai with Detox, and I’m so sorry but kill Raven. I feel so bad! Haha!



Follow Alison:
Twitter: @AlisonSideshow
Instagram: @alison_sideshow

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic
Tumblr: dragenthusiast.tumblr.com

Friday, June 12, 2015

Evonka Rump Tration: Not Slowing Down


Being a YouTube personality can be a pretty tough situation especially when others try and drag your reputation through the mud. Evonka Rump Tration has been through a lot while trying to balance YouTube and drag, but is still showing that she will claw her way to success and not let anyone hold her down. 


1. Who is Evonka Rump Tration?

Evonka is a hot mess who strives for beauty above anything else, she isnt the best singer or dancer but prides herself on her ability to put on a good show. She knows how to make people laugh and smile and she loves to think outside the box when creating her character. She is also a pageant queen, but not your typical cookie cutter pageant girl.


2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I began drag on a total whim, in a hotel room in Washington DC, I know sounds like a joke, but the art of female impersonation was so interesting to me I just had to at least try it. I've come a long way from the booger mess I was in that hotel room. 


3. Where did you get your drag name?

Evonka Rump was a play on the glamazon Ivanka Trump and Tration is after my drag mother Penny Tration she held a competition at her bar to find a drag daughter and add a cast member I competed and won.


4. Who is your biggest inspiration?

I pull insprition from all sorts of places, other queens, music and art. But my biggest inspiration is my fans, I know there may not be that many sometimes but the ones that follow me inspire me to continue to work hard and get better and try new things.



5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeves are people who can't admit when they have a big head and act childish, I know I can come off as a bitch sometimes and have been conveyed as such but at least I can admit I'm not always the nicest. 


6. How long does it take you to get into drag?

Depending on the look I am creating getting into drag can take me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.


7. Where did you learn to do your makeup?

all the skills I have learned about makeup has been all me through trial and error and watching youtube. I never really had someone to show me how to do things, so i try and help anyone I can when they ask.


8. What is your favorite makeup product?

I've gotta say my favorite makeup product is my my beauty blender sponge. I feel like its the best for blending my foundation and it helps not to waste makeup.



9. What is one item you can't live without?

My cell phone. It's literally my ticket to the world and my main resource for reaching out to people.


10. When and why did you start doing YouTube?

I started YouTube about 4 years ago after I left my cast position at "The Cabaret" and I started as an outlet to continue growing my drag and to continue meeting people.


11. Describe the channel Altered Illusions.

Altered Illusions is a place to learn and grow and yes at times it can feel like a job or like its not worth it, but personally over everything that has changed over the years on the channel i can say that no matter what the fans and friends I have made mean more than anything to me.



12. Which Altered Illusions video was your favorite to make?

It's a tie for me between 3 the toot and boot video we did with myself, Harlee, Emma and Siren and it was my favorite because personally I felt this was the best cast AI has ever seen and we got to do this together and it was alot of fun.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEGZwMI24IE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjjcCBWWp6o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bly19OlvhPU


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

I wish people would just be over all more excepting of everything about the LGBT community I feel like people hide behind excuses that if they would just open their minds they would see we are no different from anyone else and we all want the same thing, to be happy.


14. What do you love most about the drag community?

I love that there are so many creative outlets with drag, so many things you can try and ways to do drag. There is no right and wrong way to do drag. And no matter what kind of drag you do you still have a large community to surround yourself with to make yourself better.


15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Willam Belli, April Carrion, Tammie Brown

Marry: Tammie Brown
Kill: April Carrion
Kai Kai: Willam Belli



Follow Evonka:

Twitter: @evonkatration
Instagram: @evonkarumptration


The Drag Enthusiast:

Twitter: @DragEnthusiast 
Tumblr: dragenthusiast.blogspot.com
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic