The DIVA for Sydney’s Favourite Drag Personality is an award introduced several years after the awards began as a response to the massive change in social drag that began taking off. This year she – your favourite comes of age.
Any award decided by audiences is cherished by the winner, it’s the ultimate response to their work. But it goes further, it acknowledges that very Sydney connection performers have with the fans. Visit any bar or club and you’ll see showgirls taking the time to chat and meet fans after the show and with the explosion of entertainment options without a stage, more so than ever, the performer and the patron are connecting.
With the drag persona larger than life, it’s no surprise that past winners of this award have been some of our biggest stars. Chelsea Bun was its first and still today when she makes a now rare appearance on the scene fans are lined up for their Bun fix. Minnie Cooper, Tora Hymen, Karen Kardashian and Kitty Glitter all past winners are infamous for a bit of mixing and mingling!
Charisma Belle holds the record for this award, she has four of them, and so I checked in with her and asked how important to her this is.
“It’s an important award, for me it’s one of the most important. In my mind it means the winner is doing something right. It shows the performer is making a good impression on the audience and hopefully adding something positive to the LGBTI community and beyond.” Charisma said.
Charisma, like many performers, covers all the entertainment options on offer, from the traditional production show, through trivia nights and talent quests as both a host and a judge. So I asked what she tells the new kids about how to look after their fans?
“My advice is to remember that without the fans there is no show. I try to remind my girls that some people find queens intimidating. If someone is looking at you a little longer than usual, it probably means they want to say hello but don’t have the courage. Be the first to say hi, give them a wave, and let them see that it’s ok to approach you. If our fans are making the effort to come out to see and support us, the least we can do is offer a hug, a smile or a wave.”
I know this is the same attitude of many of the working girls. With the much smaller scene now on offer, and the diversifying of work options, it’s important to have your followers and venues will even take this into consideration, its part of the job spec.
Jockeying for votes is in full swing, social media is abuzz and no queen with a microphone in her hand is missing a beat. It’s all great fun and the fans love it. Never has the field for Sydney’s Favourite Drag Personality been more open. Who do I think will take home this 21st anniversary award – well my favourite of course.