But Please Don't Touch Me

OMG hello! I'm a messy mess and haven't blogged in about four months, but I'm coming at you with a double post. Sort of. Neither of them is particularly cheery, but hopefully there's something uplifting you can take away from them.

Side note: I'm not sure how many of you regular readers (if you even exist) have noticed that I try and make every title a musical theatre lyric - because writing a blog about drag isn't gay enough - and I wanted to share this one because it is quite relevant and also Megan Mullally is glorious.

 To begin with, here's a post I actually wrote on December 5th (a mere THREE months since my last post), that I probably forgot to post because it was at about two in the morning. If you've read my previous blogs you may start to see a pattern emerging. Hey ho. Here it is, in all its early-morning, exhausted, glory:
 

Hello. I'm sorry I haven't been keeping this updated; I recently moved to London (yay!) and also have no WiFi after three weeks (opposite of yay!). However, I'm scraping together whatever 4G I have left in my phone to bring you this blog post. It won't be a recap of what I've been up to because, by my count, I did a total of three things in September/October (Sidebar: I did see Dreamgirls a couple of weeks ago and it was glorious). No, instead it is this PSA/thought for the day:

Part and parcel of moving to London has seen me reconnect with friends who now live here, mainly from uni. This is great. However, it involves a lot of hugging and things of that ilk. I've never been one to hug, or share close contact with a broad range of people. I've never really given it much thought, and have always seen it as a facet of my hilariously prickly demeanour. Until last night.

A straight male friend of mine brushed my arm and I, instinctively, flinched. He then asked me why I was so against touching, putting his arm around me, and I couldn't answer him. Actually, I wouldn't answer him - I knew why. I told him I didn't want to tell him why, as 'I was recently sexually assaulted', the sort of showstopping and scene-stealing response younger me would have lived for, is now my reality. The sitcom of my life can't use this as a punchline, winning its star a BAFTA for the awkward comedy he's trademarked.

The truth is, I am scared of straight men. I would argue that this makes sense, somewhere down in my mammalian coding, as they pose the biggest threat to me. I am on edge when the pub I'm in is showing sports, or even across the street from a single man because, as we've learnt from history, any interaction with a straight man could realistically be my last, because of the way I walk, the way I look, or the way I linger on every 's' sound I make. I don't 'pass', and I shouldn't have to, but the fact I don't terrifies me. But the straight men I know? I'm safe with them, right?

I wish I knew. I think so, but since my experiences in Edinburgh my safety amongst straight men, let alone acceptance among them (a grail I gave up on long ago), has been called into question. Almost every touch with a straight guy, even just passing them in a crowded room, reminds me of that unnamed man in that club that I had to pass through. This doesn't happen with women or queer friends, but just recently I'm reevaluating how I've acted with them, if any of my friendly actions bring back similar memories or feelings. I've often said that through drag, I've had an insight into the way society treats women - how it both celebrates and commodifies them - and that I was lucky to be able to take the mantle off at the end of the night, and pack whatever misogyny or negativity I'd faced back into a suitcase. It's not like that any more; what I've experienced, good and bad, doesn't wipe off with the makeup.

I will admit, I was one of those people that used the word 'triggered' when I shouldn't have i.e eating porridge and remembering a play where I had to eat soup laced with oats. I regret that. Because being triggered by something isn't necessarily the panic attacks and seizures I thought it was. It can be the sheer terror of being near a friend.

I don't want to feel like this; I want to hug my friends without remembering what I want to forget. And I will get there. But for now, friends, please let us both decide how much contact we make.

I'll be back to doing the jokes soon
 

And I have been back to doing the jokes! I did a few new jokes at a Work-In-Progress night at The Glory, as well as the first draft of a lip-sync that evolved into my latest Lip-Sync Lollapalooza performance, this past weekend in my home turf of York. It was about Gemma Collins as a Disney Princess and it was very funny, if I say so myself. Hopefully I'll be able to share the video on my small tiny baby YouTube Channel (loadsa links in this post, it seems), so do subscribe to that to see it as soon as it's available!

