Mrs. Kasha Davis: From Big Wigs to the Big Time

Samm February 16, 2015 No Comments »
Mrs. Kasha Davis: From Big Wigs to the Big Time

The countdown to the crown continues as the queens from Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race prepare to hit the road and celebrate the show’s season premiere across the country. I was fortunate chat with Season 7 contestant and international celebrity housewife, Mrs. Kasha Davis, before the show hits Chicago February 21st.

Mrs. Kasha Davis (she’s married you know) is larger than life, more nurturing than a mama gorilla, and sparklier than the set of Twilight. She’s a curvy, campy queen who mixes sickening lip sync skillz with a good sense of humor, and a dash of fish to become what can only be described as an “international celebrity housewife.” What makes Kasha Davis stand out among her competitors isn’t her years in the business, it’s her persistence, down-to-Earth attitude, and ability to not take herself too seriously. Could this be the winning combination?

I truly enjoyed my conversation with Mrs. Kasha Davis and I hope you will too. Go Team MKD!


MKD: It’s spacegypsies.com. God on a wheel!

SAMM: We’re a fangirl site so this is right up our alley.

MKD: We love our fans. We love our fan girls, boys and everything in between!

SAMM: Let me start by asking how you got started in drag.

MKD: I got started…well, I’ve gotta tell ya. I think I got started as a young kid when I was trying my Mom’s padded bra on and all that jazz, back in the 19…I dunno, 70’s or 80’s. I started in Rochester, New York. It’s probably now like twelve-ish years ago and I’d been fortunate enough to see Ms. Richfield 1981. And she’s the very campy comedian drag queen. I thought to myself, “well, if THAT man in a dress can do it, so can I!” And that’s where it all began.

SAMM: What was your first look?

MKD: Oh, boy, that’s a…I think if you ask any drag queen to see some pictures of their first look you’re going to see some embarrassing photos. I thought I looked fabulous. I went to the Goodwill. My first look was a lime green – what I thought was plus size, but was actually a maternity – two piece outfit and a lovely black flip wig. Sort of like Batgirl kind of a look. And I had just some lipstick and blue eyeshadow…I thought I had a ton of makeup on. I had lovely hairy arms. So it’s called a train wreck. That’s what we call it in the business.

SAMM: You have to start somewhere.

MKD: You have to start somewhere. I made posters of myself and had posters set out at the bar. And I thought, “look how great I look!” And you know of course, the owners and the other queens are like, “yeah…you look great.” (laughs)

SAMM: They secretly saw the future competition.

MKD: That’s right. They were shaking in their shoes really. Just a nervous wreck.

Big Wigs- Rochester City NewspaperSAMM: You do celebrity impersonations for your Big Wig Show. You actually do a lot of impersonations.

MKD: I’ve been doing this show for almost 12 years with my stage partner Aggy Dune. She and I wanted to take…get out of the drag scene and get into the mainstream. We love our wedding parties and bridal parties. They want to see that stuff. Of course it’s our schtick. It’s our take on it so it’s not always exact. It’s what we might be doing at home in the basement type of thing. When we were teenagers with our brush, with our sisters…forcing them to watch us.

Listen, I love all forms of drag. Every bit of it. I like the young ones. I like the old school. I like all of it. It’s so much fun. It’s so many people come to the bars and the drag scene…it’s straight, it’s gay. It’s everything. It’s just fun. There’s not that much drama. Not unless we invite the lesbians, then we’re all in trouble!

SAMM: I’ve noticed, while going to drag shows, it’s not what you would think it would be. Everyone is very welcoming and friendly. It’s interesting to see that because I spend a lot of time in geek culture at conventions. We experience that there, but to experience that outside of a convention is really fantastic. It’s a very welcoming community.

MKD: It is! And I think the gay community in general, we tend to be welcoming because often times we weren’t welcome historically. We do want to include everybody and, you know, there are those clubs that aren’t as welcoming in terms of maybe it’s just a men’s club or something to that effect, but you know the drag scene is just “let’s have a blast! Let’s have fun!” And we would be nothing without our patrons and the people who see the shows. Where would we be? Lip synching alone in the mirror.

