Interview with Anya Anastasia

Anya Anastasia takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Anya Anastasia

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello! I'm Anya Anastasia: chanteuse, comedian, singer/song-writer, and terrible, lanky, Swarovski-encrusted, wannabe acrobat. I hail from Adelaide, Australia.

How would you describe your show?

All original cabaret with an all-female band. A lullaby interrupted by lewd awakenings, guttural, insane mirth spills from my feminist, antihero avatar, her whimsical sensuality taking control back from the patriarchy too inebriated with desire to realise her coup.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I've performed on the Australian Fringe circuit for many years, last year for the first time I came to the Edinburgh Fringe and had a ball performing my show Torte e Mort: Songs of Cake and Death. Loved the audiences and how they engaged with the work, love the melting pot of ideas and creators who gather and share their work. Getting ready to binge on art and new ideas!

What differentiates it from other festivals?

I love the adventurous audiences who visit Edinburgh to feast on shows.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

Can't really speak for Edinburgh but typically fringe festivals grow bigger and bigger. This certainly changes the dynamic of the festival and makes for a competitive market, and while it has its challenges for individual artists it creates a thriving independent creative sector and a very unique and exciting type of tourism.

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

I have always loved eccentric characters who are representing or singing about the underdogs, the misfits and those on the edges of society. Tom Waits, The Tiger Lilies, Amanda Palmer, Gogol Bordello, and many different circus companies too.

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

A spy. Secret service. I'd probably be a spy. It's my fall-back plan. I've started training. Who's hiring? How do you even find out? Is that my first mission?

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I wish I was a hacker. I just don't know if I could hack it. (I'm sorry) Seriously though. Real power.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I choreographed a dance ode to a pumpkin and made my neighbours come and see the show, and charged them 5c for the show and put on tea and biscuits. Definitely over-invested in that show, not much has changed, other than scale. And I suppose the shows are a bit more sophisticated nowadays. It's still for love not money.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

Absolutely. It is a huge part of my job. Anyone with a microphone in front of them has a responsibility. Anyone who opens their mouth has a responsibility. Everyone has a responsibility. Satirists now have a more important role now than ever I think because of the cutbacks in media which has affected the amount of journalists able to be employed to keep our politicians and society honest, some of that falls on the shoulders of the artists who must pick up the slack on the street level.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

100%, I've written a new show that's in development already and just toured Australia reflecting current political climate, and I was overwhelmed by the response. People really want discourse and to hear issues addressed. I also think audiences are loving the interactive involvement in shows and more immersive experience as a trend in live entertainment to, which I've been excited to explore how to cater to that demand in my current touring show Rogue Romantic.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Worldly turmoil, awareness increasing.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

I haven't performed in Free Fringe before but I have set up pay-what-you-can schemes before, I don't find it very balanced but it could be that I haven't gotten the pitch right. I prefer to create exactly the kind of work I want to deliver, and to put a ticket price on it that is as cheap as I can to make it accessible but still reflects the quality of the work and what has gone into it, with a breakeven point at a reasonable percentage of attendance. I want to be able to keep creating,

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

Have LOTS of conversations with people who have done it before.

When and where can people see your show?

Assembly Checkpoint 2nd – 27th August 19:30.

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

  • Facebook.com/anyaanastasiaartist/
  • Twitter @anyaanastasiaa
  • IG @anyaanastasia
  • www.anyaanastasia.com

Anya Anastasia: Rogue Romantic is performing at Assembly Checkpoint at 19:30 on 2nd – 27th (not 14th). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.

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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