COURTNEY Act must have the midas touch: the drag superstar has been invited back for a third year to be Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ official global ambassador for 2016.
The former Australian Idol contestant and top three finalist on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race started her drag career in Sydney and is arguably one of Australia’s most famous exports.
“Sydney, in summer, during Mardi Gras it’s just so much fun.”
Act is proud to promote Sydney and the Mardi Gras not only because they are both fantastic, but also for the personal connection she has to the festival.
“Some people remember the years by birthdays or Christmases but I remember it by what I wore to Mardi Gras that year,” she says.
“I have all these memories like ‘was that the year I wore the white Mohawk or was that the year I wore the Australia flag dress?’
“My year begins and ends at Mardi Gras time, that’s my New Year.”
As one of the most popular festivals globally, people from all around the world are attracted to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras — making Act’s aim to spread the word much easier.
“There’s something about Australia, Sydney, Australians that people really love,” she says.
“Everybody’s met an Australian and has a fond memory. I’ve travelled around the world and I’m probably biased but Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities.
“And Mardi Gras in the 90s was this iconic parade and everybody loves it.”
Not satisfied with just being the global ambassador, Act’s song Kaleidoscope — the title track from her recently released album — will be the theme song for the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
“The song was actually inspired by the kaleidoscope-themed Mardi Gras a few years ago,” she says.
“Kaleidoscope is such a cool concept for a pride festival. It’s almost more evolved than a rainbow, which is just seven (colours), whereas a kaleidoscope is so much more than that.”
Along with flying the festival flag, Act will be reuniting with good friend Trevor Ashley to revive their original Mardi Gras show Gentleman Prefer Blokes.
“It’s seven years since we did the show, so we’re bringing to the Opera House Gentleman Prefer Blokes: The Seven Year Itch,” she says.
“It’s a part of a bigger festival programming of the Mardi Gras called Rainbow Room. There’s going to be comedy, late night drag and there’s Trevor and I doing Gentleman Prefer Blokes, so we’re really looking forward to it.
“It has been seven years and our careers have taken off in different directions so it’ll be good to come back and see if the costumes still fit.”
Act leans in to whisper: “Trevor’s don’t”.
The Star Observer is a proud media partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
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**This article was also published in the Star Observer’s annual fg magazine, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival guide. Grab your free copy today.
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