Sidney Stokes: Kristi Davidson! One of this year’s queens up for the Miss WERRRK.com Crown. I need to start by asking the question on everyone’s mind. Just who the hell are you and how did you get into my house?
Kristi Davidson: Hahaha, Well Sidney I am a Drag Queen from Halifax, Nova Scotia, known for my Broadway style and dance moves. I have been doing drag for 9 years and have held many titles in Halifax including Mz Gay Halifax. And as for how I got in, well I sashayed through the back door.
SS: Oh yeah…I guess there is a ballroom style entrance. Well that’s amazing. Tell us Kristi. How did you get started out?
KD: Well here in Halifax we have a show we like to call The Swine, its a play on the reality tv show The Swan, and so they take boys who’ve never done drag before and pair them with a seasoned drag queen, you have a few weeks to plan your performance, the evening comes and you get introduced to the audience as a boy then are whisked away into a room with no mirrors and you don’t get to see what you look like until you are revealed onstage, then they hit play and you perform. Needless to say I won the title of Swine IV and haven’t looked back since.
SS: Drag Swine sounds like the name of a Rock Band waiting to happen!
SS: The Swan, what a reference! Kristi, how do you feel you’ve grown as an artist and performer since winning the title.
KD: Haha we would be a super group that’s for sure we just crowned Swine XI this year. I was not a pretty piglet that’s for sure, but my performance shone through. Over the past 9 years I have had the opportunity to perform and learn from some of the greatest performers. Halifax has a thriving drag scene and is kind of our own little secret that not many know about. I try to push myself as much as I can, I sew my own costumes, I choreograph numbers for myself and other queens in the city, I am the go to queens in the city if you need music edited. I try and make myself as marketable as possible.
SS: Wow! Truly a great story of development! Kristi, with all this creativity, tell our readers what inspires you.
KD: Wow, what a loaded question.
SS: Well if there’s anything I can say about WERRRK. com it’s that we are all about being loaded.
KD: As a drag queen I feel like I get inspired by everything. It could be music, a piece of fabric, but most of all I am inspired by other drag queens. With the popularity of drag right now I am constantly being inspired to get up and keep myself relevant. That is one of the reasons I auditioned for this pageant. I was feeling a little uninspired and need a good kick in the ass, and let me tell you this has been a great boost to re-energize myself.
SS: Do you feel that it’s hard to keep relevant when, as you said, drag is so mainstream now there are more queens than ever
KD: The hardest part I find is that most young audience members have grown up with the drag they see on TV and think that’s all there is. I have always said I am not a fishy queen, and I never will be. So it can be frustrating at times when I come out with a more campy look or performance that isn’t a top 40 song. However I think that’s what sets me apart and has people coming back. I try and give them things they may not have necessarily seen a drag queen do, whether it’s tap dancing, performing an SNL skit on stage or poking fun at religion with one of my signature numbers (Patti May).
SS: Incredible, and sometimes that actually is more refreshing. Do you find the audience reacts to that well?
KD: Definitely. I think they crave the difference even if they don’t know it.
SS: Kristi, what is your favorite part of being a drag queen and what is the most challenging part?
KD: My favorite part is getting in front of that crowd every time. I am a performer at heart. I have been a dancer since the age of 5 and to be able to continue performing fills my heart. The most challenging part is the layers of tights, padding and corsets it takes to turn me into a woman. People just don’t understand.
SS: Do you think there’s s portion of the audience and Promoters that think drag is something easily done?
KD: I definitely think they do, some get it 100%, others just think that it takes no time or preparation. I love seeing peoples face when they find out that it takes 2 hours to do my makeup, or that I have made my costume myself, that day sometimes because I wanted to perform in something new.
SS: For all the queens out there that don’t know how to handle that misconception, any advice for how they should and why it’s best to nip it in the bud early
KD: I always say know your worth. It is definitely hard when you are starting out and trying to make a name for yourself, you will have to do a lot of crappy bookings before you can do what you want. However once you are established you need to not undersell yourself. Drag costs money, a lot more usually than you make in return so don’t just settle.
SS: Incredible advice for both drag and life!
SS: Now Kristi, you have won the title of Swine and now are trying to add Miss WERRRK com to your list of achievements. How have you felt about the pageant so far?
KD: The pageant has been a great experience, from never knowing what you are going to have to do the next week, to “meeting” and bonding with girls I didn’t know (or know well), to receiving some great feedback. It really has been something I would recommend to all queens.
SS: What has been your favorite part and what part has challenged you the most
KD: My favorite part has definitely been putting myself out there and showcasing my talent to a much larger audience than I ever have before. The most challenging part is committing to an idea each week, as soon as we would receive the challenge my brain would go in 5 different directions and you only have a week to put everything together so you need to make the decision quick to get everything submitted on time.
SS: What do you do when your brain goes 5 different ways? How do you decide?
KD: Most of the time I would turn to my brother who is actually a Drag Queen himself in Toronto (shout out to Bunni Lapin). I would go through my ideas and get his feedback. Sometimes I would listen and other times I would not but I would help me weed out the not so great ideas.
SS: The family that drags together! Stays together!
SS: Have any of the other queens inspired you?
KD: Of course. We are all so different and unique that I love what they are all bringing to the table. Oriana and Mia’s sewing skills, Elle’s acrobatic abilities, Ivory’s polish and commitment, Aurora’s unique style and Blake’s comedy.
SS: As we get to the finals do you have anything you’d like to say to the girls and or the fans?
KD: To the girls: We have all worked so hard, no matter how this turns out we all should be proud of what we have accomplished here. It isn’t easy creating new content every week and we did it flawlessly. I am so happy to have you all in my drag sisterhood moving forward and hopefully can get a chance to meet you all in person some day. To the fans: Thank you so much for supporting me through this process. Through the harassing Facebook posts asking you to vote and watch to the message’s I have received telling me that I am doing a great job, they haven’t gone unnoticed. I couldn’t have done this without you.
SS: Ok Kristi there’s one last thing I have for you…
SS: Who is your gay icon?
KD: Megan Mullally
SS: What is your favorite song from the 90s?
KD: Together Again – Janet Jackson
SS: What’s your favorite drink?
KD: Vodka Soda
SS: What is one thing people should NOT do to you at a club?
KD: Be on their cell phone while I am performing, I will snatch it and take dirty pics.
SS: What is your favorite piece of advice?
KD: “Be True to Yourself.”
SS: and lastly….here at WERRRK.com we believe if you have something to promote do it as shamelessly as you possibly can. So tell me Kristi, what do you wanna shamelessly promote to everyone!
KD: Well I will be co-hosting an evening with Tatianna from RuPaul’s Drag Race here in Halifax on March 4th, it’s going to be a showcase of Halfax’s Drag Scene and I cannot wait for her to experience it and of course don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @kristidavidsonhfx and Twitter @kristidhfx
SS: Kristi, it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. Your insight and worldview is incredible. I wish you all the best!
KD: Thank you so much Sidney, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me!