Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

LA-BASED en­ter­tainer Shane Jenek, aka Court­ney Act, loves com­ing home to Syd­ney.

He can ref­er­ence his favourite Yel­low Pages com­mer­cial from the early 2000s and ev­ery­body un­der­stands.

“In LA, I say ‘not happy, Jan’ and peo­ple don’t have a clue what I’m talk­ing about,” Jenek said.

The Bris­bane-born per­former, shoot­ing to fame as drag queen Court­ney Act in the first series of Aus­tralian Idol in 2003, moved to LA six years ago to work on a gay cruise.

Falling in love with the sprawl­ing Cal­i­for­nian city – un­ex­pect­edly – he stayed on and has en­joyed an eclec­tic string of work.

He has shim­mied in cabaret, launched a wig line and struck star­dom in RuPaul’s Drag Race com­pe­ti­tion in 2014.

He was also one of the first drag queens to be­come an ad girl for fash­ion la­bel Amer­i­can Ap­parel in 2014 and now stars in a US po­lit­i­cal video series.

Adding to his hec­tic sched­ule, Jenek re­turns Down Un­der for Fringe World Fes­ti­val with Court­ney Act cabaret show, The Girl from OZ!.

“It has taken me five years to un­der­stand how I am dif­fer­ent to ev­ery­one in Amer­ica and then to work that dif­fer­ence to my ad­van­tage,” Jenek said.

“It’s very chal­leng­ing for Amer­i­cans to un­der­stand me some­times – my ac­cent and cul­tural phrases – be­cause their knowl­edge of Aus­tralian cul­ture be­gins with Crocodile Dundee and ends with Steve Ir­win so I wanted to do my bit to try and be the cul­tural at­tache to Aus­tralia and ed­u­cate the Amer­i­cans on all the won­ders of Aus­tralia.”

Sara Fitz­patrick

Shane Jenek as Court­ney Act.

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