Confessions of a Drag Queen

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] So my name is Ricky Baytown. I'm originally from Brazil and I've been in New Zealand about 10 and a half years. And I love theatre. So that's my Fang and Confessions of a drag queen, sort of a autobiographical pace about me, but with a lot of magic, and fences included, not all true. And I try to portray for the community to see how, how was the life of a drag queen specially from overseas. And the consequences there is when a young boy starts doing drag and discovers the gay nightlife. I think someone once quoted the show as young men struggle with Catholicism, and internalized transphobia. sexuality, performing and a whole lot of other things. And the show really talks about it's like the story of Ricky coming from New Zealand, his culture changing and also in parallel this story of robot leaving a banana boat from South America, thinking she's going to Paris in a boat with a sailor, but actually see she interrupts in the lane of the wrong white crowd. [00:01:20] So when did you realize you were gay? [00:01:24] When I was, I think, I think I always knew, but I think when I was about 13, I kind of like, um, I think I like this better, but I'll keep it private to myself. Yeah, and when I was Stephen saying, escape as it sounds, I had a diary that I started writing Oh, yeah. Cuz this mean, in I think it was quite naive at the time, because I was not sure about AIDS and stuff like that. And I wrote about, I guess, the main Am I going to HIV AIDS or something like that, I was very naive. And my mom read it. And she sat down with me and she. So we should have a chat. I was like, Mother, I'm a gay I love the COC Leave me alone. And that's how I think a fully realized it was gay and came out and from the know, my whole family near. [00:02:15] So this was back in Brazil. [00:02:18] We were already living in New Zealand by then. But we went back to Brazil for a holiday. And it was on that holiday, that I kind of found my true self and many hot Brazilian men in the beaches. So I was like, Hmm, let's try it out. [00:02:35] So how a gay scene in Brazil. [00:02:39] It's funny because tourists, Brazil is a very macho place. And very Catholic. So guys, still, it's kind of like they trying to bring it in and be open, but it's not really. And I think if you are super gay, it's more acceptable than being just a normal person who is [00:03:01] because it is a lot of [00:03:05] racism, but still not the right thing. And there is I think that's the reason why there is so many marriage in them. Not out of the closet men in Brazil, who does the whole Yeah, I'm a macho, but I actually I like to play it under the sheets with some guys. [00:03:21] So when you were 13 with any kind of images, or we did you have an awareness of gay people? [00:03:28] Oh, yeah, quite a big and um, and because of that time, mice. It's funny because my sister is also guy. And she came out when I was teen. So at that time, it was a really fighting more stuff. And I think because I love Madonna from a young age. I think that's how my mom always near all my love for musicals. So there were always new guys and stuff. And but it was like that thing I mentioned about being acceptable about being the big yubikey campaign. And that's what I knew about gay. And that was my knowledge, I think. And I found out a lot more when I came to New Zealand, instead of finding myself more and figuring out things. [00:04:12] So what age were you when you move to New Zealand? [00:04:15] 13. [00:04:17] And the first time I went to a gay bar, I was 14, which happened to be lb. Because with my sister being gay, she was like, oh, let's go to Wellington because I first moved to teriyaki, New Plymouth. And there is no gay life there. And my sister was like, oh, let's go for driving Wellington. Oh, why don't we go to a gay bar? And it's like, okay, hopefully I'll get in God. Somehow this feels okay to me, but I'll just keep it to myself. I won't let it out to Steve. Because there is that fear of like, telling your mother that his other children is gay too. And you just have fear of coming out and thinking Fuck, I'm gonna be surprised. [00:05:01] Bit feeling so yeah. [00:05:04] And what was it first experience like of going to pound at 14? [00:05:11] It was. It was kind of like one of those movies things I find that you see, I can remember what it reminded me a lot. Because when I was in Brazil, I think it was about teen or something. And I watch Priscilla. And I was like, I am never going to go to a place like this. And then I moved to New Zealand, which just across the border. And then you go to pound I think it was Halloween night and you have like three frigates Pauly, who was doing a show with flames and make it flames going around the place. And you see the gay men kissing and the music and he just felt like, Wow, he feels like I'm in a movie set. And but the funny thing is that it felt Okay, and everyone