SAMM: But you’d still look fabulous.

MKD: I mean, well, yes, of course! A lady must do her hair and lipstick before she greets her husband in the morning. He must think that’s how she woke up today. The problem is you’ve got to be careful because you might turn him on and you might not be in the mood.

SAMM: That’s true. That is..then you have to fake a headache and you can only use that excuse so many times.

MKD: Yeah men in the morning. (Laughs) Sometimes you’ve got to insist on a “I’ve got dishes to do dear. You take care of that yourself. I’ll be back in a minute.”

SAMM: Fashion can be very important to a lady. Do you make your own costumes or do you commission them?

Mrs. Kasha Davis- RedMKD: You know what, I’ve done both. I prefer to leave it to the experts. The way I look at it is this, I’m not a chef so I don’t always cook my own food. That’s why I have a husband and that’s why there are restaurants. So why should I make a gown? It’s going to look messy. But I think you have to learn to do certain things because it is drag. You don’t want to be pedestrian. You’ve got to amp it up. You could buy something off the rack, but then you’ve got to do something else with it. So there’s certain things you should do. Any drag queen has to learn the basics.

SAMM: You need to at least learn how to use the machine.

MKD: The machine and at least get a good grip on a tube of E600. Because without that drag would not even exist.

SAMM: So if you had to pick: sequins, glitter or rhinestones?

MKD: Yes! I would pick. ALL of them! If you can’t sparkle, just don’t even leave the house. I walk past a woman’s clothing store and I see sparkle, I swear to God I get turned on. If I were living every day as a woman I would always be wearing sparkle. Not necessarily rhinestones, but the sequins? Come on now. Why wouldn’t you?

SAMM: I feel like we’re related. My favorite color is glitter.

MKD: Glitter can be treacherous. But it looks fabulous. I’m telling you, some of these gals, the places they put the glitter…I don’t know when they find the remnants of it.

SAMM: Glitter is the Herpes of the craft word.

MKD: I didn’t want to say it, because everyone says it, but it truly is. It’s the Herpes…I mean, it’ll end up in your bed. You go to work and it gets ingrained in your steering wheel. Ugh. Now sequins…I have sequin everything and my husband asked me the other day, “now don’t you think you should get some other clothes? You know, for us as boys. It seems like Kasha is sort of taking over.” I was like, “she has very important things to do!”

SAMM: You could do rhinestoned flannel. Why not?

MKD: Oh yeah! I had my hopes with all of this, knock on wood, travel that’s coming our way, (that I’m excited and grateful for), I want to be in the airport with sequined Uggs and a sweatsuit with rhinestones that will make other travelers say “Oh my God. She’s important!” Anyone can wear beige. But beige with rhinestones…

MKD getting readySAMM: You said in your audition tape one year that your biggest dream was to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and you’ve auditioned seven times.

MKD: I KNOW! And it’s so funny. Seven times! I think to myself, either I’m persistent or or a glutton for punishment. What’s interesting is, I thought people would be like “good for you!” But so many people are like “What the heck? Why did you keep doing it?” I’m here to tell people no matter what age you are, no matter 15 years old or 42 years old, DON’T give up on your dreams. You know, whatever it is you want to do, keep persistent and do it. It could be anything from, you know, anything that you’re dreaming of. And just don’t give up. I’m so grateful and excited about that, that I get to tell people that story. But yes, seven freaking years. I’m like “geez RuPaul! What the hell took so long?”

SAMM: I hope you actually asked her.

MKD: Oh I had the opportunity to talk to that angel of a man and woman, and yeah, I mean. She’s just so gracious and sweet. Just everything you would expect.

SAMM: What was your reaction when you found out you were cast?

MKD: I went through the roof. The thing of it is, seven years is a lot of work. The audition process…they’re not kidding with this show. They really want to know a lot. They want to know you. They want to know your character and they want to know how persistent you really are. So it’s not just a one phone call gig. It’s a lot of work and I swear to God I thought I went through the roof I was so excited. And then I was like, “what do I pack?” and I was getting ahead of myself.

