On Point With: Kamilla Kockman

Boudoir LeFleur and Kimmi Moore are the founding mothers of The Assassins, a drag House that exists entirely to slay us. Only the fiercest queens in the land can live up to the family name… enter Kamilla Kockman, a sickening and gorgeous performer who made it big in Fire Island and is coming to a screen (via webcast!) near you.


Thotyssey: Hello Kamilla! Thanks for talking to us on this beautiful (at least from my window) day! 

Kamilla Kockman: Hey Jim! It is beautiful; I ran out to run an errand and felt the fresh air! Well, not so fresh at the moment, right? But I’m keeping positive and washing my hands!

That’s all any of us can do! What day job is the coronavirus keeping you from?

I was a barista at a cafe called Blue Stone Lane. My location in the Hudson Yards Mall has been shut down, because of you know what.

Bummer!  How is it working at that mall, though? I bet people are bougie and terrible.

They surely can be, especially if they don’t get they’re coffee quickly. But I usually dazzle them with my smile and some charm, and that usually wins them over.

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[Photo: Timur Katz]
That is the Assassins way! So okay, now is as good a time as any to get to your origin story: where are you from originally, and what were your early creative interests that ultimately put you on the drag path?

Well, *clears throat* (into fold of arm, no corona here), I was born and raised in a small town, uptown Manhattan called Harlem. My block is considered to be in Hamilton Heights, if you wanted to get technical. But I rep Harlem all day, okuuurrr!? *tongue pop*

I started singing in  the choir at my church as a little baby queen. I would always be the loudest and would always sing the solos, and was always being extra for Jesus. I started to love singing and performing in general. I was very active in the arts programs that were provided to me in school and after school. I went on to major in voice in high school at the Professional Performing Arts High School. A notable alumni from there; Ms. Monet X Change! We actually studied voice together for a couple years! But trust and believe, everyone in that school was a damn queen.

I gained a passion for theatre throughout high school, and then went on to get my BFA in musical theatre from Fredonia. And then I started to audition, had some luck here and there, and like every other queen, drag became my performance platform!

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[Photo: Nick Gaga]
How exactly did you make the leap into drag?

Well, I dibbled and dabbled in it while studying in college. Our Pride alliance on campus would throw a drag show called Dragapalooza every semester. They would have a competition one semester, and then a themed show the next. I heard about the competition my freshman year and the Beyoncé in me just said “Girl, sign yo’ ass up and find you a wig.” So I did, and Sasha Fierce was born! I tore up the stage and performed my best “Single Ladies” number–with two backup dancers, just like mama–and we STORMED! I didn’t win, but definitely made a big impact.

I would perform in just a couple more of the drag shows, as I was battling if this was something I really wanted. Drag was just for fun, and so I could live my best Beyoncè life for a moment! But drag got serious for me after college, particularly when I started working on Fire Island at Cherrys! That’s where Kamilla Kockman was truly born.

How did your name come to you, by the way?

While I was a barista at Starbucks, anytime I made a drink for a customer named Camilla, they were always GORGEOUS! So I associate that name with a beautiful woman. And “Kockman” is there to remind you of what I really am.

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So, Fire Island is like the Hogwarts of drag!

You said it!

That’s where Boudoir LeFleur and Kimmi Moore, the original Assassins, more or less broke out as well… they were also Cherrys staffers. I take it that’s how you all met?

That is where I met Ms. Boudior. Kimmi, however, I met during my time at Fredonia! She was auditioning to be on the hip hop team that I was co-captain of. And after watching her slay, I fell in love and had to have her on the team! After she joined, our relationship just blossomed and we became really great friends… and we still are today! I love Kimmi Moore sooo much! She is most definitely my fairy drag mother, and plays a huge role in the development of Kamilla! I could honestly say there probably wouldn’t be a Kamilla if it wasn’t for her.

And then I naturally fell in love with Boudior because she’s so gorgeous and talented, and so wise! I’ve also learned a lot from this queen as well! The Assassins have been an amazing help for me, and I feel so lucky to be a part of this epic HAUS. Watching them go from their first duo show at Cherrys to New York’s Best Duo show now!?! Nothing but inspiring for me; I couldn’t be more proud.

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The duo has become a whole fierce house, now with you yourself and Nick Gaga in the fold! How would you describe the Assassins brand to those unfamiliar?

Gorgeous, talented sex goddesses from another dimension! I mean, I don’t wanna toot our own horn, but tooty toot toot, we’re GORJ. And we don’t just sit pretty… we actually slay and have the talents to back it up! And, all of the daddies lust over our flesh… they can’t help themselves. And we have our very own Lady Gaga! Have you seen my sis Nick Gaga’s looks? She basically is Gaga, let’s be real.

And then, how would you describe Kamilla?

Your best girlfriend… your banji homegirl from the block! My drag comes from the beautiful black women I watched growing up in my neighborhood, church, school, etc. My looks aren’t the biggest, but my smile is! Most of my focus goes into my performance. I want to connect with the audience, and make sure they’re enjoying what they’re watching. When you’re with Kamilla, get ready to laugh until you have six pack abs!

