Mrs.Kasha Davis made her eagerly anticipated return to RuPaul’s Drag Race this season, and as part of the All Stars 8 cast, she worked with queens she has known for decades, as well as some queens that were brand new to her. No matter the challenge or the queens she was up against, this self-proclaimed “workhorse” led with kindness every single time. I sat down with Mrs. Davis to chat about her return to Drag Race, her Rochester family (as well as her beloved Mr. Davis) and the surprising queen who helped bring Mrs. Kasha Davis to life.
Michael Cook: We absolutely loved seeing you on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8. What made you go back, with your last appearance being on Season 7!
Mrs. Kasha Davis: RuPaul’s Drag Race, as we know, the franchise has spread all over the world. It is like a virus and we don’t want a vaccine. What I am so excited about is to see people celebrating drag in this way. There is a lot of press about how drag is a crime and there is legislation about that, but a lot of I think comes from the fact that it’s become more mainstream. That opportunity to be on Drag Race again, to be on All Stars, provides me with the opportunity to do other things, like the project with the children’s television show (Imagination Station) and maybe get noticed for other opportunities with film and television. It really is such a gift to be able to compete.
MC: Even up until your departure, there were so many amazing challenges and runways packed into the season so far. What do you think your rose and thorn of your Drag Race journey have been so far?
MKD: I loved that there was so much packed in, I am a workhorse queen, I like to stay busy. I was so grateful to have the opportunities to show the different looks and to show the opportunity to sing, write some music, and act. The high points for me were the RDR Live skits, Barb, and my line at the end of my rap where I said “brunch”. That whole verse was celebrating my husband and my sisters Ambrosia Salad, Aggy Dune and Darienne Lake.
We have a brunch cast where we do brunches here in Rochester, NY and it is very successful and I wanted to tie those in. I love that the internet is saying that should have been at least in the Top 2 for the RDR acting, so that makes me proud. I went to school for theater and that is my passion. My low point, I think you know (laughs). It would be my dress design skills.
MC: You’re definitely not the first queen to walk into the Drag Race work room and not be able to sew. Like you said, you’re “not Amish and you have good credit” (laughs)!
MKD: If you look back here, we’re in my costume closet and there is not one thing that I’ve made. There might be a couple little accessories or flowers in the hair or a headpiece, but for the most part they are outfits created by designers who make many great things for me in size man (laughs)!
MC: I love that you mentioned the ultra successful brunches that you do in Rochester, and seeing you in the competition with Darienne who is a close friend and someone you work with regularly, was so exciting. What was it like for you to have this experience with her?
MKD: The whole experience together has been a joy. When I first had the interest of auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race, it was Pandora Boxx who was on Season 2. Darienne and I were like “well if Pandora can do it, then so can we”. That’s part shade and part true (laughs). We thought “wow this is possible”. Darienne did so well on Season 6 and then I ended up on Season 7.
To have this moment together because our sisters in town that we do shows together with, they don’t share that experience. We both share that whole experience together so to have this moment together is incredible. We are family, we are like brothers, sisters, and we with like family and support each other like family. We are there for each other through thick and thin, and sometimes we want to wrestle and choke each other!
MC: Seeing a community like your Rochester community having so much amazing talent is such a refreshing departure from the larger cities like Los Angeles or New York City. What do you think it is about that area that makes it so spectacularly talent filled?
MKD: I was introduced to this drag family when I moved from Scranton PA to Rochester. It immediately noticed that it was like theater in that each person, queen, character, king all were celebrated for who they were. And I thought that was really special. As you may know or if you travel, sometimes the ‘Queen Bee’ has a certain look. If it’s leotards and boots, the whole cast is wearing them. What was so special is that when I entered this cast, our drag mother Naomi Kane who is the owner of Muther’s she would encourage us to be ourselves. It was very much a family and the love and the fighting.
The bottom line is, this cast consists of Aggy Dune, this gorgeous diva Cher impersonator, Darienne Lake who is bawdy and sexual, Pandora Boxx, young, flirty and kooky, Ambrosia Salad the club kid, and Mrs. Kasha Davis who is camp. You gave the audience a little bit of something and they didn’t just sit there and see the same style throughout. I think we continue to do that as a community. Recently at DragCon a couple of the gals were there to have a booth and I bought them out to the pink carpet with me as I do with Mr. Davis. Because I am so grateful for my community and I wanted them to be celebrated too.
MC: That’s so refreshing to hear, there is such a lack of being insecure and wanting everyone to be celebrated with seasoned queens, wouldn’t you say?
MKD. You know, its funny my brother asked me how I think I would do competing in Drag Race in my twenties compared with being in my fifties. I think it’s just a different mind set.
MC: Speaking of different mind sets, your children’s show Imagination Station is such a wonderful world to bring to the community. How did that come about?
