By Mark Kariel
The next RuPaul’s Drag Race queen to grace us with their presence on the South Beachstage—on Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve!)—is none other than Mimi Imfurst from season three and All Stars season one!
There will be one big show with an encore after midnight, followed by an autograph and photoshoot party. Don’t miss your chance to have your photo taken with this amazing queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race!
Mimi Imfurst is the alter ego of Braden Chapman, drag queen, recording artist and performer extraordinaire. In addition to RuPaul’s Drag Race, he also has to his credit appearances in drag on the popular TV shows Nurse Jackie, Celebrity Apprentice (bet he can tell us some stories!), Blue Bloods (one of my favorite shows; will have to check this out. Don’t recall seeing him on it!) as well as What Would You Do? and The Howard Stern Show.
With numerous appearances on the stage including as Hedwig in Hedwig and The Angry Inch and as Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mimi also created and was an original member of the groundbreaking gender-bending “ girl” group, Xelle. Mimi also performs as a stand-up comedian and has served as the opening act for both Kathy Griffin and Mo’Nique.
A Conversation with Mimi Imfurst
MONTROSE STAR recently had the amazing opportunity to interview Mimi Imfurst in advance of his South Beach show on Christmas Eve.
MONTROSE STAR: How has being a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race changed your life?
MIMI IMFURST: Being on Drag Race has certainly opened a number of doors for me and it has been nothing short of life changing. The best part of it is not the travel, the adventures, not even the money nor fame. No, the best part is the lessons you learn about yourself and what was most important to you.
STAR: Please tell me about the friendships that you’ve formed with other RuPaul queens since appearing on Drag Race.
MIMI: Well some queens, like Bianca—we were friends long before the race. But other queens like Latrice—we only got to know each other after the show, and with people like Latrice our friendship really exists outside the world of Drag Race. Sometimes you just meet someone who gets what you’re doing and who you are and is always willing to be there for you. Those types of friendships are the most important ones to hold onto.
STAR: Your lip sync with India Ferrah during Season 3 is certainly one of the most memorable in Drag Race history. How does it feel to be a part of reality TV history?
MIMI: Well, it really wasn’t a big deal to me at the time. It’s something that I had done in my act for years and even in my audition tape. I would pick someone unwillingly up, spin them around over my shoulders in a number and put them down. It was a joke because it was so absurd, so the producers knew exactly what was going on. Somehow it became this absurdly evil thing, which in the grand scheme of things is laughable. It’s all ancient history to me now, but I guess it’s great to be iconic (for what that’s worth).
STAR: What advice do you have for local queens considering applying for Drag Race?
By the way, we have never had any of our fabulous Houston drag queens on the show. Don’t you think it’s about time?
MIMI: There are so many great queens who have never been on Drag Race. To everyone, I say, “ Don’t focus on it.” You can’t let one single TV show determine your entire career and ambitions. Be less focused on getting on the show and more focused on who you are and what your statement is as an artist. Truth be told, the more secure you are in that, the more likely you’ll be right for the show. “ Wanting to be on Drag Race” is not a quality that makes one a star. A vision is what makes you a star and vision is what will make sure you have a career long after the cameras stop filming.
STAR: When you’re not on the runway or traveling, what is a typical day like in your life?
MIMI: Well, during the day I recently took on a high level position, running ALandCHUCK.travel. I had been working for them for a while contractually producing their entertainment and through life’s unusual circumstances they needed me in a larger capacity. I accepted and it’s been really wonderful to travel and work for an LGBT company that supports my drag endeavors and allows me to take the gigs I want to do, like coming to South Beach in Houston for this special Christmas Eve show, and less worried about taking gigs because it pays the bills. It’s wonderful and refreshing. Life is good! When I’m not doing either of those, I’m working on some projects I’m producing, including new music. My latest single, “ A Piece of Peace” , is available everywhere December 12; it’s kind of my response to the chaos in the world right now. I think we all need a little piece of peace right now in our lives.
STAR: Favorite food? Favorite cocktail?
MIMI: Favorite food? Well, Chipotle, of course. My favorite drink is a Jack and ginger.
STAR: Boxers, briefs or none of my business?
MIMI: Oh, it totally depends on my mood. I’m way too unpredictable to be limited to only two options.
STAR: And, lastly, please describe yourself in only three words. I know, LOGO might have already done this, but maybe the answer changes over time!
MIMI: Tenacious risk-taker.
South Beach is located at 810 Pacific Street, Houston, Texas 77006. For more information, visit www.sobehouston.com, or call 713-521-0107.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the MONTROSE STAR for many more upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race events.