Learning about the art of drag with Lady Kunterpunt

Drag; to some, it’s entertainment.  To others, it’s a way of life.  And to everyone who loves drag, it’s truly an art form.

From underground balls in the 1920s to reality shows in 2020, drag has always strutted its way through the cross section of theatricality, makeup artistry, high fashion and creative expression.  Drag Queens (and increasingly Kings) throw off the shackles of gender, embracing and opposing traditional norms in favor of cheeky and satirical spins on stereotypes, but making it fashion every single time.  Having always been fascinated by the power and artistry of drag, and in awe of the immense talent and effort it takes to create and reacreate a drag persona, I was thrilled to chat with Toronto drag royalty, Lady Kunterpunt about what drag means to her.

Lady Kunterpunt brings together the silly and the spooky, cultivating a gorgeously ghoulish ghostly vibing clown.  You can find her on Instagram, YouTube, and on the party scene with groups like POSI VIBEZ and Diet Ghosts.  Lady Kunterpunt is also an ASMR artist, check it out if that’s your thing!

I asked Lady Kunterpunt all the questions I’ve ever had about the drag life, and a few more.  Take a read below!

What  drew you to drag? 

I think initially it  was  the visual nature of drag;  I’ve  always  been  an  art  kid,  and  drag  really  lets you  do  a  LOT  with  fashion,  makeup,  hair  styling,  prop  use…What I  didn’t  realize then  but  realize now  was  that  it  was  the  theatricality  of  it  all!  From concepts,  to creation,  presentation… the whole  experience  of  drag  just  looked  like  a  lot  of  fun.  Protip:  It is!!

 

Tell  us  what  it  was  like  to  cultivate  the  Lady  Kunterpunt  persona.

The Kunterpunt persona actually started  online!   I used  to  host  these  snatch  game  parties  on private  servers  for The Sims Online  and  play  with  just  a  handful  of  other  players.  I’ve  always adored  the  big  campy  personas  of  TV game show  hosts  like  Drew  Carey,  RuPaul,  or  that dude from  YTV’s  UH-OH!  So  the  more  I  did  drag,  the  more I leaned  into  this  campy,  sorta  slapstick character.  I  do  my  best  to  emulate  the  cartoons  and  video  games  of my childhood like  Scooby Doo,  Martin Mystery,  The Sims…  anything  silly  I  can  put  a  spooky  twist  on.  Kunterpunt is really just my way of playing  pretend as an adult,  and  frankly  I’m  having  a  lot  of  fun  doing  it.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What is your  favorite  thing  about  being  a  drag  artist?

I think my favorite part is the actual process  of  transforming  into  Kunterpunt,  like getting ready. Watching  myself in  the mirror become  this  fabulous  clown  lady  just  feels  right,  y’know?  I  can conquer the world in a clown nose,  it’s  the weirdest thing!!

 

Is  there  a  strong  drag  community  in  Toronto?   What’s  it  like  to  be  a  part  of  it?

There  is  a  HUGE  drag  community  here,  it’s  unbelievable.  You  can see different  kinds  of  drag  on any  given  night,  we  are  super  blessed  to  have  such  a  vibrant  community.  Being  surrounded  by  so much  talent  really  keeps  a  clown  on  her  toes,  I’ll  tell  ya  that!!  But  really,  it’s  very  inspiring  to  have such  a  cool  group  of  weirdos  consistently  making  art.  We  help  each  other  out  a  lot,  there’s  a  bit of  a  drag  economy  that  happens  among  performers  in  Toronto.  Some  people  make  their  living that  way!  The  community  here  is  actually  so  large  that  we  have  a  few  distinct  scenes  happening simultaneously,  from  the  artsy  West  End,  to  glamorous  Church  St,  there’s  a  comedy  queen circuit,  an  entire  drag  King  scene  that  is  just  EXPLODING  with  talent  right  now…  and  remember that  many  of  these  scenes  overlap  as  well.  There’s  just  SO  much!  I  can’t  wait  to  see  what  pops  up in  the  future.

 

What  do  you  think  would  surprise  people  the  most  about  being  a  drag  queen?

Being  a  drag  performer  is  NOT  for  the  faint  of  heart.  While  I  absolutely  encourage  everyone  to try  drag  at  least  once,  becoming  a  regular  performer  is  no  easy  task.  Drag  can  be  ridiculously expensive  (if  you  let  it  be).  Drag  is  extremely  inter-disciplinary,  you  need  to  know  how  to  work with  makeup,  how  to  walk/dance/maneuver  in  all  sorts  of  uncomfortable  and  limiting  get-ups, you  probably  should  know  how  to  sew,  wig  and  hair  styling  is  VERY  useful,  you  might  wanna know  how  to  make  an  audio  mix,  how  to  NETWORK  amongst  your  peers,  how  to  perform  on  a stage  (if  that’s  your  type  of  drag,  at  least)…  I  mean  the  list  goes  on  and  on.  If  you  really  wanna  do drag,  you’re  essentially  opening  a  business.  Anticipate  number  crunching.  Expect  long,  painful nights  in  shoes  you  really  should  have  tried  before  you  wore  them  out.  And  of  course,  being  any kind  of  queen/king/clown/performer  can  be  very  emotionally  exhausting….  and  yet,  something about  the  sound  of  applause  can  make  it  all  worth  it.

 

What  is  one  thing  you  wish  more  people  knew  about  being  a  drag  queen?

I wish  more  people  knew  how  hard  we work,  and  I  wish  people  knew  better  than  to  TOUCH  US WITHOUT  CONSENT!!!!!!!

 

What  does  drag  mean  to  you?

Drag  is  freedom.  The  ultimate  indulgence.  Drag  can  really  be  anything  at  all,  it’s  sort  of  an identifier  that  “this  art  I  am  creating  is  a  reflection  of  my  own  fantasy”,  but  that  fantasy  could really  be  ANYTHING.  It’s  tough  to  pinpoint  exactly  what  drag  means,  but  when  you  see  it,  you’ll know  it.

 

What  drew  you  to  the  POSI VIBEZ  community?

OH  gosh,  if  I  remember  correctly  it  was  photographer  Kate  Killet  who  reached  out!  She  and  my good  friend  Dylan  Berryman  were  working  on  a  Dragula  themed  Zine  called  Feel  Your  Fantasy, and  they  asked  me  to  perform  some  numbers  for  their  annual  Spooky  Vibes  party.  We  had  SUCH a  good  me,  and  the  Zine  is  kick-ass!  It  was  a  pairing  made  by  the  gods.  I  really  just  loved  the vibe,  they  had  all  these  cool  masks  they  made  of  the  performers,  a  free  glitter  station,  free CANDY…what  I  love  about  Posi-Vibes  is  that  they  just  want  to  make art  and  have  a  good time.  It was  stress-free,  easy  breezin,  AND  it  was  a  new  crowd  for  me,  which  can  sometimes  be  stressful. They’re  just  a  good  group  of  kids,  y’know??

 

Where  can  we  see  more  of  Lady  Kunterpunt?

Follow me on Instagram!  @ladykunterpunt

 

Who is your drag idol?

Lucinda Miu.

But also, PeeWee Herman!!!

 

Keep up with Lady Kunterpunt on Instagram, and the POSI VIBEZ crew on their website.

 

 

We love making content for you. If you love what we do, consider supporting ADDICTED through Patreon today!
Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Addicted Magazine. Her myriad of addictions include music, fashion, travel, technology, boxing and trying to make the world a better place. Nadia is also a feminist, an animal lover, and a neverending dreamer. Keep up with her on social media through @thenadiae.
Nadia Elkharadly