No sooner was I touching down in Adelaide was I taking off... but what a brilliant 48 hours.
There's no doubting that Adelaide is way smaller than Sydney and Melbourne in terms of population which I think is why I'm leaving with a sense of community.
Daniel had told me to meet, and I quote "a 40 yr old lesbian" outside a pub in the centre of town. As the queens minced past that feeling of dread entered my stomach. I'm not one for gay places - I'm slightly embarrassed to be in them. Some people might call this gay shame but I think its something far more complex - intruder syndrome.
I don't feel any affiliation with gay men but I'm aware I'm often thrown in that box. This awkwardness around gay men comes from the fact I used to be queens bullied and mocked me in their spaces when I first came out so I just feel uncomfortable being there. I'm much more at home with the lesbian community.
I was greeted by Catherine Fitzgerald, Artistic Director of Feast. Feast is a queer arts festival that's held annually in Adelaide. Every Sunday they play gay bingo at the Light Hotel to raise money for the Feast programme. As I dripped steak sandwich over my bingo cards I looked up and suddenly I was a part of the gang.
Unlike London the room was filled with every affiliated letter of the gang. LGBTQI - all co-existing in the same space. I think Adelaide's size helps - it's diverse enough but small enough. I left that room with an infectious sense of community.
Later on I went to see a drag show - Vonni's Big Arvo! It's everything you expect from a Sunday night drag show in Australia. What I was really touched by was the young queens trying out new work. They projected selfies and lip-synched with videos of their pre-drag self. If this was in an arts space it would be contextualised or appropriated as queer. The fact it was in a room, above a straight pub with every queen, local and non-traditional arts crowd watching on made it really exciting. I bloody loved it.
After a swim, spa and sauna I was off to meet Adelaide's elite. Carin at Adelaide Fringe was really helpful in terms of helping me decide if I should present at the fringe in Feb-March. As I mentioned in my last post the model here is really difficult to make work and so I needed to know what I'm going into and have all the right information.
Fellow cabaret makers should reach out to the cabaret festival - they are based at Adelaide's Festival Theatre and produce a variety and cabaret season each year. Jared and Dana are nice people trying to make new things happen - this is evidently an Adelaide trait.
I am now sat in my hotel room, face down on my bed trying to make decisions on numbers - art and money don't mix and when forced they both repel. The next 24hrs will be do or die for my proposed tour in Feb/March... watch this space.