Shane Jenek is an Australian drag queen, pop singer and entertainer. As Courtney Act, Jenek was a semi-finalist on Australian Idol in 2003 and was the third singer of the competition to release an official solo single, following Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll. The single, "Rub Me Wrong", was released in 2004, which peaked at #29 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
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My new EP, Kaleidoscope, comes out on July 7th, so I've been running around New York City doing all kinds of press.
Victoria's helping me out in person, AMA.
Update: This was totally cool, there was some really amazing questions. Thank you guys. I feel like I answered a lot more random things that i usually would (like about my Argentinean prostitute ex-boyfriend). I will be sure to come back to this thread and answer some more questions when I have time! Keep an eye out of Kaleidoscope pre-sale on iTunes June 30th and get tickets for my NYC concert on the 10th of July here
Do you actually know of any prostitutes who have gone to crystal meth conventions?
Thank you Willam. I once dated an Argentinean prostitute for the summer, he was so handsome and completely from the opposite world that i was from. I remember this one time we were sitting at the Coke Sign on King Cross and a car drove past and yelled "FAGGOTS!". With out breaking eye contact my lover reached behind him in the garden and wrapped his hands around a glass bottle ready to defend our honor. Thankfully he stared them down and they drove off. It was so exhilarating. Grabbing a bottle was the furthest thing from my mind. It was a really interesting experience dating someone who was so different to me. He was my bad boy phase!
Why do you have a rat testicle?
I have a "right" testicle that popped out on stage once. But Ben Delacreme mis-heard my accent as "Rat testicle" and it stuck!
Hello, Courtney! You are by far one of my favourite queens to ever be on the show. I have two questions:
One: Why did RuPaul block you on Twitter? I've always thought you were very mindful and courteous on social media, so that baffles me.
Two: How in the WORLD do your wigs look so amazing? What's the secret? The ones you gave to Katya totally ramped up her entire aesthetic.
Thank you for doing this!
I am not sure why Ru blocked me? I guess we will have to ask her.
My friend Vanity and I have a wig company called WigsByVanity.com so I have always been well furnished in lace-fronts.
Do you consider Courtney a ‘character’ you play, or more an extension/enhancement of Shane? In what ways is Courtney different than Shane? Who do you like being more?
Courtney and Shane are like two ends of the same stick. I love being both and I have recently gotten to love the in-between as well!
What would you have written on the mirror, if you had gotten eliminated?
Lots of love from Turkey ♥♥
Hi Courtney, thanks for doing this!! Do you still experience people coming after you for the way you were portrayed on S6? On the same topic, do you still feel apprehensive at all to go out and perform? Much love from Seattle.
Um... occasionally if I read comments that are not on my social media I see some trolling. But in real life people are always lovely.
I still get a bit of anxiety, but I think it is not natural performers anxiety. I realised that all performers get a bit anxious about "will it sell" "will they come" (except Bianca cause she is always sold out!
Hey Courtney!! Now that Australia is a competing country in Eurovision, would you consider repping them and preforming in it? I think you'd kill the competition if you were to do it! Love you
OMG! I F#CKING LOVE EUROVISION! Unfortunately Australia was just a special guest in Eurovision for 1 year. Alas. I totally put a bid in though. In fact I submitted some of the songs from my EP, Kaleidoscope. Guy Sebastian and I were on the first series of Australian Idol and he is an immense talent, he did such a great job. I bumped into him in the elevator in Vienna and we had a little catch up.
Hi Courtney! You're an amazing queen and we love you.
Have you ever thought about doing a mash-up with Chris Lilley of "Ecstasy" and "Naughty Girl"? Because that would be amazing.
DJ Kitty Glitter is working on it as we speak. "She's what you'd call a slut. Which is a terrible thing to say about someone who's just died, but apparently there's no denying it"
Fuck, Marry, Kill:
Adore, Bianca, Darienne?
Gun to my head? I'd take the bullet.
I love them all. I'd probably fuck Adore and Marry Dazzle and Bianx
What was the dynamic between you and Joslyn actually like? The drama on season 6 between you two felt a bit producer manipulated.
