Two years ago, I followed my very own yellow brick road. Unlike Dorothy’s, mine took me OUT of Oz (Australia that is) and brought me to the city of angels. Today it is announced that I am a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6! I am so bloody excited for FebRUary when the show will premiere! I come from a celebrated culture of blokes dressed up as sheilas (that’s Australian for men dressed up as women); the home of Les Girls, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Dame Edna Everage and I can’t wait to show America and the world what I have been working my whole life to create. I am the first non-US citizen to be cast on the show and I am so excited to set this precedent. For me, drag is about freedom of expression and there is no better place to showcase drag than on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I was just 10 years old when the older boys at my performing arts school – The Fame Talent Agency in Brisbane, Australia, played me “Supermodel” and told me all about this magical drag queen, RuPaul. At that age I didn’t quite know what it all meant, but I knew I loved it. It is a full circle moment to now be under the tutelage and guidance of Ru, and to be here in America living my dream.
Check out the exclusive “super trailer”
Well I am just about as excited as I could be. Coming home to Sydney at my favourite time of year, Mardi Gras, to do my favourite thing, performing live with a band, and doing it in one of Sydney’s most prestigious venues, The Sydney Theatre down at Walsh Bay. Tuesday the 25th of February is going to be such a magical night on that grand stage. Lance Horne will be flying in from New York to musical direct my fabulous band. I have new costumes being made, writing some new songs, and telling some Mardi Gras specific stories. Click here to book tickets!
Performing Boys Like Me is such a thrill as I really feel it is my best work yet. I have always found the spectrum of gender and sexuality a fascinating thing, and have had quite a lot of experience observing it. Presenting as two different genders attracts a myriad of suitors and it is very apparent to me that gender and sexuality are not binary, but rather are kaleidoscopes of options, fractals and variations. So I decided to put my experience of walking life on the gender divide into a show, but don’t worry, the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
The show is for one night only as the first in a three part series of shows at The Sydney Theatre during the last week of Mardi Gras. Bob Downe and Trevor Ashley are also doing shows that week. Ticket are already selling fast, which is exciting, so make sure you book for what I know is going to be a gala night of glamour and fun.
The Blonde Bitches tour kicked off in Austin, Texas. Somewhere I have heard great things about, but never been. Pandora, Bambi, Nova, Cory, Colby, Brandon and I got up to all sorts of shenanigans during out time there and all will be revealed in the coming episodes of Blonde Bitches. When touring it can get a bit boring doing shows by yourself, so it was really fun travelling with such a fun bunch of blondes (natural or bottle). And it was a real delight getting to meet Bambi (@bambibombon)! She is the life of any party. She hails from San Francisco, so I look forward to heading north and causing some havoc with her on her home turf soon!
Getting ready for Marco Marco’s fashion show in LA Fashion week was quite the scene. 16 drag queens, their hair, their egos, 10 buff boys and Marco in a palatial hotel suite. We were all asked to arrive in full face at 2pm. People started rolling in sometime after 3 with out a stitch of makeup, except Adore Delano, she diligently arrived on time in full slap. Painting face in a room of 16 drag queens and transwomen was an hysterical and distracting glitter-monium. Rhea, Shokra, Alyssa and I in one bathroom, Raja laid out at the dressing vanity, Shangela in the closet (literally, not figuratively), Mathu, Mayhem, Manilla, Yara made magic in the master boudoir, Detox and Sassy sprawled in the second bathroom, Willam and Carmen ginned around the lounge. The getting ready process was so much fun, music playing, catch phrases being thrown around and so much laughter it was hard to do liquid liner. Check out this behind the scenes:
Mathu & I strutted the hotel halls working on our runway stomps
Whilst backstage Alyssa Edwards christened me with a new middle name. Not sure she realised that Courtney Act is a play on words of Caught In The Act, but I’ll take “The” as my middle name graciously from my hysterical Texan sister.
Wigs By Vanity supplied all of the wigs for the show which were styled by Hector at Plaid LA, and I was gagging to see America’s drag elite in fabulous lace fronts. In Australia, New Zealand and in other parts of the world a Wigs By Vanity “Uber Riah” is as standard issue as wearing false lashes. In the US the girls have not really caught on to the magic and wonder of lace-fronts, it is my goal to change that one scalp at a time. Many of the drag elite the US wear them; Raja, Mathu Anderson & Willam own a sleu, Jackie Beat, Amanda Lepore, Sharon Needles, Alyssa Edwards, Detox, Vicky Vox , Rhea and Manila all own some Wigs By Vanity goodness too!
