A Nail Date with Mo

"Sometimes it's so hell you have to laugh"

Despite being originally from San Diego, Mo is a bonafide ATLien. She's been throwing events in Atlanta for years now, one of them being the Hell Yea Comedy Show. The show offers a safe space for young people to release stress through laughter and has been going on for about three years give or take corona. 

I met Mo this year through DJ OHSO. She shouted out some hard working women in Atlanta and placed Mo and I next to each other. Shortly after, Mo reached out to have her nails done and since then, we've been visiting each other on a bi-weekly basis. 

In addition to being naturally funny and beautiful, Mo is well-respected in the city that she made her home, Atlanta. Every time I do her nails, I get such an overwhelming positive response based off of the love that she puts out and in turn receives. I'm saying all this, and I haven't even started gassing.

Whenever we meet for nail appointments, she always has a classic movie playing in the background such as Legally Blonde or Burlesque. This time around she had Drumline with Nick Cannon rolling. She was wearing an Every N*gga Deserves shirt, so even when she's at home chillin, she's still effortlessly fresh.

Toenail sandwich or mustard shake?
I’m gonna go with the mustard shake…I barely like feet. If I had to do a toenail sandwich, it would only be Rihanna for sure. 

What's your favorite quote?
Oooo..Right now it would be a quote from the Tina Turner movie and it's “Because I want more”.

Who are some of your favorite comedians?
Dave Chapelle, Kat Williams, Martin, Bernie Mac...I love him, and all the Wayans siblings.

On a scale of 1-10 how strict were your parents?
My mom is probably laughing. I was raised by my mom as a single mother, and she was a hustler...so she was always working and always in and out of jail. For the most part she taught us morals and code...like this is how you treat each other and the good and bad that comes with life.  She was very open. Her best friend was the first trans that I ever met in my life, and she’s old so it wasn’t even accepted back then. She would be strict in areas about love more-so than school and going out. 

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
My mom

"My mom had really good taste in fashion. I still have stuff that she got me years ago and people still compliment me to this day. She would say “yea you look hot” and get me girly clothes but I was a tom boy...so I grew up wanting to wear my older brother’s jerseys. 

What's the weirdest thing you’ve seen at someones house?
Everybody I know is pretty much clean so I don’t even know...okay...when I was in elementary school my best friend was native American and her mom had this witch on a broom hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room. So if you had bad spirits the witch would follow you around the room like you need to get cleansed or you need to do some spiritual healing. I would be so scared hoping that she doesn’t follow me. I think she looked at me one time but she never followed me. That witch was really ugly. 

How did you come up with the idea for Hell Yea?
I was in a dark place, so I needed to laugh. A friend of mine, Nina Serafina on social media, was doing standup to practice her material, so I was like "Oh ima go with you". So when we went I thought she did really well I was telling her she should do it more. I started naming comedy clubs in ATL and she was telling me that they wouldn't book her. I was already throwing parties and events in Atlanta, so I told her the next event I throw that she's gonna headline it. I feel like she thought I was kidding...she was like “You can’t just hop out the porch with a comedy show”, and then I did it. It was such a good turn out, so I was like maybe there’s a need for a comedy show for our age group. 

"Laughing and comedy is just therapy. I feel like black people don’t get therapy, and humor is our outlet that’s why were always funny as f*ck...like we have to be to get through America and shit. Sometimes its so hell you have to laugh."

Mo is an Aquarius with a Virgo rising which somehow led us to looking up Beyonce's birth chart.

Favorite Beyonce song? 
Schoolin' life 

What's your favorite movie(s)?
I like really old movies. Selena is one...Jennifer Lopez killed it. I like Uptown girls with Brittany Murphy…There's so many movies I love...The Wood. I like the Bronx Tale.

What's your favorite hood classic? 
Friday or Menace to Society or Killa Season 

If you weren’t doing what you were doing, what would you be doing?
Selling p*ssy definitely. 

How was your experience on HBO's Pause with Sam Jay? 
My friends, Zack Fox and Jack Night, helped write it and they literally hit me asking if I ever used a strap on. After I said no they were like "alright come to New York and be on TV".  Now I'm on TV with a dildo. It's a whole workout class teaching women how to fuck. 
It was so surreal. I was there in my head like "HBO?! This is crazy!" It was cool, it was real, it was fun and natural because I was working with friends so we were drunk and goofing off. It's a really good show though, she talks about hot topics and she does it in sketches, so I was a part of one of the sketches.

If you could recommend someone to have a Nail Date with Kim Cao, who would it be? 
George Clinton

"I respect anybody on the opposite end of the viewer...I think that’s why I have such a respect for the comedians, because you’re the only person in the room facing the opposite direction...and everybody’s like “make me laugh” it's like if you have friend that’s a singer and you ask her to sing its awkward. But we go to shows and ask em to make us laugh and they do it every time. There’s definitely an art to it."

Photographer: Karina Austin

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