I adore Joslyn! We got on really well, she does feel like a little sister. There was a ten minute period where i noticed that Joslyn was seeming a little off so I went and asked her if she was ok and if i had said anything. She realised that i didn't mean any offense and we hugged and made up. She is so sweet and lovely it is not possible to be mean to her. I was really hurt when I saw it play out on TV the way it did.
Hi Courtney! What does being pansexual mean to you?
Pansexual basically means that my attraction isn't limited to anyone. In my experience my sexual attraction can include boys, girls, trans-people... I don't like to limit where I can find connection. Generally I find I am attracted to boys, but I like to leave my options open.
Hi Courtney! I'd like to start off by saying I'm a huge fan and you are so inspiring! As someone struggling with themselves and their identity/image, you have been such a big influence. My question is, what advice would you give to someone who wants to be more involved in the pride movement, LGBT rights movements, etc.? Thank you!
The struggle is part of the journey so embrace it. Know that "this too shall pass", everything does. The good bits and the bad bits. So live it and experience it.
I am sure you could get in contact with your local pride organization and they would LOVE to have you on board. They are always looking for volunteers
As a pan person I cried when I heard you're pan, because I love and admire you so much, and because knowing someone like you is pan makes me feel like sexualities outside of "the norm" can be accepted and acknowledged.
I think everyone's a little bit pansexual
Hey Courtney. I admire you a lot because you just seem so chill and calm. Lately, I am a ball of stress and bitchiness. How do you do it? Will you please teach me your ways, sensei?
Meditation changed my life. I did a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. I first heard about it on an Oprah Podcast, this lady named Jenny Phillips made a movie called Dharma Brothers. And then I went and did a few retreats. By far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and by far the most rewarding.
There are lots of online beginners meditation things, and guided meditations. I know Oprah and Deepak have one going on.
If meditation is too still for you, try starting with Yoga. It is active but still all about mindfulness and breathe.
Has a strangers comment ever changed the way you view yourself?
I would like to say no. But the answer is yes. Especially comments online. Sometimes when I read them they really cut. But then I step away and take a breath and realise that is just someone's opinion. AND if it is an unnecessarily harsh comment i usually consider what is going on in that person's life that made them want to react to negatively. I can only imagine that the people leaving the nasty comments need compassion more than anyone. I always see it as an opportunity to bolster my own feeling of self worth.
What got you interested in drag?
I think it was always in me. But I had this business idea to go around nightclubs selling chewing gum and fans from a neck tray. The clubs said they wanted a drag queen to do it so I started doing drag myself.
have you ever borrowed alaskas padding to see what courtney would look like with a huge ass? :')
I should... Bianca and I are planning to make each other over. She bought a makeover from my Kickstarter rewards... I can't wait to be a real drag queen with pads and multiple sets of lashes and all that white eyeliner.
Hello! I loved watching you on drag race last season! Two questions, since you are friends with Chaz Bono have you hung out with Cher, like since drag race? Second question, what do you think about this seasons drag race winner?
I have hung out with Chaz, Cher and Georgia. She is a very cool lady. She is exactly what you would think. She shoots from the hip.
Who is your dream collaborator? And how many singles will we have from Kaleidoscope. I hope you can make a visual album like Beyonce!
At the moment we have 3 singles planned, but seriously I love all 6 of the tracks... I would love to make it a visual album like Queen B too!
Dream collaborator... can I have more than one? Gaga, Kylie, Tove Lo, Robyn, Sia
Hi Courtney!!!!! With who would you team up on allstars? Love from the Netherlands<3
Ummm... Probably Adore. I love her so.
Courtney, how was it working with William Baker?
OMG. I have literally dreamed of working with William since I don't remember. I do remember watching Kylie's Intimate and Live concert in Sydney and dreaming of one day working with him. It is such an honour and work and know him. I can't wait for more in the future!
What do you think is next for the "Queer Movement" in North America?
Do you think societies take on gender roles will change from a biological traditionalist perspective to a sociological perspective within the next 5 years?
Love you loads, and I'm looking forward to hearing your take on this, as I believe you have been apart of the "Queer Movement."
Many of my trans friends have said that their biological transition was definitely not related to society. It was about how they felt.
