Interview with Chris Parker

"We have a really annoying conservative minister in New Zealand who often is saying really frustrating things publicly, and that will always inspire me to create something quite gay in response."

Interview with Chris Parker

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Chris Parker, I’m that "tall, blonde, gay comedian from New Zealand, with the big hands." I'm doing my award-winning comedy show Camp Binch in Edinburgh. It's my first Edinburgh, so please be nice.

How would you describe your show?

It's like a gay coming of age biopic of my own life and I get to play the lead role. I go through specific memories of me trying to fit in during school in New Zealand, and my not so successful attempts to blend in with the "straight boys"

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?  

I want to make 1 million dollars. No, in all seriousness it’s like a rite of passage for any young comedian. Any time I go to a family function some distant aunty will ask me if “I’ve ever been to the Edinburgh Fringe” So I’m glad to be able to finally shut those conversations down.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Geographically it’s in Scotland. I imagine you will get a few more Scottish accents than other festivals. 

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

I’ve always been a giant show off, and am looking for any opportunity to be in front of people, this just felt like the next best step. I’m always looking for a way to monetise my worst habits. 

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

I’d probably be some terrible, badly painted drag queen called Patchouli Andrews, or something…

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

Honestly, I’m doing it. So, I’m going to say Accountant, because I feel like it never gets picked for questions like these. So, Accountants, this is for you xx

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I was 4 years old and saw a high school production of The Wizard of Oz. My entire memory is in black and white and I remember the witch melting into a pot for some reason. Later when I studied at Drama School in New Zealand I met an actress who was a bit older than me WHO WAS IN THAT PRODUCTION!

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

I like to be up to date on current events and I always like to use my voice to help raise awareness for those whose voices aren’t as loud as mine so in those instances I will sometimes pipe up online.

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

Honestly, it’s all kind of swings and roundabout at the moment, sometimes it feels like we are taking huge leaps forward in terms of shifting societies perceptions of the LGBTQIA community and then sometimes it feels like we are taking 10 steps back. We have a really annoying conservative minister in New Zealand who often is saying really frustrating things publicly, and that will always inspire me to create something quite gay in response. I guess when I feel like it’s a good time to be gay my work defiantly is a little less “angry” lol. God I don’t know this was a hard question

Describe the last year in 5 words or less? 

Climate Change becomes Climate Emergency 

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

I would like to be in some kind of weird cabaret show where I sit on a big couch and watch Patti LuPone sing all my favourite show tunes and then Dolly Parton comes out for a big show stopping finale.

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 have absolutely know idea, I think you lose less money in the Free Fringe – less overhead costs. I think lots of people opt to do it for their first fringe experience. Oh god… maybe I should have done that.

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

Well speaking from the experience of someone who has never been, I’d say save money, find a producer and lower your expectation so that every experience surpasses your expectations of what was possible. That’s all the advice that was given to me.

When and where can people see your show?

CAMP BINCH - it’s at Assembly George Square Studios 18:50, 31 JUL - 25 AUG in Studio Five. 

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

Please follow me on Instagram @chrisparker11 or on twitter @crobker

You can see Camp Binch at Assembly Studio Five from 31st July – 25th August (not 14th) at 6:50pm

Header Image Credit: Provided


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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