Allow me to praise Lip-Sync Lollapalooza for a second. It's been York's only regular queer club night for almost two years now, and is a place where people of all and no genders and sexualities can join together, have a laugh, and enjoy being alive; a luxury we're not always afforded. It's all down to recent Twitter celebrity Crudi Dench who, alongside working tirelessly on this, and other, events, also lets me sleep on their sofa when the Lollapalooza rolls around. LSL is a place where you can be yourself (or someone completely different, if you want), watch or be a part of the best performances in North Yorkshire, and listen to dozens of the shit campy songs you used to love in 2006.

It is not a place, however, where straight men can grab your arse and think there won't be consequences.

I started receiving unsolicited sexual advances around the same time I started thinking 'yeah, I'm quite good at this drag nonsense', and it's hard for me to now separate my personal upward trajectory, and the sudden appearance of sexual assault, which is categorically what it is.

It happened to me in Edinburgh: I said nothing. It happened to me just before I performed on the main stage of York Freshers to a couple of thousand people, and I smiled at my friends and said I was fine, while trying not to cry.

It happened to me this Sunday when, about five minutes before, I had just won my fourth Lip Sync Lollapalooza, a club night that is clearly very special to me. (For the record, the final song of the meme-themed spectacular was that classic Rick Astley number, where every chorus I denied an audience member a copy of Pixar's 'Up'. It makes sense, really.)

What the offending man, who was wearing a gilet and cap inside, ON A SUNDAY, hadn't bargained for, was that I was on home turf. Lip Sync Lollapalooza takes place:

a) In a club where I have glued down my eyebrows in the upstairs strip bar, seen a naked fireman in an adjoining hen party, and been addressed and congratulated BY NAME by the actual, real-life Cheeky Girls. Most of my drag life so far has been lived there and, as its latest winner, I knew exactly where I stood.

b) In a #metoo-fuelled society. We now live in a world where we, victims of sexual assault and abuse, can shut down huge corporations, get Hollywood Blockbusters reshot, and make the covers of multi-national magazines. Rallied by the millions of victims (male, female, neither, both, black, white, trans, cis, gay straight) who have no idea I exist, I took a stand. I got that man thrown out of that club. He shouted at me both "You're a pussy!" and "You're a prick!", which was frankly the best way to describe the queerness of gender-non conforming man in a dress. A dress, which. I hasten to add, I made my bloody self and felt amazing in.

26733661_2552919638182066_5683614143383089910_n.jpg

I deserved to wear that crown. I'm a god damn queen.

The #metoo campaign is phenomenal. If you're reading this and you shared your story, thank you. The empowerment a single hashtag has given me (and, I suspect, countless others) is staggering and, whilst the reasons behind its use are deplorable and disgusting, the way it's helped me confront something so ugly and so terrifying is remarkable. I still felt a tear run down from the outer corner of my eye, and I can feel more potentially coming as I write this, but it's a step. If you know me personally you might know that real, genuine pride is something I struggle to feel unashamedly, but I'm on my way to feeling that about how I took, and will continue to take, my body back.

 

Thank you for reading this, if you did. While you're here, here's a cheeky plug for a BIG FUCKIN THING that's happening on February 1st. Myself and the Haus of Dench are performing with actual, real life RuPaul's Drag Race Winner SASHA VELOUR, and I can't wait. Tickets are going like hot cakes so if you're London-based or want to be for this, get your tickets here. Also my family is coming so that'll be bant.

Speak Your Mind And You'll Be Heard

So Edinburgh is over (still waiting for the only two reviewers I got to publish their reviews, though!) , and I've been at home, applying for jobs and generally festering.

Enter the memory of a theatre degree long forgotten.

I mean it's only been three months. But still.

Anyway, I mentioned a few blog posts back about creating and performing a play at some point, with an eye on next year's Edinburgh Fringe (not before doing the Buxton Fringe again because that was a great time), and now I've got around to planning it. What I visualise is a verbatim play, where I create an hour-long track from the audio recordings of loads of different people, of all ages, classes, races etc., and listen to it through headphones onstage, relaying it to the audience. The playwright Alecky Blythe popularised this, and I'm keen to try it myself, even though she won't follow my friend Anna back on Instagram.

