Community spotlight: getting to know drag legend Candy Box

Community spotlight: getting to know drag legend Candy Box
Image: Candy Box. Image: Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. This month’s spotlight falls on drag hall-of-famer Candy Box.

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How did you come up with your drag name?

I wanted something that was sweet on the outside but had a nut centre and Tess Tickle was already taken. Truth is, I used to mime to the song “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies when I was little. So when I grew up I became Candy.

What was your first time in drag like?

Scary. I had dressed in drag before but never performed. It was at the Beresford Hotel in the viper room. Barbara Bubbles dressed me up and I remember freaking out because Mitzi Macintosh was in the audience. I hit my head on the air con and could not get my skirt off in the reveal section of the show. I can be very clumsy.

How does it feel to be inducted into the drag Hall of Fame?

Incredible. It is always great to be recognised for your contribution to the LGBTQI scene. So many great people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and I am honoured to join them.

Who is your drag inspiration?

My drag inspirations are Simone Troy and Mitzi Macintosh, I loved how they captivated an audience and their talk spots were so fucking funny. Ricca Paris as well, who could work a room better then anyone. She was the hostess with the mostest. Ricca also taught me how to make wonder woman style armbands and hair holders out of water bottles.

Favourite song to lip-sync?

“I Am Woman”. I feel it empowers me as a performer and the audience love to sing along. I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman (even the straight men).

Most overrated song to lip-sync?

“And I’m Telling You” (if done badly it is torture).

Most embarrassing onstage story?

I was doing Sluts on a Sunday at Stonewall. I was doing “I Touch Myself” on top of the bar and slipped. I wrapped my legs around a customer and knocked her off her chair. I am sure she ended up with a concussion and I ended up with no wig. Her father was a member of the Bandidos Bikies and sitting next to her at the time.

What does a normal day look like for you?

I get up at 7am and I’m in the Stonewall office by 8.30am. Book events, book acts, and work on our marketing. I work until 6pm and then functions, parties, or relaxing at home with my partner Leos. Jack Daniels is my best friend.

Advice for younger drag queens?

Find your drag character and own it. Believe in yourself and have thick skin. Always remember the audience wants you to be great and they are on your side. Learn your words.

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