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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by the queen of the whole universe Charitable Trust have been turned into in pride in z.com. [00:00:09] It's just grown. I mean, it's a bit like Topsy. It's just grown. I mean, the first year we did it in 2004. I mean, nobody knew where it was going to go. We performed at the sky city. And it's an 800 seater. And we sold out. I mean, we just didn't know and it was interesting for me my strike friends that came, the husband's all came out of juris. But after the show, they all wanted to come again. And they've they've supported all the way through. And I mean, even so now I've just I've just sold 105 tickets for the show in July. So it's just, yeah, it's just amazing. And of course, the camaraderie and all this of meeting people and people that not involved with it. Thanks must be screaming cranes and daggers and stilettos and I frightened at each other. But it's just the whole the whole band just get on well, so well together. [00:01:11] Can I take you back to that, that first pageant? And I'm just wondering, how did you get involved? [00:01:19] Well, I'm, I used to do amateur dramatics sort of musical theatre. And Jonathan and Kevin had seen me in a few things. And so they knew I could move and they knew I could hold a tune not but of course, in the queen of the universe, we don't have to be able to do any of that. And, and so Jonathan contacted me and said, we're doing this is the show we're doing. And I want you to be a finalist, because, because everyone says it's fixed, but it's not fixed. I mean, we know who the finalists are. On the night, it's actually a competition and the work. I mean, I've been a finalist four times, I think five times. And the work you have to put in because you have to source your music, put it all together, five minutes, you have to choreograph it, you have to costume it all at your own expense. So you then have to get sponsorship and all this sort of stuff. So So Jonathan just rang and said, this is what we're doing. And any gave me three or four countries that I could be. So I, for some reason, I don't know I chose Miss Japan. So Japan, the first year, I was cherry blossom, Osaka. And it just as I say, it's just gone. Gone from there. [00:02:37] In that first year, how many participants will [00:02:41] probably with because the first year we only had two muscle boys. And whereas now I think we have about 10 or 12? I think I think it was about 30 of us on stage. And of course now it's 50 years old or something, I think. And of course we've won, we're in the Guinness Book records twice. I mean, Jonathan, being Jonathan contacted Guinness Book of Records and sort of said, you know, can we get make a record or whatever? And of course they have, you have to be so specific with the Guinness Book of Records. And so they helped Jonathan phrase, what we were going to do, and it was the most number of men in drag, performing a choreographed piece that was longer than two minutes or something rather. So we would be to record that was done by a group in America, of course. And then I think the following year, we beat our own record, so but they don't count. They don't count the girls, the girls that addressed you know, during the victor Victoria thing has to be men in track. [00:03:47] So with that first production, did anyone in the cast have any idea of what it was going to be on the first night when you were in rehearsals. [00:03:58] And we were very lucky. That first year, we had Helen medland, the opera singer, she was our emcee. And I know, Helen through theatre and stuff. And it was interesting I, when I because I was an act to go. And I had that we did all this music, and I had this little bit of music that we wanted someone to sing to, and we made the words happen. And I just contacted Helen. And she said, Oh, yes, I could do that. She said, play it over the phone, you know, and did it. And so anyway, so of course I gave she came on on my in the program is supported by you know, Helen Maitland cycles when I gave it to Jonathan, Jonathan said, not not the Helen middle, and I said yes. So he contacted there, and she was in between jobs that year. So she came along and did the emceeing. And she got the audience. Just so worked up the choreographer because most of the people in that first show never been on stage, let alone in a frock or, or anything. And the choreographer got us in positions on a stage and we all had a spotlight over the top of us. And he said, you know, the reaction of the audience is going to be that match that we won't have you moving to begin with will sing, we were singing I am what I am. So we set stood still and we saying I am what I am. But she was in front of the curtain getting them all wound up and Yahoo, and it was amazing. As the curtain went up, you were hit by the noise, it actually knocked you on your shoes, you swayed. [00:05:45] And, [00:05:51] and but you just