Big Brother Housemate Charne Talks Cabaret and Vegas

7 November 2012
Read Time: 2.3 mins

While many Australians know Charne from her recent stint in the Big Brother house, the talented songstress is the lead female vocalist in the Cabaret production, Transfusion, the current offering at Dracula's on the Gold Coast.

"My character is Va Va Voom. She's very eccentric, glamorous, poised, charismatic and quirky. I think of her as an extension of myself. I created her about a year ago - when I entered and won the Miss Pinup Australia pageant, being crowned Miss Va-Va Voom Australia in 2011," said Charne.

 Charne in character as Va Va Voom

"I sing so many fantastic songs in Transfusion - both old and new - I love to sing Florence and the Machine but my favourite song is We Made You because I'm in a showgirl outfit and I get to be the showgirl that I always wanted to be."

Dracula's first began thrilling audiences 30 years ago, when Tikki and John Newman opened a coffee house in Melbourne in 1962 that expanded into a Music Hall boasting a fully produced show and restaurant. The Gold Coast venue opened in 1985. More than three million punters have subsequently danced along to the time warp; ensuring that Dracula's deserves to be called an Australian entertainment icon.

"To me the show is a combination of the different genres of cabaret. The inclusion of the aerialists has been fantastic and adds another element to the show. We've focused on vamperistic themes and mixed it into a circus cabaret," said Charne.

"I've been performing with Dracula's for two years now. I did the Red Rum show last year and half a season of Black Book. But my story with Dracula's started in 2002, when I worked the floor while studying Music and Education at QUT. I then worked in various departments until I left Australia to live overseas in London. I adore London, it's a city I want to go back to."

On return to Australia, Dracula's asked Charne if she'd like to return to the venue but this time to star on stage. However recently, her performance as Va Va Voom was put on hold, when Charne entered the Big Brother house.

"Being in the house was difficult at times; you're technically cut off from everything for nearly a month even before the public see you. It was extremely hard being away from my friends and my Mum; and then you're plonked with a whole a bunch of people you didn't know. At times it was great but it was definitely a psychological roller-coast. You have no control over anything; everything is so planned out - you've got nothing. You can't just hop in your car and drive away. Overall it was definitely a great experience and I pushed my boundaries," Charne said.

"I was the first evicted, which was both yay and nay. It was great because I could see my friends and I could be around my theatrical people again who I hold dear to my heart. But it would have been nice to stay in the house a little longer. I don't think Australia got to see who I really am."

Charne is an avid explorer, having travelled extensively.

"My favourite destination would have to be Alaska - I fell in love with it. It was another world, so beautiful. My Mum and I did a cruise. The highlight was the Hubbard Glacier. It was phenomenal. And I want to get back to Japan. Hopefully next year I'll travel to Russia. I have the Trans-Siberian rail trip on my bucket list. And I want to go to Vienna so I can cruise on the Danube," she said.

"I have a secret obsession to perform in Vegas. I've had this obsession with Vegas since I was a kid - the city is known as sin city and that's where all the show girls go."

But for the moment, Charne continues to delight audiences on the Gold Coast.

"I like to go up to the Burleigh Headland - there's a secret dip in the hill where no one can see you. It's absolutely beautiful up there. It's where I go to think."

Lyndon Barnett

Guided by curiosity and a sense of adventure, Lyndon travelled independently to 69 countries on six continents. As such, travel is Lyndon's only addiction. He enjoys with equal measure - scaling the peaks of a South American mountain at altitude, attending opera in a European Opera House or hunting for a bargain in an Asian market.