A kiki with Aurora Sexton
I had the honor of interviewing not only one of my favorite Playmates but one of my favorite performers of all time, Miss Aurora Sexton! She was a huge inspiration to me and is well known all over the United States as one of the best in the biz. Holding multiple national pageant titles, she is also known for being able to transform into any and every female artist known to man! She has always been able to leave audiences gagging on her eleganza! See what she had us gagging on in Nashville Untucked as I kiki with Aurora Sexton!
When and where did you start doing Drag?
I’ve been dressing in drag since I could walk but I started my professional career at thirteen in Colorado performing in coffee shops with other young LGBT youth and eventually worked my way into the nightclub scene. I literally was raised by the nightlife.
What inspired you to do it?
I have always known I was meant to be on stage, to act and perform. I didn’t plan on becoming a showgirl, my passion has always been to act. Drag was just fun to do and a way to express myself creatively, a platform to showcase my art. Over time it snowballed into a successful career that I’m beyond grateful for. It’s allowed me to travel and meet so many amazing people, every day I am thankful for the gifts God has given me.
How would you describe your drag persona? How does it differ from you in real day to day life?
My specialty is character/ celebrity illusions, and when I am in character I am fully committed until I am out. Overall I tend to be very flirty and outgoing. It’s my job to keep people entertained and having a good time, so I keep a positive vibe. Out of drag I tend to be a homebody and fairly reserved if you can believe it. People always tell me I’m quiet but once I get to know people I never shut up. I like to watch and take things in, I’m a sponge for life.
Who would you say inspires you most in your Drag persona? Your amazing costumes?
I’m inspired by many things. Other queens, designers, models, actors, art, I can take inspiration from anything! I’m an artist and a creator, I find inspiration in everything around me. I also am a complete advocate for marijuana legalization, which helps a lot too!
What is the best part of being a Playmate?
The free drugs and sex parties!!! [Wink wink] Honestly, it’s a fabulous gig. I work with a great group of talented entertainers and so many nights we just laugh ourselves to death in the dressing room. It’s a fun job…until 1 a.m. rolls around and all the drunks start trying to tear at your clothes…yes I’m talking to you, you know who you are!
How does Play differ from other bars/clubs?
There are very few show bars in the country where the girls are taken care of and can make a great living. I know every two weeks I have a paycheck waiting for me, health insurance is offered, I have my own station and storage, the club is run by the book and job security is so important to have. Play is a beautiful venue that knows how to mix it up, from fabulous parties to exciting special guests, they continually reinvest to provide the best experience at both the Nashville and Louisville locations. I love everyone I work with, we really are one big crazy dysfunctional family from the showgirls to the bartenders and staff. We really should be a reality show!
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in drag?
Longevity in any career is an accomplishment and after fifteen years in the business I’m still working all across the country on a fully booked schedule. When I travel to other cities and states, I’m still surprised to find out how many people know who I am from watching me in pageant videos, on Youtube, from Instagram or just by word of mouth. It’s a great feeling to be recognized and respected for your work, I’m very grateful for all of it and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.
Not being originally from Nashville, how would you describe its drag community compared to other cities?
The south has a long standing tradition of having some of the best drag in the world and Nashville has definitely had its share of legends. While Nashville may be a smaller community compared to larger cities, there is a huge wealth of talent here,, and Play brings in a steady stream of top drag acts from all over the world to not only diversify the show but keep the audience educated and up-to-date on different styles of drag. Many people from out of town I hear are often surprised at how good the show is here! “This is in Nashville?” Yes Mary, it is! I totally think the Nashville Chamber of Commerce should use us in their “Welcome To Tennessee” ad campaigns!
What city makes you feel most at home when traveling?
Hard to say because home is wherever I am. I almost always stay with friends as opposed to hotels, I like to keep myself surrounded with good people at all times. Chicago used to be home, so when I go there it still feels that way.
Where is your favorite place to perform?
I have so many! Besides Play, I present a one woman show monthly in Chicago at Kit Kat Lounge, which is a great gig! Performing in Denver at Tracks for Drag Nation is crazy. You’re on a concert stage in front of 3,000 screaming people! It’s an amazing high. The clubs in New York, Dallas, LA, Miami are a blast, great crowds.
What is your favorite number to perform and why?
It changes all the time, currently Im getting my life from Annie Lennox’s “I Put A Spell On You.” I like numbers that speak to and move me. When you hear a song and it tickles you, makes you feel sexy, happy, sultry, powerful and energized, DO IT! When you are enjoying yourself, it shows, and your audience will enjoy it too! And if they don’t, #%&$ em!
What Music artist would we find most often on your playlist?
Right now Madonna, I’m learning all her new material but a lot of her albums represent different periods and times in my life. Listening to them brings back a lot of happy memories with friends and loved ones that I cherish. Ahhh see how I worked in that title track?
Is there a certain artist you like to impersonate more, and why?
