Campbell Gordon - Queen of the Whole Universe

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[00:00:00] This podcast is funded through a generous grant from the gate Auckland Business Association, charitable trust, and brought to you by the queen of the whole universe Charitable Trust and pride in [00:00:12] I actually first got involved as an audience member, alongside one of my friends, Andre, who'd been in the show, and a couple of my other friends have been in it as well. And it was just so entertaining. And I loved it. And basically, after that, they convinced me that I should join the show. And so I did. Yeah, couple of us a couple of years later. So can you take me through that whole process of like coming to the show? And and, you know, how did that work for you? [00:00:41] Well, to start off with, it was actually me and another one of my friends both sort of got shoehorned into it. And we went along to one of the first meetings and sort of found out what the show is about and what you have to put into it. [00:00:54] Then Jonathan is very, very clear about the amount of work [00:01:00] you have to put into [00:01:01] place a, there's a lot of time that goes into rehearsals that we were having, especially coming up to the towards the show, to rehearsals a week. [00:01:09] If you're working, if you are an x two girl, you're working with an extra two girl, there's more on top of that for their own performance. And there's construction of all your costumes and your head gear, which he gear especially a little bit of work some of its very, very impressive. So I'm sure you've seen. [00:01:29] Yeah, it's a lot of time, but it's all so entertaining. Good old are hustlers are just full of laughs. And yet everyone gets along amazingly well. [00:01:38] And so from that point, so you went to the first. [00:01:41] Yeah, the first couple meetings and had a couple of meetings. there about I think about three of them. Before we actually got into rehearsals and things were it was just sort of laying out the layout of the show and what they were looking at doing this year. And he sort of found out a couple of the songs and things and what was expected of us and heading good talk to Jonathan and he gives, he calls it dragon one where he teaches people how to walk. [00:02:08] And yeah, how you need to head and thanks. So it had you done drag before? No, never done drag before? Have you [00:02:15] done any kind of performance? [00:02:16] No, I was one of those kids who always wanted to have it. I went to a rather large all boys school and the drama group was very, very small and very separate from everybody else. And I just sort of got into it. I was more the geek group at school. [00:02:33] So one doing performance, but to also doing performance and drag. I mean, that's quite a big step from not [00:02:39] Yeah, that was a bit to wrap my head around. But you know, I thought, why not? When asked, am I going to get the chance to be on stage in front of 2000 people doing this kind of thing? Yeah, very, very cool. [00:02:52] So take me through Drake one on one. What were the kind of things that he was teaching you? [00:02:56] Gosh, so long ago. [00:02:58] I certainly the biggest one that was [00:03:01] I think a lot of people struggle with is how to walk. And it's walking. [00:03:08] Not necessarily like a woman. Sometimes it's even you have to exaggerate it more to try and half of what drag is is exaggeration. Rather than you know, a lot of men tend to walk steadily or moving their shoulders there is you need to actually move your hips, which I think can be very difficult for a lot of people. I certainly did find it difficult for a while, but you get into it quite easily. In the end. What was real things. [00:03:35] I remember we talked about making your own fake breasts. [00:03:41] And what the way the best materials for that. [00:03:45] I think Jonathan's stand by it was balloons full of rice or something. Yeah, I didn't end up using that I made my net of all sorts of different things. But [00:03:57] I mean, even that would be quite hard to I mean, if you weren't used to getting the proportions, right. So yeah, [00:04:03] how Fergie go? Well, I was actually really lucky, my family's been very, very supportive of the whole thing to be they were a little bit thrown at the beginning, the whole I going to be in a show dressed as a woman didn't quite understand what that was about. [00:04:18] But after they adjusted to that, my mom actually helped me make all of my costumes. So she's been making clothes for years for herself and for her friends and family friends. So she has a decent idea of what proportion you're supposed to be. You may have had a few little arguments over things. But yeah. [00:04:37] So what age were you when you first started