was different. And they could wear whatever they want and be whoever they want. But it was okay. That was the biggest impression that I got that I think that was quite cool. [00:06:04] So how did that experience tie in with your Catholicism? [00:06:11] My Catholicism only happened when I was a little kid, really, because I used to live with my mom's auntie. And she was very, very religious. The kind of goes to church every day. And she used to drag me along. I'm not sure if it was from a Catholic system. They thought it was wrong to be gay, but just the feeling of maybe disappointing my family. So the Catholicism really didn't do it. But I could just keep thinking if my auntie or my cream were they what would they say? And they were like, blasphemy, you know, but that was kind of fine. [00:06:47] And when you eventually did come out to your family, how did they react? [00:06:53] It's funny because my mom was like, Oh, yeah, it's new ish. [00:06:57] And she took a fine, she was like, well, no matter. What are you are you I'm just gonna love you anyway. So who cares? One more day children. Just gonna be fine. And after that she just like, started doing Madrid costumes to everything for me and supporting and coming to my drag shows midnight and the gay bar. I was like, Wow, what a mother I have. My sister was fine choice nutritious like, Oh, yeah, I'm the least when I could see from my experiences your game from when you were a little child to silly my Bobby's. But the rest of my family second really well. And they like, it's funny because they make fun of rhubarb and my Drake character. And they asked about boyfriends and stuff. And my grandma is quite open about it now, especially after my second civil union and took her partner to Brazil. And she Yeah, she just like really accepted. Well, but the only person who doesn't accepted is my dad who just didn't take it. Well. Yeah, there's a lot of mixed feelings about it. And you pretty much say to me, I'm ashamed of you because you're gay. You have sex with men? That's not right. And that's where I saw that macho thing from Brazil coming on. And yeah, because I went to Brazil in that holiday that I came out. And I haven't seen him for four years. In I met with him, and then he met with my mom by himself. And I didn't want to see my son. He's too gay now. I was like, whoa. So that's the only part of my family that doesn't make sense to everyone else. seems to go quite okay. [00:08:40] Do you think that multicultural in Brazil has changed over the years now? [00:08:45] I think it's the slowly changing. It's funny because Brazil was kind of run by the soap operas. They have like three overnight in the main TV station, and people live by it. And that will like to protect the fashion the music and like whatever happened in the country. And it's funny, because they recently had one with a gay couple. And they had some, I think about 10 years ago with a lesbian couple, but they didn't go down that well. So they killed a couple in an accident. And, and they had this gay couple, and they were fine with a couple as long as they flirted. But when there was the last episode of the soap opera, and they were to kiss. There was a big thing that the TV station block tickets and didn't goes away. So it's becoming Okay, slowly, but still, there is a [00:09:35] little blockage I guess checkers. Yeah. So. [00:09:40] But I'm some of the guys saying is, I feel sometimes it's quite different because New Zealand is quite open. But Brazil was more open in some aspects. I think because there is more people there. And I think that's why it's quite a difference, and more open in some respects. And I think especially with HIV protection as well, because there was quite the number of people is quite big the. So I think there is a bigger care. [00:10:12] In Yeah, about that than in New Zealand. more awareness, I guess. [00:10:20] Do you think in New Zealand that [00:10:23] people aren't safe? [00:10:27] I don't think the young people are safe. I think there is a much more winners in Brazil, for the young people to be quite safe. And especially like during Carnival time. You're just here. Oh, you're here is we're Congo and wear a condom. And I think in New Zealand, it's hard to reach those young, young people because they think it's lights, I'll be fine. I'll just take a pill maybe or like, they don't think about the consequences of like not having sex without a condom. And from growing up in a community where there is so much awareness, kind of more careful about those swings. I think you see the younger generation because they haven't been through I think the older generation has in the 80s with AIDS and things like that. They don't care as much, you can see the difference, [00:11:16] which just also put on context. What What do you did you come to New Zealand [00:11:19] 2000. [00:11:21] So and when talking about younger generations, you're talking about people that are what kind of age now? [00:11:29] I