Lazy Susan drag queen Melbourne

Meet the drag queen: Lazy Susan

It’s not every day you’re kicked out of a competition twice only to emerge the winner. Unless, of course, your name is Lazy Susan.

The Melbourne drag queen might only be approaching her six month hump in drag, but what the self-proclaimed big ol’ campy faggot of a motherless drag queen might lack in experience as far as years go, clearly, she makes up for in creative talent.

Lazy Susan is the 50-60-year-old drag alter ego of 24-year-old Melbourne video and film student Robert Ten Eyck who brings enough left-of-centre creativity coupled with passion for his craft to combat even the most seasoned of queens. Her success in this year’s Dragnet event is testament to just that.

Affectionately known as ‘Lazy’, she was voted out of the competition on two separate occasions until her determination and drive were enough to crown her ‘winner’ by the end of the ordeal; a reality she’s still coming to terms with.

“Now I have a crown on my mantle and I’m not even sure how I’m dealing, to be honest,” she said.

It was never something that the queen ever thought would happen when she started dressing up in girl’s clothing in very early March of 2016.

“It all started back in the ‘days of old’ when my friend and I used to go and watch Karen from Finance’s Tuesday night screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven at the GH Hotel (in Melbourne),” she said. “Best dressed drag of the week would win a jug of free beer, so my friend and I tried to win each week, which kind of gave birth to Lazy Susan. Since then, she exists purely for the chase of free alcohol.”

What is most striking about Lazy is the fact that her narrative is such a unique one. Sure, there are queens who buck the status-quo, but Lazy’s influences like Harvey Fierstein and ‘Torch Song Trilogy’, amongst other pivotal characters in theatre and film have really helped her “poke through the void”, as she puts it.

“I was always very lucky and managed to be denied the traditional homo experience of being ousted by my parents, friends and family, so I always had a very creative and supportive environment for my influences to really grow,” she said.

Lazy’s father is an American larger-than-life actor and her mother is a theatre director and teacher, so they were always very encouraging.

There are plenty of creative surprises, then, when it comes to Lazy’s character and the narratives and personalities she drums-up for the entertainment of her crowds.

“I don’t have a drag mother and I’m always learning as I go,” she said. “I know my makeup is always a little bit naff; a little bit disgusting, but Lazy isn’t just one character, but rather a commitment to a concept.”

Take her first heat in the Dragnet competition, for example. She stumbled out onto the stage inside an effigy of veteran drag performer Paris Dragqueen and proceeded to birth herself from Paris’ likeness in front of everyone.

“Drag is unlike any other art form,” she said. “It exists in a loud and raucous environment where you have to constantly be putting yourself forward so you can be noticed.”

She got that right.

“I pick a character or concept and lean as hard as I can on that without breaking, as opposed to trying to replicate someone else’s aesthetic.”

Obviously it works. Lazy has never had anything against queens with a big wig or glossy femininity, but she’s not one to subscribe to only one incarnation.

“The vision we have of the drag queen today from the makeup to the dresses is based on the women of the 50s and 60s, which is where a lot of classic drag ideas are coming from. I am trying to reconceptualise what drag is.”

With a repertoire that can range from an androgynous new-born baby drag queen, a contestant on ‘The Bachelor’ or a 50-year-old waitress at the truck stop on the Highway trying to make some extra money to raise her kids, Lazy has a wild range of pre-conceived emulations in mind.

She finds the world of drag so compelling and now with a unique inside view, her understanding for the “crazy thing” everyone is doing in it has given her a new sense of compulsion. To her, it’s a unique mix of being incredibly transgressive and political as well as a queer artform in amongst its intolerant and bitchy underbelly she’s only too excited to keep developing.

“I’ll stop doing drag when I run out of bucket list ideas. Winning this competition has refilled my bucket and I have a whole bunch of shit I want to try,” she said.

Lazy’s success starts of with a six-week show at Melbourne’s GH Hotel before she meets the country’s other contestants vying of the title of Miss Dragnation 2017.

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