knew that everybody was made here. And they just loved it. And the more we hit and then right at the end, and you know, we we sort of do the opening number sort of maybe at the end as a finishing thing. And I mean, the audience, but just wild, it was just and as I say, all the husbands of my friends, were all saying, look, if it's gonna be on next year, we want tickets. And so it's been amazing. [00:06:21] The rehearsal period for that first show, you were saying that a lot of people hadn't been on stage before. What was that? Like? What was? [00:06:30] Well, the great thing is that Jonathan says, anyone can be in the show any man, you don't need any skills, any talents, you just have to make the commitment to do every rehearsal, supply dress, awake, in some shoes, that's all you have to do. But the guy Michael Sanders was, is that choreographer? I mean, like, we have two or three nap, he was our first choreographer. And he, he does a lot lot of amateur CSS, I think he's used to having people that not not dances and stuff. But everybody, everybody helped one another. I mean, I'm only in a little cottage, and one of the guys down the hill was was finding it really hard. And so he used to come to my place. And then, of course, when we were at the theater, because when it was at Sky city, because it's black, most of the time, I don't think they put shows on there now. We we were able to rehearse, like the last week at the theater. And so you know, you'd be taking people in the wings. I mean, everybody just help. You know, of course, there's the odd thing of someone not in the right spot in your sale, you know, you're not in the right spot, and like I Are you just want to be in the front. And you're saying, Well, no, you're lighting, you gotta remember this a little x where you stand because you're lighting. And, you know, you want to be saying, you know, I said, It's not that I want to be in front of you, even though I said they'd be looking at me anyway. [00:08:02] But no, it was. And it's interesting, because I think we had [00:08:08] only like rehearsals. And of course, most of the people said it wasn't enough. We needed to do more. But I, you know, sit in front of me. I said, Yeah, but I said I don't mean it detrimental. But I said, none of you even if we had eight months, you still wouldn't be able to pick it up. I said, and a lot of the energies is just, you know, getting on and doing it, you know? Because, because now I think we I think we have about 16 rehearsals for the next one. So, but no, I mean, because because it is a social thing as well. And of course, I because I've done shows and stuff, I want it to be good. And of course they want it to be good. But of course that rehearsals, I mean, they're all chatting away and don't really listen to what they've been told. And then they wonder, well, I can't do it. [00:09:04] But no, it's just it's just amazing how it's described. And it's just lovely. [00:09:09] Jonathan, the director, what is his directing style, like? [00:09:14] And [00:09:17] he's very, very good. I mean, he doesn't, he doesn't say doesn't, I mean, of course, he loses his corner in the game, but most of the time he doesn't. And he's very good at you know, boosting people up. I mean, he seems to know, when someone might be down or whatever, they've you know, they've had a hard week or something rough and he'll, you know, booster, the map and, and say, Look, come on you, you can come to the front or the butt. And but he, he's a perfectionist, and I mean, he probably would have everything written down. I mean, you get a set, you're from him, like, the day of the show. I mean, it's guys, eight o'clock. This is 12 this. And I mean, it goes all the you know, I mean, he's just so exact, which I think you've got to be when, when you've got so many. And then of course now you know 50 of people on stage, plus all the backstage people and, and because most of us have to do quick changes. So we all have dressers and the let's have this huge mass of people. So I mean, he's, but he's very good at that, you know, and I suppose that's why he runs his own little incremental company. So he's very good at that. [00:10:36] Right from the start of the pageant, the idea of the contestants making their own presses and headgear will. Was that always the way? [00:10:45] Yeah. And when we first did it, one of the fabric shops here in Oakland, I can't think of the name. But they came on board as a sponsor. And we were able to get X number of me says of certain fabrics, United States, they just said, you can have these fabrics. And I tried to find lots of my friends, so and I so but I'm no good at creating something without a pattern. And none of them said they couldn't, they couldn't do anything without a pattern. And then, you know, someone said all so and so and so and so. And Catherine, she runs a costume magic, and she's been on board since because I went in contact because she was working for costume magic then. And now she