think, because in Brazil, we start hearing about six and being careful with it from the 13 onwards. And I don't think there is so much awareness about that, from people that age. And I think it's not only in the big cities of New Zealand, but also the small cities. So you don't like when I was in high school. I never heard about being careful. or looking after myself in that sense. And I think there should be quite a lot more because sometimes younger people just go Yeah, honey fan. Let's go for it. But don't, don't click, you know what I mean? [00:12:03] So we you openly out at high school in New Zealand. [00:12:07] On my last year of high school when I came back from Brazil, yeah, from that holiday, I was kinda like, not openly out, but I was like, nice, some people know, but I won't try to hide it out. It's not that easy to hide. So just, if they asked me, I'm gay, if they don't, they don't meet now. But then after I started doing drag, and I moved to Wellington, I got a bigger because that was in your Plymouth, and then I went to Palmerston North, so it wasn't Palmerston North there became more open. But when I came to Wellington, I saw a bigger, saying there was more a community pace and that I felt more secure about it. And then I was like, if this is okay, so yeah, that's no problem to say that I'm gay. [00:12:50] What was it like being gay and handsome North? [00:12:54] Wow. [00:12:57] It was, it was different. It was okay. But I think [00:13:03] the same is quite different and quite small. [00:13:07] I don't think there is as much of I think maybe because I was quite young at the time, but there isn't as much of a community as there is in Wellington. And the bars there is no, I think there is only one gay bar that I remember sneaking out of my window with my friend to go in. Yeah, it's quite different. And I think they could be more support, especially being quite a big students city with so many young people already doing Firstly, they could be more supportive in regards to that. I didn't see so much of it when I was there. [00:13:45] So when did you figure out that you want to drag? [00:13:50] It's funny, because when I came out, my mom always said, it's fine. Just be one of those classic guys that don't do drag or be over the top. Okay, so and I, in drag, always kind of like went like, Nah, man, we're gonna do bad neighbor. In a win, too. I missed. Yeah, after pound clothes went to I missed one night. And I met this guy. And I'm like, Oh, he's cute. Let's go talk to him. Kiss him. Had a good night. And then the next day when I saw him, like in full drag, and I was like, Oh my gosh, like show, even talk about it in the play. And then he was like, Oh, hello, you know me as a boy. But it means a girl Nice to meet you. And I was like, Oh, no, no, no. So I became really good friends with him. And I tell people, that's the moment I've got the drag itis to pass me the disease. And I started seeing how drag queens were and I started being like, you know, those gay boys who are always they helping the drag queens and you know, just being friendly guy. And then that's it. Damn, I can't get a drink before Friday NASA. Oh, can I try? And I was like, why am I doing I was like, I was thinking like, I'm an actress. I'm like, you know, might as well try to put a character on and it was like, just Sure. And I was like, okay, you need this, this this, do your makeup like that, and yet use the show. And it's like, okay, it went from then on. And then apparently my Fisher was really good. And they were like, oh, you're fair. But she doing more differently now. And they asked me to perform at the New Town fair. And I just said to him this week on becoming a Jenny Craig [00:15:39] kind of fell into it. [00:15:43] So that checklist that your friend rattled off, what what are the things you need? [00:15:48] He wrote me a whole list of like what makeup to get, like clown white wax for the eyebrows. TV stick to hide the beard. Like it just kept going and going, going going and I just went like on a shopping spree. And then he goes, are you going to find a costume and find girls clothes that fit me toe into the larger woman six. I had some of the most embarrassing times of my lives rhinos, cos girls clothes on the main stressing room. People just leave it right away. And, and I think shows that because that's always the hardest thing because like I'm size 13. So finding woman shows that fit me with what's the big mission. The warehouse is quite good. And yeah, there was a checklist and he was like, are you going to choose a song? And then he came in so my performance my rehearse so before I do it like this? I don't care so much about the movements because you're gonna forget the lip singing. And yeah, it was a whole was he he was kind of like, he wasn't really my drag mother. But he helped me through it. [00:17:01] So can you describe your Drake persona? roof. [00:17:07] She came from the slums of Brazil, to become a drag sensation. I