Australian drag superstar Courtney Act has revealed an offer she received from RuPaul years before her appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Courtney joined Drag Race star Katya on her and Trixie Mattel’s podcast The Bald and the Beautiful to recall the networking moment earlier in her career.
The Australian performer was working on Aussie TV post-Australian Idol, before her first trip to Los Angeles.
Around 2009, Courtney said she sent an unsolicited email to RuPaul.
“I was doing beauty advertorials on Australian morning television for a Sheer Cover mineral makeup,” Courtney recalled.
“This was like a pre-Drag Race era, like season two. I had RuPaul’s email address. It used to be listed on RuPaul.com. I hacked the mainframe.
“I sent an email and then Ru replied. It was written in Australian… It was like, ‘G’day Courtney, I think you’re the bee’s knees.’
“She knew who I was, I think maybe from Idol. She said she loved what I was doing, and she had just started doing this show called Drag Race.”
Courtney said that RuPaul told her if the show was successful, “it will give me the cachet I need” to launch other projects.
“She wanted to create a drag band, like a live singing drag band and told me I would be the lead singer,” she said.
Courtney recalled the project might have been a show to put together a live drag band. Years later, RuPaul would executive produce the live drag singing competition Queen of the Universe.
RuPaul has spoken of her own history fronting punk-rock and new-wave bands in the 1980s before her mainstream success in the 1990s.
In season eight, Ru shared on the show, “Long before I became ‘Supermodel of the World,’ I was in a punk-rock band called Wee Wee Pole.
“I was inspired by bands like The B-52’s, Wendy O. Williams (lead singer of the Plasmatics), and my all-time favorite Blondie.”
Courtney Act recalls early gigs on US drag circuit
While the drag band project didn’t happen, in 2010 Courtney said she made her first trip to Los Angeles and ultimately did join multiple drag supergroups.
It was before season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race had aired, although “we all knew Raja had won,” Courtney said.
Courtney Act, meanwhile, joined the drag circuit performing with some RuPaul’s Drag Race legends.
“When I first moved to LA, Willam had heard about me from the other girls,” she recalled.
“When Detox went away to film Drag Race, which we called summer camp, she asked me to fill in at a DWV [Detox, Willam and Vicky Vox’s drag group] gig at Wet [nightclub] in Chicago on one condition – that I had to wear brown hair.
“It was me, Vicky and Willam, with me in a brown wig.”
In December 2013, Courtney Act was announced for RuPaul’s Drag Race season six. Courtney’s season started in the US in February.
She was the first Australian queen to appear on the US show and was joint runner-up.
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