Kate Lucas has been told she needs to sell herself more. So now she is. Buy her! Join this multi award-winning musical comedian this August, as she tries to figure out how much she’s worth in this ludicrously silly and sharply satirical look at the dark side of advertising and social media. Kate spoke with The Fountain more in depth about her Fringe show as well as offering tips for first-time performers.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes it’s a real mixture of excitement and terror! The Fringe feels a bit like a big, fun school trip but some one’s decided to hold all your end of year exams there in the sense that you’re putting something out there to be judged. I really love the city, I think it’s beautiful and the Fringe itself is just so buzzing and creative and full of exciting talent but it’s an insane thing to do when you think about it. Imagine going to Glastonbury for a month. You’d go mad and almost every comedian I know does at some point during the Fringe. I’ve always wanted a tattoo and I think if I get one I’ll get it in Edinburgh because it’s seen the best and the worst of me over the years!
TF: Kate Lucas is Selling Herself certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Ha ha, yes it’s a bold title I guess. It’s partly about advertising and how it’s wormed its way into everything we do. It’s also about how that relates to my life. I’m always told I’m bad at “selling myself” or that I need to think of myself as a “brand” so I decided to take that advice very seriously and auction off all my body parts to the audience. It’s just silly and it’s my way of questioning the hold products and marketing are having on our lives. I criticise a specific advert in my show and the person who wrote that ad happened to be in the audience in one of my previews. He does NOT like me. There’s a part where I invite the audience to draw on me and he wrote a very naughty word on my face. I think I ruined his Birthday.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I’ve been wanting to write about advertising for a long time because I read an amazing Banksy quote “Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.” it’s way longer than that but I found that really inspiring. You go “Oh yeah” hang on, no one asked us if we wanted our ears and eyes to be filled with adverts. Why don’t we question that more. I think we’re being conned a bit and this idea that you’re controlling your own career by being becoming an online “influencer” seems crazy because no one’s making money from the people. They’re making money when big companies say so, the minute they decide they can use other people’s talent or likeability to sell their products.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
I will be trying to catch some of my favourite comics and then I might try and get along to something that’s a bit different like a dance show or something a bit camp and cabaret (I will also try and visit the mac and cheese stand in George Square if it’s still there because I’ve been dreaming about the truffle mac and cheese since the day I left.) Advice for new acts: You will probably cry at some point and that’s fine. If you’re over the age of…let’s say 27 I suggest giving yourself a drinking limit because everything is open for way longer than is sensible or healthy! In terms of actual sensible advice just let loose and enjoy it and try your hardest to be in the moment with the audience because presumably that’s the whole reason you’re doing it. Have fun.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I’ve been many times and I love it but I never see as much as I’d like to see. It’s amazing how many good intentions I go up with every year but never follow through on. I was trying to think of some of my favourite people to recommend but then I remembered these people are my competition so I’ll try to give a balanced view. Bobby Mair is a very talented, very funny Canadian misfit with a dark and brilliant brain. It’s just such a shame he burned down that puppy sanctuary. Then there’s Jonny Pelham – Jonny Pelham possesses one facial expression that makes him look like Angela Lansbury crossed with a bemused goose and it lets him get away with saying pretty much anything. He’s hilarious and I know people say he’s been different since he came out of prison with that Nazi tattoo and all his new bald friends but I really wouldn’t think anything of it.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Kate Lucas is Selling Herself?
I think I should stick to realistic career goals and with that in mind, I’d like to become the next Tupac. Also I’d maybe like to tour the show if it goes well and I’ve got some scripted projects I’m working on. It would be great to do more work on that sort of thing. I really enjoy writing dialogue. I’m terrible for rehashing conversations in my head or having imaginary ones while I’m in the shower going over what I might or should’ve said and it’s a great way to channel that neurosis!
Kate Lucas’s new comedy show Kate Lucas is Selling Herself will be at the Just The Tonic The Tron at 6.20pm from 1st – 25th August. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com