SAMM: Do they give you a clue ahead of time of what to bring with you? I’ve noticed all the queens always seem to have something that magically works.

MKD: The thing about this experience. The best way to answer that is that the game isn’t over until it’s over. You think you know what to expect and you think you know you’re prepared, and you better have something else up your sleeve. As vague as I can be on that, you better be ready. None of it is literal. None of it is over. It’s your opportunity to make the most of it and it’s not over until it’s over. So I’m still playing the game. I’m still competing. We all are. Every one of us and they’re a bunch of fabulous gals.

SAMM: So you pack everything, pretty much?

MKD: Everything you can! I will admit I was not able to fit the boxed wine.

SAMM: Awww. Well, they have that in LA don’t they?

MKD: I don’t know if they do. They don’t admit it if they do.

SAMM: It’s all that organic, fancy, hippie stuff.

MKD: Ugh. Well, I learned to eat kale, I’ll tell you that. (Makes icky noises) It’s kale everything.

SAMM: There are challenges, I’ve noticed, that repeat every season like Snatch Game, the Reading, there’s always some sort of ball…what challenge were you most looking forward to?

MKD: Acting challenges. I think the audience expects certain challenges like you mentioned, and I think any opportunity to be able to portray a character. That opportunity, however it would present itself is what I absolutely looked forward to.

SAMM: You do have a theater background, so that’s an advantage and your lip synching is fierce.

MKD: Well, that’s part of the game. I pride myself on singing, acting, dancing…you’ve got to be at least a quadruple threat to give it all.

SAMM: Fans can hear you sing “Can I Get an Amen” on the CoverGirlz 2 album, which came out recently.

MKDAmenMKD: (sings) Can I get an amen? What an amazing experience. What I wanted to do for my gals out there that tip the boxed wine a little bit, was to make sure that the words were easy and that you could remember them. So we didn’t add a lot of lyrics. It was just, “can I get an amen” and that was it. It’s danceable and that’s all it needs.

SAMM: It’s actually quite powerful in its simplicity.

MKD: I’m so proud of it. It’s one of the many fantastic RuPaul songs, but it’s one that’s been done different ways. I love this spin on it. I think Ru was very happy with our experience recording it. We had a lot of fun. And we both sweat a lot! We were like two gals in church!

SAMM: I like that it’s danceable. I think that’s what makes it stand out. It’s catchy, but it’s very danceable. It puts you in a good mood.

MKD: A good mood and it’s great for cardio. You know, we have to get our cardio in. We don’t want to admit it.

SAMM: When I spoke with Jason at Logo, he said you had super long days on the set of Drag Race, like 16 hour days. What was the average day like?

MKD: Ridiculously long. I liken the experience to what you would imagine to be a kid at camp. At first you’re scared to go, but once you’re there it’s the most amazing experience and everybody can relate to each other in one way or another. You’re exhausted because you don’t want to miss a thing. Of course you’re competing so it’s very very long, hard working days. And I think there’s a lot expected from you and you’re expecting so much from yourself, so it’s very emotional. Did I do enough? Could I have done more? Did I do too much? So the emotions are running as high as the physical aspect. I’m great friends with Darienne Lake and Pandora Boxx, also from Rochester, and they were like “take your bath every night!” Find that relaxation time. Really rest and prepare for the next day because they’re long days. It’s work.

SAMM: You run marathons don’t you?

MKD: I run half marathons, I can’t say marathons. I used to be a dancer in a ballet company and then food and wine happened for about ten years. Running kind of got me back into that opportunity to exhaust myself both physically and mentally. It was a lot like that. You want to condition yourself for this thing because it’s a competition and it’s a challenge.

SAMM: I have to ask, is Michelle Visage as intimidating as she is on TV? Does she eat nails for breakfast?

MKD: She wants you to believe that! The balance of RuPaul and Michelle, the friendship is so obvious. They really want everyone to do their best, so there’s a motherly quality there. But they’re not pulling any punches. They’re going to give it to you straight, for lack of better words. They’re not holding back and it’s for our own benefit and for our growth.

