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Bondi Feast: Seen & Heard Cabaret

"It's different every night and incredibly beautiful to watch"

Four of the stars of the Bondi Feast season of this ultra-revealing alt-cabaret share their experience of opening up in public.

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Bondi Feast: the Stars of Seen & Heard

Date: 18 Jul 2018

In Seen & Heard, physical comedians, drag stars, strippers and burlesque artists give us a glimpse into what lies beneath the sass and sequins.

We asked four of the stars of the Bondi Feast season of the show to share their experiences.

Chase Paradise

“Feminist, sex-worker and comic”, Chase’s recent work highlights include the Melbourne International Comedy Festival hit Ho Life Or No Life.

Chase, what does your life look like aside from performing?

I’m an online personality and content creator with a heavy focus on social media. I sell nude pictorials through Patreon and make YouTube videos. I’m currently working on an album of stripper-related music and releasing erotic fiction.

What are you passionate about?

The safety of sex worker rights as human rights, women and queers unapologetically expressing themselves, and the dismantling of capitalist, white supremacy and patriarchy.

What does it mean to be seen and heard?

Seen & Heard is an amazing opportunity for artists to express themselves honestly and authentically in a supportive environment of their peers. Every night you’re seeing a diverse group in their most raw and vulnerable state. We’ve shared tears, hugs, and shone a light on our darkest parts to make something original for each audience. It’s different every night and incredibly beautiful to watch, let alone be a part of.

Frankie Valentine

Frankie says: “Stripping and playing with sexuality is what I love and that vibe is present in all of my acts.”

What does Seen & Heard mean for you?

To me, it’s about authenticity. To be able to drop the bullshit and show your authentic self, to be able to smash down the walls we create as people and as performers and allow our vulnerabilities to be seen – and heard.

What does your life look like aside from performing?

My life outside performing looks like soft pillows and dark chocolate. And lots of books. I study writing at RMIT and teach Tantra. So basically, sex and books. That’s my thing.

Glitta Supernova

The original “sex clown”, performance artist and founder of the long-running Gurlesque.

Describe what you do.

I am looking to break down the systems of power and control and take a look through the kaleidoscope. Twenty-five years of creating art enables reflection, I see societies pendulum continually swinging forwards and backwards and I continue to push back with my art activism.

What does your life look like when you’re not performing?

If I am not touring or performing, I am working in TV, film and theatre as a makeup artist. Outside of all that you can mostly catch me on the beach frolicking with the poodles, gardening, creating new work or manifesting my reality.

About five years ago I moved from Marrickville (about the same time as everybody started moving en masse) to the Central Coast of NSW with my partner and we haven’t looked back. We live on the beach, backing onto the bush.

Gentrification has never sat well with either of us, even if it is our own peeps. We both believe in the mix of culture, class, politics and identification. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it works for us.

Simplifying our lives and being more connected to the planet has given me a perspective on what is important to me. I have found this connection to the planet, to my food source and to my home has birthed the most creative and productive time of my life.

What does it mean to be seen and heard?

The most liberating thing for me has been finding my voice. Storytelling has the ability to move perceptions and transform the culture. The personal is political and our collective voice are a strong tool. Back in the 1980s there was a campaign “Give the girl a spanner” where they encouraged women to pick up a trade. Seen & Heard is “Give the stripper a microphone!”

Becky-Lou

Host and Creator of Seen & Heard.

How did you come to create the show?

I was a burlesque performer during the height of the burlesque revival in Australia. It was a pretty wonderful world for a few years, being paid to live out my retro showgirl fantasy in front of big crowds and in dressing rooms full of some of the most fierce, wild and welcoming women I’d ever met, all sparkling, naked and guzzling champagne.

But after traipsing around the variety circuit as a fancy stripteaser for a while, I began to feel frustrated with my lack of voice. While I was expressing myself through burlesque and physical comedy, I was literally being seen and not heard. On the fringe festival circuit I discovered the art of storytelling. I created a solo show that combined my burlesque acts and personal stories and toured it around Australia and to Canada.

I created Seen & Heard to help other performers who come from primarily visual and physical disciplines within the cabaret world to do the same. I would hear so many hilarious, beautiful and heart-breaking stories from my friends in those champagne filled dressing rooms and I thought audiences would fall in love with them and their tellers as much as I did.

What can we expect in a Seen & Heard show?

Watching the performers shred the stage with their amazing acts and then captivate us with their stories, vulnerability and humanity is a gift every time. Reading their drafts and rehearsing with them is a gift. I shed a lot of happy tears all the time.

What does your life look like aside from performing?

Producing! I’m a deal maker and an ideas man and I love to make stuff happen. I dream up concepts, shows and events and set about trying to make them real. I’m active in the Aussie cabaret world in other ways too, producing and mentoring other artists and co-chairing the Green Room awards Association’s Cabaret panel.

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