Interview with Sophie Santos, comedian, actor, and author

"I love writing about misfits. People who are square pegs fitting themselves into round holes. I also used to NOT write about my sexuality or my OCD for fear I wouldn't fit in (or summon my OCD)..."

Interview with Sophie Santos, comedian, actor, and author

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hi! I’m Sophie Santos. I’m a comedian, actor, and author. I’m also a huge Timothee Chalamet fan because he is a lesbian icon. I’m performing my one-person musical comedy SOPHIE SANTOS…IS CODEPENDENT!  

How would you describe your show?

Therapy?! A buddy comedy with your personified compulsions?! A love affair with an internet life coach on a site intended to get your ex back, but you two fall deeply in love instead???***

It’s about the time I went through a very tough breakup with my partner of four years. She broke up with me because we were too codependent. BUT what I didn’t realize supercharging the codependency was my (says in a deep voice) OCD! So, with the help of a life coach that I hire on With My Ex Again dot net—yes, it’s a real website—as well as some relationship experts on the internet named Chad, Brad, and Chaz, I embark on a cross country road trip with my personified OCD to learn how to break free of her and be alone. It’s a musical comedy filled with tracks inspired by Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, 5SOS, and T-Pain. And I play OCD using an autotune pedal. 

*** This one is untrue but sounds awesome. 

What is your favourite part of your show?

I don’t want to give too much away, but the song Space. My girlfriend had asked for space, i.e., “not a breakup but a break,” so I wrote a Taylor Swift vocoder-type song that deals with my response to her ask. And let me say, there are TURNS.  

If your show had a theme song, what would it be and why?

It has one! And it’s called Codependent. It’s about my codependency in my last relationship. “I wish I knew the walls were closing in…that it’s unhealthy to solely depend…on your lover…but in my defense, I think you’d agree…it’s just L-O-V-E.”  

What is one thing you hope audiences will take away from your show?

You’re not alone in that crazy thing you did when you felt like you were losing the love of your life.

If you could add a surprise celebrity cameo to your show, who would it be and why?

I mean, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the standard, right?? I’m such a fan. But Tom Holland and Zendaya would be insane. And my personal muse, Timothee Chalamet. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and all of the comedians who I look up to got their start here. And it’s the fricking FRINGE! And also, I’m a big fan of a Scotch egg. I had one in Edinburgh once, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. 

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The fact that the theaters are literally in castles!!! I’m actually not sure if this is true, but it sounds right to me.  

What is one thing you would change about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Let’s chat in September! Is that fair? :) 

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

As a lesbian, non-binary, and POC individual, my cultural and lived experiences are the backbone of all my creative stories. One of my first writing mentors told me to write what I know, and since then, I have made my autobiographical material the heart of my storytelling. I particularly love writing about queer people, people suffering from mental health, and dysfunctional familial relationships. Because I come from a Spanish-Filipino-Southern-Military family, I’m lucky that I have so much to pull from. 

I love writing about misfits. People who are square pegs fitting themselves into round holes. I also used to NOT write about my sexuality or my OCD for fear I wouldn't fit in (or summon my OCD), but in the process of writing my book, I discovered and came to terms with my sexuality and my OCD and my fear of being exposed and not fitting in—and frankly my POV as a writer—I discovered through my writing that sometimes NOT fitting in is best. Now that I am writing about my true self, I feel entirely free as a storyteller. 

What is your favourite thing about performing for a live audience?

The immediate feedback. Although, to be fair, I didn’t always embrace it being live. I OFTEN want to control everything and have learned throughout the years not to be so precious about everything. So, I hope by the 26th performance, I will want things to go wrong so I can truly find joy in those weird, unexpected, live moments.

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you while performing?

I pulled my shoulder while playing Archie Andrews (from Riverdale) as I screamed, “LET’S GO, BULLDOGS! WE HAVE TO DEFEAT THE TOWN’S GONNORHEA… with MUSIC!”

What's the most challenging or unconventional venue you've ever performed in, and how did it impact the overall experience?

I hosted a pride event outside during the day, and people were walking by as I was performing, so sometimes, I had to repeat the same jokes in a row as new people showed up. Also, it sounded like I was in a wind tunnel. 

Is there a piece of feedback you've received from an audience member or critic after a performance that’s stuck with you?

“Uhhhhh, I’m a little scared, Sophie, because I’ve ALSO done those things…”

What is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh when you're not performing? How do you relax and look after your mental health?

Finding a nice little pub to read in! And (says with an eye roll) working out…

Is there a show you’re excited to see when you’re up there?

Tim Murray’s Witches!!! He’s my flatmate, but I’ve never seen his show, and I’m so excited!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about taking a show up to Edinburgh? If you’ve never been before, what would you say has been (potentially) the most useful?

I was told to get a humidifier! This was told to me by the husband of a comic.

When and where can people see your show?

At the Underbelly in Bristo Square at Jersey at 7PM!

And where can people find you online?

@SophieESantos on Instagram, www.sophiesantos.com, or @TheRealSophieSantos on TikTok

Header Image Credit: Lee Jameson

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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