Jaymelah Moore is one of my favorite local queens, and if you’ve read some of my other interviews you’ve seen her name come up a few times. She’s young in terms of age but has been performing as a drag queen for about 8 years, so she is not only well established in the drag scene in northern California, but she is an inspiration to many within the community. She’s one of the first drag queens I ever saw perform live (at my first drag show alongside Adore Delano), but it took months before I was comfortable enough to approach her and ask her to sign my Memories Shirt. The night I did she took my ice cold hands and placed them on her fully painted face so she could warm my hands up and cool her face down. I was madly in love with her before that, but she stole my heart with that! Pro tip – you should NEVER touch a drag queen’s face when she’s in face, so I was so honored at that moment!
Check out our interview and learn more about this fabulously fierce performer, drag mother, and doting drag daughter to another icon, Mizz Monique Moore. Monique passed away in the summer of 2017 but her drag family members, including Jaymelah, are upholding her legacy proudly.
Drag Adventures: What is your drag name and what is its origin? Did you have any previous drag names that you’re willing to share?
Jaymelah Moore: My drag name is Jaymelah Moore, my first name is from my first drag mother I had when I was 16, and my last name is from my late and great drag mother Mizz Monique Moore! I’ve gone through so many drag names. I first started out as Ms. Candy, then I went to Neveah, and then that’s when I got Jaymelah, was Ms. Jaymelah…went to Jaymelah Vanity…then Jaymelah Vanity Moore and now I’m Jaymelah Moore!
DA: How long have you been doing drag?
JM: I first started at 16, playing with eyeshadows and wigs, and dancing in my living room, I started performing at 18 and kept on performing since. So about 8 years.
DA: What got you into doing drag?
JM: I was already into dancing and copying dances from music videos and concerts and what not, then season 1 of RuPaul’s drag race aired on Logo, and me and my mom were so intrigued and fascinated by it all and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do! I’m actually a self-taught queen. I watched drag race season 1, watched how they put on make-up and looked up tutorials on YouTube…Then later I met the late and great Mizz Monique Moore and she took me under her wings and created this beautiful monster. My drag inspiration is my late drag mother, Mizz Monique Moore. She was such an amazing entertainer and had achieved so much with her career!
DA: What was your experience breaking into the drag scene?
JM: Sasha Devaroe actually helped out and got me started at a venue when I turned 18 and it was all so welcoming and that’s when I knew I belong on a stage to entertain. As far as the bookings I’ve had to do ALOT of free shows to pay my dues and grow as a queen and entertainer!
DA: How did you become a hostess?
JM: I first became a co-host for SF 18+ gay club named “The Crib” and that lasted about 3 years, and then The Crib had slowly died down cause everyone was turning 21 and started to party in the Castro.
For now, my late drag mother had actually prepared me in case I was ever to get my own shows or to cover for her if she couldn’t make it for some reason. Well she had moved to Texas for about 5 months one year and I had hosted her show for her while she was gone so that was enough preparing as it was, then when she had passed it became my obligation to take over and keep her legacy alive. And I will continue to do so.
DA: What is your favorite story about your drag career?
JM: Throughout my whole drag career it would have to be all of my moments and events with my late drag mother Mizz Monique Moore because she’s taught me soooo much in the drag scene and molded me to the queen I am today! Although she is no longer here with us I still and will forever give her the recognition she deserves and will forever receive!
DA: What are your preferred pronouns when out of drag?
JM: Call me whatever you like lol. Sis, girl, mama, boy, she, he. It all doesn’t matter to me. You can even call me Jaymelah while I’m fish out of water and I’ll still respond, but I think that’s how it is with most queens, we know each other by our stage names rather our government names! Cause hunny I can’t even tell you most of my sisters’ actual names!
DA: What is your preferred style of music for your numbers?
JM: It’s always high energy for me, dancing, bucking, hair twirling and slamming my tuck on the stage haha! But there will be times where if I’m too tired or not feeling to well I’ll pull out a gown and give a lovely ballad. Or anything Beyonce!
DA: How would you describe your drag style and what is/are your favorite aspects of performing in drag?
JM: I would say my style is along the lines of pageant glam, big hair, serving body, bedroom eyes! DSL lips! My favorite aspects have to be my stage presence; I try to interact with the audience as much as I can, even after or before shows I like to party and mingle make them comfortable and excited for the show.
