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