think I love Tina Will and Grace, Karen Walker. She's a bit like Karen Walker. She can be a bitch, but very nice and very funny. And she loves her drinks. And rhubarb is. She's a star. She knows she's a Stein. She loves it. And she loves the attention and the people. And the glamour. She loves Clemmer. She's a camp trainer. [00:17:39] That's the best way to describe her. [00:17:43] You said before it was like an addiction. [00:17:46] It came become it came become there was a time in my life that then I got so excited about it and you get so overwhelmed by the attention people can give you that it becomes an addiction. Let's do drink more and more and more. And I think when I first started, I was like, every weekend now then drag like people over near me and you would buy drinks. But then at the same time, there's a time that kind of weird out a little and you just kind of like that want to block the not not, don't want to wear high heels now my feet Harish and you can become quite an addiction to to have that attention, I think. And I think that's why a lot of reasons why drag queens to drag is that attention that they need. Maybe it's um, I did a research early to see a toy to see if we worked a lot with people's personality and why they do certain things. And I did a whole research on drag queens. And it's funny because a lot of them used to be quite insecure. And you see that they start taking up drag is a way to feel secure. So it's bringing out there. self empowerment, I guess. And I think that's what's the addiction it is, is that feeling more and more powerful in the attention you get, you get more attention. And I think that also helps to build your character. [00:19:17] And so what do you do? [00:19:19] Hi fi I started saying I was starting just for comedy and fun. But now I do it because of course I love the attention. But I really love the performing aspect of drag, I think it is a notch when it's well done. And you've got to think about every little thing when you do drag. So there is the costume, the makeup, the wig. And then they got to think about the performance. So I really get annoyed when you just go on stage and a drag show and it just see like a drag queen. Moving the arm side to side and just lip synching I think there is much more to it than that. I think there's a really theatrical thing about the PErforM said I really enjoy being an actor and working with theatre. And that's what I try. And that's what I really like it and that's why I do it. Like one of the best drag shows that I've ever seen was in Brazil. And there was this guy in this full suit, who came out like Portus how gorgeous mean, and within the song was a French song I can remember. But within two minutes, he transformed into this track when taking off the suit, putting the dress makeup. And I really love that theatricality. And I think Drake has that power to do that. I guess that's why I do it. But the performance aspect keeps dragging me because I keep thinking, I could do like this and you just like constantly during the day you hear a song and you go like, Oh, I'm seeing images, you could do it like this, you could do it like bad. And yeah, I love that. [00:20:55] And now you've actually added another layer onto that by actually doing a show about a drag performer. [00:21:03] Yeah, because I kept thinking for a while that it's like that song from a musical, you gotta get a gimmick. So you start seeing the drag queens that do really well. And you see like, they always have a gimmick. For example, Polly fella, she has fantastic costumes always looks different. Gareth far with drum drag, he's got his, you know, drums and plays that you always see how they always have something else to add. And I think Drake really needs that. So I think my thing was, my gimmick was going to be the acting, and turning drag into theater. And that's why I started doing the play. And I started doing because I saying like, oh, the funny situations are getting drag. And I was like, let's write about it. And then started turning into that. And I was like, oh, maybe my gimmick might be the theatrical elements that I can put into it. [00:21:58] So what's it like in this theater, a piece kind of opening up to the audience and telling some really personal stuff. [00:22:06] I remember at rehearsals, because pretty much I had say, like to get up with, as Rick said, write a biography of my life and going like, Okay, this is what happens, this is what it feels like. And at the time, it felt quite scary. And I was remember opening night going on stage thinking like, Man, I'm actually telling stuff about my whole life. I'm telling about the times that I go to gay Sooners and get rejected by man or that I go to dates and get 1010 off because I'm, the guy says no, because I'm a drag queen, like it's quite little things in your life that you don't think about sharing. And it feels it used to feel quite, quite scary. But then I had a drag queen come and watch the