HTBAM Call.png

As with any play of this nature, I need to curate some responses to a series of questions I've drawn up. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen a callout for this, but if you've missed it, here it is again.

But I realise that it is difficult to explain everything in 36 words, and this is what this blog is kind of about. If you've already emailed, you are amazing, and you probably know all of this information anyway, but if you're on the fence about whether to get involved, here's a bit more context about what it entails:

  • I've drawn up three sets of 10 questions, which participants need to record their vocal responses to, and then email them to me. The questions range from deep to shallow to silly (there's a set for drag performers, a set for fringe performers, and a general set for everyone else!), and there's no pressure to be groundbreaking or change the world with your responses. I'm mainly exploring gender, drag, and mine and others' experiences at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, but I'm also looking to hear your responses to topics such as music and comedy, so it's not all heavy and taxing.
  • I will use these to create the aforementioned track, which I will listen to through headphones on stage, and repeat, with every 'um', 'er' and verbal quirk left intact. The audience won't hear this, and all responses will be anonymised.
  • Whilst I am known more for my comedy, this will be a straight(ish) play. Obviously there will be some funny moments, but it's not stand-up in any sense. Likewise, I'm not making this into some form of lip-sync where I take the piss out of your responses with intermittent Cher/memes/whatever. Like I said, the audience won't hear your voice.
  • It won't take much time out of your day - there's no upper or lower limit, and you can be as waffly or as succinct as you like. The responses I've had in so far (thank you thank you if you've sent yours in!) range from about 4-18 minutes.
  • Obviously some editing will occur - maybe I'll use a ten-second clip of your response, or maybe it'll form the overarching narrative, who can say? - and you're always free to retract any or all of your response at any time. I have consent forms and I'm treating all information with sensitivity and confidentiality - bet you never thought you'd hear a drag queen say that, did you? (Technically you didn't hear it and I didn't say it but just go with it)
  • Regardless of anything, no matter what you say, what makes it into the final play, anything, I'll be very grateful to you if you do decide to respond.

If you fancy giving it a go, please do put your email in the box below, and I'll send you the questions, the consent form, and all information about the play. I have three sets of questions, one for drag performers, one for Edinburgh Fringe performers, and one that is a more general one if you don't fit into either of those two categories.

Question Set *


Also, please feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested! Like I said before, I'm trying to get as wide a range of responders as possible, so share this post far and wide!

 

Thank you.


Kate Butch xo

Edinburgh Fringe Days 25-26: And I Know Things Now

Hello. After my last blog post, I thought I would end my Edinburgh experience on a happier note. It's not all been doom and gloom, far from it, despite what the undercurrent of negativity may suggest. I've had, all in all, a great month. I've learnt a lot and honed my skills beyond what I expected. I've compiled a list of things I've learnt, producing and performing my own show from scratch. You might find this helpful, but really it's just a reminder for myself if I do another show in the future.