owns the costume shop. But this friend said, Well, I'll give you a Catherine. She's, she said, She's marvelous. And so she said, Oh, yes, I'd love to do it. And so we met at the fabric shop. And that's the first time we've met. And so I told her I was in Japan, and didn't it so she's the boy, you obviously got to have a red dress. And such as which fabric Most of all, you you've got to make it so you choose the fabric because you've got to work with it. And I told her what I wanted, I wanted a cowl neck. I wasn't gonna I wasn't going to have boobs. I you know, I just thought well, I'm Japanese so I can get away with so the cowl neck. And I said I want angle hemline unless it slipped because I said My legs are my best feature. So they've got to be safe. And she took two measurements. And I went for a fitting and all she had to do was adjust for the cowl neck. And so yeah, from day one you had to and it's it's interesting because I've done theater, I know you can wear shit on stage, and of course under the lights will come up. I mean, the fact that I'm going to be wearing next year I've walked I was the one I was Miss Holland, because the theme is red and gold. So I thought well, I've got that dress. But we've been wearing that dress for 20 years, I mean the secrets are all dropping off mean but under the lights. So we just had flowers and things to cover up the board bits on on the fabric. And then I only had little like Louis heeled shoes that I got from an ops shop. And but of course that's the shows gone on everyone's got bigger and bigger. So the shoes I use Now, another contestant Steve Lawrence, he had all these shows and this period, big platforms and big hill, but nice solid Hill. And so he gave me the shoes. So you know think, but some of them have downs made, you know, okay, they get the money of a sponsorship. But of course all the detail just disappears on stage and they they just don't understand it. But then they enjoy having a gown maybe I don't know. But I've got this friend Diana and she does. She we say hair and makeup, she does hair and makeup. She was a hairdresser and week maker in the past. And so she she does my hair and makeup and we make the what we had that costume, the red one that I was Miss Holland. But we added all the frills and bits. She has the ideas. And I zoom up the costume. And we've done that with all shows. I mean, like when I was Miss Peru, it was black and white and diner and I were watching Dancing with the Stars. And this woman was dancing around and she had all this Marabou floating around the bottom and I said, that's, that's what I want. That's what I want. And Diana had this, like a single dress, just sort of the legs. And we added bits to it and Catherine at costume magic. I said, You know, I want some Malibu but I said I probably can't afford that. And but but she saw that context in America, she got me these white feather barriers that had silver straight through them. So we put one round the bottom and we've made like a little Cape of this. And $40 I mean, we had a diner and I have great fun doing it. And doing it and then saying no, that's not quite right and pass it and do another bits. And so yeah, it's it's been lots of fun. And then, and of course she does my makeup and everything. But when I went to Wellington with Mrs. England, she didn't come to Wellington side where I could have got the makeup people but I said, Oh, I'll do my makeup. And I was sharing a dressing room with the lovely, lovely to have a Kiki. And of course he's young and beautiful. He'd be doing his makeup. And then at the end of it, he just threw all this glitter over itself. And I thought, Oh, I can do that. Give us some. [00:15:49] But yes, it's just, yeah, just think the camaraderie of people helping one another. You know, it's just it's always been like that. And I think from one of the first so one of the guys had his dress made fairly, fairly early on in the pace and he was quite a bigger guy. And because during rehearsals and things he lost weight, and so of course dress rehearsal or a couple of nights before dress rehearsal, you know, you put the dress on and of course, hang on in like a sec. And Steve, Steve Lawrence, he just set up, put it on, you know, couple of pins and just took it home and ran it up and is just the head seems on is spinning. So Trevor had this lovely fitting dress. So yeah, [00:16:36] I'm about hit you. [00:16:39] The first year. We didn't have head gear as such. We had to come on in sort of like national costume. So I had a lovely, lovely Kumho known and stuff. So hit beer actually didn't start till about the second year, I think was even the second year might be the third. But that's got bigger and bigger and bigger. And for me, I actually find it the most difficult thing of the show. Because you know, everybody else is gonna. And of course you want to be because you do go into win. I mean, that's the whole point, because you can win great, great prizes. I mean, when I