The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
There have been some big changes talking place in the Big Apple even though you might not have even realized it. With Bianca Del Rio winning the most recent season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she’s clearly not going to be around nearly as much, that leaves a larger than life and an obnoxious void in the city’s drag scene. Mimi Imfurst has moved on to greener pastures and a fresh start in the City of Brotherly Love. Dallas DuBois retired from drag and moved to LA, presumably after the Rockettes refused to hire her. Epiphany is spending large chunks of the year overseas and I can’t blame her even slightly for that. But even with the outgoing talent there is still a lot of established talent in the city as well. Drag Race villainess extraordinaire, Phi Phi O’Hara made the move from the Windy City to New York. Legends like Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine, Hedda Lettuce and others are still killing it. The cupboard is clearly not bare.
But now, more than ever, there are a ton of young, hungry (by hungry I mean ambitious…and, well…hungry queens out there. Most of these skinny bitches need a sandwich or three) crop of young drag talent ready to burst into stardom. As a part of this series, NewYorkNowNext, we’re going to be taking a look at some of this talent that is blooming all around the Big Apple. Ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to talk with Miss Mariette Moure!
Chiffon Dior: Hi there Mariette! I know you’re getting ready to head out on tour again so I appreciate you fitting me in! How are you doing tonight gurl?
Mariette Moure: I’m doing great! Exhausted from a long day of rehearsal but looking forward to watching Drag Race! How are you?
CD: Wow….I’m speechless! With all these interviews I’ve done, I think you’re the first queen to ask how I’m doing. You’re such a polite young lady. You must have been raised properly. I’m well. So one of the first things I always do is to invite the interviewee to hop in my Delorean and go back in time a bit. Where are you from originally?
MM: I’m originally from upstate NY in a town called Cornwall.
CD: What was your first exposure to the world of drag growing up?
MM:Well… The first time I EVER saw a drag queen in my whole life and never knowing what it was before that, I saw Kasha Davis’s hilarious drag cooking shows on YouTube! And then I started watching Jackie Beat and Pandora Boxx. Then before I knew it the first season of Drag Race started! The first time I ever saw a drag queen in real life was at a birthday party at Lips.
CD: So its safe to assume your love of dance came before your love of drag then?
MM: Oh yes. I’ve been dancing since I was six. I started dancing at a small school in Cornwall. At twelve I started private coaching to become a professional and also to compete at ballet competitions. I competed for three years with good success. Then at fifteen I moved to NYC to train at the School of American Ballet the official school of the New York City Ballet, the school from which I graduated.
CD: That actually sounds pretty similar to my background except that most of my dance training comes from having too many shots of Fireball and mistakenly thinking I’m graceful. So what got you started as a drag queen?
MM: I got started as a drag queen when I started with my ballet company! Les Ballets Trockadero. We are an all male comedic professional ballet company. we do classical Russian style ballets on pointe, in drag. I was so excited to start doing it but never thought I would do drag outside of my job. Until… New Year’s Eve. And after that it’s history! *Laughs*
CD: Wait, wait, wait! New Year’s Eve? Don’t you mean Halloween? Legally speaking I thought that was the only holiday you could start drag on?
MM: *Laughs* Nope! Not for me! My drag mother Lolita Golightly (also with the Trocks) convinced me to do it! And I was hooked ever since.
CD: Tell me a little bit about the Trocks for the people reading who might not be familiar with it. I know it has been around for decades now but how does an all-male ballet like this even come about?
MM: The Trocks started in the 70’s during the Stonewall riots. The shows started at midnight in a loft downtown! Eventually it gained much success in the ballet world and then the company began touring. Now we are one of the busiest touring ballet company’s in the world.
CD: I think the first time you came on my radar was when I saw your wonderful, interactive “Last Chance to be Queen of Pride” video (Check it out here!) last summer. How did that come about for you?
MM: Wow you saw that!!! That was one of my favorite projects! This Music video director and song writer- Nimrod Shapira who is from Israel (now is in NYC) asked me on Facebook to star in his video and said he was recommended to me by Talula Bonet (a wonderful drag queen I met in Tel Aviv).
CD: Yes absolutely I did! And so did a ton of other people!
MM: He needed a drag queen for a new music video about a drag queen scared of a NYC gay pride pageant and keeps doubting herself and then reaches to victory. He wrote the song for me and I was able to approve the lyrics. Then I told him that I don’t sing and he said, that’s okay! They will have someone sing it! And I lip synched it!
