Write because you want to, not because you have to.
One of the most iconic performers of the Adelaide Fringe - Tash York - is returning with not one, not two, but three epic shows for our enjoyment and merriment at the performing arts festival, which kicks off mid-February.
Coming in strong with 3 epic shows for our entertainment at this year's Fringe festival, Tash and I were able to coordinate an e-interview, where we discussed all 3 shows in detail - have a read of our exchange and make sure you get your tickets to her show(s), because if anything is to go by her performances in previous years, it won't be long before they are all sold out!
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Tash? Tash: I am a singer, improviser, cabaret performer, MC, balloon twister and wine/chicken nugget enthusiast! I work across a variety of performance styles, including singing for a covers band, guest entertaining on Cruise Ships, hosting burlesque and writing/producing/touring my own Comedy Cabaret shows.
Tema: How long have you been in the performing arts industry? Tash: I guess over 10 years now, because I'm in my 30s now and I can say sweeping statements like… 10 years now!... Also because I think the first few years of playing 'second tree to the left' in high school probably doesn't count.
Tema: What have you found appealing about it? Tash: You say this like I had a choice… performance and stage have in reality, always been part of my life, and whenever I've tried to stray away from it… you know like to be a corporate accounts manager for an online florist (yeah don't ask), I can't seem to keep myself happy without it. So, basically, it's like wine - it's good when it's good, but there can be a terrible hangover!
Tema: What have you found challenging about it? Tash: Definitely the instability of it, which is why I guess I cover so many different facets of entertainment now so that if one area is slow, I can hopefully pick up work in another.
Tema: How did you get involved with the Adelaide Fringe (AF)? Tash: When you start doing Fringe festivals, it's kind of like the festival everyone loves to hate at first because it's the biggest and the hardest to do well in. But once you do it, and go well in it - it's the best. So I started by getting involved with the Perth Fringe with another show Impromptunes in 2015, and then kind of worked up my own courage to do it with my solo show "These Things Take Wine" in 2016.
Tema: How long have you been performing with AF? Tash: This will be my 4th year bringing a show to AF.
Tema: How would you describe your style of comedy-cabaret performance to someone who may have not heard of you prior? Tash: Basically, it's like we're on a night out, and I've gotten to the point in the night where I'm a bit drunk (but really fun still) and I'm telling you every juicy thing about my life that you didn't know you needed to know. But you did. Because some of these things relate to you too. And also, my performances are always accompanied by some awesome songs and singing!
About your show Badass:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about your show Badass?
What is the basic premise of the show? Tash: So we all have this ideal version of ourselves, right? Mine is that it is my sole goal in life to always seem like a badass. That person who doesn't give a fuck, who can party on forever and that can save the world. But, basically, the show uncovers a lot about the reality of living like that, and finds the truth of what is like to really be a badass in life. It also deals with mental health, as I suffer from Anxiety, and what it means sometimes to put up a mask to the world in order to deal with that.
Tema: What can people expect from your show? Tash: Some kick-ass parody songs including Michael Jackson, Tay Tay, Queen, Pat Benatar (and more); all backed by my badass 3 piece band. There will be some improvised songs, rapping, a featured appearance by "Trash Talk" my inner saboteur and at some stage, I will get everyone in the audience to say "Fuck You".
Tema: What inspired you to come up with the concept of the show? Tash: The INTERNET! Haha but really, there is so much out there about how we have to be so perfect and fit and strong and unstoppable - I wanted to write something that acknowledged what the reality of that actually is.
Tema: Who is your ideal target audience for the show? Tash: This show is for anyone who has ever suffered anxiety and my usual audience of 25-45yo ladies and gents, who like a good time and some wine - but anyone a fan of true stories and great music would also love it too!
About your show Petty B*tches
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about your show Petty B*tches? What is the basic premise of the show? Tash: A sketch comedy/cabaret show celebrating the petty things in life. Presented as a self-help workshop for Pettiness Accreditation, let us take you on a crazy satirical journey that celebrates the very specific, tiny details, that make us better than the rest.
Tema: What can people expect from your show? Tash: Two cabaret dickheads, making you laugh at all the silly or petty things you've ever done in your life. Everything from seats back on a plane, to annoying children's songs that get stuck in your head for life (baby shark doo doo doo dooo doo), this show will make you laugh (possibly cry).
