WRITING: RANDI BERGMAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: RENATA KAVEH
Before Barb of Stranger Things fame captivated a generation, there was Barb, a gorgeous sock puppet handcrafted with care in Cambridge, Ontario. She was the beloved pal of a 7-year old Adam Moco, and recently resurrected for this special journey down memory lane. “I was pretty shy and happy to craft or do puzzles all day alone,” says Moco of what we’re calling The Barb Era.
It’s safe to say that things have changed since the early days. Moco is now a photographer who, by day, has shot everyone from former Raptor Danny Green to designer Tabitha Simmons. By night, he transforms into Miss Moço, a drag queen who has turned the Toronto scene upside down since gracing the city with her endearing, effervescent persona.
Post Barb, Moco got in touch with his feminine side through an obsession with the Spice Girls. “I would dress up and pretend I was one – usually Posh – or Baby when I wanted my pink platform shoes in my life,” he says. “I was also very influenced by ‘90s supermodels. I would runway walk all around my house on my tippy toes.” He was also a champion gymnast, which explains his performing prowess.
Moco officially began his experimentations with drag back in 2015, and shortly thereafter moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where he met his husband, Anton. While there, Moco started Miss Drag Lisboa, a drag pageant that he returns to host each year. And since mving back to Canada, Moco has instituted a drag brunch party every Sunday at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel. The party has become so popular that it drew Cate Blanchett, who attended while in town while shooting the upcoming show, Mrs. America. Moco later surprised Blanchett with her own private performance, and you could say the two have been BFFs since. (Moco also recently did a rendition of “A little bit Alexis” for Schitt’s Creek star, Annie Murphy.)
If you’ve ever seen Miss Moco dance on the bar in six inch heels, do a hand stand on the outside of a TTC streetcar or snatch multiple wigs in one song, you’d know that it looks effortless. But, of course, this wasn’t always the case. When asked what advice he’d give his younger self a la Rupaul’s Drag Race, he says, “Calm down, relax and enjoy. To stop being so hard on myself. Failure becomes an opportunity to see things from a different perspective and shift gears.”