MKD: For six years, I have been doing Drag Story Hour and bringing it to the local theater called Blackfriars Theatre and Mary Hoffman and Danny Hoskins were the directors there. They approached me and asked if I wanted to do a drag story hour they’re doing in San Francisco and I think you would be great, and I said absolutely! I love kids and I thought to myself “what will this be like”? The first time we had a rumbling of some protestors and I was asked what “what is your agenda”? I spoke to the directors on how we should answer and the answer simply was “If you happen to see someone different in the world, treat them with kindness”.
Ever since that moment, it started to hit me. It was never about being a drag queen, it was about being kind to yourself and to others who might be different. If I had had that as a child, I would have had a different life path. I would have avoided some dark places. From that, the pandemic happened and the theater was closed. They said “You’ve always dreamt of it, let’s put the local television show”. We got the local artists together and we filmed four episodes and we are working to find the proper streaming platform to put it out.
MC: Manifestation is so important, and this is the kind of show that American needs right now. I definitely see this getting picked up on something like Amazon or Netflix.
MKD: Thank you! I always like to give the description that you imagine Mrs Doubtfire hosting Pee Wee’s PlayHouse in Mister Rogers Neighborhood; that is what Imagination Station is.
MC: Mr. Davis is your ever present and beloved husband, and is truly your biggest supporter. I suspect that there is absolutely nothing like having his support throughout your career is that fair to say?
MKD: I would also;utely agree. There is no Mrs. Kasha Davis and there would not have been a Mrs. Kasha Davis without Mr Davis. We would watch Darienne, Aggy, Ambrosia, and Pandora and we decided to go to Ptown for a weekend, where we decided to make our relationship monogamous. We were there and we saw Miss Richfield 1981 and as soon as I saw her, I said “oh..there’s a character, there’s a backstory, she’s singing live-and she doesn’t look so great in a dress (laughs)”.
That whole twelve hour ride home we talked about what my drag character wold be and it was first pet, first street, Kasha Davis. I cam back home and asked to be part of the amateur night and they let me do it. “Mrs.” didn’t come into play until one night my drag mother said “there’s strippers over there, do you want to go over and see what they got”? I said “no” and then the announced said “Ladies and gentleman, the lady, Mrs Kasha Davis”! I thought that was so funny! Mrs Kasha Davis is the fun, the fabulous, and the heart, and Mr Davis is the spreadsheet. I would be bankrupt if I didn’t have him! Next week, May 26th it is twenty years together, so we are so excited.
MC: You were very open about your sobriety journey during your All Stars experience. Was there every a hesitation for you to be so open about something so personal?
MKD: Not for me. I went into outpatient rehab and I went into the recovery program of of Alcoholics Anonymous and I said, first and foremost, I would give up my family, my husband and my career-help me get sober. That began the process for me of realizing that the most important thing is my sobriety because everything else would fall apart without it. That’s for me, that’s not everybody else’s journey, but that’s for me. The program encourages being anonymous, the idea is that if someone in the spotlight should falter, they will then think that the program doesn’t work.
For me, I didnt realize that as a child in the 70’s and 80’s that gay people would be happy, that they would survive AIDS. Everything that was communicated to me was that gay people die of AIDS, they can’t have a family, it was a very negative picture that was painted for me. As I came out and came to Rochester and started realizing that these things weren’t true, I realized “My goodness, I need to live openly so other people might be able to see themselves and have hope too”. That just really transformed into sobtiery, because I now get messages from people all over the world saying that gave them the spark or the idea because “If Mrs. Kasha Davis can do it, then so can I”. And that really is the biggest form of payment that drag can have, you can inspire other people to be their best self.
MC: When you entered the All Stars workroom, is there anyone you walked in and saw and wanted to immediately get to know or thought it may be a good idea to perhaps keep your distance from?
MKD: Kandy Muse. Because of the arguments that she would have with Tamisha Iman and it was like “she’s abrasive” & it’s not the case. She is definitely confident and competitive, but she is kind and sweet and she and I click and I respect her. I love that she is not gonna wear boobs, “I’ll just have a corset on, im a bigger gal and im gonna wear the smallest outfit”. Balls to the wall out there confident; I love that, that inspires me.
For many years, even in my drag, I am not a small man. My shoulders are broad and my muscles are big. I was encouraged to wear a shrug and sort of hide myself. Drag now is not about any of that and drag has evolved even since I started. People are celebrating if they have a beard, however they want express themselves. That was very fun for me. I got to know everyone on the cast in different ways but she really surprised me. There were a few times when I thought “she’s quite a character” when I would see her online and I think that is part of the persona but I think she is really just a gem.
Follow Mrs. Kasha Davis on Instagram