Karen From Finance Plays The Role Of Ambassador For DragExpo In Melbourne

Written by Jesse Chaffey
Category: Arts Published: Wednesday, 26 February 2020 12:57

A celebration of all things drag, kitsch and pop culture, DragExpo will sashay into Melbourne this August. . . Bringing with it some of the best-known global drag talent and Australian drag legends.

Led by its Ambassador, the fabulous Karen From Finance, DragExpo will be chock-full of panels, tutorials, stories, Q&As, meet and greets and merch.

Karen From Finance utilised her role as Ambassador to answer a few questions about what can be expected at this inaugural event.

This is a brand-new event for Australia! What can we all expect there?
Well, for a start, glamour, glitter and glitz beyond anything Australia has ever seen before! There is going to be some of Australia and the world’s most well-known and fabulous drag artistes, shopping galore, shows, meet and greets, runways and lots of chances to ‘spill the tea’. I think that Australia has been waiting for an event like this for a long, long time. We've seen expos taking place in the USA and in the UK, and I think this Aussie version is going to have all the colour, entertainment and drama, but coupled with unique Australian drag-isms.

There's a whole bunch of different events and activities. Why do you think the appeal for drag is so far-reaching?
The appeal of drag is so far-reaching because of what it celebrates – being completely yourself. Drag is about finding and believing in your fabulousness on the inside and then expressing it on the outside. Whilst dressing up in the glitz and glam might not be for everybody, seeing someone's true colours shine is an incredible, uplifting experience. Whether you're a queen yourself, or more of an introverted onlooker – drag at its core is entertaining and liberating, with a strong message for everyone.

What kind of demographic is encouraged to attend DragExpo?
There really isn't such a thing as a 'drag demographic.' Drag is suited to people from all walks of life, and DragExpo really caters to that. I encourage anyone with a curious mind and an open heart to get involved and see for themselves what this great event has to offer. At drag events in the past I have met babies that cannot yet walk or talk, right through to great grandmas and grandpas celebrating a new-found lease on life. Just come with your camera, your cash and your dancing shoes and y’all be right!

You're the official Ambassador for the event. What does that role specifically entail?
I have been hosting events with inthedark, the organisers of the event, for over five years, and have built a fond relationship with their audience. I share a love of drag and 'Drag Race' with them and love being able to connect with other fans all around Australia. For DragExpo 2020, I will be hosting the Opening Gala on the Friday night, which is going to be a helluva lot of fun, before moving into the Expo itself to host main stage performances, panels, and generally just moving about the Expo ensuring that everyone is having a damn good time!

DragExpo Joel Devereux
Image © Joel Devereux

Deliveroo has been locked down as DragExpo's presenting partner! Tell us a bit about them jumping on board.
It's wonderful to have such a well-known, global partner presenting DragExpo with inthedark. Having Deliveroo on board has opened up so many opportunities for the queens and the attendees at the Expo, and is helping to bring what is already going to be a fabulous event to the next level. Deliveroo has a long history of supporting LGBTQIA+ events around the world, supporting various LGBTQIA + charities and they even changed their name for London Pride (Deloveroo).
Having worked on tours with so many of the Drag Race girls all around the world before, I can't tell you how many times we've rolled in to the hotel after a big show and relied on Deliveroo to keep us fed and healthy while on the road. It's a perfect partnership!

Why do you think an event such as DragExpo is good for Australia?
Australia is famous for having its own special flavour of camp – we’ve been on the international scene for a long time with the icon Dame Edna Everage and more recently with drag superstar Courtney Act and of course the blockbuster film 'The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert'. DragExpo is a chance for us to celebrate and showcase what Australian drag is and what it means, plus it’s also a fabulous opportunity to network, share inside tips, and mingle with international icons.

What is your favourite thing about the art of drag, and why?
Its diversity. There are no rules and no limits to what can and can't be done. From kings and queens, to performance artists, drag magicians and showgirls. Drag is a playground where everyone is appreciated, encouraged and celebrated. What can be better than that!?

What are you most excited for when it comes to DragExpo?
The campery of course! Which diva is going to present the most incredible booth? Which queen is going to deliver the most jaw-dropping performance at the Opening Gala? Which local performer is going to steal the spotlight at the Expo? And what tea is going to be spilt over the weekend. . . All I can guarantee is that there will be plenty to gossip about by the water cooler come Monday morning!

DragExpo is on at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 7-9 August.

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