Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. Our May spotlight falls on drag performer Art Simone.

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What made you want to become a drag queen?

During high school I became super interested in make-up and creating different characters – after a while I realised there was only so much that you could do with male creations – so I started to delve into the fabulous world of drag makeup and gender illusion! After that I was hooked, and it’s been glitter, lashes, and sequins ever since.

What was your first time in drag like?

My first ever drag performance was at a Minus18 dance party – I ‘borrowed’ my older sister’s formal dress, blocked my eyebrows out with soap, and forgot to shave my underarms. I was a COMPLETE train wreck. But it was such a positive experience as everyone was so supportive and encouraging – it made me want to be bigger, better, and oh so fabulous – although that was pretty easy to do considering that was the level I started at… ha!

Who taught you how to tuck?

I learnt the art of sausage origami from a YouTube tutorial and Chinese whispers amongst drag queens.

Who is your drag inspiration?

I don’t have a sole inspiration or idol that I aspire to be like. I’m inspired everyday by different people, places, and things. Today for example, I’m inspired by a pile of pom poms I found in the back of a wardrobe and the stylings of a lady I passed at the post office. Who knows what will be next?

Who is your drag nemesis?

Myself, I’m my biggest enemy. I’m constantly fighting those inner demons and doubt that say I’ll never be good enough. A bit dark I know, but I think it’s good to share. I have self doubt – but I’ve always looked at that as a positive, it’s what pushes me to reach even higher.

Most embarrassing onstage story?

My most embarrassing moment was when I was being presented with my winning crown for Queen of The Galaxy Australia – it was placed on my head and as I went for a strut it fell off and bounced across the stage. Jewels and rhinestones went flying everywhere and I spent the remainder of the talkspot on my hands and knees picking them all up while the audience screamed and pointed me in the direction of all the missing gems.

Favourite song to lip-sync to?

I absolutely LOVE to perform an angry power ballad or dance track. My go to is ‘Changing’ by Paloma Faith – it’s so much fun to bring to life on stage.

Most overrated song to lip-sync to?

I wouldn’t say there are any overrated tracks – I’ve seen some of the most mundane songs come to life with an exceptional performance and on the flip-side I’ve seen some of the most epic songs of all time destroyed by bad acts accompanying them. There aren’t any overrated songs, just overrated performances.

Advice for younger drag queens?

Practice, practice, practice! Talent can’t be simply handed to you – it needs to be earned. Don’t ride on the “Drag Mum” trend and expect experienced queens to be able to make you the best in the biz. Everything you need to know is out there on the internet, YouTube is your friend. The rest is practice and refining your craft – you’ll be much more proud and grateful in the end. As it’s been said in dressing rooms for years and years “Earn Ya Stripes!”.

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