Magnus Hastings snapped some amazing still of the night including this epic panorama of all the models and their maker, Marco Marco and this pretty solo of me!
It is Halloween in America, but I am in Australia where it was Halloween last night. Well it was October 31st last night, but we don’t really celebrate Halloween here like they do in the US. But fear not, I still had a Halloween costume for Halloweenie, a party that took place in LA on the Friday before Halloween at the Los Angeles Theatre, down town. I put my friend Simon in drag, he became known as “Big Courtney” for the night, he even got some phone numbers. I remember being 18 and confused about whether I wanted to be a woman or male underwear model, Simon could be an artists depiction of what I would look like if i chose the male underwear model route.
And here is last years Halloween costume to end all Halloween costumes, with Simon again, but this time with out the wig. We started the night at Halloweenie and then headed to Grey Stone Manor for David Furnish’s Birthday party, which was not actually a costume party, so we really stood out amongst the crowd. For the record we are both naked. I used some tape, glue, liquid latex, 1 fake book and 1 shoulder pad and 6 zippers to achieve the look.
“She wants you to come to Mickey’s tonight dressed as her from the Applause single cover as she is going to be shooting a lyrics video” were the words I heard on my cell phone. The voice was my friend Perry Meek (@aussiegear) from The Haus of Gaga. My mother always said “She is the cat’s mother”, I don’t know what that means, but in this situation “She” was Lady Gaga. How f#@king cool! I was already in drag, but as the Little Monsters know the Applause single cover requires something a little different than a standard Courtney face. The makeup on the single cover is inspired by Pagliacci. So I rush home and beat my face in the style of the Italian Clown!
I arrive at Mickey’s at the same time as Gaga and we all head in together. We sit in some seats at the side of the stage and watch the performances that unfold. Then Shangela and I take the stage and perform Applause. The track was only released a few hours earlier, so I felt it more appropriate to interpret the lyrics with my body, rather than my mouth, and lip-synching was never my forte. Gaga filmed the whole this, as well as the whole night of events at Mickey’s and edited it all into a lyrics video that was release the next day.
You can listen to Gaga’s recount of events on Carson Daily the next morning, including a little should out to “my friend Courtney” at 1:46. You can imagine me Fan Girling when I heard this!
I am a very big Little Monster and I have had the pleasure of working with and meeting Gaga a few times, the first was when I sang her Happy Birthday a couple of years ago at her private birthday party at the Botanical Gardens in Canberra, Australia. It was a night time dinner for her and her closest, out doors, under the stars. I sang Sweet Transvestite and Happy Birthday and even gave Gaga a lap dance. Then we all strolled down a dark path through the bush lands to a big out-door movie screen where we watch some birthday messages, followed by the movie, Avatar!
The next time I saw Gaga was when she performed at my spiritual home, Disgraceland, in Sydney. It was a monday night and the week that I was moving to America. She came and performed a whole set of numbers with her dancers in what was one of the most amazing live performances I have ever whitnessed. The venue only holds 340 people so it was a very intimate performance. I was so inspired watching the raw energy and passion that Gaga exuded. Her and her dancers worked like one giant organism to create a once in a life time experience for everyone in that room. When ever I go on stage to do a performance I have a list of things that I think about to inspire me and put me into the zone, Gaga’s performance that night is one of the things I think about. The next night we went to see her perform a fabulous show at the Sydney Town Hall, a TV special called “Monster Hall”. The next day I moved to the USA, what an amazing and memorable last 48 hours in Sydney that was!
In 2010 I was writing music, but it all just seemed like generic female pop. I thought to myself “Courtney, your not generic…you’re not even female”, so I decided to write a song about my most favourite moment in time at that point in my life. Disgraceland took place every Friday night at a club called Nevermind in Sydney. The most pumping-est disco in town with lines down the block and a packed house of kids who knew how to dress up and get down. We played host to the likes of Lady Gaga, George Michael, Adam Lambert, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Spice Girl Mel B, Luciana and Amanda Lepore to name a few. We had the time of our life every Friday night for two glorious years and we created this fabulous song and music video.