SAMM: I don’t know, some of their comments…I’d cry.

MKD: Oh you know what? Comments are just words. I gotta tell you, speaking of comments, the videos we post on YouTube or a Facebook picture and somebody will say something and it’s like “Wow!”

My mother always taught me, compliment the bastard. Say something. I was that little gay boy who was picked on and if you just say something terrific about them they just come back and say something like (mumbles) “Oh I love you. You’re great. You’re so sweet.” Just be genuine about it because they’re just words and people are just hiding behind their insecurity or their computer.

Those words from Michelle and Ru and the others are just meant to make us better. We got the opportunity and have the opportunity to expand and learn from that.

MKD: The show starts with 14 queens again. Were there any that you connected with?

MKD: I knew Fame going into this season, obviously the stunning creature she is, from her tutorials. I wasn’t necessarily familiar with the others going into it, but the bond…I always thought the bullshit from the previous seasons about the sisters…the bond is incredible because everybody is so talented in different ways, their brand and their character, and their individuality. Bringing all that together there’s such an energy. There’s passion so just like any family, we call it sisters, there are fights. There’s drama, but everybody wants to see all of that. I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to get close to that many drag queens. Cause you know, you get a couple in your community that you get close with, but the rest there’s not such sisterly love. It can be fierce.

SAMM: And a little bit catty.

MKD: Oh a little?

SAMM: I was being generous…a lot. Speaking of drama, you’re a parent of two teenage girls…

MKD: I am! One is 20 and the other is turning 22 in August. They’re my little divas. I was fortunate enough to be a part of their life for quite a long time. You know, they’ve got a great mom. They’ve got a great dad. And now they’ve got a great Mrs. Kasha Davis, who insisted when they were in their teens, “Honey you are going to a prom over my dead body in flats! Put the heels on. We’re all walking around in heels for the entire weekend!”

SAMM: So you exchange fashion advice?

MKD: Oh absolutely. You know when they would come to us for the weekend, dad would be out taking care of the lawn and they’d turn to me and ask advice about sex. I’m like “Girls! There will be none of that! Why aren’t we playing Uno or something?”

They were like “we just wanna know!”

And I’m like “ask your mother!”

SAMM: Nobody wants to have that talk.

MKD: No, but it’s been, and it still is, such a great experience and something that as a gay man from a small town, I wasn’t…we’re talking in the 80’s and 70’s. I didn’t see a lot of examples of family. I wanted that family life. Now I’m a part of that and it’s a major dream come true as well.

SAMM: Raising teen girls, did that give you an advantage to dealing with queen drama? Or did dealing with queens give you an advantage to dealing with teens?

MKD: I also have three sisters and I’m very familiar with the menstrual cycle and I’m very familiar that when you’re a man, you’re not going to avoid it. When you’re around it, you’re going to be a part of it. So some of these gals can…they were having their menstrual cycles. It was like “okay ladies.”

And of course, the way I look at it is, I’m hearing a lot about my age and being asked a lot about that. And that’s fine. I remember being 22 and 23 and thinking “please I would never do x, y, or z.” That time flies! Watch out! So it is fun for me to watch some of the younger queens in that respect.

SAMM: You take a step back and you’re like “uh, honey, no.”

MKD: Let me know how that works out in the morning. Call me. I’ll have the coffee made. There will be Kalaua in mine and your’s will be black.

Mr. and Mrs. DavisSAMM: How did you and Mr. Davis meet?

MKD: Oh my gosh, on the Internet! On the www. Gay.com. I had actually seen him out and vice versa. We’d always noticed each other but we never really chatted it up until one day on gay.com and I was like “Hello Gorgeous!” and he was like “hello!” We went on a date and he made me a nervous wreck. We’re the polar opposites of each other. I think that’s what works in many relationships. He is so calm and level headed. He has a budget. I am NONE of those things! So it works. You need that. The yin and the yang. He’ll sit home if I let him so I’m like “come on, let’s go out…it’s Tuesday!”