show and said, Thank you so much. There was like seeing my life on stage. And it feels quite powerful to help other people to see themselves on stage. So I feel quite open now to be able [00:23:09] to share my life and help other people were there. [00:23:13] Is there anything that you have in the back of your mind that you haven't shared? Other things that you just would not? [00:23:22] think there is a few so might be x rayed? No. [00:23:29] No, I can't think anything. I think I truly she i think i think there are things that I haven't shared, but I have shown through subtext, [00:23:39] does it make you quite vulnerable? [00:23:43] In a way, I guess, [00:23:44] what I mean, at the end of a performance, I mean, do you feel vulnerable? [00:23:52] No, I, in the NFL performance, I actually feel quite powerful. Because it felt like I was they helping people and giving them an inside. But it doesn't feel vulnerable that people can use that to judge me or anything. I felt that I actually use them to not sure to bring awareness but to show them what it's like. But no, not not so far about know [00:24:19] more about audience reactions. How have they been? [00:24:25] It's funny, because when you do the show in rehearsal, you start getting the comedy and it's like, oh, yeah, it's funny the first week and then it's funnier. And then it's like it's slowly dying, because you really seen 1000 times. And then when we had opening night, and the first thing like the first movement I do they start laughing, you collect relief, they laughing It's actually funny. And the reactions has been really good, which was, which is always surprising, because you ride your own show. You perform at it and you think like people kind of like it's a personal thing. I think I don't like they're gonna get the joke. So they're gonna say that they're gonna connect with us. And the reaction has been fantastic. Because I mean, by having a drag queen coming on, after the show insane to me a look, I felt like was watching myself and having people from the gay community saying, we had really good stuff about the show. And it was fantastic. And I yeah, audience has been amazing. And it fell, it feels like when I'm on stage, it's like a mutual connection. So we kind of flirting with each other. And it's like, if I do a mistake, they can excuse me. And it's, it's like this thing that we like, and because of the size of the theater as well, it's so intimate that the audience reaction can be so good. [00:25:46] It's interesting. It reminds me of a quote, reviewer gave your first season which was that you an act rather than an actor. [00:25:56] Yeah. gainsays comes in, started thinking about that, and this actually kind of true, I think with the element of drag. Instead of becoming an actor, you become an act. And that's what gives the theatricality of this [00:26:13] is speaking of [00:26:14] drag theatre shows. Can you think of any other show like a New Zealand history that's been like a theater show about drag? I mean, does it have a long history? [00:26:26] No, I was doing some research on that. I know that Ronald covered some part of the drag History of New Zealand and drag and made some lovers. And I know that all the theatrical fans that has been with drag has been drummed dragged by Gareth in I think political at that same kind of show at bats about the life of bit middle, but it hasn't been any real shows that talks about drag and and i think that's actually worldwide you don't see much of it happening. It's quite it's quite a good feeling to know that you are opening up a space for other people to create some work as well. [00:27:08] What about okay theatre wallet? I use the word gay but I'm thinking like to say queer Theatre in general and New Zealand. [00:27:15] Is there much of that going on? At this time? [00:27:18] I think it's a slowly building up siloed has been a theater that that's quite open minded theater work for quite a while but I think in from the time of a New Zealand teeny is on what's has been slowly building up. So there was a silo show that tour Auckland and Wellington boys in the band. [00:27:41] And then there was made some lovers and then [00:27:46] The little dog laughed, which was also done in Wellington and Auckland. And I think it's the slowly I think we've after Brokeback Mountain, there was okay to have gas. In a movie, I think it was okay to have gas in the theater. So it's a slow processing more and more. And john smith reviewer said that there is clearly an audience and market out there for that. So I think it's the time now to start building more of those. But quality stuff to it's not just Oh, yeah, we guys, let's do a play about guys. But I think you're going to see what is going on at the moment that you can talk about. And of course, there is some classic gay theater pieces that should be maybe done in Wellington, and New Zealand again, like beautiful thing and stuff like that people just haven't seen here. [00:28:39] I use