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Nightlife profile: Roxy C. Moorecox

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Famous for hosting Tuesday night trivia at Petra's Piano Bar, Roxy C. Moorecox is one of Charlotte's most recognizable names in drag. Originally Clay Smith from Greenville, S.C., Roxy began doing drag with a group in Atlanta called The Armorettes, which raises money for people living with HIV/AIDS. The full-time entertainer remains an advocate for the gay community; she's recently been appointed the official emcee of PRIDE Charlotte, happening in October.

Creative Loafing: Did you have other drag names in mind before choosing this one?

Roxy C. Moorecox: Roxy came from the musical Chicago, I liked that character. Not the Renee Zellwegger movie version, but I really liked the name; I thought it was fun and funky, then I just changed the spelling. C. Moorecox came from a drunken name game that a friend of mine and I played while leaving a club in Atlanta. I had signed up for this amateur drag contest and had no name. I just came up with it and it's stuck for 10 years.

Who inspires you?

I love Bette Midler; I love Carol Burnett. Those two divas, in the best sense, understood what comedy was. I love that one person can provide so many different characters.

Would you say you draw a particular crowd?

I draw sort of an older crowd. I have a more witty banter instead of vulgar — not to say I won't be bawdy, but it's not quite as crude. I like walking the line and letting the audience jump, then I'm not in trouble and I don't get fired.

When you're not entertaining, where do you like to go to be entertained?

I like going to theaters; I was just elected to the Board of Trustees at the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte. I also love a slow night at a bar; Roxy thrives on a busy night and Clay thrives on a slow night. I like sitting at a bar and all of a sudden a conversation will strike up. I'm also a people-watcher. I like to listen. Listeners are very smart people, especially if you're a listener with a good memory — that's just dangerous. I just like spending time with friends; entertainment can be found wherever you go.

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