I like to think that as the gender movement becomes more liberated and we break through the traditionalist roles that people will feel more comfortable and be more accepted living in society however they choose. I would imagine there is great societal pressure to medically transition, society isn't as good as accepting someone who lives in the grey area. We have a view of what a man or a woman should be. But I think we will see more people living in between. I hope the future is a place where people are free to express their gender and sexuality how ever they feel, and not just in North America or the western world but also we need to turn out attention to other countries, parts of our society that are not afforded such liberal society.
When did you realize that you and Michelle Visage just have different opinions on what constitutes good drag?
We were in the dressing room of Roscoes in Chicago shortly after the show had finished airing. I was listening to her talk and found myself disagreeing with some of her opinions. It was actually quite liberating because i had held her opinion of what i should do really highly, but I had also let it affect how I saw myself. I realised that ultimately who I am and how I want to portray myself was the most important thing. Michelle and i also agree on a lot of things. We are both vegans and very passionate about finding our truth and helping other people find theirs. I can't wait to read her new book!
What's the best thing about meeting all the fans?
Hanging out with fans fills me up. There is so much love being shared it is hard not to love it. Sometimes my world can get caught up in computer work and travel and trying to make sure everything is heading in the right direction career wise. When I do meet and greets (especially ones where there is a little time to say hello) I get reminded of why I do what i do.
Hey Courtney! I am in love with Ecstasy and can't wait for Kaleidoscope!! Just wondering if there's any chance for an Australian promotional tour for it? We miss you dearly here <3
GOD I HOPE SO! At the moment i am booked in the USA and Europe till September but then I plan to come home and do a tour! The video for Ecstasy has been added to MTV Australia which is totally cool and amazing!
What are your 'go to' make up essential?
Ummm... Chapstick and Mascara....
What was your favorite outfit you got to wear on RuPaul's Drag Race? And what is your favorite thing you ever got to wear?
I love the Klaus Nomi look so much. I also think my bed outfit was grossly underrated!!
I did make an iPhone dress, like the Priscilla flip-flop dress, but I bought teflon phone cases and printed out iPhone screens to glue in... but nothing glues to teflon so I never got to wear it.
How are you? (That's not my question!)
My question is, if your heart could beat to the beat of a song, which song would it be?
Loving your work x
That is a really really hard question... Born This Way?
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I am looking so forward to my concert at The Gramercy on July 10th. I think the moment my manager, Wendy, told me about that show I have felt so excited. it is really what i have been working towards my whole career. If you havn't got a ticket yet make sure you click here
Are you looking to your first performance in Amsterdam in 4 weeks?
And has the show Boys like Me changed since you first premiered it?
I CAN'T WAIT FOR AMSTERDAM. I have never been and I am stay for an extra day so I can explore. I am doing my Boys Like Me show there so if you haven't got tickets yet click here.
What is the grossest thing you have seen/heard Willam do?
I have to go now... but remember to ask me about the time Willam CUT DOWN THE CURTAINS in a hotel room to make a dress for Burning Man. I was ready to turn the RV around and drive her ass home. (Of course I filmed it for #CourtneyChronicles but then I lost the camera)
What is your preferred lubricant?
Silicone based lube
Is there anywhere I can still find your iconic AA tshirt?
I have a few left that I sell at my live gigs. Other than that they are all sold out and they destroyed the print frame so no more will ever be re-printed. Jonny Make-up from American Apparel wanted to make sure they were limited edition art.
Hey Courtney, congrats on the new album! Are the AAA girls releasing anything new anytime soon too? Maybe there might be a whole album in the future?
Willam, Alaska and i sing back up on a track on Alaska's album called "The Shade Of It All". Alaska is such a talent, I love her album. The three of us tend to just do things that take our fancy. We didn't want it to be a rigid structure where we went into the studio and wrote an album, we like the way it was evolved organically.
Hi, Courtney! Which song from your your new EP would you say is the closest to you and why?
I love Ugly. It is the first time I wrote a song where i "went there". I am shooting the video for it in LA next week which I am so excited about. It will be available as an instant gratification track when you pre-order the EP from iTunes on June 30th!
Hi Courtney, thank you for doing this!
I know that you've publicly posted about having anxiety issues in regards towards performing in live venues post-drag race; how are you currently coping with this? Any advice for those with a similar issue?