the words gay and queer. And that last question, I'm just wondering, what kind of words do you use to describe yourself and your work? [00:28:49] is gay a lot? Because I'm especially being it's for in working around people. And they say, Oh, that's gay. And I like to use gay as a positive thing. So I always use guy, but I always use and how would you define gay? It's funny, because walking around with drag queens, you just go Oh, that's guy. That's also that's cool. So using gay as a positive thing, rather than on that, that's gay. That sucks. So I use that to describe cool things, but also describe myself what I am and the community. But I think GL p. t. gl bt, is quite a important word that I used to because it covers the whole of the community. It's funny, because is that becoming about labels rather than who you are? I think. [00:29:44] What about words like queer? [00:29:46] It's funny, because that's some of the words I use that word in the show. But it's I I don't get some so much connection with us rather than gay. I think gay has quite a people won't be able to see this in the interview, but I'm blowing my hand. There's an explosion guy. But yeah, I haven't you. I don't use Queer as much. But I think I think maybe that's more of an American stereotypes. I don't think it's us. I don't hear as much in New Zealand. [00:30:21] Queer, that's queer. That's quite Yeah, that's guy. Yeah, I'll go with gay. [00:30:29] And what about tombs and the kind of drag community what are some of the words that they use to describe drag queens? [00:30:37] It's funny, because there is a awesome program called roubles drag race. And it's like he gives a drag dictionary. So you go Hi, hi, that means the sleeping with another drag queen. Grow, I'm going to turn are you going to do slept tonight, which means get into drag, there is a whole actually, it would be an amazing reading if you could write a dictionary about Dre. But I think sometimes drag queens have their own kind of language that they can understand. [00:31:11] As much Drake history passed down from Queen to Queen. I mean, how do you get your drag history? [00:31:19] I think they used to be, by the way Wellington Korea saying his turn with no opportunity to do drag tourism this much. Now. I think there is more in Auckland. But um, when I first started, I always heard about the other drag queens from the past from like, even before pound I hear that one came from more clients who work a pound and then this tray, Queens set it up and this one left and never didn't anymore. You start hearing about a history, which was actually quite interesting. But you need to have that those older drag people to tell you that history. And I think with Wellington, there isn't that going on at moment because you don't have the other people anymore. There is no gay bar or place to cultivate that culture. [00:32:07] Why is that? [00:32:09] Well, there is no gay bar to do drag. And I think the essence of drag is always at the gay bar because they are always the color of the gay community they bring to be when you know, in and I don't think the bars in Wellington. I think I know one of the bands really like Drake and he always supportive the supporting me. But I think the other bat doesn't like dragon doesn't feel like there is a need for it when there is when I personally think there is [00:32:42] I think it's [00:32:43] I think it's something essential for the Drake community in any way in the world. You always see that the drag queens doing more for the community and being the brain of it at times. I think the last time I saw dragon Wellington was then Mr. Egg Wellington, they still do every year, but there's still why. [00:33:06] So in terms of your production, your theatrical production, what is the support, like from say businesses, but also the wider gay community here [00:33:18] in Wellington has been great support, because you always feel the fear of like not getting enough support of people not coming to your show. And it's been quite a surprise to see so many people coming in the show selling out and things like that. But I think there is a big difference between sometimes Wellington and Auckland, maybe because I'm not in that community, it's a bit hard to penetrate into it. And, and I think being New Zealand being so small, they should be should be more open and more supportive of New Zealand wide, not just city wide. [00:34:00] So when you say more supportive when you put forth a proposal to businesses to support you what what do they come back with? [00:34:11] Sorry, we already supported another vendor in our city. Sorry, we don't have the time. Sorry, it's the recession. Sorry, we're busy at a time of the year in any times, if you like all fair, and after is actually a recession going on. It's hot for everyone. But at the time, you feel like you could just, you know, it's not all business like so so many places in Auckland have been so supportive, like age, door at Spa. But others