Our current world constantly drives and pushes us to think that alternative ways of being can’t coexist with traditional ones. In this interview, Moxie Delite gently guided me through her journey while we also explored “Legacy”, an event designed to redefine success, build community, and find alternative ways of being.
Pablo (P): Where should we get started? Why don’t you tell me about you and the upcoming event Legacy?
Moxie (M): Ok. So, I’m a burlesque and a drag performer. Burlesque is usually characterised by striptease and parody, it’s usually poking fun at something while being very glamorous.
The burlesque world is treated like a discipline, I would say, where you take many, many classes and then you do a showcase where you have a very curated act, a five-minute performance that you can put on stage. You have a mentorship where you will work on an act with one person who has experience in the field, so then they can make your act really polished and well rehearsed.
In drag, you don’t have that.
If you say “I’m a Drag Queen, here is my name and I want to perform”, they’ll be like, “Ok! We’ll see you next week and do whatever you can do”.
To get started at drag it’s very open. In that way, it’s very good because you just gotta sign-up, you just gotta do it! For burlesque, it gets much more intensive, but you’re getting a stronger product in the end.
So, Legacy offers both for new drag performers. They get the creative and professional development that they usually don’t have. The format is meant to help them with their professional development.
We’re matching 12 Drag contestants with 3 Drag mentors and participants will be able to showcase their talents.
(P): What made you want to do this?
(M): I set this up for drag performers, so then they have that experience of what it’s like to have a mentor and what it’s like to have someone take them under their wing and support them and help them grow.
I’ve been very lucky – Kitty Obsidian has been my mentor for the past two years, and Kitty’s taught me a world of knowledge. From personal things to business things, I’ve learnt so much from Kitty and I’m always gonna be very grateful for that. With this show, if I can somehow package what I have experienced and put it into a format that will give people just a little bit of what Kitty’s given me then I’d feel so proud of what I’ve done.
Other than that, usually Drag competitions are held by people who are not like me. For someone like me who is Latina, who is trans and who has been in the drag industry for about five years I see a lot of bias there. I see a lot that’s to be desired because it’s biased.
(P): Can you tell me more about that bias?
(M): Well, the success that constitutes success for drag performers has changed drastically over the years thanks to a hand full of trailblazers in our community. Before, the top-of-the-game drag performers were all classic drag queens with beautiful gowns, big hair, and big make-up who were, in its majority, white cisgender drag queens.
Nowadays, it can be anyone really, we’ve shifted. More people like me have come forward and so many people can see that there is a future for them. They can see that they can be successful where before it wasn’t possible.
My ‘legacy’ is to show people who are more on the alternative style, that their vision is welcomed and can be successful. I just want to give a really diverse representation of drag and a way to show people that success looks different for everyone. It’s not just what it used to be, it’s so many other facets.
(P): It seems like you’re also enabling people to make new connections
(M): Yes, Legacy is also about making community connections.
As drag, it’s very easy to feel very alone and unsupported and that there’s no one helping you. By setting up these newer performers with these experienced mentors I’m hoping to form that connection where they have someone to feel safe with or to talk to.
Legacy wants to create and support participants through the ebbs and flows of being a performer in this industry because usually there’s no one who takes you through those things.
Also, there’s a very limited amount of cisgender white men in the Legacy competition as a whole. This event is incredibly diverse across the board from the photographers to the contestants, from the mentors to the guest judges.
Above all, as a community, we can put our pettiness aside. I just hope that it’s a positive experience where people can see that it’s easier to lean on each other now than it was before when our support was limited.
(P): Who are the mentors?
*Assigned Female At Birth
(P): Wow, those are the coolest names. What’s the format of the event?
(M): It’s kind of like The Voice but for Drag performers. Participants compete for a top 3 finalist spot at the Grand Final. Within 3 heats, contestants will perform in front of special guest judges. They all will showcase their talents stun through the runway and performance categories in their initial heat and the semi-final.
(P): That sounds very exciting, thanks so much for sharing your story and about Legacy with me.
(M): Thank you.
Get your tickets for “Legacy” at Howler in the links below (once you get a ticket for a heat, you’ll get a discount code for the rest).
This article was written, edited, and published on the stolen lands of the Wurundjeri-woi wurrung People, whose sovereignty was never ceded