  • PUT THE TIME OF YOUR SHOW ON YOUR FLYER. You bloody idiot. This means that you don't have to spend the first few days writing '9:15pm' in biro on thousands of pieces of paper, while you wait for the second round of flyers you forked out for to arrive. There is a silver lining to this, however: the award for Best Comedy Event at the Buxton Fringe (hair flip) and the review that said you were the most joyous and genuinely funny show of the year (hair flip) that you received after printing the first round can now be added to the flyers, and you can look slightly more impressive.
  • Reviewers don't seem to care that you won Best Comedy Event at the Buxton Fringe (hair flip). Reviewers don't seem to care in general, in my experience. I'm currently waiting on a review from someone who came nine days ago, and from someone who came six days ago. I am sitting in a cafe waiting for my train back from this year's Fringe, on the last official day, so obviously those reviews aren't going to help me this time around. However, if you're reading this and you saw my show and haven't published a review, please do, because there might be some quotations that could help next year. Unless you hated the show. In which case, keep quiet.
  • There are people who want to help you; you just have to find them. A lot of the time this year I felt a bit fucked over by people who I thought could help me, such as the badge company who put the wrong name on the delivery, meaning that the friend I had sent them to at Pleasance Courtyard (she works there) couldn't pick them up as they were addressed to me (I do not work there), until the mystery of the missing badges was solved on Saturday, the penultimate day of my run, and I was able to give out the merchandise I had ordered in July. And one fifth of them didn't have pins on the back. And they also sent me a random school in Taunton's badges. I'm keeping them. I also felt fucked over by the reviewers who didn't come, or publish their reviews, or the friends who were up in Edinburgh and didn't see me, or the audiences who loved the show but didn't spread the word, but looking back on it now, that doesn't matter. There were people who helped me: someone came to my show and gave me a spot on Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe, giving 259 people a taste of me; the people who put me on their compilation shows, often multiple times, like at Pollyanna and Club Sol Party; the people who told/will tell their friends, who programme stuff at big places (if you're reading this and know who you are, please remember to do this oh god please), and the people who supported me every day, from helping me into and out of my shoes, protecting me from evil children, and just having a laugh/wine with me. Thank you.
  • Good god don't do everything by yourself again. I find it a bit tasteless to talk about money, but I will say I managed to make a profit doing the fringe next year, after paying for accommodation, Fringe registration, a lot of cassette tapes and 21 punnet of grapes. If I do something this year, I want to use that money/the connections I've made to get someone to do PR or producing or anything to help me out. I've tired myself out emailing people, getting bookings, chasing up reviews, flyering AND performing every day - it's a good tired, but not one I fancy reliving again. Also I want some of those big boards. Mainly because I'm a narcissist. It can be done, doing it by yourself, which I'm hopefully proof of. I just might try something else next time.
  • SEE MORE SHOWS. Seriously. Nobody except you cares that you're in drag from 3pm-midnight every day. It's the Fringe, you're allowed to look a bit weird in front of other performers, so don't restrict yourself to morning shows or save everything for your days off. Performers won't be distracted, so stop feeling guilty about disrupting their shows with the overpriced grease you have smeared all over your face. Go and see shows. Although, since you ask, some of my highlights from this year include: Diane Chorley, Harriet Braine (but you knew that, obviously), and my York pals at Any Suggestions, Doctor? and Present and Correct, which actually blew me away this year. Keep an eye out for all of these people because they are great.
  • WE INTERRUPT THIS LIST TO BRING YOU AN UPDATE: I have left the cafe and am now on the train. Ooh, up to the minute commentary. I'm in first class and there's a teeny tiny Jack Russell here, sitting on a lady lap. His name is Sandy (I think) and is very sedate, maybe because he is a rescue dog. He is beautiful and very inquisitive about what's going on. Bless him. Sandy (I think) is an anathema to the woman sitting opposite me. We were all offered a frankly massive Scotch Egg; I said no because my body isn't a graveyard (i.e. I am a vegetarian). She took one, over which I didn't pass judgement. Now, the lovely first class train man Euan came round with a few boxes of vegetarian snacks - crisps, pretzels, cheese etc., and when I was offered the last one, this bitch, THIS BITCH WHO KNEW I WAS A VEGETARIAN AND ERGO COULD NOT HAVE A SCOTCH EGG, WAVED HER LITTLE HAND - WHICH ALREADY HELD A FUCKING FRANKLY MASSIVE SCOTCH EGG - AND TOLD EUAN THAT SHE'D HAVE IT. Me and Sandy's mum made eye contact, as if to say 'this bitch', as I took the consolation prize of a frankly tiny mini cheddar and mango chutney combo, one of which THIS WOMAN ALSO TOOK. SHE FUCKING LOVES FREE SHIT DOESN'T SHE. So I am here with my crackers n chutney while this woman is devouring her own portion (and she's one of those dickheads who scoops, not dips), a whole vegetarian snack box, and the aforementioned FRANKLY MASSIVE SCOTCH EGG. I had a small lunch in preparation for this free shit, madam. As revenge I'm typing this very loudly, and am considering stealing her milk in front of her. Because I am petty, but also I am not a prick and don't like too much of a milky tea. Maybe I'll do it. Live a little. Update: she's used her milk and has asked to use mine. Literally I'm about to kick off. Also apologies for these updates. It's like twitter but I have no internet and you'll see it a few hours later. I've had to put sugar in my tea because I need the extra nutrition thanks to Snack Bitch. If you need this item to be some genuine advice, it is this: DEATH TO SNACK BITCH. She's getting off at Preston so me and Mrs Sandy will bitch about her then.
  • Be nice to your fellow performers. 
  • Wait no back to Snack Bitch. This woman had the audacity, THE NERVE, to look at me with disgust after my vengeful loud sipping of tea. Admittedly, in any other situation I would drink my tea quietly and subtly, but SB has left me high and dry with two sachets of Tate and Lyle, so no amount of filthy looks will change my tactics, especially when the mouth below the shady eyes is currently inhaling nine pretzels simultaneously. Fuck you SB I can't wait until Preston.
  • Be nice to your fellow performers. Whilst I've had to witness the worse elements of human nature, I've also got to see some of the best, mostly from Fringe performers. We all get it - we're tired, we haven't seen a vitamin in weeks, and we miss our loved ones, dogs, and beds. Despite the difference in shows, good to bad, theatre to music to cabaret, we are united in our exhaustion and masochistic return every year. So we look out for each other. As mentioned before, some performers helped out when some children tried to kill me, but even on a minor level, it was nice to talk to people while flyering - people who know the bitter pain of being rejected about ten minutes before your show's due to start, even though you have similar start times and are essentially in competition with each other. That doesn't matter, because we're all friends and we're all in the same boat. There are people who do take themselves too seriously (usually found pretending to be dead on the Royal Mile), and they can be dicks and think that their show is the best and will push past/in front of you to flyer someone, but usually these people's shows are shit and nobody goes anyway. Otherwise be nice to each other.
  • SB has pulled out a Kindle. I might have fucking known.

