NYC Drag Queen Of The Week – Kizha Carr
There is no shortage of drag queens in NYC. You can’t throw a rock without hitting some twink in a dress thinking he’s got what it takes to shantay down the runway just because he’s seen every season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race while practicing YouTube makeup tutorials. There’s a difference though between learning how to just paint your face and turning that face into a work of fucking art. This weekly series highlights the queens who stand out from the crowd and rock those heels til they bleed.
Meet Kizha Carr.
You’re a professional actor, you were in The Book Of Mormon on Broadway for five years. Is doing drag like acting in that you’re inhabiting another character?
It’s 100 percent inhabiting a character. Kizha Carr is very different from me. Kizha Carr does and says things that I would never do or say. It absolutely is a character and that’s the way I’ve always approached drag. What does this character have to say? What is the point of view? What’s the purpose of this character?
What’s the purpose of Kizha Carr?
The purpose of Kizha is mainly two-fold. I want to be able to take peoples minds off of their shitty day or the shitty Grindr hookup they had or whatever’s going on in their life and not think about what’s going on in our administration. We still need to be able to laugh. That’s the first goal. The second goal is I think if we’re given a platform we have to use it, so Kizha Carr also exists to promote pro LGBTQAI goals and ideas and to keep those things moving forward. I organize and produce a charity drag pageant every year which benefits the Trinity Place Shelter for LGBT youth. We have to be giving back. We have to be furthering ourselves as a community through drag.
With Trump in office is there pressure now for drag queens to become bigger advocates for the LGBTQ community?
Yes. I think what’s happening now is we’re seeing drag come back to it’s roots in it’s political activism. For a while, especially with the onset of Drag Race, it became this fun thing that everybody got to do, and it absolutely is that, but I think there are more people getting serious about it now due to Trump and the things that this administration is doing. We see it happening to our friends and family members. We have to stand up for those people so they will stand up for us and I think drag queens are leading that charge.
On this past season of Drag Race The Vixen brought up the racism she’s faced as a drag queen. Have you experienced any of that?
I think The Vixen brought up some very valid points but it’s not necessarily my experience. I don’t necessarily feel the racism from white people. What I get a lot of is black people telling me that I’ve sold out or that I am ‘cooning’ for white people in Midtown because I don’t work in the Bronx or I don’t work in Harlem. But, truth be told, I’ve never been offered a gig in those places.
What’s been your best night in drag?
Two years ago I flew home and one of my hometown sisters booked me at one of my old bars and I’m talking to my friends right before the show starts and I turn to my left and I see my mother sitting at a barstool with two of my brothers and my sister in law, none of which had ever seen me do a show before. My mother is horribly, horribly religious and it was the shock of a lifetime and I immediately lost it. I never expected that day would ever happen. It was a very special and life changing moment.
Was it harder telling your mother you were gay or that you were a drag queen?
Drag was hard, especially because of the way that I did it. We had had a phone conversation earlier one night and I was very upset with her and later that night I was drunk, and I was like, “You know what, fuck this,” and I just sent my mom a bunch of pictures of me in drag. That did not go over very well but it forced a conversation and it forced me to actually tell her something that I’d been hiding from her. Now, she’s showing pictures of my make-up to people at church.
You can catch Kizha Carr on Sundays at Industry Bar for “1999” at midnight, on Tuesdays at Barracuda Lounge for “Reparations Tuesdays” at 11:30pm, on Wednesdays at Therapy Lounge with Pixie Aventura for “The Help” at 11pm and Saturdays at Fire Island Pines Pool for “Wifeguards” at 3pm.