was in a single and in Wellington, I came third. And I won a trip for two to Queenstown, commendation car and everything. So I mean, this lovely things to win. And but yeah, the hit gear, I find really, that's the difficult one for me. Because I'm not not that creative. And I sort of have the ideas and like, when I was in Peru, I wanted to do Machu Picchu on my head. And I had the idea and but diet and of course dialogue, and I do it together. So she couldn't say what I was trying to say. So we ended with just a bit of huge bit of polystyrene and I had a photo of Machu Picchu blown up on it, but I wanted it to be sort of free 3d or in a relief, you know, so it would have been a lot of work and stuff. But yes, so. And of course, this next year, it it's optional. Because I said to Jonathan, I said a lot of us find it really. And of course also the cost of doing something like that. Maggie, one of the contestants, she her son is something to do with design and theater. And she was Miss Egypt last year. And he made this incredible in polystyrene, but the Sphinx. I mean, huge thing. But it was done on, you know, you feed it into the computer and the computer kept saying, Well, you know, Custer, like 1500 dollars, you know, and she, okay, she, she knew she was gonna have to pay for it. But I mean, she could have got sponsorship, but she didn't. But yeah, I don't know. I just find it. Just hard. The best one, I think the best one I did. I was when I was missing England. And I came on as the rose The Rose of England. So I was in a body stocking of bright green. And Diana's daughter in law, never made a hat in her life. But she's all right on the sewing machine. And she made this incredible rose, wired and stuff. So that that one was lovely, because I suppose somebody else did it for me. I mean, when I went to see it, before she had finished it, I thought, it's not what I want to you know, [00:19:42] but of course, it wasn't finished. And then when I went back, [00:19:46] she came back here, and [00:19:50] it's just what I want. [00:19:53] It's still in the capital. [00:19:56] Guess Red Dust? [00:19:58] Do you find the the whole process of going through the production a bit of a roller coaster in terms of, you know, tensions? And [00:20:08] oh, yeah, I mean, cuz you want it? You know, I mean, I mean, the bottom line is that we've all got to have fun, but you still want it to be right. And the people, you know, as, like with amateur theatre, I mean, people are still paying to come and see it. So it's gotta be, it's got to be good. And, and, but the roller coaster is, is. And I think you know, you need, you need all that. And I mean, you need that. People say to me, oh, you surely you don't get nervous going on stage because you've done it so long and done theater and stuff. And I said, Well, no, cuz I said, that's what gets you get to gives you the edge in that just gives you that to, I said, if you didn't feel anything before you and I like I said, I don't think I'd be wouldn't want to do it. That would be the same. And I'm sure with, you know, most actors, they still they've been doing it for years, they still feel their age just before they have to go on. And of course, when you get on you, and if you're doing things wrong, and you know, you're doing it wrong, you've got to get out of it, you know, and I used to do tech, tech classes. And we started, we started with a play called stepping out. And it's a story about tech classes. And there's only one man in it. And I played Jeffrey. And it's, it's about learning to tap. And in the play. At the end, it's like two years later, and they put on a show for the community. So you had to learn to tap and then you had to unlearn. And of course I couldn't. I couldn't get my brain and my feet together. So you know, I just fetch it. And of course, some of the women in the group, we then started our own class, which went for about five years. And it was just like the play, you know, the woman was doing it because her husband was beating the rap. And I mean, it was just light, the light was incredible. And so we started doing shows. And the tech teacher said, Oh, she said, You're, you're terrible. She said, there's everybody else going, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle in their heads, and they doing it correct. And you're just doing that, and you've got the finish and everything. And she said, and you make them all look as if they're doing it wrong. And I said, well, and it's the same with the show, as I say, sites are the ones that worry about it. I said, you know, you've got to remember, there's so many people on stage, and everyone's not going to be looking at you. I said, you know, besides you're going to be looking at me. But I said, you know, you just don't I mean, of course, you're going to feel awful, but you can't go oh my god, you know, you can't show it on your face or whatever. Or you can I mean, but because there are so many people on stage that you can fetch