Name: Jamie Steward Bancroft
Status: Austin, TX, Transplant
Queerly Quotable: “People look at me and go, 'Why is a bear interested in the drag community?' Well, it just all comes down to me loving creative people and loving the theater, and drag is nothing but the most amazing theatrical experience.”
Jamie Bancroft grew up as an Air Force brat, living in Panama, England, Spain and even Delaware. “I left Arkansas in ’88 after I graduated high school to go to college at St. Edward’s University," he says, where he received a degree in theatre arts and started the university's Gay & Lesbian Student Association in 1989.
Last year Bancroft decided it was time to do something different. “My life just seems like it’s been leading up to doing something for the community." Working gigs at SXSW, Bancroft adds, "I have a lot of production experience – skills accumulated along the way. So I thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool to start a nonprofit organization to provide a company that can give the drag community online resources?' – to help entertainers network, book events, and learn to manage what they do in a more organized fashion." Enter Austin International Drag Festival.
Scheduled for early May, 2015, “the festival is the first big thing we wanted to do to provide a platform for people, so they can get out there and be seen by the largest audience possible." And Bancroft is interested in all stripes of the drag family, "not necessarily the big stars like the RuPaul Drag Racers. Of course, I’m bringing in drag legends, but the main reason is so that the little guys can be seen, the ones who really need it.” One peek at the line-up shows how committed he is to this range. Locals mingle with big stars and fabled big (literally big) wigs.
Eventually Bancroft hopes “to build a real drag theater in Austin. I’d like to see the festival grow into a conference with workshops and panels and keynote speakers.” When Bancroft isn't working as a customer representative for the IRS and prepping for Austin’s First Annual Drag Festival he enjoys playing Theatre of Magic at Pinballz and going to the movies with friends.
Inside Scoop: As a roller coaster enthusiast, Bancroft says, “I’d like to go to Japan. I’m addicted to roller coasters, so if I had a choice, I’d travel the world and ride every roller coaster I can. There are a lot of great ones in Japan.”
For more on the Austin Int'l Drag Festival, catch up with Bancroft on Facebook or Twitter @AustinDragFest.
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