with clinical universe? [00:04:41] Yes, three, I would have been 19. [00:04:44] And how did you how did how did you broach the subject with with the family in terms of this is what I'm about to do? And [00:04:51] well, I basically just told them, [00:04:55] like I couldn't do the show. It's complete the whole universe, it raises money for three fantastic foundations. And I need you to help make my costumes is to my mom. She's helped me before with other things. It always ends up we're supposed to work together. And then the last week she does it all because it hasn't happened yet. [00:05:16] But [00:05:18] yeah, I started to make my costumes. Yes. So what are we making? And I was like, well, we have to make a ball gown. [00:05:23] And she sort of laughed a bit of that. No, that's we got through it. And it was fine. I think she was secretly quite happy that she got to make dresses. She was probably wanted to do it for a daughter that she never had. [00:05:36] And so did this involve going shopping, choosing materials, all that [00:05:40] Yeah, we actually [00:05:42] start off with thought we'd go shopping and see if there are any things that we could just buy pre made. That was very interesting. I remember going into Greenfield mall with my mother into women's clothing stores and trying on clothes, just so that would have something we wouldn't have to make. We're looking for like a corseted top. [00:06:00] I mean, I found what I'm not shocked that we bought. [00:06:04] Yes. [00:06:06] The look on some of the sales girls faces. It's very entertaining. [00:06:10] But um, yeah, once we sort of most of it we ended up making from scratch. [00:06:15] Because they had the two outfits, two costumes, one of them was completely made at home and the other one, we bought a top and then alter that quite significantly and then had to make the rest of it. [00:06:27] So yeah. [00:06:29] The idea for what kind of dresses you were going to wear and the kind of color scheme. Was it something that you these are kind of like creative decisions that you made with your character? Or was a yes? [00:06:44] Well, there is a theme for the opening number because it always looks best everyone on stage with some kind of coherence to them. So the theme for opening number last year was purple with axioms of silver for the address, [00:06:57] Jonathan? Yes, it is the rules, he told us exits with silver, flowing dress, preferably with the splits because the audience likes to see your legs. [00:07:06] So that's what we did. [00:07:10] It was a very, very high split. And [00:07:12] it came almost all the way up to my hip that actually made it easy to move. [00:07:18] Yeah. The second dress, you have more control over because that was the one for the headgear of nations, which is a whole look that you have full creative control over. So basically, it just comes down to what country or [00:07:35] abstract idea some of them, what do you happen to be representing not everyone represent an actual physical country. [00:07:42] And you have the whole thing themes to that. And so who were you, I was miss my space. I remember when I went to one of my couple of my favorite ones were the slightly more obscure, it was a miss Fantasy Island. And I knew they'd been a miss internet and mystery. [00:08:01] I thought, because I was quite a lot younger than most of the other people in the show. I wanted to sort of represent that. And I thought, miss my space would be a kind of interesting way of doing it because I wanted to bring a little bit of that sort of more [00:08:17] almost a sort of slightly Gothic angle, which I think I got quite well in my head gear injury. [00:08:23] Yeah. So what does he do for my space? [00:08:26] Well, I came up with all these ideas. And then it's turned out they were really impractical, or they didn't carry across to people who weren't sort of part of the MySpace thing. But in the end, I went with [00:08:40] quite a [00:08:44] this is a term called cyberpunk or cyber goth, which it's a way that people dress and I sort of tried to emulate that, and build on that a little bit. So my heavier wasn't as huge as everybody else's. But I tend to into a full look for my full outfit rather than than just having a big sitting on my head, which is I thought it was another way of approaching it. [00:09:04] So it was quite a cohesive, yes, statement. Yes. is pretty wrong, I would say, [00:09:08] Yeah, I did bring some pictures, they just on my phone rather than actually printed out because I don't have a printer. [00:09:15] That's my full [00:09:18] outfits there for the headgear that was on stage, which is why that color is a bit average. And that's me in drag. [00:09:27] Can you describe what what you're wearing here. [00:09:30] So here, and this is the closet and top