At Cherrys this past summer, you were actually hosting a weekly show alongside Kimmi and Tammy Spanx! How fun was that?

Soooo much fun! Performing out in Fire Island is an absolute blast, you really feel the love and appreciation for drag there! And I loved performing with my sisters. Rumor has it, we had one of the best Sunday shows there! But sshhh, don’t tell anyone!

No doubt! Do you have plans to return this summer… assuming they’ll be open for business as usual and we’ll all be allowed to leave our homes again?

Most definitely! Keeping my fingers crossed! Corona won’t steal my summer away from me … I’ll have to kill the whore first!

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[Photo: Joyce Rodgers]
Assassination! Oh, and I loved Kimmi’s “Just One Night” video, where you and the whole slaying family appear in fierce powdered wig finery.

Wasn’t that video fierce AF?! My sis Nick Gaga is really talented with the camera, and her eye for detail is always spot on! I also appeared as boy along with Boudoir, and we backup danced for Kimmi.

Tell us more… what was that shooting experience like?

First off, that choreography was super difficult… and I hadn’t danced like that in a while. So I was focusing on trying to get the dance right! The day of filming was a long day. We shot it at the beautiful Belvedere House for Men; you can’t help but to take in and admire the decor in that place. It’s magnificent! It was a really long day of shooting. I had to start out in drag and film my shots in my wig. That took a few hours; and filming everyone else’s shots took some time as well. Then, I had to rush out of drag and get into my boy costume, and then dance! We had a sickening dance scene planned, and we literally shot it like 30 times, in silence, which was kinda funny. We’re like going off, hitting the dance moves so hard, and it’s just… silent. But it came out AMAZING!

Will we be hearing Kamilla Kockman singles anytime soon?

I’m totally down to come out with original music! I literally make a song for whatever I’m doing at the moment, almost every day. Ask my friends.

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[Photo: Jeff Eason]
What did you think of last night’s episode of Drag Race? We’re only four episodes in and it’s already a pretty weird season. I mean, Rock was in the bottom and went home!

OMG I gagged! We’ve been gagging all damn season. I actually liked all of Rock’s runway looks last night. I thought he was gonna be one of the tops, so seeing her in the bottom was a surprise for me! I thought someone else was going to be there, and I think it’s kinda obvious who. The NYC girls are killing it, and doing us proud! Well, all but one.

Okay, as far as this whole crazy Sherry Pie situation goes… do you think it’s super weird how she is clearly being edited out of the episodes in practically real time? Like, I get how she gives fans the heebie-jeebies, but can’t they just leave the show as is and trust us come to our own conclusions about her?

Honestly, I’m not mad about it. I think getting air time is a privilege, and she doesn’t deserve any for what she’s done. I actually cringe a little at the times they let her get a line or two in. It’s just all so unfortunate, because she is a sickening queen… but also just kinda sick. Her runways have been pretty good though, so it’s nice that they still show that.

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[Photo: Steven Love Menendez]
We are all stuck home watching drag shows webcasted from queens’ small apartments for the time being, which has actually been kind of a trip: gals shablamming off their couches and serving ballads in their bathrooms.

Yes, it’s hilarious, ain’t it? But you know, a queen’s gotta do what a queen’s gotta do!

Have you been watching any girls in particular?

I’ve enjoyed watching some queens live like Honey Davenport, Kiki Ball-Change, Novaczar, Egypt and the legendary Ms Tina Burner.

And now, you are entering the fold this weekend! Tell us about what we can expect from Sunday’s “Church” (3pm on Insta Live)!

I’m about to take everyone to “Choiich!” I know folks can’t physically go to church now, but thank ya Lord Jesus for modern technology and the live feature, we can all have church together in our homes! And I’m bringing the fun and love back to church. Singing, dancing, shouting, joy and laughter is what you can expect from my church.

My church accepts everyone! I myself have experienced the hypocrisy and hatefulness inside of the church, being a gay man. Well, honey, I just want to remind everyone that we were made just the way are, and we are loved just the way we are!

Preach!

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So it’s kind of challenging to plug future things at this very moment, but is there anything else you care to let the children know about upcoming things… or anything else at all you want to mention?

Ooooh goodness, what do I say at a time like this?! First and foremost, keep your head up and your hands clean. Also, follow me on Insta, and I’ll definitely keep you updated on there! Who knows… if everything goes well tomorrow, you’ll catch me going live more often! But when everything blows over, I’ll be out on the Island of Fire this summer, turning it at Cherrys! And I’ll actually be bartending in Cherry Lane this summer, so you can come and have a cocktail with me there!

In closing: what are you currently binge watching!

OMG: I Am Not Okay With This on Netflix! It is cray cray!

Thank you, Kamilla!


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Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Kamilla Kockman’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Venmo: @thekockman

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