So that's me. There's probably more I'm missing out on, but I'm too enraged/literally starving to remember them. Maybe I'll do a follow up. For the most part, I had a great Edinburgh Fringe, and have big plans for the next one. I'm hoping to keep this blog updated with what's going on in my life, although if this month's schedule is anything to go off, you'll probably hear from me about once a year. I'll try. Now, as I sign off from my Edinburgh blog, I need you to remember one thing:

DEATH TO SNACK BITCH

Edinburgh Fringe Days 18-24: How To, How To Succeed

I'm sorry. My life is crazy right now. At this stage I'm just putting today's makeup over yesterday's and my feet are twice the size from all the walking everywhere I've been doing.

I wasn't expecting to be writing a blog right now (01:39, Sunday morning) but I now feel compelled to, having had the idea bubbling away. Here is my guide to not being a complete dick at the Edinburgh Fringe (and maybe also in life):

1. Fundamentally, I am a man. In a wig. This is quite obvious, as in daily life a lot of people who identify as women don't have square jawlines, don't often stand at over seven feet tall, and don't frequently have their beards poking through their makeup. I look like a drag queen, which is what I am. I honestly don't know what I can do to make this more obvious. Now, the punchline is that I am a man, but I look like a beautiful woman. One of the reasons I do drag is to send up societal expectations of women, extrapolating the misogyny of demanding beautiful faces, perfect curves and legs 4 dayz. I won't get into that because it is now 01:45, Sunday morning and I can't be bothered. Anyway, the joke is that it's a man underneath all of this, and nobody likes a punchline ruiner, so it's best to keep that to yourself. We all know it, me, you and literally almost everyone that looks at my face - Jesus, you can even see where the lace starts on my wig - but the joke is better when we play along. You don't need to stare at me for a while and whisper/shout across the street to your friend that 'it's a man!' We know. More on this later.

