Towards the start of The Glitter Ball, I managed to chat with Nova and Olympia (with interruptions from Charmaine Diamond White) about what drag means to them, why we should all embrace drag and furniture.
So, to start off quite simply, how did you both get into drag?
Olympia: Ok soooooo, I did it first. Um Halloween, basically is the answer. Is every standard way of getting into drag.
Nova: You started just before we met and then once we had met you were dying to get me into drag. So, the Halloween after we got together was my first time in drag and we dabbled a few times beforehand. So, Halloween was the first time I’d done my own makeup. If you can call it makeup.
O: Diarrhoea it was
N: But it was mostly influence by RuPaul’s Drag Race. But it was still in its infancy then and I think it was like season 4, wasn’t it? Season 4 or 5.
O: 3 had just finished so it wasn’t even 4 yet. It was quite a long time ago. We are quite old.
Chris: Really, you’re 17?
O: Right yeah, put that in, 17.
What does drag personally mean to you?
O: It’s different for both of us. Because, I’m more of a, it’s more of a character that I’ll do. I mean I write my own little shows and its performative in the sense that it’s a character. It’s like acting to me.
N: To me drag just encompasses every single hobby or interest that I have. I did fashion and textiles, art and design, and photography at a-levels. Didn’t use them at all in my day job. But this is all encompassing, having the YouTube channel as well I do graphics work in photoshop. And I just really like playing with makeup, playing with clothes. So, it’s really a creative outlet for me definitely.
[brief pause in interview where I fangirled over how long I’ve been watching them for followed by an ‘OH WHATTT!?!’ and a ‘Shut up, you’re so cute!’ in Olympia’s iconic Aussie accent which gave me life.]
So, the article is about why people of all backgrounds should embrace drag. What would you have to say about that?
N: I think drag challenges almost every single stereotype that you have about a person and I think these stereotypes need to be challenged. It’s all about poking fun at people and having fun. Stop taking life so seriously. Once everyone gets to a place where they can embrace drag. I think the world would be a much better place. Everything else would fall into place.
O: Oh no! That’s a great quote. I wish I had said that.
C: I can credit you if you want?
O: Yes, well I said that. So, I would probably agree
[Charmaine Diamond White enters the room holding a bottle of white wine]
O: Oh, she’s got a bottle of wine. Where did you get that from?
N: We’re doing an interview so quiet please.
CDW: Is it voice recorded? Oh, that’s professional on the phone.
[back to the interview]
O: I honestly think she summed it up. Soooo, I don’t really have anything else to add. Yeah, basically, what was the question?
C: It was why should people of all background embrace drag?
O: The main thing to take out of it is, it’s poking fun at yourself. It’s not taking anything to seriously. I think that’s the main thing. If we should take anything out of it, especially as where we are in the world right now being so horrendous, it’s kind of just remembering to laugh at everything basically.
Obviously, you are at a university, what would be your message to all the new LGBTQ+ students seeing all this for the first time? A lot of them wouldn’t have been around or exposed as much to gay culture.
N: If they want to be a part of this, they can be a part of this and they should be. This is their time now to get involved, experiment and express yourself. If you’ve not tried it before; bloody try it now! Look what’s happening. You can do it. Just jump in and do it.
O: Also, I slept with so many people at university and I did not do very well in my studies so that’s also important. Remember to study.
C: Lydia Eastslope said don’t sleep with anyone on campus and I support that message.
O: Ugh, very that moment.
How do you think shows like Drag Race or Dragula or queens with such huge popularity like Courtney Act, especially in this country, help and hinder the drag community and the LGBT community in general?
N: I think all of these shows help more than they hinder. I understand the arguments against them but I think the sheer exposure they provide to drag as an art form more than outweighs any bad things that it’s doing to the community. And people need to recognise that. I think the kind of people that are going to get involved with it on the back of these shows are probably going to be smart enough to then branch out and research the rest of it and realise there is more than these shows. So, can we just calm down?
O: Yeah, it’s one thing paying through the nose to go and see Courtney Act but Courtney Act started in a local bar or something at one point so it’s important to go out and see the local queens and expect to pay to see local queens. Except for….
N: Charmaine Diamond White
O: … certain queens who just aren’t very good.
C: [to Charmaine] do you have anything to say in response?
CDW: No, I’m sorry!!!
O: [cuts her off] It’s not her interview!
And then last question, just because why not, if you had to be stuck as a piece of furniture for the rest of your life, what would you be?
O: I always answer this as chaise longue because its fancy, it’s nice to say, it’s always a talking piece in a room.
CDW: It’s not comfortable to sit on.
O: [aside to me] Oh, don’t you put that in.
[Well I’m putting it in. Sue me]
O: I imagine it in a nice velvet, you know. It’s a very expensive piece.
N: I always answer this and you always tell me that’s not furniture. I would like to be a Tiffany lamp because they’re pretty and they’re glitzy and they light up the room. And you always tell me that’s not a piece of furniture but fight me.
O: I mean the washing machine wasn’t furniture technically either but there we go.
Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview!
O: No probs!
N: I need to put my shoes on properly.
Follow Nova on Instagram @ginesnova
Follow Olympia on Instagram @olympiaavalanche
Or find them on Youtube as Novympia
Photo Credit: Chris Ahjem