Venus D'Luna is a young queen from Sydney, Australia who is very determined and has evolved a lot already. She's humble, beautiful, and seems to be open to criticism. Venus is such a good friend of mine and I met her when I was being completely anonymous on a fan account I run for Laganja Estranja. And we've been talking ever since. I really want to help her succeed which is why I asked her to be part of this page.
1. How would you describe your drag persona?
Always smiling, fun and under the influence, quite a flirt. Which really is me without the drag, only more exaggerated. I like to try and keep this somewhat tied in with my name though - Venus being the Goddess of Love. If I see someone I like the look of, I'll often go start talking to them and buy them a drink. I'm very generous sometimes haha
2. What does your family think of you doing drag? Are they supportive?
My family loves it! I've been exposed to drag since I was 14, with an old neighbour Wilhemina Scott being a regular performer so my mum didn't see it as much of a shock I don't think. Many of my other family members are connected to my Facebook account and comment or like my photos frequently. Some other family members aren't aware that I even do drag but I'm less connected to those.
3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Definitely New York, hands down. If I can live there when I'm older it would be a dream come true! As a musician, I have goals of combining my art as a drag queen and touring with a show and I've felt that New York would be the place to do it! Also, in every movie that features New York, I've always loved the scenes of Central Park. I'd be there every day.
4. When and how did you start doing drag?
I started learning about drag around Easter in 2012. I bought a dress from a shop called House of Priscilla, a wig from ebay, and asked Wilhemina Scott to put makeup on me. Following this, I learned how to do all the makeup myself, bought a wig from Clutching at Curls - a well known wig retailer here in Australia, and a sequin dress, then off I went to see the Born This Way Ball, and this was the first time I consider actually doing 'drag'. The first time felt more like just cross dressing when I reflect on it.
5. How long does it take you to get ready for a performance?
A couple of weeks! I don't perform often but when I do, I want it to be a new experience for the audience. I pick songs I can connect to and choose my outfit based on the song. I never like doing the original tracks so I usually edit them a bit by cutting up remixes of the song or performing different versions by other artists. Then once I've picked the song and outfit, I spend a couple of days learning the words then a couple more figuring out the choreography which is probably my weakest area. I've never had any dance training, the only performance experience I've had is with my music. So I learn by watching performances from other queens and applying parts to my own. And after all that, it should be ready to perform!
6. How does Australian drag differ from other parts of the world?
Drag in Australia is incredibly diverse which in itself is actually very rewarding. Particularly in Sydney where I'm from, there are so many different drag styles. The Australian drag scene is also very connected, we're like one massive drag family! It's great! At the same time, it's a hard scene to break. Queens are very, very honest when you're learning and you have to be prepared for that. It's very rarely sugar-coated. If there's something that needs fixing, someone will tell you. I feel like this is something not so common in other parts of the world where a busted queen may be told she looks absolutely stunning. Don't quote me on that.
7. What is your favorite thing about being a drag queen? What is your least favorite thing?
I love the reactions, they are never the same! Sometimes on Oxford Street (the main Gay street in Sydney), you'll get passersby who have never seen a queen, so they stare, others jaw drop, even people who I already know. I also love the appreciation I get from the photos I post on Facebook.
Least favourite thing about drag is the shaving. It's always the same boring experience.
8. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I love DJ Kitty Glitter. While I enjoy her sets, this is not why I love her. Her character is reflected purr-fectly in the outfits she wears which are full of sequins and shiny things which I love. I've always enjoyed her performances and have been wanting to perform with her for quite a while now haha dreams may come true one day!
9. What does drag mean to you?
Drag is art, and not everybody is going to like it. Like any art form, the audience will always have mixed opinions about how you present something. For me, it's so much more than the standard 'dressed roughly as girl' (DRAG) approach. There are so many different avenues, many of which I love.
10. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a queen in the future?
Be prepared to spend a ton of money! At this stage, I've been doing it a little over 2 years, and I've spent many many thousands of dollars. Also, listen to every piece of advice and accept the opinion. You may not agree with it but just thank them. Most importantly, have fun! It's not a competition!
11. What is your favorite number to perform to?
I've only ever actually performed one song twice. I like to mix it up and present different songs and performances. Most recently I've performed 'Heart Hypnotic' by Delta Goodrem, 'Rise Like a Phoenix' and 'Venus' by Lady Gaga (I was practically begged to do this one!).
12. Do you make your outfits or do you purchase them?
Some I purchase but others I mostly get made. I design a lot of my own outfits and sometimes you can find the resources online, sometimes they need to be made. A couple I've made myself - a bedazzled belt, and a spiky bra. Mostly I get them made by local sewers though.
13. How do you keep yourself emotionally strong?
Honey, on the inside I'm an independent black woman and ain't nothing gonna bring me down! I used to let things get to me but I blocked out the negativity and surround myself with positive people.
14. Who is your favourite famous queen?
Detox - I've met her a few times in her travels down to Sydney and of all the RuPaul queens I'd met before then, she was by far the nicest! Looking forward to seeing her again in October!
15. If you could change anything about yourself what would it be and why?
Nothing. I wouldn't be where I am without being who I am and meeting the people I've met.
Find Venus Here!