From RuPauls Drag Race to Four Sold Out Shows in Southwestern Ontario
Kim Chi, 31, a South Korean-American anime-inspired drag queen from Chicago, Illinois, was the runner-up on season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Last weekend she visited London, Ontario, for two sold out performances before coming to Windsor for two more sold out shows at Rockstar Music Hall, hosted by Lavender Promotions and ProjectBE.
“Drag before used to be considered like an underground art form in the queer community,” Said Kim Chi. “It’s gotten more commercialized. It’s been introduced to the general public. So ever since Drag Race came on the scene gay bars are getting more packed, and in a way Drag Race revitalized gay nightlife, because a lot of people were using hookup aps, and people just weren’t going to the bars anymore.” The bars are certainly filling up in Southwestern Ontario where drag shows are selling out within minutes.
Last weekend Kim Chi stunned audiences in Windsor and London with a presentation that combines fashion, art, dance, music and performance in packed rooms full of fans that all shared at least two things in common: They love drag, and they were all smart enough to purchase tickets in advance.
Kim Chi has been doing drag since Halloween of 2012 and describes herself as a “live-action anime character,” and “high fashion model” with over-the-top makeup that’s exaggerated and features a lot of illustration style inspired by anime, with large eyes, and round tiny lips. Her outfits are often inspired by “The runways, and the couture designers.” She named herself after the national dish of Korea because it “Sounds feminine, but represents my culture.” And then she quickly added “And I’m a fat ass, so I figured it was like the most fitting name for me.”
To up-and-coming drag queens, she offered this advice: “Save up a lot of money because it’s not cheap.” And “Do it because you love doing the art of drag. Not because you’re trying to become famous or trying to make money off of it.”
Follow Kim Chi on Instagram @kimchi_chic.
At Rockstar Music Hall Kim Chi was joined by many talented local performing artists including Geena Hayze, from Windsor, BOA (Bitch On Arrival) and Juice Boxx, from Toronto, Miss Drew, from Kitchener, and Rhyan Stone, from Hamilton. The supporting acts were tied together by the Master of Ceremonies, Mel Lucier.
“That Windsor crowd is just so crazy loud, and they have so much fun,” says Lawrence Lavender, owner of Lavender Promotions. Lavender negotiates performance contracts, and schedules the performers, venues, marketing promotions, ticket sales, and staffing. Lavender describes Kim Chi as “Otherworldly” and says “Kim is known for being so over the top with her imagery. She does not disappoint.” He says the level of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants are “The best of the best at what they do.”
Lavender Promotions is a talent and event management service based out of Windsor, Ontario that hosts drag and comedy touring shows, nightclub events, and parties.
Lavender Promotions is hosting Ginger Minj at Rockstar Music Hall on April 28, and Naomi Smalls at Capitol Theatre on June 14. Visit www.lavendertickets.com for more information.
Follow @LavenderPromotionsWindsor to keep up with these fantastic events.
ProjectBE is a network of individuals based out of London, Ontario who create a unique look or concept that influences the growth of Southwestern Ontario’s LGBTQ and “Open Minded” communities.
Follow @projectbe_events to learn more.
Rockstar Music Hall is a premiere concert venue and part of the Riviera On Central Entertainment Complex which includes the Platinum Room and Riviera Room banquet halls.
Upcoming shows Rockstar Music Hall include Victor Wainwright on March 29, The Mixx on March 30, Tee Turner Motown Review on March 31, Blaze On3 & Trey Marks on April 3, and The Great Imposters – New Generation on April 5.
Follow Rockstar Music Hall on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RockStarWindsor/
Article and Photos by Kevin Blondin
Kevin Blondin is an aspiring photographer studying public relations at the St. Clair College Mediaplex. He is dedicated to promoting artists, entertainment and events in the Windsor-Detroit area. Kevin has recently launched Sound & City Photography which can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.