that I bought in an op shop. And then we went through and I've all of the boning in the whole episode on rebel, my mom did it and hated me for it. [00:09:45] It was her idea in the first place. And then it came down into her skirt underneath, which was a very big sort of chill skirt with pink and orange fabric over the top of it. Let me hit this little cup off less gloves and spiked wristband and jewelry. And [00:10:05] it's stunning. Stunning. Had you done? Have you done government design before? [00:10:11] A little bit. I'm quite into costumes. [00:10:15] And and other things is [00:10:19] a convention in Auckland every year called the Armageddon Expo. [00:10:24] where me and a lot of my friends, quite I've done it. I've done it two years in a row now. [00:10:30] Create costume six, it's basically a festival that celebrates comic books in video games and TV shows and things like that. So people quite often build costumes on characters from those shows. And there's a whole competition about that. But that's a lot of fun as well. It's very, very similar sort of atmosphere. You know, everyone who's in costume is accepted by everybody else. And it was very similar to Queen of the whole universe. I found this. I don't know, I think it's just something that brings people together. [00:10:55] So you've got the costumes, which are fantastic, but also things like shoes. I mean, how did you go with shoes? [00:11:03] Well, I've got quite big feet. So I was never going to be able to buy just a pair of women's heels, which I know some people can do. And so Jonathan told me about the store out in i think it's it's out south, I think it was [00:11:21] already hanging cold Ronnie's discount shoes. [00:11:26] We had the shoes, [00:11:27] all generally slightly larger. And there's an entire wall at the back of the store devoted to drag shoes. And I walked in there and there was this pair of boots on the wall. So as I saw them was like those are the ones that I need to buy. Now I sort of knee high lace up patient leather boots of the six inch heel on them. I thought at least if their boots I'm not gonna fall out of them. [00:11:48] Ronnie must do an amazing trade because I think most of the interviewees have. [00:11:54] Yeah, that's, I think, everyone who does dragon chocolate and goes [00:12:01] not just the show. [00:12:03] Or the other favorite stores that you'd go to [00:12:07] the shoes or in general spotlight. Hello, spotlight. It's amazing. [00:12:15] Although actually, for the show this year, I've bought a lot of fabric from Cinder point, which I never thought I'd do because they didn't leave it more expensive. But I got lucky and it was a sale. [00:12:25] But with the show, the $2 shops, actually sometimes your best friend, especially for sparkly jewelry. You don't want anything that's expensive that you want it to sparkle on stage. So when a $2 shop, gigantic fake diamond rings and perfect. [00:12:40] It must be quite hard to work out. You know, what works well on reality might not work necessarily well on stage. Yeah. How do you deal with it out? [00:12:49] Well, I think it's a bit of trial and error. Right? What I found was making my first comment weekly. The whole thing was trimmed with silver sequins. We thought [00:13:02] is it sparkly enough? Thought No, no, we need to put it around the top of the dress as well. So we did that. And guys, it's looking like okay, yeah, now it probably is. Now we don't want to put too much on. And then when they arrived on the day and saw everyone else's costume, the sock puppet could have just covered the whole thing and sequins and it would have been fine. But [00:13:19] it worked very well. It looked great on once because we hit we have the video from that show. So once I've seen it, it's still look great. [00:13:25] Is there a real competitive thing between the contestants in terms of you know, that the kind of greases that are we wearing? And I mean, as you know, as the best thing to have, like as many sequins as possible or [00:13:36] add? I don't think so I think there's obviously definitely an element of competition in there. You know, it's been a very, very friendly competition. I think people, everyone's government, especially even for the opening number when they trying to make everyone look similar. It's so different. Because it's basically an expression of your personality of the country that you're representing service, it's all up to you. Talk to me about the the process with your mom in terms of, you know, kind of [00:14:03] designing and making the stuff How does it have a little work? [00:14:08] Well, it started off with a decent couple of hours [00:14:14] of, I'll say discussing, discussing ideas, [00:14:18] searching things online and printing off all of these pictures and stapling them