Hey, everyone, and welcome back to RoyalTea: the only interview segment to host blood orgies under the full moon. This week, we sat down with The Countess, the reigning sovereign of Peach Castle, and Little Miss ‘So The Drama’ all in one! When Katarina Mirage‘s not slitting throats with her diamond-studded talons, she can be found performing all throughout the New York Hudson Valley and Capital region and kicking her friends asses in Mario Party. RoyalTea got a chance to sit down with her and let us tell y’all- she’s a fine-tuned machine.
Q: So, Katarina, how did you get started performing in drag?
KM: I’ve always been a performer, whether it be singing, dancing, musical theatre, etc. My start in drag stemmed out of my partner at the time being a queen. He put me in face (if you could even call it that at the time) once and I was like “Ooooh- I’m pretty.” [Laughs]
Q: You have, in your drag, a lot of what are called ‘impersonations’. Could you tell us a little bit about that? Who are some of your impersonations?
KM: [Laughs] So it wasn’t until semi-recently that I began calling myself an Impersonation Queen. Impersonation Drag is exactly what it sounds like: performers impersonating celebrities or famous people. I also would throw Cosplay Performers in as a branch of this as well.
In terms of my personal drag, I’m very well known for my Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga; they are my personal best and favorite to do. I’ve also done Snooki, Kesha, Marina and the Diamonds, Linda Belcher, Kim Possible, Princess Peach, and more.
Q: As an impersonator queen, how do you emulate whoever you’re impersonating while still making a piece your own?
KM: I’m incredibly neurotic when it comes to performing and drag in general. I’m super detail oriented; if it’s not spot on it’s a fail for me. That being said, obviously it’s still fun to throw in your own flair as a performer. I definitely add comedic moments and drag up moments during my numbers. It’s funny you bring this up because lately I’ve had people tell me they tell me that my physicality and mannerisms are so spot on to Ariana; I guess it’s her being so much more in the media lately due to the new album. I find it hilarious because I’m literally just doing the same things I’ve been doing for years now.
Q: I’ve noticed you do a lot of benefit and fundraising based shows; is there any particular reason why?
KM: I LOVE doing benefit shows. I find it so incredible to say that I helped give back especially to the queer community. I don’t need to make it big as long as I have a large enough voice to be that person that I wish I had when I was younger.
Q: You and our Chief Editor, Raine Grayson, designed a number in response to the Pulse club shooting of 2016*. Would you mind telling us about that number?
*For those who don’t know, the Pulse club shooting took place on June 12th, 2016. An active shooter took the lives of fourty-nine people at Pulse NightClub’s Latino Night. It has been the deadliest terror attack since the 9/11 attacks and the largest incident of mass violence against LGBTQ people.
KM: Absolutely! Around the time of the Pulse shooting, I had noticed a large influx of hate crimes (small and large scale) happening to people I knew both in person and online, as well as to myself. It really got to me so I began planning a number to express my feelings.
Then the shooting at Pulse happened. That bar was one of the first bars I traveled to in Drag. I still remember that night, 5 years or so later. It helped me improve and want to better my drag. Hearing that this disaster happened in a place I held fondly in my memories was the last bit of emotion I needed to finish the mix.
There are definitely videos floating around. It opens with snippets of multiple big named hate crime news casts, then proceeds into Sia’s ‘Alive‘ (where I gradually remove bandages wrapped around my entire body revealing slurs of different levels that I personally have been called “etched” into my skin). It ends with me turning and having “HUMAN” across my back. It’s by far one of my most powerful numbers and it’s definitely my favorite to perform, despite how emotionally wrecked I feel each time I perform it.
Q: What is drag, to you?
KM: Drag to me is a way to express yourself artistically through performance. Whether it be dance, lip sync, stand up, etc. it’s a way to feel good and express individuality. There’s no one word to describe drag, the same way there’s no set of rules or regulations. Drag is a confidence builder, a learning experience, as well as a teacher, a community, and just all in all fun. If you’re not having fun doing drag, then why are you doing it?
Everyone loves a copycat and Katarina is our favorite! A killer queen with attention to detail, Katarina is as lovely as she is compassionate. If you ever find yourself in a sitch’, lost without your Joanne, or in need of a master Pokemon thief, she’s your gal. You can see for yourself what Kat’s cooking at these upcoming shows:
As always, if you know or are a performer who would like to be profiled, feel free to reach out (@madsleighfaire on all platforms). Until next time, this has been Mads interviewing Katarina Mirage for RoyalTea! Y’all stay outta trouble now, alright?
Mads Leigh-Faire (he/him) is a freelance theatrical dramaturg, literary assistant, and drag performer. Mads hopes to use Queeries as a platform to educate and engage not only himself but the LGBTQIA+ community with a productive and empathetic dialogue surrounding our hopes, needs, dreams, fears, and accomplishments. They also have a lot of feelings about the sentience of droids in the Star Wars canon.