could have been at least we can't, we can't give you money. But we could, you could host your party here. Or we could put a poster up for you. So I think there is a difference sometimes that people just go knock on the door now can be bothered. And I think sometimes they may be see us competition instead of working together. [00:35:04] So what are the businesses that have supported you? [00:35:08] Funny enough for this season of Auckland, half of them have been Brazilian businesses. Because I thought, well, the play appeals quite a lot to the Brazilian community. So I'm also going to invite them then. So the Embassy of Brazil was supporting us. But there is also [00:35:25] a gay sick shop in Auckland, peaches and cream [00:35:31] is helping us a lot. And they going to bring a lot of people to the show, door and Spa in one that has helped us a lot, both in this season. And the season thing has been the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, especially because the show talks about AIDS because my father has AIDS. And I talked about it in the show. So they've been they fought it really reflected the show. And they have helped us quite a lot. And it's been amazing support from them. [00:36:00] Can you talk a wee bit about your father with AIDS and how you react to them. [00:36:07] At the first I heard it was quite a shock. Because being in the gay scene you hear, especially after I didn't become so much even as though being more aware. You'll hear a lot about AIDS. And it's something you just always supporting people not to get. It was quite hard at a time because he just went on, you know, I've got the bag and I was like what bag or you know, okay, so I was like, but it's fine, it's fine. And I was like, okay, but then at the same time there was that thing coming from him that this is a gay disease. And I was like, well, where did you get it from? Then? You know, in which I have no idea. But yeah, it was quite a shock. At first. There is a thing that I spoke with my dad and I pushed him upon. It's like, you keep calling me gay. However, are you the one who's got it. So don't judge me for it. But at the same time I go like, I'm here to support you no matter what. It's not just a gay disease. So [00:37:11] yeah. [00:37:18] Can you talk about the [00:37:21] kind of theatrical support that you have? How I mean, what's it like doing a gay theater piece in New Zealand? Do you have people that you can talk to about? So kind of ins and outs of [00:37:32] how it works? [00:37:34] I'm coming from Teufel comedy, which is the biggest Theatre School in New Zealand has been amazing to support we had because they really support students to go and make their own work. And I had great people that spring coming in help me in giving advice about the show how to do it, what's the HP way works. And people like Jonathan Hendry and Christian painting people who I worked with and this being a great theatrical support to get more gay plays because they see the need of it. And the market for it bet has been incredibly supportive. basement has been critically supportive. And all the theater people around because they start seeing the work and the craft you developing. And they want to help you nurture it. So it's, it's been great. It will support this way. [00:38:33] And you just mentioned market. What is the market for this play? You know, what kind of audiences who makes up your audience? [00:38:40] It's really funny because the first time we did it, we thought, Oh, yeah, we're going to get a younger gay generation. And secondary market would be the older gay generation and then open but we were surprised at how many woman actually came to the show. So primarily, our time is the gay generation in specially drag queens because they identify with the show there's no way although in gay people will identify with the show, because doesn't talk just about drag, but a whole lot of other aspects. And I think the wider community as well to give them an idea of what's going on. And what's actually like, because I think there is a lot of people straight people actually who go to and go like, Oh, I'm not gonna go take a nap because I don't know what's like, drag queens are always rude to you. And I was like, No, no drag queens, the rootsy I'm the nice one. So come and have an idea for actually what's happening at the moment or why they wrote to you, you know, it's not be just a persona. So I think it's Yeah, this the gay community to for them to identify and see themselves on stage, and the wider community to bring more awareness and let them know what's going on. [00:39:58] And didn't work out that it was the kind of younger guy audience that came on. Was it more kind of older people? [00:40:04] I think it was really mixed, really, really mixed. We hoping that Oakland will have up because of being a bigger place will have a more younger generation. But I think it used to be 25 upwards was more the generation they came in a lot of the older