Jade Starr is a Sydney based tranny rocker who takes no prisoners. She’s back on stage again this Mardi Gras with her new show The Devil Wears Heels. We pulled her aside to find out more.
Tell us about your show “The Devil Wears Heels”.
It’s is a raw and intimate performance combining music, word and visual media, and it’s based on the story of my life being born as a trans person. It’s a variation of my earlier show From Metal To Maternal, which toured across Australia in the past year, but with a demonic twist.
So how does this show compare to the last one?
Well last year I performed From Metal To Maternal at the Festival Club for Mardi Gras and it was a shambles due to technical issues. So this year I felt inspired to re-work it – change the name, add a bunch of new content and freshen it up a little, and move the show to Sydney’s longest running, and most iconic trans venues The Taxi Club. No matter where you fit in the queer community, everyone has been to The Taxi Club at least once, and no matter where you fit in the trans community you began your journey at The Taxi. In the past The Taxi has had a wild reputation but has recently gone through management changes, as well as an awesome makeover. So it seemed the obvious choice.
So tell us more about what the show is about.
The show follows my life story from birth to today – my identity issues, music career, drug addiction, paganism, queer culture and my daily battles of self-acceptance. In all honesty it’s an incredibly hard show to perform. Going back through my own life and hanging myself out to dry onstage is very intense to face but it’s also quite therapeutic.
Some of the scenes are very confronting, raw and packed full of heartfelt emotion. I’m really looking forward to delivering something very special on the night. Hopefully enough people will get along and support the show, because this year’s Mardi Gras Festival is lacking in trans content yet again.
You mention the Festival is lacking in trans content. How do you feel about the line up this year, and MG in general?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Mardi Gras! But every year I tour at Feast in Adelaide and Midsumma in Melbourne and I genuinely feel there is a queer community supporting each other, and it shows through the creativity of their festivals. I return to Sydney for Mardi Gras and feel as though trans people are barely included, you even feel that by the title “Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.” The festival seems more inclusive to commercial entities than the actual queer community.
Personally I’d love to see things take a step back and find a balance of protests, parties and events that will make people stop and pay attention that the fight is not won. Mardi Gras should be a time to remember the roots of the initial protest march through community events that mean more than dancing off chops.
This year I paid my fees to be in the New Mardi Gras guide but I have fully booked, ticketed and promoted my show all by myself and I actually feel much better about going into it this time. Every year I do something at Fair Day and various other charity shows and my own show ends up getting the raw stick, so this year I’m doing it my way.
What can audiences expect from “The Devil Wears Heels”?
I hope people walk away thoroughly moved and entertained. I hope they feel better about themselves and energised to continue the battles that lay ahead for each of us. My journey is as individual as the next person’s and we all make up the diversity of life that is beautiful, no matter how different. If you really want to see something unique at this year’s Mardi Gras come along and see The Devil Wears Heels.
Jade Starr appears in The Devil Wears Heels this Friday March 5 at The Taxi Club, Flinders St, Darlinghurst, at 10pm. Tickets are $15, $12 for NMG members. Book at www.thedevilwearsheels.com or through The Taxi Club on 02 9331 4256.
Photo: Morgan Carpenter.