CD: Because if you could sing like that AND dance AND be pretty, I was going to end this interview and go jump off the GW Bridge right now.
MM: *Laughs* I wish I could sing!
CD: Did you find you were more “known” after that video?
MM: A bit actually. The moment that shocked me the most was when I found that Buzzfeed made a whole thing about it, GIFs and everything! I was so excited!
CD: You KNOW you’ve made it when you get GIF’d gurl!
CD: Where does your drag name come from?
MM: Interesting story. When I first joined Trocks, my Lolita and I would collect these funny little TY beanie monster balls at the airports and we would call them “Mariets”. Then when that New Years Eve came about, we were wondering what my name should be. We decided to make Mariet a little more feminine and came up with Mariette. Moure came from a teacher in middle school and I liked the spelling on her last name.
CD: And voila…a queen was born?
MM: I guess so! *Laughs* Busted face, flat hair and no padding, but I still felt amazing!
CD: Well that is how all queens should start! *Laughs*
CD: So you talked about leaving for Spain with the tour tomorrow. How long are the tours? How much of a grind is it for you?
MM: Yes. This tour is about three weeks. But our tours can either be a couple days long or nine weeks long like our upcoming tour of the UK in the fall. Touring can be a lot of fun and very exciting. I’m just not a big fan of long flights. But when touring thirty to forty weeks out of the year, you get used to it! The days are long and the dancing is exhausting but this job is a blessing and even better because I get to combine my love of ballet and my love of drag!
CD: The focus of this series we’re doing here at NS4W is about the period of change that the New York City drag scene is going through. What changes have you seen in the time that you’ve been a part of and for that matter, have been following the NYC drag scene?
MM: When I first stepped into the NYC drag scene. I honestly came into it with an uneducated eye, so I thought everything was just fabulous! Then as I started improving, I was able to see what was what was going on. Seems to me a lot more theater queens and comedic queens are stepping into the scene. For the drag follower scene, I feel that has changed A LOT! When I first started, my followers and friends at the bars were usually just people that wanted to chill and party and liked me as a performer, but not a lot of people cared for drag queens at a bar. But within the past three seasons of Drag Race or so, more people at the bars LOVE Drag Race, drag queens, drag shows and they can’t get enough! Also a lot of musical theater people have been following the drag queens I feel more than ever!
CD: Ah yes, the magic words…Drag Race. I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you about it. What do you think of the show and would you ever want to be on?
MM: I think the show is very good for drag so the rest of the country can see that drag is indeed an art form, and such a captivating concept for many audiences. Also, it can boost a drag queens popularity tremendously so I would love to be on it! But I trained my whole life to become a dancer, and now that I have that life, I want to do it as long as I can! Since dancing is a shorter career, I am holding off on trying to be on the show, although it would be an honor!
CD: With some of the more established queens in the city moving on to new projects and phases in their careers, there is a bit of a vacuum at the top. Who do you think is poised to fill that void?
MM: Well… Hopefully I can be one of those queens! But I believe Alexis Michelle will be a huge star. She is my best sister in this community, but even if she wasn’t, I’d still think she is a wonderfully talented performer who shines with her glamour and femininity which sometimes the drag scene can lack. Also Terra Grenade has hilarious mixes which is something I wish I could do!
CD: With seemingly busloads of new queens arriving daily at the Port Authority, what do you feel that you bring the scene that is unique? What makes Mariette stand out from the crowd?
MM: Mariette is a showgirl. Always wanting to entertain! The high glamour and performance quality I try to deliver is something that seems to get lost in the scene nowadays. I like my look to always be pageant ready! That is what Mariette lives for! I try to present myself as professional as possible as a performer.
CD: Professional is a lost art these days it seems with some of the young performers. So obviously you’re insanely busy right now but what other goals do you have for your career long term?
MM: Well, I am planning on continuing my dance career but also being in the NYC drag scene when I can! Sadly. I’m not able to have a weekly show, but would love to guest for more queens shows and present my art of drag to more audiences.
CD: Well thank you so much for your time Mariette. If people want to check out your tour, where can they find out more? Also, if they want to keep tabs on you via social media, where can they find you?
CD: Definitely! Its a must when you get back! Do you have any final words of wisdom before you get back to packing?
MM: Yes, love you everybody! Stay pretty!!!!