Have you caught Courtney Act's act? Following two sold-out engagements, the gorgeous AustralianIdol alum and RuPaul's Drag Race season 6 runner-up returns to New York City in the acclaimed solo show Boys Like Me, which begins tonight and runs through August 21 at the Laurie Beechman Theater. Currently filming his post-Drag Race travels on YouTube in The Courtney Chronicles, Courtney's handsome creator, Shane Jenek, details the beauty of living and loving on the gender divide.
The Advocate: The Laurie Beechman is just a stone's throw from Broadway, where fellow Aussie drag exports Dame Edna and Priscilla Queen of the Desert have both made big splashes. What would a Courtney Act show look like with a Broadway budget? Shane Jenek: It would look like dreams coming true -- probably a cross between Cher's and Bette Midler's early '80s Caesars Palace shows, with a good dose of Robyn thrown in.
You played Angel in an Australian production of Rent. Do you have any interest in doing more musical theater and playing characters other than Courtney? For sure. Performing as Courtney is my passion and my long-term focus, so it would need to fit into that career trajectory. Playing Hedwig on Broadway, for example, would fit into that trajectory. I actually understudied the role in Australia but never got to perform it.
You take West Hollywood gay men to task in your new song "Mean Gays." Have you found New York gays to be a nicer breed? The song pokes fun at the West Hollywood stereotype, but I think Mean Gay Syndrome can be found anywhere. But they're not really mean; they're just boys on a process of self-discovery, and I hope they find it. Over the years I have felt pressure to look a certain way as a boy -- to have the right body, right tan, right teeth, right face, and right fashion. The song is actually inspired by my struggle to break out of the mold and be myself.
Boys Like Me is filled with racy tales of your sexual encounters, some with guys who may not immediately know that you're a drag queen. How do you protect yourself in this age of hookup app horror stories? Well, I'm not really a hookup app kind of guy/girl. For me, sex is about a connection in a moment of time. It can be completely frivolous or much deeper, but that moment has to be organic for me. I need to feel a connection that I can't get through seeing a few photos and someone turning up at my front door. When I meet guys while I'm Courtney, I am always sure to let them know that I am not a biological female before anything juicy happens. The situations I find myself in usually lead to the guy not caring too much when I tell him, which always surprises me, and quite often they have only ever been with women. I like to romanticize that our moment, our connection, transcends my gender. Or perhaps it's just that all the blood in their body is in their lower half, so there's not enough in their brain to make sound choices. Either way, it's always a lot of fun.
How do I get boys to like me? The way to get boys to like you is to not have the need for boys to like you. You have to spend all your focus learning how to like yourself.