I had a dream, a passion and a goal.
I was adopted from Colombia and arrived in Antwerp, Belgium, 33 years ago.
My name is Andres De Blust-Mommaerts, currently making the transition from professional dancer towards becoming a certified dance instructor / teacher in dance ballet pointes and choreography. Besides that I do drag, make costumes, dress wigs and I also do make-up.
As a little boy, I often lived in my own world of fantasy. I pretended to be a magical princess and played with dolls, creating a world full of fairies and magic. But I was labelled as the boy with learning difficulties who had to work twice as hard to get a grade at school and also as someone with a lot of energy and creativity. A lot of questions were unanswered. Why did some kids and parents find me weird? And why was I adopted? What were the reasons for my learning difficulties (dyslexia and ADHD)? Is it because I was to much involved in my fantasy world?
Even though my parents had always supported me, they were also afraid of what would happen later. I was always on my own or with the girls in the class. We acted together in theatre plays and were dressed up as a magic fairies in the fancy dresses from the school. In my head I lived from show to show. I was inspired by the spectacles I saw with my mom: the Efteling, musicals, Disney movies or books with pictures in which I completely immersed myself.
I started dance classes and felt immediately at home because of the discipline and my 100 percent commitment. I could move and didn’t have to sit still and learn to read. I got to know myself more and more as a man and as an artist because I had found something outside of my fantasy world that kept me busy and focused.
Now that I’m older, that playfulness is still there but in the shape of a drag queen persona that I created when I was still in kindergarten. On stage I am a magical fairy or a witch. I invest a lot of time and energy in creating my costumes and looks for every show.
It’s a kind of safe haven I created for myself. Nobody knows who I am when I hide behind the façade of a drag queen. And I stopped fearing that I would not be accepted by others or being insulted for who I am. It is okay to go back to my fantasy world every now and then. I try to drag people into my story.
Mocca Boné is my alter ego as drag queen and I don’t think that I can change that persona. It is also a kind of handhold now that I have stopped dancing. I miss the adrenaline shot that I get on the stage from the audience. That’s also why I still do drag. I want to shock, I want to create conversation between people. I like to be seen, I look for compliments.
Is this a sign of my own insecurity ? I think it is. As a dancer I have shaped myself as an artist. I was bound by rules and contracts. But as Mocca Boné I can decide for myself what to do or not to do.