I look forward to seeing you soon <3
I am not religious, but for some reason the phrase "Jesus take the wheel" has become a phrase I find myself saying. It's just a way of me acknowledging that perhaps there is more to me than just my physical body, I like to think that we are connected to a world wide web of sorts that makes up our collective experience. And if i get out of the road and stop trying to make things happen then usually things will unfold in a way that is better than I could have imagined.
I also play the "what if" game where instead of thinking negatively about what it going to happen I say "What if ____" and choose a positive outcome instead. Because anything is possible, so why not focus on the good, it helps me deliver the best in that situation!
The boyfriend and I are massive, massive fans of the AAA Girls show! You guys are hilarious, I can't think of a better combo of personalities.
Any plans for more radio shows, or possibly a podcast, from the AAA Girls past this six-week run?
Well we hope that Sirius pick us up for a longer run... if you listen to the Sound Cloud over and over it will help our chances.
what brand of chips were you eating during the finale?
Lightly salted potato chips that i bought from the bar.
Ultimately...Do you think Drag Race is good or bad for the future of Drag? (Unless you've signed a contract saying you can't badmouth it, which would be unfortunate). x
I think Drag Race has been an amazing thing for drag. It has bought it into the mainstream and turned drag into a career for many people. I am sure there will be a next evolution springing off from drag race. People so often like to pooh-pooh something that is successful and look at the negative parts. Sure there are probably negative sides, but everything is impermanent so we should embrace the change and use it as an example to know what we want!
What is your favourite quote from Spice World?
You've got the fluffy one that cute, you got the spotty one that whacky and then u've got this ugly looser one that reminds me of my ex boyfriend Steve, ewwww.
Does Alaska, besides her special voice, actually sing good?
She is a great entertainer and such a theatrical singer (that is not a read) she does what she does really well and I love her music and her videos (did you see her do the helicopter in the Vimeo version of the Hieeeee song?)
Who are you closest with from any season of RPDR that people would be surprised about?
I LOVE APRIL! She is my Putenesca!
How would you describe your face to a blind person?
I don't know if i would bother. I think them judging me from a non-visual point of view would be really cool.
You came to SLC recently and I loved seeing your pictures from around the city, it looks like you got a chance to see what makes Utah so great (being outside, generally). Do you often get a chance to explore the cities you visit? What have been some of your favorites?
I don't always get as much of a chance to explore as i would like. But Mitch and Moses my two previous assistants were vegan, as am I, so we would the Happy Cow app to find a vegan restaurant in the neighborhood. My new assistant, Rich, is forced to be vegan when he is with me and when we eat with other people we have a preferential system where his powers of crowd influence go to me and we get two vegan votes.
I loved SLC, it was so beautiful. I am always shocked how beautiful and diverse America is.
What's your favourite song from the new EP? And will we see any cameos coming in your vidoes, like the Bianca & Adore cameo in Mean Gays? Because that was AWESOME!
Adore and Bianca are awesome. No cameo's planned as yet. Shane and Courtney are in the video for Ugly though which we are shooting next week in LA. Ugly and Body Parts are my two favs!
If you had to wear only one specific brand/shade of lipstick (or chapstick ;) ) for the rest of your drag career, what would it be?
Mac Cosmetics Oyster Girl
Who was your greatest musical inspiration for the album?
Kylie's Impossible Princess album. It was in the 90's and it was so good. It is such a brilliant body of work. I recently bought it on Amazon on CD and i don't even have a CD player! I just flipped through the pages and listened to it on Spotify. I can't wait for you to hear the full EP on July 7th! If anyone is in NYC make sure you get ur tickets for my concert on the 10th here
you're drunk and you need some food to sober you up or make you feel better, what do you eat?
PIE FACE! (Except I am pretty sure there is dairy in the pastry... so maybe they are not vegan...)
hi courtney, much love from the uk! i have 2 more questions if that's ok (trying to keep it interesting):
how was it working with andre xcellence for his game of thrones video?
which spice girls era is your favourite?
Andre was great to work with. He is a talented guy. He also heads up a studio with an amazing team of producers called The Prodigal who I wrote Ugly, Ecstasy and Boys Like Me with on the Kaleidoscope EP. I can't wait for you to hear them. (I think Ugly might be my fav here is the acoustic version to whet your taste buds )
Thank-You for answering Courtney. I hope we see this shift in society as well.
I think we are already seeing it