"The world needs the most glittery you, the most ‘you’ version of yourself. That’s what’s going to be best for you and the people around you,” says George.
His message of self-acceptance is one the drag king hopes audiences will take away from his sell-out drag musical for children, The Glitter Garden.
George, 29, has teamed up with director and co-writer Lori Leigh for the drag spectacular, which is being held at Wellington’s Circa Theatre.
The musical tells the story of a gardener, Hugo, played by George.
"He’s very stressed out. He’s having a real hard time growing things in his garden. He can’t seem to get started as he’s scared of making a mess. After making a wish on a magical dandelion, his garden comes to life with all sorts of magical insects and creatures who teach him life lessons about how to look after himself and others,” says George.
The Wellington-based performer came up with the concept, while sick with strep throat.
"In a very out of it, fevery state I started writing about drag queens, bumble bees and butterflies.”
George and Lori co-created and co-wrote the entire show. Over the course of the year, his and Lori’s glittery and colourful vision came to life.
"It’s devastatingly entertaining for kids and adults alike,” says George.
George says the Glitter Garden is very much the type of musical he wished he had seen growing up, with diversity and acceptance at the forefront of every musical number.
“Lori and I are making the Glitter Garden for the kids we were – it is exactly what we needed to see when we were kids. The world needs people being out, being happy, being themselves. It needs your happiness.”
George came out as a transgender male just over two years ago.
"I feel it is my calling to be doing something like this, because it means so much to the young adults and kids who come and really need that message.”
"Surviving as a queer or gender queer young person is so difficult – there are a myriad of barriers and boundaries. The world would be a better place if we all felt comfortable in our own skin.”
Alongside their messages of self-acceptance, George’s mission is to just bring joy to all those who watch this pantomime-style, “fabulous drag show”.
"Joy is important. We always want people to leave energised, ecstatic and just feeling good about being alive and themselves. We want them feeling a bit more brave and happy.”
"I really believe that fun is not really a silly thing. Having a good time is so important.”
George says in a world in the thick of the pandemic, this is more important than ever and is perhaps why the show has really resonated with audiences.
"People are so starved of connection and visibility and joy – all the things that live theatre brings you.”
Although Covid forced the cancellation of their Auckland season earlier in June, George says they will return as soon as they can.
Following the Wellington season, George hopes to take the Glitter Garden around the country to "wherever will have us” to continue spreading the message of self-acceptance, happiness and a little glitter too.
Photo credit: Roc+ Photography