It’s a fact that Oxford St is continually witnessing the metamorphosis of budding gender illusionists, but what makes one stand out from the rest may not necessarily be based on talent -” sometimes it is all about the name.
Top Sydney drag queens such as Beyonce G-spot, Minnie Cooper, Maxi Shield, Kitty Glitter and newcomer Dita Von Sleaze may be known for their gifted stage presence, but it’s their unique names that stick in the mind of audiences and party people.
Boaz Stark is not afraid to admit that he’s a big drag queen fan and he’s produced a drag bible with more than 700 alluring and sometimes humorous names.
The Drag Queen Baby Name Book is not only alphabetised for quick reference but features a collection of eye-catching photographs of drag queens in their natural habitats. A comical novelty includes a chapter devoted to international suggestions, letting the reader honour their cultural heritage.
I had no intention to take the photos. I like a good pun and collecting the names and word play. A drag name will lend itself to a visual representation -” it’s all subjective, Stark said.
Ultimately it was a really joyful creative project. I’m used to working in television and film where I would write the script and leave it to the mercy of other people to get it produced. In this case it stayed in my hands so it was a really good project to see it through.
The book has sold enough copies in the US to make back the initial investment and it seems that Australia is going to have a similar response following the book’s launch on Wednesday.
Stark said the highlight of producing the book was interacting with the colourful and fun drag community, but admitted the experience was also quite testing at times.
It was a lot of work and nerve-wracking, especially in the beginning, because I really had no idea of what I was doing, he said.
Shooting drag queens in a variety of contexts is very funny and I admire their ability to create something out of a shoestring budget. The picture with Cher Noble was very funny because we had to break into this walled-off area at an oil refinery.
It was raining, we were trespassing and we had 10 minutes to get the shoot done. So we broke into this hole in the fence and just went for it -” I was worried we were going to get arrested.
The Drag Queen Baby Name Book is available at all good bookstores including the Darlinghurst Bookshop.