to the walls. And then trying to draw what we were going to get from that. [00:14:27] The biggest complaint I got was, it's so hard trying to make a dress for a man. [00:14:36] And we actually ended up using made an evening gown out of the patent from a line dress, which originally was supposed to finish above the knee and just extended that to the middle by that 18 inch [00:14:48] work. And that actually ended up working amazingly. But it's very much [00:14:54] no specific pattern or address from it [00:14:58] makes things a bit interesting. [00:15:01] Once we got the patents sorted, and the fabric, we only had a few little things go wrong. Once we actually sewn up the full dress, we realized that the fabric wasn't thick enough. And you could see [00:15:14] that had to be changed a little bit. But yeah. [00:15:19] So yeah, it's actually quite cool. Very, [00:15:22] very intense in pads. But yeah, [00:15:26] how far out before the performance date do you actually start working on the dress [00:15:31] quite a long time, no problem standing long, further out this year as well, because I've got more to do. [00:15:36] We've got four months left now. But you don't want to be making it too far out before you [00:15:44] start the infamous Queen of the whole universe diet. [00:15:49] Which I think is just turned into a little bit of a joke with people wanting to look the best when they're on stage. And then not fitting the dresses. [00:15:58] Because it's suddenly gotten to lodge. [00:16:01] So what does the diet? What does that [00:16:02] Oh, I didn't really do anything. But I've heard it turned around by a couple of people. My friend, Pierre, who joined the show with me last year, she [00:16:14] actually basically saw it as an opportunity to be healthier, and he ended up you know, getting very quite into shape during it. And [00:16:24] actually, I think she ended up making a whole new dress and the [00:16:28] the Wellington show, we definitely definitely made a new dress because the other one just didn't fit anymore. Because when you're, you know, spending two rehearsals a week, and each one's over an hour long, and you're dancing in six inch heels for that whole hour. It's [00:16:42] fantastic exercise. [00:16:45] So when you first start rehearsing, do you? Are you in heels at that point, or [00:16:48] no, generally, when you start out, because you want people to be able to learn the dance move without killing themselves. Starting, let's just you know your trainers. Because it's been such a long time since most people have been in their heels, especially for all the guys who are in the show women, it's obviously a different matter. But um, start off just in your trainers. And that's generally a good indicator of when you should start trading for your heels. So what I was doing, what I was told to do, is just wear them around doing your housework at home cooking dinner, then six inches taller than normal. And yeah, I'm sure that my flatmates a few [00:17:29] shocks [00:17:32] it was gonna be quite a different perspective, you know, being six inches higher than [00:17:35] Oh, yeah, it's very odd. Because especially when I was growing up, I was always a very, very small kid, I didn't grow until seventh form, and then I caught up to everyone else. And being that much taller than anyone is very, very odd to me. It's, [00:17:50] it's almost like you're walking around on stilts, that you get used to it quite quickly. Unless you have to run up and down stairs. And how do you cope? [00:18:00] Generally fine, until the end of the night. [00:18:07] The biggest problem for me was when we were in Wellington at the Opera House, and my dressing room was the one at the top. And there were a lot of stairs to go from the stage up to the dressing room and back down again, when you've got about three minutes to do a costume change. [00:18:23] It got to the point is that game just going to have to take these off and hope that the laces don't undo themselves while I'm gone. I thought I'd kill myself running down the stairs. Whereas when we're the artists, and it's all on one level, which is much, much heavier, [00:18:38] doing that whole transformation into a new persona do you do you find your personality changes as well. [00:18:47] I think it's a lot like wearing a mask for a lot of people. Because even after if my family told me they didn't recognize me, my mom said she only recognize me because of the dress, you find yourself probably a little a bit more relaxed than you would be otherwise and you know more [00:19:06] inclined to go towards the drama and I sort of when you when you put on any costume changes how you feel. But something that's that trigger transformation. It sort of gives you it's almost like a feeling of freedom to do what you want for the