THERE'S ALWAYS TIME FOR A COCKTAIL
It’s a sunny Monday evening in Brighton and I find myself at Bar Broadway, Brighton, to catch Mrs. Kasha Davis’ solo show: There’s Always Time For A Cocktail. What comes to follow is an intimate and joyful portrait of how the beloved International Celebrity Housewife came to be. We laugh and we cry as Mrs Davis gives us a glimpse into her life, through stories and a myriad of classic songs. A few days later, I sit down to have a chat with her…
Hello Mrs. Davis. I really enjoyed watching you in your one woman show "There's always time for a cocktail" here at Bar Broadway in Brighton. How has it been bringing your show to the UK?
I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and I can't imagine anyone enjoying it as much as I’ve loved bringing it out and about. Most especially to the UK as the theatre scene here is the bees knees you know! I always dreamed of being on the stage and what an honor to create the character and tell my story all in a nutshell. Hopefully the next time I come we will even have more new stories since it's the story of my life and I’m not going anywhere yet!
It was refreshing seeing a drag race alumni perform a whole show in a different style to the contemporary nightclub drag we're used to. When did you start working on it and where did the inspiration come from?
I really wanted to do something a bit different especially since there are 100 alumni of RuPauls drag race and not everyone can be out there tongue popping and death dropping you know! I wanted to put something on the stage a little more elaborate than "step ball change, hitch kick, split repeat." (Shade) I began working on cocktail about 5 years ago and it has been worked mostly here in Rochester NY with some great theatre folks and my inspiration was simple. To provide people with something I didn't have and that is a story about a boy trying to understand that he was different, how to fit in and accept and love yourself for whom you are meant to be. Back when I was growing up any gay examples were all simply comical or kept in the closet and regardless of how "easy" it is to be gay in 2016 I believe that people young and old need examples of living to create and build their own dream life.
One of the most inspirational sections of the piece for me, was touching on how you overcame your battle with alcoholism. How has becoming sober affected your life and career?
Understanding and accepting that I am an alcoholic has been quite the journey but most importantly it has brought me to a very clear place in my life. I know that I’m not ashamed of that fact and will continue to learn and grow from here. The battle will never be over for me but accepting that I’m fighting it and taking daily steps to keep myself in healthy mind and spirit keeps me strong. I am forever grateful for the gift of sobriety!
Music is obviously a huge part of the show, and you perform such a rich catalog of classic songs. One of my highlights was your hilarious rendition of Hello Dolly as Carol Channing. Do you have a favorite song to perform?
I have so many but Hello Dolly the musical makes several appearances in the story simply because it truly was the foundation garment of the lady you see before your eyes! As a matter of fact I can't wait to see Bette Midler revive the role on Broadway and frankly I’d love to play a tiny part called Ernestine Money who is a gal that Dolly sets up on a date with Horace Vandergelder and sings "sweet Rosie o Grady" poorly. That's my kind of role!!! You know that lady who loves to sing but aren't truly the best at, those sort of ladies are making a huge comeback! I suggest not only downloading my music on iTunes...(ding) but also looking up Mrs. Miller and keep an eye out for Florence Foster Jenkins!!!!! (New movie for Meryl Streep)
How has your life changed since competing on drag race?
Absolutely! I've left my very secure career as a director of a call center for 18 years to be Mrs. Kasha Davis international celebrity housewife! I could do none of this without the constant support and love of my prince charming Mr. Davis (Steven Levins)
Your grandmother, Mae miller, was also a performer. How has that influenced your persona as Mrs. kasha Davis?
Mae miller was the first star of the stage that I was a fan girl of as a child. My grandmother would tell me stories of how she worked the vaudeville circuit and clubs and I was so very intrigued. She even signed one of her headshots for me and I hung it on my wall and I remember saying " I wanna be just like grandma" but I realized that was impossible since her gowns were significantly smaller than I’d ever be able to squeeze into. Thank god for the eventual invention of 2 way stretch fabric!
What can you tell us about your new EP?
I can tell you that my new EP 'It takes a lotta balls to be a lady’ is available on iTunes and I am so very proud of it. The music is all stuff I have sung over the years to myself while driving in the car on long trips or getting ready to go to a gig. Some of it I had lip synced before and I thought what the hell sing out Louise! Most heartwarming to me is the rendition I sing of "from here to the moon and back" when I recorded it I teared up because it is dedicated to my darling mother Ellen who left us way to soon but will always be our hearts. Mom is a very big part of Mrs. Kasha Davis!
Your fashion sense is very classically glamorous. Who are your biggest style inspirations?
My favorite gems are created by a designer in LA, Thatch-Work designs and he truly gets the housewife look! Originally I looked for anything that was retro or vintage but gurl that shit is tiny and I’m size man! I've since graduated to department store evening-wear and custom creations that suit a husky gal like me.
What has been your favorite moment of the UK run?
My favorite parts of the run have been spending time with my pal and producer Paul Broomfield of inbloom entertainment. He had a passion for bringing my story to the stage and a proper tour as he would put it and we plan on more time together across the pond in the next few months! Secondly I have to put out there that my two favorite purchases are fragrance from the UK and fabulous heels from irregular choice!
Finally, what can we expect to see next from Mrs. Kasha Davis?
More more more! I'm working on my own reality series and more music! I honestly never thought I’d say that but I will be back in the recording studio as soon as Mr. Davis clears the credit card! We will be singing a few duets together like we did on my first single "cocktail" so I’m sure he will be up for it but I had better give the charge card a rest and tend to my husbandly duties first.... wink wink. All my love to my new UK friends and I hope to see you on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @mrskashadavis cheers darlings!!!!! Muah, muah, muah!