Monday, July 24, 2017

Fox E Kim: Chicago's Strange Doll Haus Cosplay Queen

The Chicago based cosplay queen named Fox E Kim started off doing drag during a marathon and hasn’t put her brushes down yet. If you haven’t been able to catch her at her many booked gigs including Geekhaus at Berlin and LiquidBrunch at Scarlet Bar, you’re missing an unique performer who can lip sync in a wide variety of languages and with six alter egos to boot.

 1. Who is Fox E. Kim?

The ruiner of days, the harbinger of sorrow, it's Fox E. Kim! But seriously, I'm a party girl who enjoys anime, manga, and a lot of final fantasy.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I started doing drag about four years ago. One day, a good friend of mine asked me to get up on stage during the Chicago marathon and dress like a bridesmaid to support marriage equality (it wasn't legal in Illinois at the time) so I did and loved it and it's sort of been a giant party ever since.

3. How did you come up with your drag name?

My drag name is actually a sort of anagram/rearrangement of my actual name. So, Michael Foxworth is my first and middle name and for the most part people were calling me Foxy/FoxyMike for the longest time. I'm also a linguist by day so I wanted my name to be somewhat clever. The E. Kim in Fox E. Kim spells Mike backwards so Fox E. Kim turns into Fox MikE. or FoxyMike. Get it? Clever, right!

4. Where does your inspiration come from?

I describe my look as a party girl ready to fucking GO. Like, I'm really into showing off my naturally big Sicilian thighs. A lot of my non-cosplay drag comes from It's interesting however, because I do a lot of cosplay, which doesn't allow me to go too far off the beaten path. With cosplay, if you aren't recognizable, you're sort of missing the mark. The balance between the two is probably the most challenging aspect of my drag but also what drives me to constantly improve.

5. What would you say is the most unique thing you have to offer?

I crochet. No, actually, I would say my ability to lip sync in a variety of languages (Japanese, Romanian, French, Spanish, some Afrikaans) opens a lot of unique doors for me and removes a lot of limitations for my performances. It also allows me to pull in original material (for example, anime looks/performances) that may not always be available to some performers.

6. What is a big future goal you've set for yourself?

I want to bring my cosplay to Japan. I love visiting there and to be able to showcase some of the anime inspired looks I've created based on Japanese culture would be amazing.

7. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about drag?

My favorite thing about drag is the transformation. It's really an escape from reality and going from frump to fab makes my day. Sometimes, I'm not feeling my fantasy but it is a fantasy that I created and at the end of the day, I'm proud of it. My least favorite thing about drag is how much 'regular' performers, hosts, etc. get compared to Ru girls. Drag race has become an end all be all for some girls and that saddens me. It's a perfectly good goal to have, but there is more to drag than just ONE TV show.

8. What does drag mean to you?

Drag is transformation. It is going from one persona to another. I'm really obsessed with the idea of having multiple alter egos (I have 6) and what it means to fully realize each one. Drag is a beautiful way of completing an alter ego that can readily be showcased to the world.

9. What is your advice for younger performers who are just starting drag?

You don't get what you don't ask for. Seriously. You're never going to get through life with just having things handed to you. Also, if you aren't being told 'no' you probably aren't asking for things big enough! Take risks and be unapologetically you. If you aren't you, people will catch on. It's just drag--have fun with it!

10. Where do you see yourself in a few years regarding your drag?

I'd like to be touring a bit more with my 'haus'es. Right now I'm doing *a lot* but I think I can reduce the total number of gigs but improve the quality and performances over all.

11. In your drag journey, what are some obstacles you’ve faced? How have you overcome them?

I've been somewhat of a lone wolf in the Chicago drag scene. I love my sisters but at the end of the day, I've always done me. This has probably caused me to miss some opportunities. I also feel like I started the game late, which has forced me to be in a constant state of playing catch up in the drag scene. To think where I would be if I started drag when I was 20 or 21! I would be so much further along my journey.

12. How long does it take you to get in drag and what all goes into your preparation?

If I oversleep, I can wear a wig with a heavy bang and paint my face in about 45-60 minutes. Usually I give up to 2 hours for makeup and 30 minutes for changing. I think it's a super valuable skill to get your 'go to' face down to about 1.5 hours. If I'm doing something more complicated (Marie Antoinette face, Goldar, prosthetics, etc.) I budget up to 3 hours. My glitter shapes also take about 90 minutes to apply so I don't always do them.

13. If you got on RPDR, who would you play for snatch game?

Easily Mary Kate Olsen. Have you watched Very Mary Kate? It's genius. I've never identified with a character so much.

14. Marry, Kill, Kai Kai, Kiss: Strange Dollhaus edition. Lexi Pro, Electra Cute, Mikki Miraj

ohhhh nooooooooooo. Okay. Kill Mikki. Marry Lexi. Kiss Electra. I'm not Kai-kai'ing with any of them ha!

15. What is your favorite part of doing charity/benefit shows?

I host Proud to Run yearly and they raise thousands of dollars for local LGBT charities. Like, this is THE reason I think people should do drag--for the community. It brings me such joy to see organizations receive the help they need and deserve to do better in the world.

16. Favorite Cosplay to date and why?

My favorite cosplay is my Yuna series from Final Fantasy. I do a reveal from FFX to FFX-2 mid performance and it wows the audience every time. To see people's faces and smiles during it reminds me why I do drag.

17. What are some future goals that you’ve set for yourself?

Stone at least a fourth of my wardrobe. Also apparently I should get a gas mask for the E6000 fumes. I know it seems like a silly goal, but it's important to freshen up your wardrobe every now and then. Also, I'd like to do ONE international performance in the next year even if it means Canada! That counts, right?

18. Dream cosplay/performance venue?

I would love to do a huge Final Fantasy show in the Akihabara district (anime area) of Tokyo. The energy, the community, everything would just be so perfect. It would truly be a dream come true.

19. What is your favorite part of being in a drag haus?

We truly do support each other even if we don't act like it. I'm an only child in real life so I haven't really had siblings before. It's been interesting being the 'oldest' daughter because I've had to set a lot of examples while still making sure to support my sisters. Despite what it may look like I do have everyone's best interests in mind, even Mikki's :-P

20. How has having a drag haus changed things for you?

It's created some amazing opportunities for me that would not be available on my own. We've started several shows in some venues around Chicago and have gotten out of town gigs together and now tour regularly. It's been an amazing journey that I wouldn't have been able to do on my own.

Follow Fox E Kim
Instagram: @foxekim

All photos used were captured by Joe Lewis Creative:

Strange Doll Haus Facebook:

Interview Done By Eich Ivy

Twitter: @ambretrishawna
Instagram: @ambretrishawna
The Drag Enthusiast
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @DragEnthusiast

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