Enamored with drag while in high school, Aurora Gozmic now shines at Scarlet Bar in Chicago

Thu. February 20, 2020 1:14 PM by Ross Forman

aurora gozmic

photo credit // provided
Austin LeMoine got hooked on the drag scene as a 16-year-old high school student in Northern Michigan after attending a drag show at a local college.

He was a contestant before the main show of the same event a year later.

"The first drag queen that I ever saw on stage was Cass Marie Domino and she became my drag mom some years later," LeMoine said. "The first time I was on stage my drag name was actually Versace Ferrari, (and) I was not cute. My outfit consisted of a wig from Amazon, a cop hat, leather jacket and skirt made of my bedroom curtains. I performed Bad Kids by Lady Gaga and came in dead-last in the contest."

But the drag life was for him, without question.

Flash-forward to today and LeMoine, 25, who lives in West Rogers Park, has morphed on stage into Aurora Gozmic, who has worked at Scarlet Bar in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood for the past three years.

A business card for Gozmic would say: drag queen, host and wig stylist.

"I owe Scarlet so much, especially AJ the general manager because they really took a chance on me when I was still trying to find my place in the Chicago drag scene. I have grown so much from being a host at Scarlet."

Gozmic, who is single and queer, hosts Pregame every Saturday at Scarlet and judges Feedback, the bar's monthly open drag contest held on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

"I have been doing drag full-time for the past three years and I (have) loved every minute of it," said Gozmic, who also picks up drag gigs at other venues around the city and has her own drag wig styling business, Killer Wigz! 

"Drag has allowed me to perform and travel across the country.

"I feel that, as I grow into the human that I want to be, Aurora is also changing and developing into the queen she was always meant to be. I've really found my place in Chicago and the scene here. There are more good things to come and I will continue to grow and change."

The ever-entertaining Gozmic has a strong ability to adapt in the spotlight.

"Aurora is an unpredictable whirlwind of fashion and glamour," she said. "A friend told me my styles are like seasonal drag reissuances, constantly changing and evolving. 

"Aurora is like a wide-eyed baby dear lost in the woods who is just learning to walk for the first time, but sexy."

LeMoine adopted the name Aurora from the Disney princess "because she is beautiful, blonde and tired." Gozmic, she said, "is my name (of) a space-age sexual pun (orgasmic)."

Gozmic's drag career has include an appearance in the music video for LGBT by Cupcakke, has appeared in Supersonic by Detox with other Chicago legends and, she is now producing a drag show at Northern Michigan University – where her career was launched.

"The Chicago drag scene is one of the best in the country being that we are very unique and talented in our own special ways," Gozmic said. "Sure, we may be dramatic at times, but we really show up and support one another. That's why I moved here. Whenever I visited, it felt like home to me."

Aurora Gozmic is Austin LeMoine's extrovert side: blunt, fun and beautiful. Gozmic is inspired by 1980s fashion and music "because that is the one thing my father and I bond over," Gozmic said.

Bar Shots With ...Aurora Gozmic

Hobbies: Sewing, crafting and drawing

Passions: "Drag honestly is my biggest passion."

All-time Favorite Drag Performer: Juno Birch

Drag Influences: Raja, Pamela Anderson, Pete Burns Freddie Mercury, Mugler, Alexander McQueen, Patrick Nagel and Dolly Parton

Thoughts on RuPaul's Drag Race: "I think it is a great platform for drag performers across the country; I'm glad we have something like it in our generation."

Favorite Chicago Restaurant: Chicago Diner

Drink of Choice at a Bar: Vodka

Little-known Fact: "I was the captain of my color guard team in high school."