2. Take the flyer. Just take it.

3. Taking pictures is fine, but be cool about it. Seriously. I'm on the Royal Mile to give out flyers to people that might look interested or up for a laugh with (not at) me. I'm not there to be photographed; it's just a thing I do on the side. I'm not on the mile to have my picture taken, and as such, I'd rather it was done quickly, or maybe from afar (see my Facebook/Instagram for these), catching me candidly in my natural element. Some of the best pictures have been taken like this, once the photographer has asked permission and taken a few steps back. Oh yeah, ask. Always ask. The number of people who see me as the same as that church they just snapped, and not as a human being, is staggering. Chances are if you ask me for a photo I'll say yes, but please do it quickly and preferably during a quiet moment, because I could miss out on flyering a stream of perfect audience members, just because you couldn't work out the flash. And don't direct me. I will place my leg where I wish. Also, speaking of photos:

4. Don't touch me anywhere you wouldn't touch a stranger. Very often I am a stranger, so do check yourself. An arm round the waist is fine; feeling my backside is not. Touching a breast without permission is another no-no. They might be foam, but touching my hips, bum and boobs without even asking is just fucking weird, and comes back to the thing of WE ALL KNOW IT'S A SHAM, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVE IT. More on this later.

5. 'Tranny', 'shemale' and 'ladyboy' are now, as they always have been, offensive. Both to me and my trans sisters. Stop using them. Alternatives include 'drag queen', 'beautiful woman' and 'Kate Butch, the Comic Sans of Drag'. Why not give those a go?

6. Take a fucking flyer. Especially if you're gay. We need to look out for each other.

7. Even though I look like a superhuman beauty, I still have feelings. I think we, as a culture, see drag queens as being those perpetually entertaining, always on top (cheeky), unshakeable goddesses. Think Lily Savage, that kind of thing. We're wrong. I thought of myself as an unshakeable goddess, until I was shaken. It's a sign of my male privilege that before this month, none of what has happened to me had happened to me, but here it is.

I have lost count of the number of men who have shouted at me from their cars as they have driven past me. I've heard the words described in point number 5, I've been told to suck someone's dick, I've been told that I'm going to be killed. I have persevered.

I have lost count of the number of men who have joked to their friends that one of them would be into someone like me. I think: someone with three A Grade A Levels, a first class degree from a Russell Group University, and a Grade 8 in the flute? They don't mean that. They mean that their friend is gay and that is bad. But somehow, SOMEHOW, the friend is still not the joke. It's me. 4 A*s and 6 As at GCSE me, who just wants people to come to this show he's worked so hard on.

I know the number of people who have touched my genitals today. It's two. This afternoon, when flyering, a child comes up to me and tells me that I am a man. Rule number one, young friend. I joke around that a man couldn't wear heels like this (he could, FYI) and he tells me that a man wouldn't have breasts. I break one of the highest drag rules and take out my foam insert for him to see, in an attempt to make him question gender roles and society's expectations. Perhaps he is too young. Unconvinced, he decides to find out for himself and prods me where he knows a man should have a penis and a woman a vagina. A few feet away his parents stand there laughing, tickled by the fact that their child has spoken to a transvestite.

If nothing changes, that boy grows into the man I met tonight.

After the high of such a great show tonight (Saturday, sort of), I go down to do my guest spot at Club Sol Party, at which I had such a great time a week and a bit ago. Club Sol Party is in a room upstairs at the Free Sisters, and the only way to get there is through a courtyard which becomes something of a bustling club at night. I make my way through towards the stairs, with the usual 'excuse me' and occasional tap on the shoulder to request a brief sidestep. As I'm making my way through the crowd, the stairs in sight, a man I have asked to excuse me does the opposite. Blocking my path, he stares at my face, with a look of confusion creeping across his. He clearly hasn't met a woman with neon yellow hair and broad shoulders. Man shoulders. I feel his hand around my crotch - as I'm wearing a petticoat and am frequently in drag for 8+ hours I haven't bothered to tuck - 'just to check' he sneers at me. His grip is tighter than his younger counterpart and I find it more difficult to bat him off. And then I go and sing Sk8er Boi to the tune of I Dreamed a Dream like none of this has happened, hoping that there is a way out of the venue that doesn't involve the courtyard. There isn't.