sake of the entertainment [00:19:26] is that to me, that's what drag, especially for Queen of the whole universe is it's about the performance and about the art and the drama of it. But [00:19:39] for me the biggest point in the transformation, especially the first time, I was running a little bit late, just with me getting really, I bought a pair of eyelashes and one of them was broken. And that was a very big eyelashes. So I spent a very long time in makeup with him trying to fix that. [00:19:55] And then we head out. I was running so late that when we had the final rehearsal on the stage, we're supposed to be the final dresser. So we weren't supposed to be ready or nearly really, I was my makeup was half done. I had one eyelash on and I was only wearing my jeans surrounded by everyone else pretty much in full. [00:20:13] So I just remember running full speed down the stairs, got my makeup done, ran back out to my dressing room, anyone haven't typed chance to look in a mirror what I got dressed ahead here who was with me, I didn't have a corset at that point. So I actually had a waist duct taped and which sounds a lot more painful than it was. [00:20:33] But then I got my dress on top of my jewelry on grab my wife, Tinder and looked at the mirror and just sort of stopped. Because I just couldn't recognize myself. It's just such a [00:20:47] it's such a shock. Seeing that you can look so different. It's very, very unusual feeling. I don't think I can really explain anything that's similar to it. [00:21:00] You mentioned about the diverse nature of people in rehearsal and the participants. And I'm wondering, Had you ever been in a situation where there were such a range of people and and I'm thinking not only in terms of gender and sexuality, but also age I? Is it quite unusual? [00:21:19] Yeah, it is quite unusual. I mean, they're [00:21:23] the oldest person in the show, I think is in the 60s, when I joined. And it was just, for me, what I found amazing was meeting a lot of people who fought fought for equality. And hearing these stories, and you know, what a lot of people my age take for granted these days that we wouldn't have, it wasn't for them. It just, it's amazing. I never have met them otherwise. And it's just I feel very honored to have you know, to speak to those people. [00:21:51] But also must work the other way around, where I think it's probably quite unusual to have that kind of intergenerational thing happening for older people being able to interact with you. And [00:22:02] I think it's a really real pity that especially within our community, when our community is so close, that there is such a divide. And, [00:22:10] and and there is a little bit [00:22:13] of, I almost want to say animosity. And you know, people who think that young people just take what we have for granted. And then they're a very, very differently the young people who think that we're undervalued or that. [00:22:31] People don't respect us, because we haven't had to fight as much. [00:22:38] And I think is a huge pity. We don't have any room for that kind of disagreement. And I think everyone should, you know, have, try and befriend anyone who they meet. And, you know, you can always learn something from someone here. [00:22:55] What do you think it works so well with queens, the whole university? And why? Why is the special in terms of bringing all these people together? [00:23:03] I think we will have a united goal. [00:23:06] And because it's all about something that is just so much fun. I mean, it's kind of hard to be upset about it. [00:23:17] And because it is all about self expression and freedom. And [00:23:22] yeah, it's just such a positive atmosphere, I think it's actually quite hard to be negative when you're involved with it. [00:23:30] So moving from the rehearsal period, and then into the theater environment. Had you Had you ever been in a theater environment? Before you know i backstage and [00:23:42] not for a long time, in school, I had been involved with some productions backstage, I did, you know, AV work and things a little bit. But never anywhere near nothing that big. And the artist is huge. And I didn't quite realize how many people were going to be in the audience and who Jonathan told us on the night that they were nearly 2000 people sitting out there, which is a little bit of a shock. You know, when you're standing on the other side of the curtain, and you can just hit us. It's halfway between a roar and a murmur. Just two people talking. And it's a very Yeah, [00:24:20] I [00:24:20] don't know, it was quite scary. While the curtain was down. [00:24:25] I found this interesting getting into that fear just vanished. Because you can actually see anything. You just see this big black [00:24:32] wall. But do you feel some