it. And of course, the great thing is that, you know, we all we lip sync, so you don't have to actually, we do have to learn the words, because you've got to know. And that's another thing with Jonathan, I mean, he gives us a CD with a print of the words because he tweaks the music to make it fit and stuff. So you get the words on the CD. And in 2006, I went traveling, but I came back and was back here for two weeks and did the show as Miss Peru. But he sent me the CD overseas. So here I am in London, during the routines and all this and, and of course I came back. And a lot of the new new ones didn't didn't know me. And of course, I learned the words and everything. And I'm quite good at picking up dance routines. And and of course, as long as there's people around me, I can if I'm in the front, of course I can tell I've learned it. And some of these youngsters sit but have you been doing? Have you been doing this choreography while you're away? And I said, No, no, no, no. I said this is my first day. I said it can't be and I said, Well, your peripheral vision. And I said I'm probably not doing exactly but nobody. And across by the end of the couple of weeks rehearsal I was up to scratch so. [00:24:18] So tell me what it's like moving from the rehearsal period into the theater. [00:24:23] That's the technical you let you have the technical rehearsal, when everything goes turns to custard. And I actually hate the technical because that's when, you know, people share to one another. I mean, Jonathan shouts and the stage manager shouts and, and the people in the wings are chatting and not listening. And then they wonder why they were on the wrong side. And so the technical one is the difficult one. And then the dress rehearsal is, seems to go well, but of course, honest and also make we do we do a dress rehearsal on the actual days, we actually do the show twice on the day of the performance. So, but it's good, because if, and, and that, but the funny thing is, you know, we don't we do it with dresses and the dress rehearsal, but we don't do wigs and makeup, but people can if they want to wear the wig. So the funny thing is, when you queuing to go on stage for on opening night, you don't recognize anyone. And this last time because I didn't do the show up here. And then I learned to go down to Wellington for the games. And inside the audience, I've got a follow up Sue. Well, she's a tall lady with dark here, but onstage yet bubbly blonde, here. And, and of course, I wasn't doing the steps correctly and stuff. And I'm thinking but we assume we were Sue and I think all the issues and stuff because I get into position late and people look at me and and But no, it was fun. It was it was good, good. Good. And it was, it was great for me because I say I traveled last year. And I said to Jonathan, I'm planning to be away while the show is on because I don't want to come back and watch it because when I watched it, I'd want to be in it. So I didn't even see it and but going to Wellington I was going to Wellington because I also swim. And so I'm in in the team Auckland masters swimmers. And so I swam in the games, then in Wellington and came home with three golds and a bronze. So not only get my stage in screen, but I'm also a Olympian. And last year, one of the reasons for being away I was at the Gay Games and Cologne and came back with two golds and the silver the I think, lose count. [00:26:57] So have you been every Queen the whole universe? [00:27:02] Well, I I say I've been in every Queen of the whole universe. But I didn't actually physically do last year so 2010 I didn't do that show. But when I when was Miss Oz, he won and he went a trip to Fiji. And so Irene asked me would I like to go with him? So he was he was Bobby prawn because he was missile. And I was at Nick curtain. So here's Bobby and then it in Fiji. And the funny thing was we got then we were in forget the name because of the nail lab coat lot lotto I think it's the token. And it's it's quite a, it's a sugar cane town. And it's quite industrial and stuff. And the day we got there, they were having like a festival. And they had the crowning of Miss sugar cane. And so of course, Bobby and and it just laughed and said, Oh, we should have bought addresses. We could have got in the Miss sugarcane thing. So so I wouldn't when that in 2009. So in 2010. So that's the show I didn't actually performing, but I wouldn't handed over the crown to the next crane. And he mentioned the end, it was sorry. And it wasn't in the show. But she was touring promoting Queen of the whole universe in the world. She was doing a term of tour or whatever. So I was mentioned so but Jonathan says, Well, you weren't in it. And I said, Well, I was by name. So I've been in every production. But then, of course that that same show the 2010 I took to Wellington. And so the guy who played Miss Heaven, wasn't going down to Wellington. So I took Miss heaven and then got talked. And I think I got hoodwinked