interview

She’s so f**king awesome on stage - In conversation with Lucy McCormick by Kaleido Shoots

If you haven’t met her yet, you still haven’t felt completely immersed into laughter, amazement, excitement and shock at the same time whilst watching her on stage ripping off her clothes, throwing herself on the floor dancing like the world has come to an end. It’s the one and only artist and performer Lucy McCormick, who offers the best entertainment we have ever witnessed, mesmerising and shocking the public, her performances and content are absolutely taken from another world full of passion, extravaganza, sweet madness, whipped cream, coffee granules, wine and sweets!

AND YES we went backstage and had a long chat with Lucy about her life as an artist, what inspires her to be so unique and courageous when performing, about the content of her work, future plans and a few more cheeky questions. :)

IMG_6035.jpg

1. Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

A bit grumpy, snatchy, loves you, over thinker, a bit more famous than you, a bit less ok then you, mostly adorable, mostly hygienic.

2. How did you create the character of Lucy McCormick or is it a character?

On stage Lucy is sort of the best and worst version of myself. I think i play around with stripping back different layers of persona during performances, and whether the audience is ever really with the 'real' me is questionable. I like playing with people's expectations - when the audience sees me walk on stage what do they expect? And how far I am going to achieve those expectations, or undermine/subvert them. 

3. What makes you do what you do?

passion, vulnerability, bordem, arrogance, insecurity, hope, fantasy, outrage

4. Who/ what inspires you? Any artist/ place/ activity etc. that inspires you at the moment?

Some of my favorite artists are Daniel Olivier, Tim Spooner, FK Alexander, Mamoru Iriguchi... theres loads of others... my work isn't particularly like these artists' but i think that's how it works for me a lot of the time. I'm just inspired by people making really bold and surprising decisions.  

I live in London but I'm trying to get away more. Just being away from your every day space can help widen your perspective. 

5. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I didn't know what I wanted to be, and I didn't get how everyone knew what they wanted to be 

7. What is your favourite part of a performance?

The end! No maybe the moment after a first joke, when people have actually laughed and it's like ohhhh phew now we're having fun. That includes shows/jokes I've been doing for like 3 years! You don't ever know how it's gonna go that night. 

8. During your performances you play with food and drinks quite a lot. Could you explain us more about that concept and its meaning?

IMG_6016.jpg

It's not so much a concept... I just like making a mess. It's fun for me and it's fun for the audience to watch. It's nothing boundary breaking, but making a total mess still feels liberating and a bit naughty. Also I'm usually half dressed and covered in messy make up and hair extensions, and there's something about the grotesque/desperate/doomed/hot chick I can't get enough of. 

12. There is a satirical aspect to your work… How do you create the narratives?

It depends on the work. Sometimes I'm piecing together different images and references I want to explore until they have some kind of dramaturgical narrative or are thematically making sense. And yeh they are often about subverting pop culture references. My show Triple Threat was a different project - I took the story of the New Testament and restaged it for myself. It seemed to be a useful story to explore interests in gender discourse, sexuality, greif.... I mean it covers pretty much everything! Im doing a similar project at the moment looking at further narratives to subvert/play with.

13. What is your vision and how do you see yourself in 10 year time?

Just really tired and wrinkly but happy?

14. Any exciting work coming up soon?

I have 2 large scale projects coming up this year that will be annonced soon, so watch this space! 

15. Your best advice for a young performer and artist?

Follow your instincts, work hard, back yourself, have a wide perspective on life. Also answer emails and be on time. (I'm still working on pretty much all of these)

Why we need a Trans Fundraiser - Q&A with Jules Guaitamacchi by Kaleido Shoots

We recently took part as the official photographers for the first trans surgery fundraiser in the UK, Beyond at Marlborough Pub and Theatre in Brighton.

According to Pink News, the NHS is finding it more and more challenging to cope with the high demand of services at gender identity clinics, patients are having to face long waiting lists for treatments and appointments. Because of the duration of the wait many transgender patients have to go through difficult times of stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Beyond Trans Surgery Fundraiser was created from the desire to help the trans community and raise money in order for the transition to be smoother and faster. The event was such an empowering experience with a long list of performers and musicians all supporting the event and offering their time and energy for the community. Part of the talented performers and artists, we can mention Ali Hannon. Samo Arts, Juno Dawson, Sebastian Causton, Mèfi, Finch, Chuck SJ, Aiofe Strange, Khanyisa Joy, Dj Lizzo, Jumeau + the Drag Show: hosted by Fruit Performer with performers Alfie Ordinary, Rococo Chanel, Dick Day, Psychofag and Velvet Thunder.

After this successful first event, we had the pleasure to ask the organiser Jules Guaitamacchi a few questions:

Photos from the first Beyond event at Marly

How did Beyond Transgender Surgery Fundraiser idea come about?

As a community event the idea came about due to the experience of several of our event organisers. With hugely under resourced services in the United Kingdom trans people face enormous adversities when attempting to access support services, often waiting years before receiving an initial assessment. This process can impact enormously on an individual’s psychological health and well-being. With a sense of urgency it isn’t uncommon for trans people to attempt to facilitate their own medical transition, self medicating with hormones and raising surgery costs through online fundraisers. The aim of Beyond is to help with the struggle and raise money for individuals who need financial support for their transition in whatever capacity that may be.

What was your biggest achievement from the first official Beyond event at Marly?

We even discovered that guests travelled across the country to attend the launch. The popularity of the night alone speaks volumes to us. Beyond is not only the first regular trans fundraising event in the UK but it is also the first regular trans focused event in Brighton (other than the yearly Trans Pride). For a first-time event we saw hundreds of LGBTQ+ people come through the door, the Theatre Drag Show was sold out, the main venue was ram packed and we raised close to a thousand pounds towards surgery, fundraising through art sales, ticket sales and a huge raffle that included prizes donated by local restaurants, shops, supermarkets, club nights and Theatres etc. all supporting the cause.

What is your motivational advice for your fellow transgender friends saving up for the surgery?

Speaking to many people we realised that sometimes people feel as though they are not worthy of asking for financial aid. We want to assure anyone that everyone should have the right to become their true self. Fundraising is no easy task, especially when trying to raise thousands for private surgery. There are people out there that want to support the cause, Beyond aims to be a network for that to happen. If you find yourself struggling don’t do it alone! Ask for help…Also feel free get in touch with Beyond! beyondbrightonuk@gmail.com

Where is Beyond going next?

The next few events will be held at Beyond’s birthplace The Marlborough Pub & Theatre. That’s not to say that we won’t aim to branch out to different venues and locations. We’d like Beyond to begin to grow and develop into an event that will have a bigger outreach! First Brighton next the world.

Join us for the next Beyond event taking place on the 23rd of March at Marlborough Pub and Theatre for even more live music, drag performances, poetry, DJ’s including KUCHENGA, Jordan Gray, Pascale, Flick, Dj Lizzo, Ali Hannon, Jumeau. Fruit, Max Legroom, Oliver Assets, Daphne, Gem The Clown. Plus some very special guests!