You might not recognise him as Shane Jenek, but as his drag alter ego Courtney Act…well, yep, you’ve definitely heard of her.
Well, get this. Courtney Act will host the very first drag queen bingo tonight on Neighbours at what is the undeniable cultural hub of Erinsborough… Lassiters Hotel.
While Jenek spoke to Botica’s Bunch on Wednesday about Courtney’s appearance on Neighbours, he shed some light on something we weren’t really aware of – the sheer rivalry that went on between drag queens shortly after the release of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Jenek’s debut as Courtney Act was in the early 2000s, and Courtney’s drag aesthetic wasn’t the post-Priscilla look, which resulted in some resistance from the old guard.
“I did,” Jenek admitted. “In 2001, I remember drag being very Priscilla.”
Jenek described going to watch his friend perform as Vanity in shows in Sydney.
“She was like a supermodel of drag and I was so inspired, it was like an MTV music video live on stage and I started doing that sort of drag.”
It was about here that he said that two styles of drag were emerging.
“We were called the ‘new millennium drag’,” he said before dropping a clanger.
“The old guard were called the ‘beige brigade’. There was a lot of friendly rivalry between the two over the years.”
Lisa’s jaw dropped.
“Fancy calling a drag queen ‘beige’… that would be the ultimate insult!”
Jenek explained the reason behind why they were called ‘beige’.
“They had these beige shoes that everyone had to wear,” he said.
“They bought these white shoes from Mathers, they had to use the same kind of shoe spray paint to spray them beige – if you were going to be in the show you had to conform!
“So, they were the beige brigade.”
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Catch Courtney Act on Neighbours this week at 6.30pm on Ten Peach.