Kara Zmatiq is a queen from Australia who has the look of a goddess and the singing voice of an angel. She definitely lives up to her name which is a play on words and it's pronounced "charismatic". Having conversations with her, she's very sweet and extremely determined.
1. Describe your drag persona?
Kara Zmatiq is a more flamboyant and more theatrical extension of my normal boy self. A whimsical character, fearless, competitive, open minded, magical and enticing to both male and female audience just as my name suggests, when on stage I'm a charismatic character.
2. What competitions have you competed in and or won?
As an all rounder entertainer, as with drag an extension of who I am as an experienced entertainer, musician and artist for the past 11years, I've competed in music, vocal, acting, drag and dance competitions on a local, state and national level. I've won as a musician several trophies and awards for my ability to play the Clarinet, Saxophone and Tenor Vocals. I've taken out the title of Charismatic Vocalist of the Year - two years in a row, I've won several talent shows as Kara Zmatiq as part of ACON, Rainbow Visions and Connexions Entertainment for my vocal talents and entertainment style and have been nominated in both QLD and NSW for Drag Queen of The Year, Rising Star, Community Legend for helping raise over $50,000 for both local and national charities, as well as Variety Entertainer of the year all consecutively the last two years.
I'm not much of a competition queen, I don't believe competitions get anyone anywhere in the drag biz. It's the way you promote, market, brand and advertise yourself and the different ways you put yourself out there in front of different people and different audiences, not the same types of audience and same types of judges... That just stunts growth, and you become the same as those who judge you in the end. Standing out for being unique, different and inspiring is what makes a queen successful (from my own personal experience anyway).
3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspirations are music icons such as Grace Jones, Stevie Nicks and Cyndi Lauper. I draw my inspiration to perform, passion for music and the stage from their performing energy and stories. I find the three very fascinating and there music uplifting And moving. When I perform I aim to bring emotion and feeling to a song, interpret them in my own way and own the songs I perform and sing live as if the story being told is mine. This is what makes a true performer and entertainer.
4. If you could work with any well known queen, who would it be and why?
I think of I were to work with any well known queen it would have to be none other than RuPaul. Sounds a bit cliche but she is entrepreneurial, a marketing and branding genius, an all rounder performer and a queen I can relate as well as be inspired learning a lot from as a singing drag entertainer myself.
5. What was your childhood like?
My childhood was very creative, very artistic and very musical. I had many female friends when id was younger, really didn't click that I was gay until end of 9th grade when the change rooms were used more for sport class (*wink*). Growing up was hard, I to this day still have four very close friends, my family is very supportive so I got lucky in that regard - but making friends and finding my place has never been an easy journey. Eventually I decided to bite the bullet, not fit in at all in society and do things very differently, seems to be working for me both in and out of drag 😊
6. How long have you been doing drag?
The art of performance has been part of my life for 11 years (2015 will mark 12 years of entertainment). I acknowledge that my early days in drag were a train wreck but every queen starts somewhere and most of us don't start on a high note when we do it all by ourself the first time. So... Professionally, I would say I've been doing drag as the polished, refined and "awe-inspiring" (HAN) , "phenomenal" (Newcastle Panthers) , "Australia's Best Drag Star" (Focus Magazine) since November 2013.
7. When people go and see you perform, what should they expect?
People shouldn't expect boring. I'm very interactive, the stage is just a platform. As a live singing gender illusionist it's my mission to entertain, enthral, excite, engage and evoke emotions from each person in the audience... So expect participation and a hands-on show. Occasionally I'll mime and do dance routine, but it's not who I am as a drag performer. I sing a very wide repertoire of music, from the best of the 60's to the Top40 pop, ballads, jazz, theatre, rock, grunge and glam-rock. I create production shows and sets to suit the audience I'll be entertaining.
8. What inspired you to start drag?
My music theatre, singing, musical and entertainment industry family as well as my passion for the stage. I was to either run away with the circus or create my own in the meantime, so here I am!
9. Do you make your own outfits or do you purchase them?
All of my outfits are custom designed and sourced from designers globally as well as hand-made/customised to suit my character. When I first started doing drag I would shop at Paddys... I hate looking like and wearing what other queens are or have been wearing, so since November 2013, I've learnt to customise outfits, design, create and make my own jewelery, headpieces and props as well as source the best in staging, lighting and sound equipment. I want my audience to be blown away with quality when I perform. I expect a lot of myself and so does my audience and fans.
10. What is your favorite number to perform to?
I am a huge fan of Jessie J so her song 'Who You Are' is a favourite. Such a moving, powerful and one song that helps me reflect on who I am as a person, a performer and an artist. I find audiences tear-jerked or inspired when I do this song, so it's a pleaser.
11. How do you handle negativity?
Back in the day I would bite back with a vengeance, until some wise old seasoned queens said roll with the punches and let it be like water off a ducks back. Today negativity is ignored and constructive criticism is welcomed in the appropriate form (via my manager).
12. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be and why?
Homophobia. I hate that still to this day we are treated unequally. I don't care if I don't fit in but society makes it difficult to believe we are equally accepted. Everyone is human.
13. If you got the opportunity, where would you travel and why?
I really want to travel to Montreal. The drag scene there is outrageous and such a party city along with America, if I could spend a day with RuPaul on a shopping, creating, performing and business insight that would be the top of my bucket list complete.
Find Kara Zmatiq here!
The Drag Enthusiast