generation came. Yeah, it was really surprising because you don't know until you're there. And you see the audience cynical like okay, who am I going to work with tonight? Wow, it's actually Whoa, a lot of older gay man. Oh, wow. It's actually a lot of woman. So I don't know with waiting to see what's going to be like in Oakland, and [00:40:42] how does that affect your performance in terms of when you look out there and things aren't going to work to this crowd or that crowd? [00:40:48] It changes a lot, because a lot of the show, it's working with the audience. So I walk around the owners, talk with them, sit down with them have a chair and you go like that one is a bit quiet tonight, the more the intellectual crowd that don't, don't laugh, they just, you know, go quiet, and just listen. But it's awesome. Also, when you get those, grab that just laugh, everything, but you also gotta be careful. And that kind of work to some the crowds laugh, I gotta be careful what I'm doing on stage and not just go for the last, their interaction between actor audiences, hugely important changes every night, but you gotta learn how to read the crowd. And he's usually like, the first three minutes designed to the show. And you see how much laughs He getting? You go like, Yeah, I got them. It's gonna, it's gonna be a hard one. Or you have to always like read it and see how it works. [00:41:47] So the second season, what's changed in the production. [00:41:53] There is a really like new characters, new things. And we got rid of some of the things that we don't like. And there's going to be a whole new design and because we always think with the work with the how to make it beta. And we always like that idea of improving and taking away and making it better. So people in Oakland can expect a whole different vision of the show that in Wellington, it's going to be new songs, because that's quite a fun thing. And rhubarb doesn't lip sync, she's saying. So there's going to be music specially written for the show, by our fantastic musical director, Haley Sproul. And, yeah, it's gonna be quite a different feeling, especially being in Oakland. So [00:42:42] do you find rhubarb kind of seeps out at odd times? What do you a will like, I mean, you're you're walking down the street, and suddenly, you know, you have a rhubarb moment where you think, Oh, this is rhubarb. Not me. [00:42:55] Yeah, there's a lot of time that I go and talk to people and start doing like, Oh, I'm talking like we're about away. They haven't gone away Gong. And weight control Reiki control, your Ricky, you're not wearing a woman's dress, you're not in high heels. So there is quite a lot that sometimes it's just like, you know, it's your alter ego. Sometimes it's just going to totally fall into that. But sometimes I have to go, I know what I'm watching today. No, [00:43:21] I haven't got away go and just keep going. [00:43:24] And so as the production just going to be an Auckland, where are you touring it? [00:43:28] We're taking to Auckland, then Wellington. And there has been talks about taking to South Island. So we're negotiating with people down there. And we really looking at maybe taking to Australia next year, the year after. So it's a work in progress. So we always working in seeing how it goes and where can we take it. My dream would be to take to the gay Dublin Theatre Festival. So we'll see how that negotiations and money talks go for that. But there will be my dream. So who knows? [00:44:03] And finally, when your mother sees your drag act, [00:44:07] how does she react now? [00:44:10] Um, it's funny because she came to the play. And she saw me playing here. And she was like, why did you play me with that wig? That's hideous. My hair is so not like that. But um, At first my mom was like, Oh, you do drag she didn't come to my fish. And then she said essential side effects if you're going to do it there right. So I started making my costume and say no, don't wear that. Now. That sounds not funny. Otherwise she it's funny because like I'm walking down in Melbourne with her shopping she wishes would be perfect for Ruby. So my mom is actually my number one. Because she supports me in everything she does is referring I will either over about death. So she always goes like when I do a drag show I go like Mom, what do you think of this Sanchez? I know Reba was Medan saying you should have a dance. No, no, that's too slow. So she reacts amazingly well. When I first heard Miss rake Wellington, she was in the audience all night changing my costumes and helping me backstage. Amen. Yeah, I couldn't have a mother who reacts better to drag then she always it's funny because I'm like, I think she'll because she loves dolls. So in reality I'm have bigger vision of a Barbie doll. She's just like, yeah, it's just like, ah, but I color would look so good on your own by some fabric will make something Yes. Amazing. I love my mom.

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