Tema: What inspired you to come up with the concept of the show? Tash: Boo Dwyer and I really wanted to work together on something that wasn't too serious (in fact, it's ridiculous) and we thought since pettiness is back in fashion, we figured it would be a perfect platform for a duo show.
Tema: Who is your ideal target audience for the show? Tash: For anyone who has ever left a passive-aggressive post-it note for their housemate, washed every dish in the house except for a fork (because it's not yours and you shouldn't have to do it) or has sent emails with shady regards - this show is 100% for you!
About your show After Hours Cabaret Club
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about your show After Hours Cabaret Club? What is the basic premise of the show? Tash: A variety show featuring all the most glamorous and debauched acts spanning across circus, sideshow, cabaret, burlesque and other things that are like… ohhh wtf?
Tema: What can people expect from your show? Tash: A bloody superstar line up! A live 5 piece jazz band! Me singing in your face and probably saying 'fuck' way too much (I'm the MC). You will see things you never knew you wanted to see before - like a man putting his entire body through a tennis racket or someone hula-hooping naked with a popcorn machine on her head. You know, just regular entertainment stuff like that!
Tema: What inspired you to come up with the concept of the show? Tash: This show was actually mainly conceived by one of my besties and burlesque superstar Bettie Bombshell! She actually produces and creatively controls the show, I assist in the music department more so, along with the help of our musical director Arthur Craig. It's a team effort, but honestly, the whole idea of it was living in Bettie's head for a long time and now we are all so lucky it's come to life!
Tema: Who is your ideal target audience for the show? Tash: If you like late night variety shows, to be shocked and amazed at once, or you have an affinity for the weird and wonderful - then you'll love this show!
Tema: What do you find about performing shows solo vs as part of a duo / big team? Tash: There are pros and cons to both! Touring by yourself is really shitty sometimes. This is kind of why I am doing a billion shows at once, so that I can have the best of both worlds. Personally, it's great to have creative control of your work, and to have your full effort rewarded either by acclaim or actual money (an artist…. Money … what?)! But, there is something to be said for working as a team as well, and creating something bigger than yourself, which I get to do in After Hours and also working with someone to bounce ideas off and be inspired by which I love to do with Boo Dwyer.
Tema: How do you feel about juggling the works of 3 shows at once at AF? Tash: To be honest, I have been doing 2 shows for the past 2 years so I figured lets keep pushing it, baby! Also, my solo show Badass and duo show Petty Bitches are on different weeks, so really it'll only ever be two shows at once. I did the whole of Edinburgh fringe with 25 solo shows, 40 spots and 14 MC shows across 25 days… so this will be slightly less work than that (I hope)!
Tema: How have you found your experience with the AF to have been so far? Tash: Over the years, it has grown to be my favourite festival. I had the worst experience with it my first year - I lost something around $4000. But, every year, I am presented with new opportunities and new challenges. I feel like it's one of the top festivals for looking after their artists and presenting with new challenges - as I get to work for the Adelaide Fringe as an MC and Host for a number of events now, which is really cool. I'm also really lucky that I am part of the Gluttony family (venue), as they also look out for me and push me to go further. This year, I have jumped from an 80 seat venue to a 180 venue with the support of El and Daniel, so I am really grateful they want to push me to succeed too!
Tema: What are you hoping to expect from AF 2019? Tash: I am hoping people will love my new show Badass, as much as they loved Adulting - if not more! I'm really proud of this show, as I learnt so much from Adulting. I have two new original songs in the show, so I hope that I can start my transition to an original cabaret artist, through this festival and continue to build the Tash York brand… and not regret being in a huge ass venue haha! (plz come to my show)
Tema: Have you performed interstate / overseas? If so, can you tell us briefly about what that has been like and how it compares to AF? Tash: Yeah, I am super lucky that I get to perform all over Oz quite regularly! I have done a bit of overseas stuff through the cruiseships and I've also done Edinburgh twice. This year, I am going to NZ Comedy Festival, which is also a huge step! Every venue, season, place is always different. I really enjoy that it's different - especially the difference in what certain audiences laugh at, or take away, or comment on after the show is finished - I really love that. AF is awesome and probably up there as my favourite festival now, but I do love that I get to travel to different places too…despite the fact I really hate airports SO MUCH.
Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like your audience / our readers to know about you and your shows? Tash: If you like chicken nuggets, swearing, and wine, then you'll probably like my shows!