I like to impersonate people that inspire me. Dolly and Madonna are probably two of my favorites, strong women with fierce work ethics that made it happen for themselves through hard work. They make me want to work harder and be better at what I do.
How many titles have you held? Is there are certain one you are most proud of?
Too many to remember! There was a time in my life I felt I was doing one every week! I think the one I’m most proud of was National Entertainer of the Year. While there are thousands of pageants now, there are only about four or five major national contests for female impersonators. EOY is one of those, being the one that celebrates the most creative and innovative in the field. Winning it was a dream come true, and I had a magical year!
What advice would you give to an up and coming drag queen?
Invest in your craft, believe in yourself and DO YOU! There is no right or wrong way to do things, as long as you invest in quality costumes and makeup, believe in your own talents—because no one else will unless you d—and most importantly stay true to yourself! There is only one of you, celebrate and build upon it! Most importantly, get an education and have a real career to fall back on. This can be a great living if you’re lucky enough to get a great gig, but it’s a tough business and five queens shacked up in a one bedroom apartment is not a glamorous life, trust me I’ve been there!
What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes new performers make?
Having a HORRIBLE ATTITUDE. I don’t care how fierce you are or think you are (this goes for established queens too). I believe it was Maya Angelou that said “They’ll forget what you did and what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” We are drag artists here to entertain the masses to forget their troubles, not brain surgeons under immense pressure to save lives. Lighten the fuck up!
Maybe this sounds odd but a lot of new queens to me are all starting to look exactly like each other, same makeup tutorial, same lace front, mass produced Bratz Dolls. It’s a fierce look but when everyone does it, it gets boring. Take chances, be different! It’s rare now to see a queen that stands out from the rest but when they do you definitely notice them! Drag is like the army, many are called but few are chosen.
What are your thoughts on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
It’s completely changed the industry and brought drag to America in a mainstream way it’s never been before. I think it has been an amazing catalyst for many careers and has created an interest in the art form that has benefited everyone in the industry including myself: working private parties, corporate events, birthdays etc. I have also worked alongside many of the contestants for years, traveling together all over the country, and to see so many good things happen for so many of my friends is a beautiful thing to watch. I don’t like all the shadiness that’s encouraged but hey, drama makes for good TV and queens love the drama! It is what it is!
How do you feel about TransQueens not being on the show?
I have mixed feeling because I see both points of view. It’s a show with a script to fill and you have to fit in the context. Right now that context is a full transformation from boy to girl and back. Just that has been enough for mainstream America to swallow, to see all the secrets and feel comfortable with boys dressing as girls. It’s amazing how mainstream it is now.
In the Drag World there is rarely a show bar you won’t find a few trans queens on cast or performing. So many of our drag legends and artists who shaped this art form were trans. Even RuPaul acknowledged the late great Erica Andrews as a legendary drag artist on the Season 5 Finale, and she was one of the most beautiful transexuals to ever grace the earth.
I think if RPDR wanted to take that leap and include that style of drag in the program, now is a good climate to do it. People are interested in trans life and trans issues thanks to the pioneering efforts of trans people like Candis Cayne, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Chaz Bono and more. Whoever they select, though, is going to have to be a very strong individual who can represent the trans community in a positive light, educate the RPDR audience on trans issues AND compete competently in a DRAG competition WITHOUT relying on [her] body against boy queens who will probably tell [her] that [she’s] cheating, [she] doesn’t belong there, if [she] lives as a woman it’s not drag. It’s a lot of spinning plates! Who could handle all that..hmm..I wonder…who…hmmm…?
Do you feel as though you have been an inspiration to any of today’s trans youth? What advice would you give them?
If I have I hope that I have been a positive inspiration. I want nothing more than for everyone to find happiness and fulfill their full potentials. This is not an easy life to live, but it is an authentic life. Be brave, be strong and keep your goals focused and in sight. You will have rough times where you feel no one knows or understands you, but know that that time will pass and when it does you will blossom into the gorgeous creature you want to be! Don’t take short cuts, go to REAL doctors for EVERYTHING, get an education, love yourself and be open to love!
Are you currently single?
I am, who wants to know?!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to date you?
Well for starters, don’t be a pussy: say hello! If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were afraid to talk to me I could have purchased a blowup doll to prop up in the house and play my boyfriend! Honestly I don’t date a lot, I’ve been married to my career for a long time, and I enjoy my work so I’m ok with that. I suppose if anyone was interested they should just say hello and be themselves. If I don’t want to run screaming ten minutes in, well who knows what could happen?!
Have you had any relationships problems because of drag or has it helped more?
When I was living as a boy, there were boys that had hang-ups about dating a drag queen and at times it was challenging. When I started living as a girl the kind of guys I started to date either liked it a lot and were supportive, or it made them uncomfortable because of the attention I received. It really comes down to having confidence and being secure with yourself, if you have neither then I’m definitely not the gal for you!