There are certain shows that you will look back on and say to yourself, "I was there." The grand final of the first Fluffy Starlet will become one of those for not only myself but also the many who attended last Sunday. I've seen so many drag shows that I've lost count, but the performances that the finalists brought to the stage are without a doubt some of the best I have ever seen and dare I say it, some of the best in the history of Queensland's drag scene.
The grand final was a magnificent celebration of the art form that is drag. From comedy and song to jaw-dropping choreography and fabulous costumes. ShuShu Funtanna, Tina Bikki (now Biscuitt Anderson), Scarlett Fever, Natasha St James, and The Slaying Mantis brought everything they had to the stage and exceeded expectations.
Watch all the performance HERE!
Unlike All Stars, with Fluffy Starlet there could only be one winner. But before that crown was handed over, there would first be the tiara for runner up that went to Queensland's #1 bad girl with the neverending good vibes, Natasha St. James.
Then it was time to crown the first Fluffy Starlet. With approximately four months of experience doing drag, show-stopping conceptual performances, stunning runway looks, time and time again this particular queen proved herself to be the underdog of the competition. As Vollie LaVont said three words into the microphone, the entire club erupted in thunderous applause. Those three words were The Slaying Mantis.
After three heats, two elimination rounds, 16 queens and two kings taking to the stage, Fluffy has found its starlet. Not only is The Slaying Mantis the proud owner one heck of a shiny crown, but she will also be flying to LA with a VIP ticket to Drag Con with seven nights accommodation and $1000 spending money.
However, before the trip of a lifetime, the newly crowned Starlet will be opening for Drag Race season 10 winner Aquaria this Sunday when she graces the fluffy stage with her presence.
We caught up with The Mantis to get to know her a little bit better before her performance on Sunday.
Firstly a big CONGRATULATIONS for being crowned Fluffy’s first Starlet, how does it feel?
It legit feels like I’ve run a marathon but at the same time extremely fulfilling. It’s nice to bring an idea I’ve had in my mind for years to fruition and really slay.
What went through your mind when you heard your name called out?
I’m not going to lie. I thought, oh my god it’s done!!! Then, oh my god how the fuck did I pull this off. Complete shock! That was some FIERCE competition. I was so elated, happy, proud and couldn’t wait to go and celebrate with everyone.
What do you think was the biggest challenge for you in the competition?
With only breaking out into the Drag/AFAB/performance scene now I really had no idea what anyone was going to do week to week, and I found that so stressful. I wasn’t able to be like “Hey girl what are you doing next week” and figure out if what I was doing was on par, so I had to push myself to an extreme limit to make sure I could win or at least get through week to week.
Who/What Inspires Your Drag & Performances?
Literally a bug. An insect inspires my drag and if you think that’s basic. Google “Different Praying Mantis.” The colour scheme is amazing. They’re aliens, they’re ferocious, they will slay everything that moves.
You’ve made quite the name for yourself with your conceptual performances, Will this be something you will continue in the future?
Absolutely. I love transporting an audience into a different dimension for a short period.
Why Is Drag So Important To The LGTBI+ Community?
Drag is important because it represents the rejection of social norms. Rather than being judged on what gender identity that has been assigned to us, Drag represents and celebrates the choice we have to portray ourselves in any way we want and a rejection of how we are told to represent ourselves in accordance with society’s artificial and constructed expectations.
For me, as a gay man, I have experienced society’s rejection of the feminine aspects of my personality/ being. However, this is who I am. Through drag, I exaggerate my femininity, and this is a giant “fuck you” to society and what is “normal.” My hope is that through Drag I am able to disrupt social norms and demonstrate that my body is solely a vessel for my human experience. It’s not my physicality or gender that matters. Instead, what is important is my spirit, the essence of my being. Because what I am capable of and who I am is defined by my spirit.
Any advice for those thinking of getting into drag
Do it! Be yourself. Find your own voice and be kind to others on their own journey. Remember we are a community and we need to stick together. Support all forms of drag/afab. Let people call themselves whatever they want and remember to HAVE FUN.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your experiences doing drag?
To trust my gut, stress a little less and ride the wave.
Lastly, This Sunday you will be opening for Aquaria, any ideas what to expect from your performance?
She’s turning looks, stunting pretty, she’s the bitch from New York City, so I’ll definitely be giving it some NYC flavour.
Watch The Slaying Mantis open for Aquaria this Sunday as part of Age of Aquaria at Fluffy.
For full event details click HERE!