Updated: Mar 3
Saul is the newest member of our charity board and is currently in Sydney as part of the official media team for World Pride/Mardi Gras. We asked him to keep a diary whilst he was there so we can share what he’s getting up to, and also to see how they celebrate pride on the other side of the globe.
Over to you Saul...
So the first question I keep getting asked is how, how has this happened and how have you ended up there? Well its really easy, my whole career has been based upon opportunities that have been presented to me mainly through getting to know people, maintaining and growing relationships which have ultimately led me to here.
I've been working for over 15 years in the industry, and work with a number of events companies. Last year, up in Manchester, a guy came over from Australia and saw what we had put together and really liked it. As such, he asked us to come over to Australia to put on some events during pride, and for me to capture them on camera. He then put me in touch with some of the organisers of the big official events, and well here I am now with an official media pass!!
Not going to lie, As I am sat here typing I am still slightly jet lagged. I left London on Wed afternoon (the 15th) about 5pm and landed here in Sydney at 0605 the following Friday morning (the 17th.) I have no idea where Thursday went, but think I lost time somewhere in Singapore on a quick pit stop.
I read a load of things about Jet Lag, how to beat it etc.. However, I failed at every hurdle. I took a nap Friday afternoon, and then ended up getting pissed with the new team Friday night, and then paid for it on the Saturday (which in hindsight was really stupid as Sat night was our first gig.) However, I soldiered on, did the job, and managed to get a few hours kip before the first official engagement on the World Pride Calendar, which is the Mardi Gras Fair.
This is an open air event, free to go to, and occupies Victoria Park just out side the city centre and is designed for everyone young and old. Theres three stages, multiple tents and a few thousand people, see the line up sheet...
I happily was assigned the following things to capture; The Doggywood Beauty and Talent Competition, The Junior Drag Runway Show, The Drag King Games. Following these I had to take front position at the main stage for the evening acts, including Courtney Act, Molly PoppIinzz and the headlining act Conchita Wurst (he won Eurovision if you're not sure.)
Weather wise, we hit 34 degrees by 2pm so it was hot, really hot, I seemed to be drinking water just so I could sweat it out; but you know the show must go on.
I've included some pics from the day so you can get an idea of how big and inclusive this event is, and this is just the warm up! One thing that really took me back was the Junior Drag Show, watching these kids of all ages come on stage, being cheered on by the crowd, working the stage and crowd was so heart warming, and very emotional. Seeing the parents cheering, actively encouraging them really was quite overwhelming, and you can see from the pics that they really did work it. Another highlight was Courtney Act (drag race alumni) dive off the stage into the crowd, I was def in the right place at the right time and captured it all, and the pics have already been shared by her and some of the press which was unexpected.
I am on a day off today, so its editing, not drinking and an early night for me tonight so I can get up and go sightseeing tomorrow before it all starts again on Thursday.