It is 02:28 and now is the first chance I've had to process today's proceedings. I feel angry at myself for crying, thinking that this happens daily for people who actually identify as women and that avoiding this kind of harassment is only a makeup wipe away. I'm trapped between the feelings that what has happened to me is only the tip of the iceberg of what could have been, and does happen to people, and the knowledge that suffering doesn't negate suffering. I don't want to think of this year's fringe as the one where I first experienced sexual assault, but even during my wig change at Club Sol, it was all I thought about. I want to remind myself that this was the fringe where I, a twenty-one year old recent graduate, wrote, performed and produced a solo show that people love, and I can't wait to see what I do next.

8. If you've liked my show, fucking tweet me please.

Edinburgh Fringe Days 14-17: Not A Day Goes By

I'm sorry for being so absent on this blog- ya girl is very busy. Here is a quick summary of my life at the Edinburgh Fringe over the past few days.

My shows have been going amazingly. Now the hordes of people I knew who I begged to come are being replaced by actual strangers, which is very exciting. Last night (Saturday) I knew about five of the audience members there, and the rest of the full room had come of their own accord. Very exciting. Also I think I had a reviewer in and it was one of the best shows yet so hopefully that will go well. Stay tuned. Speaking of reviews, click here for a review of the guest spot I did in Pollyanna, where I'm called 'a clear showstealer' by ScotsGay. Putting that on next year's poster.

Oh yes, next year. I'd love to do another stand-up show but I'd also love to do a play. I'm thinking of creating a verbatim play about how to be a 'man', to be delivered as I'm taking off all the drag from the stand-up show I've just done, if that makes sense. I'm notating it here so there's some expectation and pressure on me to actually do it, and also to see if there's anyone who'd like to be involved/interviewed for the play. Stay tuned. Again.

I also did a guest spot at a show called Club Sol Party, which was one of the best times I've ever had at the Fringe. It was basically a 90s holiday resort, with Mauve Coats and classic poolside entertainment. I did my Avril Lavigne/Les Mis mashup again here, and a couple of people gave me a standing ovation, which was lovely. The rest of the show was hilarious as well, so definitely go. Expect inflatables. And speedos.

Also I got a new wig:

Note the weird bunching around the crotch. Sexy, right?

Note the weird bunching around the crotch. Sexy, right?

I'm also considering doing a bit of a stunt where I walk the length of the Royal Mile in my 8.6" heels. Let me know what you think.

Tonight I'm back at CC Blooms, at Sanctuary of Sin, doing my number about homosexuality. Very exciting. If you're in Edinburgh, feel free to come along! Because it is free.

Hopefully I can update you on this tomorrow. Last time I went to CC Blooms, however, I almost got kidnapped by a wine merchant (memz), so that could happen again.

There were lots of links in this edition. It's like I'm a straight teenage boy who wants to smell nice.

GET IT????

No, nor do I.

Edinburgh Fringe Days 11-13: Life Worth Living

I have been mad busy doing lots of things so I have not been updating this blog. I am sorry. Anyway, here is a run-down of what I’ve been up to.

On Sunday I saw the Showstoppers. I’ve done improv before but I am always blown away by these guys. On the night I saw them they did a musical set inside the human body. Everyone was great but Ruth Bratt always stands out for me, every time I’ve seen them. She played a lung that was basically Marilyn Monroe. So fringe.

I did a lil’ old guest spot in Pollyanna on Monday, singing Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi to the tune of I Dreamed A Dream, dressed as Susan Boyle. Obviously. Yesterday (Tuesday) I hosted a show called 50/50 (not the children’s gameshow), celebrating gender equality and diversity, looking like this:

It was a great time, and if you’re in London in the future, definitely go go go.

Yesterday I took my parents to see Harriet Braine (again lol) and it was the best I’ve seen it. My favourite joke:

“We’ll go to Spain to finish off. Like all good white Brits”

I also saw Denim, the drag supergroup. I was liking it, but when Electra Cute started singing Rise Like a Phoenix, I started loving it. I want to know where she gets her hair from. Also her voice. They were both beautiful.