kind of energy coming from? [00:24:37] Yeah, you know, [00:24:41] people who've done the show before, and another stage will always tell me how the audience calls to you. And I thought it just sounded, you know, one of those rubbish kind of things that people say that Jonathan was saying, Yeah, be careful, or your fall off the front of the stage, and you do find yourself. And I noticed during the show that the line was, was in the line and the line on the night of the show was much closer to the front of the stage than it had been in India. [00:25:10] And you would find yourself being pulled closer to the front, just by the energy of it all. I think it's not that you want to be the center of attention. It's just that that's how [00:25:21] it works. When you understand. It's it's very difficult to explain. Yeah. [00:25:28] When you first got into the theater before the performance, and you first stepped out on that stage, was a little bit of a mind shift, you know, going from like rehearsal space to suddenly you're on the stage and rather than a walk looking at a wall you're actually looking at, [00:25:42] yeah, well, because we've been rehearsing in the community whole, the garland community whole and moving from that, which is, you know, just about the same size as our stage. [00:25:53] And that's it into the actual [00:25:59] auditorium, you suddenly realized that it's real, you know, that it's almost happening. And that's actually this is such a big thing. That's Yeah, very, you know, bit of a kick, when you know, you got a couple of things you need to finish. [00:26:15] I think everyone had a couple of things that aren't quite really until the day. I know, when I was in Wellington, [00:26:23] my head gear had lost some of its paint. And on the day, I had an emergency mission out to the mitre 10 to buy some pink spray paint to re spray my bowl here, almost because it was taking off. [00:26:40] What are the take rehearsals like [00:26:43] the ticker hisses a little bit odd for someone who hasn't been through it before, because they quite often, you'll start to do something and then they'll stop you so that they can work out the lighting, or [00:26:56] they'll start something but that's the only part that the lights need to rehearse, then you'll be on to the next part of the show. It's very much not about the cast for tech rehearsal. [00:27:05] Although generally, when we had the tech rehearsal we had I think it was we had several hours, so we had to take rehearsal. And then we have regular rehearsal. After that, did you find it was a lot of information to take in terms of you know, all the technical sides of things and [00:27:22] different aspects of the fears of, they actually did a really good job of keeping anything too technical away from the cast, basically, we got the information that we needed, and not too much more than that, because there's no point, you know, you worrying about things you don't need to worry about. [00:27:42] We didn't even need to have too many marks on the stage. Because by that point, you knew where you were in relation to everybody else. And it was just translating from the hole onto the stage, which took a few little tweaks, Sarah, the choreographer, [00:28:03] but you know, it was all [00:28:06] I think it was quite a lot easier than I thought [00:28:08] it might be, do you think it was Did you perceive an increase in kind of stress levels, and I mean, more people getting kind of touchy, and [00:28:16] I think some people might have, and I didn't really notice too much. But I was mostly just too excited about the whole thing. [00:28:27] But on the night, everyone is just even before the show, they're already in this amazing mood. I remember for the kitten, we end up in Oakland, they'll playing the warm up music to the crowd, and we're all standing on the other side of the kitten in our formation really to start. And I think it was Glee songs. And almost everyone is standing there lip synching? No, there's very overblown dramatic drag at what's going on. On the other side, the button complete silence because he couldn't make a noise. You couldn't step too heavily or it was Yeah. [00:29:02] Very unusual, very entertaining. And I think it has certainly helped to set the mood a bit. [00:29:07] Getting that number of performers prepared just in terms of makeup and stuff. That must be a real mesh. [00:29:13] Yeah. The girls from Phoenix do an amazing job trying to get getting everybody at takes hours to get everyone through. I think we had three makeup calls. And everyone you will sit for what the time you had to arrive and when you were being done. And I was in the last call. So by that point, do all these other people who were really and I was not really. But [00:29:40] so what does that what does that