I kicked started the new year in residence at Tate Britain with audio project Towerblock Tracks - I asked you, the punter for your dream records in a i-swear-this-isnt-a-rip-off-of-Desert-Island-Discs sound installation and later that month a call centre for people to leave me answer machine messages (check the film out here). This was shortly followed by a residency in St. Helens with Heart of Glass that would lead to my most mammoth project to date.
February saw me fly to the other side of the world to prance about with Horse Meat Disco and the final outing of my solo confessional The Worst of Scottee (collecting 2nd place in the theatre award for Perth World Fringe). After a short(ish) flight I was in the middle of Hong Kong for Tilt Magazine, interviewing the LGBTQ community about equality in Hong Kong (you can hear the podcast with Tilt Magazine here). After lots of dim sum we headed to Japan for a mini-cabaret tour - I was honoured to be the first artist to perform at FancyHim (Tokyo's most genius queer hangout!). You can read all about my time spent in a fat hostess clubs in Osaka here, with Japans voguing community here, male bonding in the mountains here and a short I made in a Love Hotel here.
By Spring I was in America for a family holiday in Yosemite shortly followed by a few gigs in San Francisco, after which I headed for NYC where I met with some brilliant people, ate lots of ice cream (read this) and began work on a project about ageism in the queer community. This show is set to hit American stages in 2017!
In May, after 12 months of working with my Grandad, carving out his art career we launched his debut gallery show. In the community we have both lived for a combined 80 years we transformed a disused tanning shop into a gallery space. Over 190 people came to Grandad's show in three days and Vice said Grandad was "one of 2015's most exciting new voices"! Check out a video on the show here and Grandad's website here.
June saw me back in Japan in residency with 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art & Forest Fringe. This residency was to scope out what I'd like to make a project about later in the year. After the President said "women were an under used resource" I knew I was going to make something about the role of women in Japan. My debut documentary for Radio 4 was also aired - My Big Fat Documentary was made Documentary of the Week and you can hear it here (plus read this lush review from Guardian here).
I spent the summer workshopping with some brilliant emerging artists including Sophie Willan and Jack Rooke between appearances at Glastonbury, Latitude and Bestival. We also created Podium with The Yard - a kids speakers corner that was super amazing. During a residency with Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate I decided to spend the budget supplied by Arts Council on scratch cards - you can see how much I made here.
Edinburgh threw everything it could at us - I was collaborating with Hunt & Darton on a space in Leith. The venue was shut down by the Fire Brigade and so decided to throw dinner parties in our flat to console ourselves - in fact this worked out to be a really brilliant response! After one too many sherries at the British Council party we pitched our work for 2016-2018 to over 150 delegates from across the world with British Council - I felt well posh.
September saw me turn 30 (awkward), spend £1000 of LADA's money on lottery tickets and my return to Japan with 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art & Forest Fringe. I made a piece with 12 women from across Japan in collaboration with Masumi Saito - it was an emotional piece that had us all moved to tears. One woman told me "...thank you for making me a louder feminist". You can read my evaluation here.
As the nights got longer I launched my biggest project to date - TakeOverFest. A three month, cross-town arts festival for St. Helens. Together with Heart of Glass I commissioned 9 projects that took place in taxis, old shoe shops, shopping centres, glass furnaces, museums, libraries and parks. I'm so grateful to the people of St. Helens for making it a huge success - every event we did sold out, everyone asked us to do more! I also performed a poem at Lost Lectures that had some brilliant responses - watch it here.
Since the start of December I've been touring Camp (as Christmas) with the best bunch of freaks ever. Camp is all about naff light entertainment although it's secret agenda is to bring queer, campery to the masses! We've performed 10 shows so far to almost 1000 people across 4 cities! Next week we land in Colchester for the last leg of the tour!
Other 2015 highlights include interviewing Stephen Fry, Jamie Callum, Toyah Wilcox, Sophie Morgan & Agyness Deyn at my job on Radio 4 with Clive Anderson, performing alongside Marc Almond, appearing on Independents Rainbow List and becoming a God Mother!
Thank you to everyone we worked with this year, thanks to my brilliant team but most importantly thank you, bae! Thanks for spending your wages on seats in dodgy gay bars, stuffy studio theatres, community centres, taxis and tanning shops. Thanks for supporting the work when we've been unable to fund it. Thanks for giving us the air time to make stuff and talk about the shit - you are lush.
Lets kick 2016 in the bum! Merry Holidaymas! Happy New Year!
See you at a disco, art centre or car boot sale soon! X