into being an to go Christmas heaven was just an act one go. [00:29:04] Can you talk to me about the transformation going from ID to whatever country you're representing? [00:29:11] Well, it was, it was interesting day, my friend Diana's creep, who, as I say, she's my Creator. And she was doing an article at Radford college. And it was like that first year, when you go to university, and you do your first year of art, and you find out which, which you want to study. And so she was doing this course and, and Diana's a bit like me, she just thinks you should just be able to go, right, you know, they want to church, there's, there's a church. But of course, you have to have the thought process and lecture of wanted to know, where you're coming from and all this. And there was three T's or something, it was truth, transformation, and something around that. And, and of course, should go and should say all what about this, and this and this, and the lecturer said, Diana, you can do better than that. And, and such again, think again, think again. And, and she was, she was thinking, I'm not gonna do this course, you know, I just want to do art today. Anyway, she chatted with me. And she said, what about the transformation from you, from Ed into a drag queen? You know, the truth, HIV AIDS? And so I said, Yeah, fine, I'll, I'll do it. So she went to them. And they said, just that's fine. So that first year when I, when I was, like, was the second year when I was Miss Holland. And she did this amazing study, I've got this lovely box, she did me on the sewing machine and, and picture of just my leg, my hairy legs, and then in stockings on the shoes and, and then the last picture at the end was some failure, I failure diet. Yeah, feeling like that. So I was Miss Holland. And, and then part of that, so that got accepted, and they just loved it. And then she part of the course she had to do something else about a childhood thing that you've always wanted, or something that you've never had. And she'd never had a Barbie doll. And so she, she's got all this dress up box. So she got me to go around, and she just put on a day makeup. And then she had all these different clothes and weeks. And so the different looks, I became a Barbie for the day for the day. But the lovely thing was when she she got through the course and she she graduated, we did the show one night, and I think she graduated the next day on the Sunday. And of course, it was the show sort of used to be November time. And so coming into summer and stuff. So here I am around her place after, during the show the night before, sort of slightly hung over, putting all the slap on again and dressing up as a failure. went to her graduation dresses, or the lectures, lecturers came up and they said, all we know you are a failure, we feel as if we know you so well. So yes, it's some. And it's interesting, because even though you know, I'm an openly gay man have been in love dressing up and all this. It was a really mind she, Dinah really had to fight with me, because it's the only time I feel but it's when I put a dress on. I just feel like a man in a dress. I mean, once you get the wig on and all that I mean it. It's fabulous that, you know, but I still felt like a man. I said, Oh, you know, and when she was taking all these photos and things, she's thanks, soften, you know, you're, you know, and she sat me down. And I think I was about 58. And she said, what you've got to remember is you're not a 28 year old woman. You're a bloody good looking 58 year old woman [00:33:13] you hold right? [00:33:16] shoulders with back every time every time I go on. So [00:33:22] the last one I would have done 2009 Miss England. And she says, and so you know, what? What, what are you and I said a bloody good 62 year old woman and she good on you. But it was really, really interesting. I found it really, as I say, I just felt just like a bloke in a dress I just felt so [00:33:44] I don't think I could ever be Butch. [00:33:50] So the transformation on the evening of the show, how does how does that work? [00:33:54] Well, that's again, amazing because you know, we've all got a different dressing rooms and diner always one in Auckland, the new it Does, does my makeup, and the other the others, there's always a team of makeup artists that come along to do most people. So they all get to see each other, just with the face. But it's, it's when you put the wig on. It's just amazing. And, and as I say you stand in the wings, or in the corridor waiting to go onto the stage. And you don't recognize anyone. I mean, it's crazy. It's a whole. You think oh my god. [00:34:35] You're on stage again. But where's where's my corn? And he's right there. Yes, I'm here. Oh. [00:34:45] So, but of course, we don't really some of them try they weeks on but we don't really because they've usually sit so nicely. You don't want to make a map in a rehearsal. So we don't sort of get to wear them until the actual night. So run. And, you