getting makeup on involve? What what they do, [00:29:46] it's a bit of a process because they have they bring in, you know, a huge team of girls. [00:29:52] And first off your foundation, and then they block your eyebrows, which basically, they glue them down and then put makeup over the top. So you tend to do a completely blank canvas. And you see all these people with, it's almost like they've got no facial features, except for their eyes and their mouth. And it's very unusual. And of course, they for the main method cover any shadow you might have, or you might be going to have in the next sort of a couple of hours. [00:30:21] And then from there on, it's building up, mentoring on eyebrows and [00:30:24] your makeup, [00:30:27] cocoa. And we had these stick on sequined things under our eyes. They were a bit interesting. Under the stage lights, you got these little sparkles going on. [00:30:38] Yes, bit of a process. Everyone had to bring your own eyelashes. [00:30:43] In terms of preparing yourself, did you I mean, like with shaving, like for your legs and preparing your body that way? Yeah, you kind of had to [00:30:54] you can't get away away from that a little bit. By wearing lot of stockings and tights. I know a lot of people wear like a pair of dances, tights and into pairs of stockings over the top of that, just to avoid having to shave the legs. But you know, you're probably going to have to shave your arms. definitely gonna shave under your arms and missing going to be wearing a shirt top with sleeves. But I don't think anyone really did that. Because you're trying to [00:31:24] create the illusion. And it's all part of that. [00:31:29] Yeah, I couldn't do the multiple stockings thing. It was just too slippery inside my shoes. man didn't want to risk it. [00:31:36] So the show happens. And what are your feelings when when you're on the show? [00:31:45] It's always a little bit of a blur. I remember standing on the stage, you know, when we got the final stop fooling around, you're about to go on. [00:31:56] The way it was set up, we had the casters are split. So they were a small number of us, I think [00:32:04] 12 maybe maybe 14 of us on the stage to start with them. So it's half boys and half girls and split standing back to back. So I was standing there staring at the back of the stage for out of the number which was a man's world split into two halves, half son by the boys and then half son by the girls. And standing there staring at the back of the stage, I was getting really nervous because I knew everything that was going on behind me that the boys are doing and you could hear the audience and [00:32:36] just standing there going, I really hope I don't miss my cue [00:32:41] as soon as I stepped around, and it just sort of all fell into place. Because you know, the choreography was so well by that point. If I hear some of the songs, I must fall into it now [00:32:51] that it just flows. And then once you've realized that you're not going to make a huge mistake. It just you can relax it, enjoy it and just get into it. It's very [00:33:05] high energy. It's very, very exhausting. But it's a lot of fun. And you don't sleep that night generally, because you just got too much going on and you hit [00:33:18] me when we went to Wellington, there's two after parties and the second one, which didn't start until one or two in the morning or something like that. And we're all supposed to be flying home the next day. [00:33:29] Yeah. [00:33:31] That's quite a neat thing. I having an after party. We're the performers go out there. And yeah, [00:33:36] that was amazing. And just mingle, you're getting to meet the audience. [00:33:43] It was quite funny, because when I walked out of my dressing room, everyone was standing in the corridor for being on stage. So Jonathan just goes points at me. And he says that one, that's the one everyone's going to think as a girl. And [00:33:57] yes, I Oh, and not sure if I should take that as a compliment. [00:34:01] But then afterwards, when we met the audience, he had a few people come up to me. Excuse me. Are you a boy? And was one woman She goes, You are a boy? And I was like, Yes, I am. She's like, Oh, great. Can you come and tell my husband? We have a bit? [00:34:16] He was a little bit upset about [00:34:19] that. But um, yeah, my family will flood I looked exactly like my cousin who came to the show about a foot taller than her. [00:34:27] It must be really neat to have that support from family. [00:34:30] Yeah, but my family has been amazing. [00:34:34] Yeah, very, very lucky to heaven. [00:34:39] My dad is actually [00:34:42] my dad was actually very keen for me to do X to this year when I see that I wanted to [00:34:49] so he's actually sponsoring me for it. So his all his company is sponsoring