Her Mariah Carey impression during the Snatch Game challenge may not have gotten many “Emotions” stirring with the judges on Canada’s Drag Race, but this Kiara has plenty more up her sleeve. Getting her first gig from fellow competitor Rita Baga, this Canadian stunner scorched the runway in her final lip sync against Priyanka and showed that while she might have left the competition, she has the grit to take her career far. I caught up with Kiara to talk about her Drag Race experience and how she is keeping herself creatively fueled during quarantine.
Michael Cook: You were part of the first cast of Canada’s Drag Race, cementing you into Drag Race history. How does it feel to be one of the first?
Kiara: It feels amazing. It is an honor, because I feel like it is kind of making queer history to make drag mainstream here in Canada. There is so much going on around the world, and it is such a crazy experience to be on the show, I am so happy I was a part of it.
MC: Looking back, what was the entire Canada’s Drag Race experience like?
K: I really appreciated that this early in my career, I was able to go onto the show and nail some challenges and leave my mark on the show. I am grateful that I was able to leave my mark and make my brand on the show. I remember when I was cast, they asked me if I had a catchphrase and I didn’t have one; I just do my numbers and speak a little bit (laughs). This experience really helped me build a brand and build an image for myself and I am so grateful for that opportunity.
MC: You are a member of a House, and the ball scene is getting a great deal of attention now. What is it like being a part of a House and then entering a competition like Drag Race where you are definitely flying solo?
K: I had started doing drag before I was in a House. It was fun to just also have this experience in ballroom a little bit, ballroom really helped me face judges and criticism, as well as the ability to walk the runway and to defend myself. I feel like it is very different with Drag Race, because its a competition, but you really need to be a fully well rounded entertainer. It is very interesting, and much more different than anything you could imagine.
MC: You knew some of your fellow competitors like Rita Baga when they entered the workroom. Was it easier having some familiar faces in the competition with you or was it distracting?
K: Well I was definitely not used to seeing Rita competing, so it was interesting seeing her in the competition. She is usually the one hosting the competition. It was nice to see her do so well and for us to support each other and be there for each other. A lot of the other contestants like Tynomi or Scarlet Bobo or Priyanka, I had heard of them before and it was nice to actually meet them and to compete against them. It really built my confidence up; I am better than some queens that I really respect a lot. It was fun to meet new people and to discover people like Jimbo also.
MC: When did you know that drag was going to be the passion that you would be following?
K: was the little kid that was wrapping a towel around my waist and dancing to Shakira (laughs). I was always interested in dance, theater and music and I always felt like I was becoming myself when I would perform. I feel like that drag really puts all of my passions together. When I discovered drag I was around sixteen or seventeen, I started loving RuPaul’s Drag Race and all of these queens being so different and doing what they do best; drag. I started to do it and when I was starting off, I realized that if I could do that for the rest of my life, that is what I would do. I realized that it is what I do best. Last year, I started being a drag queen full time, then a few months after that I got on Drag Race.
MC: What is the scene in Quebec City for drag right now?
K: In Montreal, I feel like they are very strong on comedy and very strong on theater and that I think is why I found my home in Montreal with drag. It is a bit old school, but new school is coming. They love fierce queens, a lot of big girls also, it is very pageant inspired. They are great entertainers there.
MC: What do you think you want to do next post Drag Race?
K: I would love to tour, even though right now it’s not an option. I would love to maybe make some music, I have always been passionate about music, so why not? There are a lot of options in front of me and I am still figuring out where I am going to go. Right now I want to focus on my performances, but explore my options for sure.
MC: What have you been doing while we have been in quarantine to stay creatively fueled?
K: I really have perfected my makeup. My roommate is a photographer so he has been doing some photo shoots with me with some of my drag looks. I really have tried to practice my makeup; I thought I looked pretty on the show, but I have some room to grow, so I am improving that. My performances also, I feel like I have been practicing at home and really putting some of my skills into my drag. It has been definitely different, but I am really trying to remain creative during this time.
“Canada’s Drag Race airs on Crave & WOW Presents Plus.
It also airs on Logo on Monday nights (check local listings)