SAMM: What is the average day like in the Davis’ household?

MKD: Lately, with the excitement of the pending premiere tour dates, I have been waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning. Between figuring out what I’m going to wear and what I’m going to do, with the excitement of that, I’m not the biggest sleeper so I’m up and at ’em. I’m off to the gym. I go to a trainer. Then I work as a call center director. I spend the day at work. I almost said “pretending to work” but that’s not true. It’s sitting there thinking all day about what I might wear at the Chicago premiere, the New York premiere, etc. Then it’s, you know, back home to my fabulous husband who is the most amazing cook. We enjoy the evening together.

It takes a team for what’s going on here with us. We’re provided so much opportunity that you really shouldn’t do it alone. He is amazing. He does all the website and video work, and manages things like money, that I don’t even think about. I keep the mother-of-the-bride industry in business.

Then it’s rinse and repeat. That’s the way it works.

I’m hoping that the different opportunities that this is opening up will provide the opportunity to maybe transition out of that career. I’ve worked for this company for 17 years. I’ve been Mr. Realistic. Balance of work life and the night performing life. Maybe now I can take advantage of this gift and take it to the next level.

SAMM: That would be awesome! Those weeknight shows, those have to be killer getting up and going to work in the morning.

MKD: Oh, I’m lucky I can go in at 11:00, but I can’t go in at 11:00 every day. That can become suspicious.Trust me, that has happened (having to take the next day off). I’ve had to call in with the “wine flu.”

SAMM: What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received from your daughters?

MKD: That’s funny! (laughs) That actually has been said to me. Like, “what are you wearing?!” “You look like an animal print zookeeper!” My favorite is, walking through a section and I’m like, “that’s gorgeous!” and they’re like “Noooo, that’s disgusting.”

They keep me on my toes. My youngest has her cosmetology license and she loves helping me with things like fingernails. She’s like “enough with the short modest nails. Let’s get into claws!” And I’m like, “okay, that’s great. Let’s go for it!”

SAMM: How do you function with claws?

MKD: Again, back to the husband. That’s why you have a husband. “Darling can you pick that up for me? I can’t bend. Between the corset and these nails, what do you want from me?”

SAMM: One of your impersonations is Liza Minnelli, and you are a huge Liza fan. Have you ever met her?

MrsKashaDavisMKD: I have been to several of her concerts. We share the same birthdate of March 12th, not the same birth year, and of course I’m a crazy Judy Garland fan. Like all of my divas! I studied them. But Liza, I’ve been to her concerts and right up close. I threw flowers at her and she’d laugh at me. So I have not had the opportunity to meet her yet, but you never know!

I did meet Tina Turner, who’s my other diva I absolutely love. Like an idiot I shook her hand and said “you’re the best!” Really? (laughs) That’s all I had to say? Okay…

Meeting them, there’s nothing I can say. I’m so in awe. I’m full of that mindset of being around a certain celebrity, I can’t speak. I have nothing to say.

SAMM: Well, you know, you’re going to be more popular once the show airs.

MKD: You never know! Joann Whirley might want to meet me, or who else?

SAMM: All of you. Every queen that’s been on Drag Race. People know them now.

MKD: Oh absolutely. It’s such an amazing show in that it does really truly appeal to so many people too. It’s not just, like we discussed earlier about the drag bars, it welcomes everybody. There’s the human story in there. There’s really stuff that everybody can relate to. You see past the dress and you root for the person. Then you get to see both sides of that individual, multiple sides. That’s what’s really special about it. It opens people’s eyes up to a whole different community.

SAMM: It’s not your average reality TV show. I would say it’s different, because you’re right, it does have that human aspect and it’s no-holds-bar. You ladies hold nothing back!

MKD: You can’t! That’s the name of the game!

 

Want more of Mrs. Kasha Davis? You can follow Kasha Davis on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, and Google+. Don’t forget to swing by iTunes and get your very own copy of CoverGirlz2!

Do you want to see the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 7 before everyone else? You can get your tickets to the event HERE!

Drag Race Meet the Queens

 

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