Kitana Gemini got her start in the club-kid scene over a decade ago and began snagging regular gigs in the clubs shortly afterward. Since then she’s worked her way up to become a featured cast member at Southern Nights Orlando.
Gemini is renowned for her charity work. Girlfriend’s got a big ol’ heart! But it’s her nonstop brainstorming — and birthing — of theme parties and events, including Orlando Drag Race Live, that is her true claim to fame.
As part of Southern Night’s Gays of Days weekend (I see what you did there!), the club, her castmates, and all Kitana’s fans will be celebrating her birthday on Friday, June 1. I sat down with her in advance of the big day.
What was the first drag show you ever saw?
It was at the Parliament House here in Orlando, and the entertainer was Tiffany McCray. I remember my eyes being as big as the moon, my heart racing, and my mouth being open for her whole performance because it was an amazing experience. I was shocked, but in a good way, and loved every minute of it.
When did you decide you wanted to do drag, and when did you realize it would be a profession?
I started out as a backup dancer and choreographer for Mizz Cori and a few other queens, and then decided a year later to try performing myself as the lead.
I put together a mini dance group. We did a production to Britney Spears’ “Slave for You,” and we killed it. Everyone loved it, and I started performing once a month in the scene. From there, I grew as an entertainer and became known as Kitana — the name of my favorite character from Mortal Kombat, the video game.
Who is your drag mother?
I was lucky to have two drag mothers. One is Nazhoni, and the other is a duo: Power and Avalon Infiniti. I’ve learned a lot from them and love them dearly.
Besides those two — three, really — who’s your favorite queen?
My favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race queens will always be Roxxxy Andrews, Ginger Minj, and Shangela.
Besides my own drag family, I have three favorite local queens at the moment: Kaija Adonis, because we pretty much started drag at the same time, grew up in front of each other, and have shared so many wonderful years together on stage; Carbon Cavalli, who I’ve seen grow from an infant baby princess into a makeup powerhouse of a performer; and Venus Envy, who I’ve seen blossom from a shy nerd in the corner into a seasoned and respected bio-queen performer.
What’s your favorite number to perform and why?
My favorite numbers to perform — I have two — are “Untouched” by The Veronicas and “What’s My Name” from Disney’s Descendants 2 soundtrack.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in drag?
When I won “Drag Race Live” four years ago at Sawmill [Camping Resort, in Dade City] and got to meet RuPaul.
What makes you stand out from other queens?
I think the thing that makes me unique is that I’m a combination of drag, club kid, and old school. I’m not afraid to break boundaries, I perform to the beat of my own drum, and I’m always changing, always growing.
What does the future hold?
To be honest, I’m not sure what the future has in store for me. But right now I’m working on a variety of projects, and I just hope they all are successes. I’m currently getting things together for Orlando Munsters Live (#OML) Season 2, Orlando Drag Race Live (#ODRL) Season 5, and All Stars 2 along with Tampa Drag Race Live coming soon to Southern Nights Tampa.
I’m also joining a few more community club gigs throughout the week, so my schedule is full. And I couldn’t be any happier — or more stressed!