know, just the eyelashes and stuff. And I mean, some of them. I mean, I don't know how they wear them. I mean, I just have regular ordinary girl lashes. But I mean, some of them may have, you know, drag queen lashes that sort of like three feet long. [00:35:18] You could have bird syndrome. [00:35:22] And of course, the lovely thing is we get to meet our public after the show and and you go up to people. And they just say, well, it took us ages to realize who you were, you know. And of course, Jonathan has us all coming forward one at a time and on the a visa or whatever. They they, you know, Miss England, a gigantic curtain, or whatever. So it's not until you sort of actually come forward, but people think oh my god, I thought that was a [00:35:57] you mentioned the public and I'm wondering, can you describe Queen, the whole universe audience? [00:36:03] What was that like? [00:36:06] Well, the great thing is that it's it's a diversity. It's a real cross section. I mean, it's not just a gay audience. And as I said earlier, my my friends first time bought their husbands along and the husbands what came out of juris they hated it. But of course after the show they they just wanted to I couldn't believe it. And and people get right into it. And when I was missing England, I was doing some of the music, when in my second piece was war time songs and a virile in touch stuff and, and you'd have people you didn't know and it was funny, it was the age group about 40 that come up to me and like, ah, I made us feel homesick for the UK. And there was a couple of very English guys came up to me late. They said, Oh, you were robbed, you were robbed, you should have won. The Kiwis. The Kiwis don't understand the English humor, you you know, even your name, I think curtain you know. [00:37:13] And they really get they all get into it. And [00:37:18] and my I've got new neighbors next door neighbors and, and stuff talking to them about getting tickets and messaging. I've already got my block of tickets. Would you like to come and? And she? She said, Oh yes. When is it? You know, we don't have a couple of tickets. I said July and she said, and you're selling tickets now. And I said, I said the thing will sell out. I said it's the last show. And I always like to get the front. two rows either cheaper. I mean, you get third row back and I think is about $20 more expensive. And I always do like a supporters pack. I've always done it from year one with with Miss Japan, I had the flags. And that year, I didn't know anyone with you know, computers with that much older. I mean 2004. But I cut the paper out that drew rather Nick cap and filled in with the red dot. I mean, I'm what you do when you haven't got a life. And then I had a little paper folding little fans and stuff. But I think my best one was for Miss Holland. And a friend that got me the proper depth chat. And I used it as a template and I made using curtains not thinking years later I'd be but going to the store and getting Nick curtains. And I made all these chats, I made about 60 chats with Platts. And then I made paper, like paper with milk like the kids make those windmills. And so they had the flag. And so it's just something I like to do. And because I had some friends over from England when I was in this Holland, and I gave him the the supporters pack. They had one hit man hit the hit hit with Platts another and had both had flags. And I said, you know, when you get there, just put them on or whatever. And of course, they thought I was sending the map. And so they had him in a plastic bag or whatever. And they got to the foyer of their to your center. And of course, all they could see was always Platts and that chats and flags and and windmills. And so quickly put the hat on and they didn't know really bad and they all you obviously don't miss Holland. And it just gets everyone. And in the first year when you know, nobody knew what it was about. My, my tech teacher because she choreographed it and we worked that one out and they all came wearing kimonos and stuff. So it was just, it's just people just get right back right into it. And and it's a good show. [00:39:52] You've been an Act to go a number of times. And I'm wondering, is the feeling of competition really real? Why can we win you win or lose? Is it something that you [00:40:01] are? Absolutely, because the work that you put in as an act to girl, I mean, you've a, you have to do a five minute pace and five minutes is a long time. You've got to source your music, you've got to put it all together, you you've got to choreograph it, you've got to costume it, you can have up to six people supporting you. So you've got a costume then. And they've got to go to rehearsals. And so as long as the rehearsals for act, as we say act when you've got your act to rehearsals, so you know, there's double things going on. So it's a it's a lot of hard work being an Act to go. And some some of the people in Act One thing, are we you know, we