Interview with comic Jordan Gray

"There's a bit in The Dark Knight where the Joker burns a pile of cash. If that scene looked appealing to you, then come on up to Edinburgh. If not, then you're not ready for it - and are therefore a healthy person."

Interview with comic Jordan Gray

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I'm Jordan Gray, mate. I'm a stand-up comic of 4 years and I created "Transaction" for Comedy Central UK. I was also the first ever transgender contestant on The Voice (2016). Don't pretend you watched it.

How would you describe your show?

"Jordan Gray: Is It A Bird?" is a big stupid, musical hour of stand-up that uses "superhero" as a jumping off point. But I talk/sing about all sorts. And there's a surprise at the end...

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Edinburgh Fringe is like that spicy prawn gumbo your mate's Filipino mum makes. It's literally *painful* to swallow, but it's just so damn good you have to keep going. It's an addiction.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The sheer confluence of different people. And the safety I feel walking the streets of Edinburgh at night.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

As a musical comic, Tim Minchin made a big impact on me when he landed like an alien in the UK. Plus Ricky Gervais (funny how things change), Russell Brand, Noel Fielding and Maria Bamford.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

I'm working class through and through and I love that my Essex accent naturally dials up when I'm on stage. It feels like the place I'm supposed to be my most authentic self - and that's an Essex bird. Also, going to a mixed state school gives you a far better idea of who "real people" are. Sorry Horatio!

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Disney's "The Legend of Ichabod Crane" haunts my soul. 

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Playing Minecraft ALL DAY LONG. I'm transgender, it's what we do.

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?

Since the ol' n-n-n-n-nineteen, I'm simultaneously 'more grateful for my audience' and 'more aware than ever how important my job is'. No, I'm not a key-worker... but when was the last time a key-worker made you kack your pants with laughter? Answer me that, Sandra!

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

I am livin' the dream.

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?

I can't believe you just said that! #cancelvoicemag

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I'd have loved to have gigged with Jeff Buckley. Or maybe just opened for the guy - so I could watch him headline from the wings. *swoons*.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

There's a bit in The Dark Knight where the Joker burns a pile of cash. If that scene looked appealing to you, then come on up to Edinburgh. If not, then you're not ready for it - and are therefore a healthy person.

When and where can people see your show?

10:25pm every night from 3rd-28th (excl. 17th) in The Box, Assembly Rooms (George Square).

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @talldarkfriend.


Jordan Gray: Is It A Bird?, Assembly George Square (The Box), 10.25pm, 3-28 August (not 17). For tickets, visit https://assemblyfestival.com/whats-on/jordan-gray-is-it-a-bird 

Header Image Credit: Dylan woodley

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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