A bona fide Daughter of a Preacher Man is now one of Hell’s Kitchen’s hottest drag hostesses, and a killer performer to boot. Give us more, Kimmi Moore!
Thotyssey: Kimmi, hello! You hosted a viewing party of that last episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race at the Ritz… OMG, drama! The girls are finally getting the chance to show some personality. What are your thoughts?
Kimmie Moore: Girrrllll, it’s hard to say how I really feel because I’m not there with them, but the drama was great TV! Holly Box-Springs and I were excited to have some enter-taint-ment! Drag Race is a great way to get many people in our community together.
What was UPPPPP with Charlie Hides’ half-assed lip synch at the end, though? That was just so odd.
Yes, I think everyone was disappointed. I would have loved to see the older girl try to nail that, even if she failed. I guess she was staying true to herself. As long as she’s happy with her performance I guess that’s what matters, but everyone knows lip syncing is part of the competition and drag culture in general. So at least she did a little bit instead of walking out.
Who’s team are you on, by the way… or is that a dangerous question? Three of the four New York girls work with you at the Ritz!
That could potentially be dangerous, but everyone has a preference. Honestly, I’m not sure right now. I’ve been having mixed feelings, so I’d like to see what else the girls bring before I really root hard for someone. Our New York girls really are so sickening though!!! Werkkkkk.
Okay, let’s get to know Kimmi! So, where’s your hometown, and what was Little Kimmi like growing up?
I grew up in Suffolk County, Long Island, right near the Fire Island ferries… HA! Little Kimmi is a novel in itself. I guess I’ll hit the SparkNote highlights.
I grew up doing performances in every living room possible. I have two big memories that make me realize I was destined to eventually do drag. I would run around my grandparents house like snow white with a blanket around myself as a cape and I also used my mom’s old black dress to do the melting scene in the Wizard of Oz. This was the start. I ended up doing all of the school shows and then later on my Dad, being the pastor of our church at the time, gave me the ability to direct shows there.
Growing up with my Dad as the pastor was actually an amazing experience for me. It’s really shaped a lot of who I am. I also felt like a star often because everyone knew who I was, but I didn’t know everyone. I knew all the different areas of the church and would get to basically be “backstage” with the parish. I helped my dad a lot with readings and candle lightings, and also sang in the choir and did music.
Those were the easy parts for me. Being in the spotlight is in my blood. On the other hand, it became difficult for me in later years. Coming out was not the easiest and it wasn’t because anyone was unaccepting of me but just because I had been surrounded by this godly lifestyle and teachings my whole life. It’s not easy to break from your roots. Things were confusing for everyone in the midst of this transition in my life. But luckily everyone–especially my family–has been so supportive of me… and they all know I do drag.
Like I said, I could write a novel… if anyone wants to hear more about this, I’d be happy to chat about it or maybe even start a blog or a….novel!
I’d read both! So, when did you actually become Kimmi?
Freshman year of college, right after I said “I’ll never do drag. I’m not that kind of gay.” Never say never. A friend of mine introduced me to the winner of the fall drag competition, to try to get me to do drag, One dose of being Britney Spears and it just spiraled.
Truth! What was your first drag performance like, and where was it?
It was at my college in the multipurpose room on a big stage and runway. I performed ”Circus“ by Britney with two incredible backup dancers. My makeup and hair were…… but my performance was flawless. It was honestly living my dream on a small scale. I guess that’s why we call it “living the fantasy, henny!”
At the time, being Britney was my fantasy.
Live! When did you start performing in NYC venues?
Right when I moved here in June, 2015.
And how did you enjoy your experience taking part in that year’s season of “So You Think You Can Drag?”
It was the greatest way to start of my time here in NYC. I made so many incredible friends and new sisters and pushed myself to do crazy things. I actually really do not like competitions, but it’s always good when you are starting out and trying to be seen. I’ve finally learned how to stay true to myself even in the midst of a competition. You should always have a part of you there, even when trying new things.
By the way, where did you get that BritSnake for that one number you did in the competition?
Secrets! I can’t give away everything.
You must like doing those big production numbers when you get the chance to do them, right?
That is what I live for. It is why I do drag. My short term goal is to get the chance to do a huge production for the Glam Awards. I do enjoy solo performances now though because it allows you to improv and do whatever you are feeling in that moment. I prefer productions, though.
So, how did you get involved with the Ritz?
I actually worked with the Ritz for a very short time when I moved here. The Countess Mascara introduced me to the staff there. I have to thank her for that. I stopped working there for a while and was just a regular there. Then DJ Xavier wanted me to to a Britney Spears night with Britney Virazzano.
Eventually after guesting there quite a few times, they brought me in as a resident queen. The Ritz has been my dream bar to work at since I moved here and I freaking did it.
We can usually find you hosting the party on Friday and Saturday nights. How’s hosting for you? Is it hard to be “on” all the time, especially with the heavy, tightly-packed weekend crowds there?
I’m going to toot my own horn for a second. I don’t think anyone understands how hard we work on Friday and Saturday nights. We have to be on point all night. As hosts, we have to be energetic, talkative, and approachable. I walk up and down three flights in heels all night, talking to people, dancing, and for a while was also a shot girl.
For Friday and Saturday nights I am one of the faces of the Ritz. I have been doing my best to make it a great atmosphere. It’s a great place to work and I want to be a part of any transition or growth we will have.
It is so much fun to meet new people, and lately I feel like I have been a good presence for people struggling with being gay, accepting themselves and feeling accepted… and that makes me feel so good. I want to continue to be this presence for people at The Ritz. It’s a gay bar. We are family and we should all be accepting and supportive of one another no matter what.
It’s wonderful that you can be that for people! And you sound like quite a Company Gal, the Ritz is lucky to have you. Do you wish you had more opportunities to actually perform there, though?
OH MY, YES! I can’t wait to have a night each week that I have to prepare numbers for. I never started drag to be a look queen, but that’s what I’ve learned to do on the weekends because I get bored of wearing the same things. I also want my Instagram to be LIT.
People are always asking me where they can see me perform because that’s my forte. That is why I do drag. I live for dancing and a spotlight. Soon, soon, soon.
Well, you’ll have at least one chance coming up pretty soon, performing for The Countess Mascara’s Birthday Pre-Invasion at Stonewall on the 22nd! Will this be your first Stonewall performance?
No, I’ve actually performed there quite a few times. It’s legendary. I love the invasions and I love the employees there.
Do you know what numbers you’re gonna do yet?
Not a clue. But a new song was just released and I’m totally into it….
Anything else coming up for you?
I am in the process of working on some music that will hopefully be released for the summer. I am extremely excited and plan on having my own release party.
NYC only knows Kimmi as a dancing drag queen, but nobody has seen the biggest part of her. She’s coming.
And we’re following! Thank you, Kimmi!