If you aren’t familiar with Mimi Imfurst (a.k.a. Braden Chapman), the insulated bomb shelter you’ve been holed up in for the last few years must be nice and comfy. The drag performer’s talents have been tapped for television shows “What Would You Do?” “Jackass” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She has also served as the opening act for comedy stars like Kathy Griffin and Mo’Nique.
Mimi competed on the third season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and fans of the show were surprised she was eliminated from the competition before some of the less-experienced queens. But since her appearance on the show, Mimi has taken those lemons and turned them into lemonade — lots and lots of lemonade.
“I’m the Jennifer Hudson of ‘Drag Race,’” she said. “Not only did I not win, I lost a lot of weight too. I think the key to success is what you do with it. It irritates me from time to time when I see the girls who have done better on the show than I did and I think they wasted the opportunity that was an amazing gift given to them. I’ve done a lot of TV even before ‘Drag Race.’ Afterward, I’ve done a lot too. It’s just amazing to have these opportunities. I just work hard and that’s all it’s about for me.”
Mimi definitely stays busy. On top of her many drag duties, she’s a member of the ground-breaking mega-pop girl group XELLE, which has a few singles out now and is planning to release an album this fall. She also hosts a weekly drag show in Philly, The Dollhouse Revue, at Voyeur nightclub.
“We’ve been doing it every Wednesday for a year and a half,” she said. “I just feel so lucky to have the audiences and the talents that I have been able to work with. I have the pleasure and the fortune of being able to travel around the country because of my experience on ‘Drag Race.’ But Philadelphia still remains my favorite city.”
So what does Mimi Imfurst, the self-proclaimed “Hardest Working Bitch in Show Business,” have planned for Homecoming 2012 in her favorite city?
“I’m still working out the details for it,” she said. “I kind of make everything I do work for the occasion. There are some things you can do in a club that aren’t appropriate for a corporate event, a birthday party or a fundraiser. Who knows? I’m really looking forward to putting together something special for the show.”
When asked why she is so in-demand as a performer, Mimi said a lot of her success comes from her personality on stage.
“I want people to feel like you’re hanging out with me,” she said. “Some queens put on an alter ego or a persona or they feel like they have to be a diva or a bitch on stage. When I’m on stage in my show, I want you to feel like I’m just talking to you like you’re my friend. The stuff I say on the microphone is the stuff I would say when I’m out at the bar with my friends.”
Mimi Imfurst performs at Homecoming 2012, 6-10:30 p.m. June 9 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. For more information or tickets, visit www.waygay.org or www.mimiimfurst.com, or call 215-732-2220.