Interview - Sam About Town
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Posted By Samantha Tipler on Jan 31, 2019
90s pop songs, alcohol issues, shit relationships, procrastination, obsessions…..all woven into a heady mix of hilarity and entertainment. You got me at the mention of confetti…
Sam About Town went on a mission to find out exactly how much of a mess to expect…
SAT: Confetti sounds like a show that has something for everyone. Can you tell us more about it? How messy does it get? Will we need counselling or dry cleaning afterwards?
AR: I kinda feel like everyone gets this feeling their lives a mess. Memes and vines on facebook are always about how no one has got their sh*t together. Like we’re all just kind of in a real life Bird Box situation. No one really knows where they’re going and we are all trying to avoid the looming doom, which in real life equates to paying bills on time, going to work, avoiding existential dread, having healthy happy relationships… you know, just generally pretending it’s all good. Also, relatable things that we’ve all dealt with like body shaming, obsessions, problems with alcohol, terrible relationships and weird dating stories. I once hid a Tinder date’s phone in his freezer, tucked neatly away under his naan bread… but you’ll have to watch the show to hear more about that one. I wanted to connect with people about things we can all relate to and feel bad about, but instead of beating ourselves up, to celebrate them. We’re all like confetti – we can be a bit of a mess, but that’s what makes us truly beautiful.
SAT: Personally I love drag queens and so I’m intrigued about your “unhealthy obsession’ with them. Please tell us more!
AR: There’s a segment in the show when I hark back to when it all began, sweaty night clubs in my youth dancing to so much Britney and Gaga to try and get free drinks and front row seats to see all the drag queens in their glory every weekend. Now it’s me making breakfast…watching rupauls drag race, driving to work, listening to drag podcasts, partner trying to go to sleep but I just have to watch a youtube tutorial of Lucy Garland, hiding my head under the covers and sticking my headphones in. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of twisting gender and am so glad that females in drag have become such a more seen and accepted thing as I believe were all putting on forms of drag every day. Whether its changing your appearance with mascara or a chiseled glitter and pink cut crease its all an illusion I find so incredibly fascinating and artistic.
SAT: This is your debut solo show. How do you feel about that and what inspired you to do a show on your own?
AR: Yes, I feel so good! I premiered the show at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne in November to a great reception! I just added a few extra shiny bits for the Adelaide audiences, so, I honestly can’t wait! I’m looking forward to a lot of laughs and getting to meet and connect with a bunch of fellow Adelaidians along the way. Wanted to do my own show ever since I stepped in to The Desperettes in 2017 and got to finally experience the amazing Fringe and Comedy Festivals and knew it was something I needed to do.
SAT: You mentioned the show, ‘the Desperettes’, which received 5 star reviews. Congratulations on that success. Are there any similarities or inspirations in this show, or is this something completely different?
AR: It is definitely targeted to the same kind of audience. To be fair my real life persona is pretty similar to the character ‘Delilah’ I played in The Desperettes. A little bit dorky, says weird things in social situations and throws around c bombs a little too frivolously. It’s that parodied 90s pop music we all love that you’re for sure going to want to sing a long with. The differences, well for one unlike Delilah …. I would definitely not say I’m *ahem* inexperienced like her, and the show follows along with my real life instead of this time being a character.
SAT: What are the challenges in performing a solo show compared to working with others?
AR: Just knowing you have only you to rely on. Producing workload and writing all falls on your shoulders and especially being on stage you only have yourself to rely on. I do miss that comeraderie on stage but it is god damn fun to parade on stage letting my freak flag fly.
SAT: You are from Adelaide; how do you feel about this stunning event being the largest Fringe Festival in the southern hemisphere?
AR: I think it’s honestly amazing. To say I came from a state that puts on such a level of entertainment every year is an honour.
SAT: Have you grown up enjoying the Adelaide Fringe and aspiring to be part of it? When did your passion for performing begin?
AR: I always wondered what a Fringe festival was growing up as I would always get the guide in the mail every year, but coming from a sporting family creative works weren’t something we really went out to see so I didn’t understand till I got a bit older. But the passion probably started with my obsession with The Little Mermaid and singing along to it word for word. I made my mother rent it from Blockbuster video so many times, she should have just bought it.
SAT: Could you share a couple of highlights of performances or experiences from other festivals?
AR: Getting to perform on the Artist Bar stage in the same lineup with the incomparable Hans and Gingzilla was my first ever Adelaide Fringe performance of a Spice Girls song with The Desperettes .. that certainly started that off with a bang, other highlights actually aren’t performance related but are certainly stories friends won’t let me forget and will tease about occasionally.. but probably not something I want in print for all of eternity haha
SAT: You have studied classically. Could you tell us more about that and how you incorporate that training into your current style of performance?
AR: I studied Musical Theatre back in 2011 and we did study Cabaret and I will always remember something my tutor said to me. She said, “I always wanted to do Cabaret when I was younger but I had nothing to say, now I feel like I have something to say.” I’ve always felt like I have something to say. I‘ve always felt like the amount of things I’ve battled in my life I’m sure people would connect with, and it probably only touches on 10% of it in this show. So I will have to start writing a new one asap!
SAT: Let’s get back to 90s pop anthems for a moment. How was that time in your life? Do these tunes bring back memories?
AR: Of course! I idolized the stars of the 90’s, they made me want to be a performer. I’d listen to The Spice Girls, Hanson, The Backstreet Boys, Five, Nsync and Britney constantly. I used to make girl groups with my cousins and write songs, do tacky questionable photoshoots, and choreograph dances. I still have the folder of our group ‘The Beach Babes’ with all the band’s necessities. Needless to say, I was the most enthusiastic and proactive member of the group, and I’ve never really let go of that childhood dream.
SAT: Can you give us an insight into your writing process? How do you begin and how do you develop the ideas?
AR:I usually start by having a general idea of what I want the show to be about. Then will just listen to endless amounts of songs I love on Spotify, and words will usually just change in my head and I’ll write them all down. Its pretty organic the beginning. Once I have my messy script and songs put together I usually will ask for another set of eyes to help sift through what my messy brain procured and will rewrite from there!
SAT: Are your shows strictly scripted or is there room for spontaneity and working from audience reactions?
AR: It is a scripted show, but I tend to be one of those people who will change things around every show and definitely interact with the audience. Were there to spend some time together I wanna make sure theyre with me the whole way.
SAT: How did you find the venue A Club Adelaide and why did you choose it?
AR: I met and worked with Kerry (Call this Guy) previously in 2017 with The Desperettes, who is now the Venue Manager for the A Club and was very grateful that he was able to provide me with a spot.
SAT: What is in store for Ashy Rose the rest of this year and beyond?
AR: Well for starters building up my makeup and lash extensions business “Lashley Boutique” which you can follow on Instagram, writing more original pop music which you can find on iTunes, Spotify and soundcloud, touring more with Confetti and generally trying to not be a mess and kick some goals! If I can do it anyone can. Remember my favourite phrase everyone , its called a trashCAN not a trash can not!
Ashy Rose: Confetti is performing Feb 21-23 at Main Room at A Club Adelaide, 109 – 111 Waymouth St, Adelaide