We’re about halfway through the Fringe now. I’m having a great time. I haven’t had any reviews yet but people have been really nice on the internet. Real people. How exciting.

Edinburgh Fringe Day 9/10: Take Another Picture Of Our Angel

It's a special bumper edition of my blog, because I fell a bit behind but also fringe madness is setting in and the days are all blurring into one. Today, I'd like to talk to you about flyering.

Flyering is quite important in Edinburgh, for a fairly unknown performer (we're working on this), and there is no place better than the Royal Mile, where thousands upon thousands of people walk very slowly in two directions for a mile. Perfect people to give small pieces of paper pertaining to my show to/at.

I'm quite noticeable on the Mile. I wear 8.6 inch heels, and am also a man in a wig.

Note the heels. Note the spindles.

Note the heels. Note the spindles.

Because of this, a lot of people like to take my photo, and I am super cool with this, because I am a massive narcissist. However, a lot of people don't ask to take my picture, which ordinarily would be fine, but these people are often very reluctant to TAKE A FLYER AFTERWARDS. They do a cheeky lil smile and shrug, while I am immortalised on their cameras with nothing to show for it. I know I'm a strange sight to behold in the average person's daily life, and I'm all for taking pictures, but my actual show is so SO much better than just me standing on a street, and if people enjoy that, imagine the joy they'll have at 9:15pm at Espionage Mata Hari (cheeky plug). Also these people don't do anything with my picture (maybe because my social media handles are on the back of the flyer they haven't taken), so I'm gaining literally nothing from their snapping, which they often demand takes at least thirty seconds, in which I've missed out on flyering about twenty people. It's not the worst thing in the world, and there are people that are dying, Kim, but standing in 8.6 inch heels makes me less open to fuckery.

It also makes me less open to MURDER. On Friday, I was standing in my heels, minding my own business, giving out my flyers, when a group of about fifteen 10-14 year old Scottish children accosted me, aggressively confused about the fact that a man was in a dress and wig in front of them. One of them said 'ugh your makeup is shit' or something, and I said 'I'm not wearing makeup, this is just my face' and this riled them more. One of them then started kicking at the spindly rods that constitute the actual heel of my shoes, which felt like they were either about to break or slip, thus sending me plummeting seven feet, probably to my death. I was standing in front of a concert bollard, as well, and I was fully ready for my back to break, with my parents picking up my body from Edinburgh not even in my nicest dress. Luckily some delightful flyerers came to my aid, forming a protective barrier between the children and me, sending them on their merry way. I've always relied on the kindness of strangers.

So, in essence, if you want to take a picture of me, take a flyer as well. And if you take a picture of me, please tweet it, to satisfy my ego. Also don't try and end my life.

Thanks.

Edinburgh Fringe Day 8: And Sally Just Sat There

Hecklers are a staple part of comedy; one should probably expect them, especially when one is doing a late-night show at the Edinburgh Fringe, actively encouraging a drinking game. However, I feel that hecklers have to be actually good at heckling and not, as someone was last night, just a bit muttery and constantly talking.

Meet Sally, everybody.

Now Sally looked like a meth addict and sounded like one too. I usually have a bit of a fun time with people talking in my shows; since I’m not performing with the Shambles this year, it’s good to keep my improv muscles working and shut people up with quips and shit.

From the moment Sally opened her mouth, I knew what was going to shut her up. A Scottish woman who looks like a meth addict and sounds like one too. Perfect. It was a killer line so I thought I had to wait until she was unbearable. It took about three minutes. And then I said.

“Oi, Trainspotting: SHUT UP.”

The audience went crazy. I was basking in the radiant glow of rapturous applause. Sally had no clue what was going on. I was a drag hero.

And then Sally carried on talking.

Enter Alexios.

Alexis raised his hand to answer a question about his sexual preferences (Jake Gyllenhaal yes please), but before answering he made a public announcement about how much everyone hated Sally and could she shut up please because he had been looking forward to this all day. The audience recognised him for the martyr and icon he truly was and we will all be grateful to him. He won the cassette based on that alone.

And then the curtain between the tech box and the stage fell down. 

I have had the most free fringe day ever.