Skip to main content

Your free what's on guide to the NT

Caught in the Act

SHANE JENEK’S multi-talented, larger-than-life drag persona Courtney Act was cast into the spotlight in the first series of Australian Idol in 2003. Now, after countless appearances on stage and television – including making the top 3 in RuPaul’s Drag Race – Courtney brings her own show FLUID to the Top End.

Off The Leash caught up with Courtney for a chat.

Have you been to the Top End before?

I have but it hasn’t been for such a long time. I feel like none of the Drag Race girls ever come to Darwin, so I’m glad that I finally get to come back. I remember I was there for Pride and it was lots of fun. I remember there was a sack race... I actually just found photos the other day.

You’re bringing your new show to town – tell us everything we need to know about FLUID!

FLUID is a really fun night of glamour, live music and storytelling. I wrote all of the music in the show myself, so the stories are really personal, the songs are really personal, and it’s the first time doing a whole show of original songs. I’m really excited. It feels very creatively fulfilling. And a little bit scary...

What are some of the challenges you think gender-fluid performers face today?

I think the wonderful thing about the world today is that – now more than ever – people are really interested in hearing different stories. We live in a time where we’re finally hearing more than the one, same-old sort of cis-het story, and so it’s wonderful that people of different genders are able to express themselves through performance.

And in drag, I think it’s always been a place where gender fluidity has intersected. But now that we have the language for it, it’s kind of this cool space where we get to express our own diverse gender and also be an example for others.

Who would win a dance-off – Shane or Courtney – and why?

Courtney definitely would! I always get really awkward in those sorts of situations – well, as Shane as Courtney, I feel awkward – and I usually default to my standard walking on my hands. That’s my party trick, just doing a handstand and walking around on my hands!

You appeared on the very first season of Australian Idol in 2003 – what would you say to your 21-year-old self, knowing what you know now?

I would tell myself to just relax. I have spent – and still spend – so much of my life worrying about what might or might not happen, and it happens whether you worry about it or not. I think the best advice is to stay focused, stay ready, work really hard but try and worry less.

And lastly, any chance we’ll see you on the podium at THROB while you’re in town? Please say yes…

I have certainly already been on a podium at THROB, I performed at THROB, it was a lot of fun and I definitely look forward to going back there. I can’t wait to bring FLUID to Darwin. I’ll see you all at the Entertainment Centre and hopefully for a click and a shimmy at THROB after.

Courtney Act: FLUID
COST $49 | $46 MEMB/CONC $30 U30

Photo: Joseph Sinclair

More reads

Advertisement: Darwin Fringe 2024