me so that we can actually afford to do these things because I see I'm just a very recently out from being a antenna. printers haters. This I don't mean that too much money. But [00:35:05] yeah, helping helping out of it and the families all sort of pulling together. [00:35:10] So what is the concept for your way up to this you? Can you tell me that? [00:35:13] I miss Spain this year? So yes, it's all very, there are a lot of frills involved. Some very, very big dresses planned. And we have all the fabric for them. It's just a matter of putting it together. I [00:35:30] don't know, I can't really avoid too much about the actual performance. But yeah, five minutes is a very long time, in some ways in a very short amount of time. And others. It's, [00:35:41] it's one of those kind of time frames where you just have to hit it right up a star don't Yeah, you don't have time to really develop an idea. Yeah. [00:35:50] And [00:35:51] some of [00:35:53] the best performances, from what I feel, from what I've seen to the ones that do have a little bit of a storyline going on, or a feel that goes through them. [00:36:02] And it's just trying to create that and five minutes. But without it being too, too much of the same thing, you need to have changes, you need to have costume changes, because the audience loves that. I mean, the favorite, one of the greatest ones I saw was I was helping out with actually was Miss France, and then watching the video, and I think he had seven and costume changes. And that's not including the backup dancers. So [00:36:29] it gives it another dimension to to be able to do those sorts of things, and to have sets that are built in. Yeah, sendgrid trying to rope my ankles and things into helping build sets. They're all bought [00:36:41] tickets. [00:36:43] Hopefully they'll help out. [00:36:45] So So where do you get your biggest kick from? Is it in the kind of the creativity in terms of like creating stuff before the show was at the show was that after the show? Where does it come to you? [00:36:56] It's probably at or after the show, I think, like leading up to it, it's still great, you know, building everything, and coming up with all these ideas is a lot of fun. But I think getting that reward for it almost just you know, having people cheer is if you've never had like an audience cheering at you before, it's just the most. That's very energizing kind of feeling. It just makes you feel very, like all of your hard work has paid off and it's valued. And these people appreciate it. Might they might not necessarily know how much hard work you put in, but it's got value. [00:37:33] How do [00:37:33] you come down from such a intense experience? [00:37:39] I did find out he was I was I felt a bit lost. I've used to having these rehearsals so often and seeing this group of people every week, and twice a week. And then it's just all over. It's a bit of a sad thing. You know, saying goodbye to everyone. [00:37:57] But you know, that's when the rest of your life suddenly comes rushing back. Most things you've neglected over the last few months Sydney to sort them out? Yeah, I think that's just me. I've always got something to do. But yeah, it is quite a sad feeling once it's all over. Which is why I think this is going to be a bit difficult for a lot of people. [00:38:18] What are your thoughts on [00:38:20] it being the last Queen of the whole universe is said it's an amazing [00:38:25] show. And it's, I think it's probably it's reached a lot of people, it's raised a lot of money. And I really hope that something carries on in some form. But I understand it's, you know, it's a lot of work for someone to put in. It's a lot of work for everyone to put in, but especially for Jonathan to do. I mean, I can't imagine how much of his time is devoted to this. months, months and months. But yeah, it will be said, but 10 years is amazing. It is you know, the amount of money that has been raised is just staggering. Really. [00:39:04] If you had the opportunity on that last performance to address the crowd in some way, is there anything that you would [00:39:12] want to say to them [00:39:17] I'd want them to take the feeling that they get from the show that feeling of joy and acceptance and there's a huge feeling of love that goes with it. And to keep that with them. You know, don't leave it behind and treat everyone else that they come into with it same compassion and happiness that the show brings two people right. I think it's it's amazing just the way that this huge Lee diverse group of people and the hugely diverse audience all come together for this one night and everyone has an amazing time. And I just wish the you know, the rest of people's lives could be like that.

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