could we could do that. But Jonathan's very clever and knowing now that he knows people, I mean, right in the first show, I mean, he just had to think I would take those four people and they can be an act act, too. But he's very good at knowing what people are capable of. And if someone says, I'd like to do act two, I mean, he'll be up front and say, Well, I this year, I don't think, you know, maybe next year, you know, I mean, he's very diplomatic and stuff, but I mean, it's his show. So I mean, he's got an he wants, and the second act, I mean, it's just got just got bigger and bigger and bigger. But and I had to laugh because as I say, I I was Miss and heaven in the same Wellington this year. And of course, Miss Russia had she sort of had the, you know, the onion dome, she had that Faberge egg she had this she had that she had this will miss him and head. I think there was had four angels and me. So there's five of us. And I think all I had was five umbrellas with tinsel and goodness knows what everyone said I worked and it was and because Sarah, the choreographer, put it all together. So she, she got the theme of what she wanted, because I was I was supposed to be Dorothy and Dorothy gets killed. You know, Dorothy, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. And this rock came on and killed me. And it's Dorothy's journey of trying to get to heaven. You know, she's knocking on Heaven's Door and all festival stuff. And it was slick. You know, we dance dance dance, did it to the day. And everybody said, you know, you know, the simplicity of it was just wonderful, unfortunately, wasn't videoed, so you really don't see, have no idea what it was like. But everyone says, you know, but Miss Russia had all the bells and whistles so. And there was only there was only three finalists and in Wellington for that year, so they didn't have 123, they just had a winner. And the other two were runners up. So to hit a cookie, and I would run as that. So run in the Wellington one. [00:42:58] Why do you think the pageant has been so successful? [00:43:05] I think, main thing is that the great cross section of the audience, and, you know, they all know it's a good night out, so. And as they say, it's also supporting the charities. And I think the main thing is, I think we're all having fun. And so the audience pick up on that, and they have fun, and especially when some of the other casts now are doing support aspects. It was only me to begin with. And so they've, you know, they're, they get to all the different flags and different things and people dress up and, and so yeah, so it's a sort of the audience become competitive as well. [00:43:51] That must be an amazing feeling, being on stage and just having the audience going wild. [00:43:56] Well, yeah, the that first one, though, when the curtain went up, and I mean, I've never felt, I mean, you know, discos and stuff, you hear there, but it was it just hit us. I mean, it just went, bang, you know, really hit you in the chest. And, and, of course, you then know, you've got them in, in your hands. I mean, it's just wonderful. And when I when I was Miss Peru, I got into the second act. And of course, I told all my supporters, yes, I'm, I'm in Act Two, and I go, Oh, good, good, good. But Jonathan has some has some red herrings. And in that year, we had a wedding sequence so we had to deal with and because I was being disqualified, which I knew Queen of the whole universe actually put my act two bit together the wedding bit. And of course, I came down the aisle in my wedding dress, and the groom came down the other aisle, to go into the chapel and get married. And so we're up on the stage and a priest came down on wires and all this stuff. And and then out of the audience, these plants and muscle men came up and physically sort of performer in, in his speedos. And I'm, I'm sort of going to the which one do I pick now? Ah, and, and a cousin and the to walk off with my groom. And so I'm Lyft on stage on my nice scream in and I mean, it was all the music and all this stuff. And of course, the the judge or whoever it was the emcee that that night so Miss Peru's been disqualified for over acting. And and of course all my friends I said I was in it. So of course they they still thought I was coming and Jonathan skank. Why don't because they're all in the front. What don't you lot understand. Miss Perry is not in the show anymore. You're left to support somebody else and they are going no, bring God back. [00:46:14] Just finally it if you had a chance to say this, to all the people out there in the dark on the last show something what what would that be? What would you say to people? [00:46:29] And [00:46:32] I would like to thank Jonathan for his thought of putting it all together. [00:46:41] holding it together and you know, promoting it and, and of course with Kevin soap as well. But yeah, so big. Thank you to them, especially Jonathan.
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