DA: While preparing for a gig have you had a “fangirl” moment with any other queens who were booked alongside you?
JM: almost all the time! But I hold my composure, introduce myself and just mind my own unless it’s a whole group KiKi and everyone’s joking and laughing then it’s a party!
DA: Is your drag persona different from who you are, and if so in what ways? Have you learned anything from your persona that you’ve tried to incorporate into yourself?
JM: ABSOLUTELY, so when I’m in drag I’ve noticed that I am more confident loud, obnoxious and I’m more social. As to when I’m fish out of water (out of drag) I tend to be more shy and quiet and anti-social. One thing I try to be is confident with myself overall! And it helps from time to time.
DA: Do you fully tuck or use pantyhose and prayer?
JM: SO, I fully tuck, I have too even if I’m wearing 7 pairs of pantyhose and pads I have to be tucked!
DA: If you do jumping splits how long did it take you to perfect the move?
JM: I’ve always been able to the splits so that came naturally. Also, I was in dance classes so that helped a lot also.
DA: Do you choreograph your routines or play it by ear?
JM: sometimes I’ll choreograph, but it’s mostly played by ear; if the beat is high energy and fast paced then I’m just going in bucking (laughing)
DA: Biggest pet peeve with audience members?
JM: OMG walking on stage while I’m performing to either dance on me or tip me, it’s my stage time not yours! I’ll come too you when I come to you! You may never know I might kick or punch you by accident! ALSO slapping a dollar on my chest trying to get it in my bra KNOWING my outfit goes all the way up to my neck!
DA: Do you have a favorite dance move?
JM: a good Ol pas de bourrée, step ball change, and hair whips, also the V-Split also known as “the Kennedy Davenport.”
DA: If you were on RuPaul’s Drag Race what kind of challenge do you think you’d win? What kind of challenge would likely land you in the bottom?
JM: GIVE AN ACTING CHALLENGE!! I could slay acting down, and a challenge that would land me in the bottom would probably be a sewing challenge honestly.
DA: Do you watch Dragula? If so would you prefer to be on Drag Race, Dragula, both, or neither? Anything about Dragula scares you?
JM: I watch both, but I would rather be on drag race, I’m just not filthy enough for Dragula. Dragula absolutely scares me that’s why I like to watch it!
DA: What are some of the main tips you’ve provided to your drag daughters?
JM: I have 3 main children, Banesza Moore, Alaina Milian Moore, and Dahlia Divine Moore. And I always tell them that a queen once told me “Always remain humble”! But more importantly never let anyone tell you what is right and wrong with YOUR drag! And to never let a hater get to you!
DA: What is the most valuable thing your drag mother taught you?
JM: My late drag mother always told me to let people talk, who cares what negative things people have to say about you, you worry about you and to just let them talk cause people gonna talk regardless, ignore them.
DA: What’s the hardest part of doing drag for you?
JM: Finding new music and learning the lyrics.That’ss so hard for me. I always find myself repeating a song or two after a few weeks and I’m like “oops oh well.”
DA: What is your favorite part of doing drag?
JM: Taking my pads off! No, I think it’s meeting people! I’ve met so many amazing supporters that I just love and adore so much! It’s the amount of love that I feel is what I love!
DA: Is there anything we haven’t touched on that you would like people to know about you?
JM: I recently opened up about this cause I do hope that it inspires others to wake up and do better! One year I pretty much overdosed on drugs, it was all fun and partying, I wasn’t addicted to anything it was just to party…I partied too hard and almost lost my life cause of it…thankfully the people I was with that night didn’t leave me but helped me and kept an eye on me. After that I’ve never touched drugs since and I don’t ever plan too! I’m just blessed and thankful to be here to entertain all, and to keep my drag mothers legacy alive!
DA: Where in the world are you located? If people would like to see you perform live are there particular clubs where you are usually booked or do you have any shows you host or participate in regularly?
JM: Sundays and Saturdays at Climax bar & Nightclub! Sunday Nights are our local drag show with my co-hostess Deja Moore, and Saturdays for sickening Events present: RuGirls! Also, Badlands/Sidetrax Sacramento for Friday’s are a drag, or Ru girls as well. I’m mostly at those venues. But if you follow my social media’s you can always keep up with where I will be at!
Facebook fan page:
I have a fan page on Facebook under “Jaymelah Moore”