Next month the 10’s across the board tour begins, featuring the season 10 queens as well as this year’s winner Aquaria. The tour will be hosted by fan favorites Victoria Secret and Danny Beard, alongside our fab hosts the support acts are ready to set the stage alight. Meet Jemima Handful an Aussie queen who is a cabaret show queen and full of tricks and high energy performances.
Dragadventures: Your drag name is so fun and a play on words, which gives a slight indication on what a fun drag queen you are. What made you choose the name and who inspired you to begin your drag journey?
Jemima Handful: I was actually given my name by a dear friend who used to work as a burlesque performer, she had come up with the name and persona of Jemima Handful for when she was on stage. When she retired she gave Jemima to me to use if I ever wanted to do drag. And bobs your uncle, as they say, Jemima was reborn. I’ve always been in the performance world having worked as a professional ballet and contemporary dancer for years but due to injury, I had to retire from that career. So I guess you could say the theatre and performance inspired me to start drag as it’s just an extension of that industry that I worked and loved for so long.
DA: Where did your drag career begin? What has been the most fun show you’ve performed or hosted?
JH: My drag journey began 4 years ago, I did a drag competition in my hometown in country Australia, and I haven’t really looked back. Oh, golly there is so many fun shows I’ve performed, if I had to pick I did play Ursula in a massive Disney spectacular here in Melbourne which consisted of seven queens and five boy dancers, also performing internationally at milkshake festival last year was an incredible experience. Shout out to Lady Galore, but also performing at the Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill has been incredible. We all know the movie Priscilla Queen of the desert? Well, 70% of that movie was filmed in a small mining town called Broken Hill and now we have been running a festival celebrating Drag there for 4 years now.
DA: What kind of performance is a Jemima Handful show? What’s the craziest thing that’s happened onstage?
JH: Jemima is certainly a queen who moves! I love dancing and being silly. The craziest thing would probably be when I was performing at an event and on each side of the stage they had little ladders that were used by circus performers to get to their hoops etc and me being the silly girl I am climbed up on and jumped off into the splits! As I landed I dislocated my knee, but as a true professional I popped it back in and finished my performance.
DA: What is the drag scene like down under? Is it a growing scene? What queens would you recommend to keep an eye out for?
JH: We have an incredible scene here in Australia and particularly Melbourne. Queens to keep an eye out for would be ME (laughs) but also my dear friend Isis Avis Loren who is an incredible queen with impeccable sewing and styling skills. Her looks blow my mind!
DA: You’ve performed in some fab cabaret shows with the latest ‘Come fly with me, Kiki around the world’ how do you come up with ideas and work with the queens to produce such wonderful ideas?
JH: Come fly with me was originally an idea we had for our new cabaret show which came from us wanting to do something quite cultural and global. I believe there are incredible cultures and histories all over the world and we should celebrate them and the diversity of the human race. So the show starts off with an Air Hostess and she is the thread that connects all the numbers together.
DA: Have you ever had to perform in some really unusual places?
JH: Boy have I! I have performed on the steps of the regent theatre in Melbourne’s CBD, I’ve performed in the desert on the red dirt of Australia, I’ve performed at an 18th birthday in a family’s living room. You never know what you are going to get sometimes.
DA: The UK will get to see you perform for everyone on Holy Trannity’s 10’s across the board tour, what will new fans get to see and what are you most excited to debut during the tour?
JH: I’m super excited to get to perform on this tour, I’m going to be bringing quintessential Jemima Handful to the stage, a big Aussie girl who dances the house down and will make you laugh all at the same time!
DA: Have you been/ performed in the UK before? Are you eager to meet and work with a bunch of new people on tour?
JH: No I’ve never been to the UK before, I’m super excited! I love meeting and working with new and different queens because we are all so different and we have our own artist ways of performing and creating this wonderful art of drag. I’m excited to see my sis Victoria Secret again, whom I met in Amsterdam last year, I’m also excited to meet more local queens. The ones who are there performing every week for the regular crowds!
DA: What would you love to achieve in the future, do you have any projects in the pipeline?
JH: Look Drag has given me more than I ever thought it would. I’m performing internationally, I don’t really know what else I want to achieve but I’m going to keep pushing forward and see where this crazy journey takes me! I have some things happening down under but you are just going to have to follow my social media to see what they are!
Catch Jemima on all her social media below: