Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Makin It Dramaturgy: Nicole Henriksen @ Edfringe 2016

Makin It Rain, is a frank look behind the curtain of Nicole Henriksen "day job" as a stripper, as well as an examination of our society's relationship with gender, sexuality, and image. All while answering the frequently asked questions of the industry. As well as being given a slot in Underbelly this year, Makin It Rain is also part of the Underbelly Untapped programme.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
The main inspiration was every creative friend of mine asking "When are you doing a show about that?" when I'd mention I was working as a stripper to fund my comedy shows. So I thought, maybe I should write a show about my experiences, but also use the platform of intrigue about the sex industry to discuss issues of gender, sexuality, and self image within out society. I knew it would be a disservice to make this a comedy show, and I wanted to push myself outside of the comedy bubble I'd been performing in for four years, and into the theatre world I'd always been intrigued by.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
It's a solo show written and directed by me, and I'm a good friend of mine, so I did the ground work for free as a favour, plus I was available to tour the show as well, what a win!

How did you become interested in making performance?
I've always been interested in artistic creation and it was all up in the air until The Mighty Boosh busted my brain open and I started performing comedy that became more and more alternative as the years and solo shows went on, and now, it's time to change things up and step into the theatre world with this show, while staying to my alt comedy progression with my other show Techno Glitter Penguins.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
Makin It Rain was different to any show I've written before, mainly because it's actually about my life, my day job, and my family. But also, it's a theatre show and I was hesitant that I wouldn't do the genre justice. So, when it came to writing this show, it was different to a comedy show where I can write bits on the road and try them out, I wrote draft after draft and performed a sort of preview with close friends as a sounding board. Then of course, I had to story board when I was gonna get naked.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
The reactions so far on the Australian tour have ranged from whoops, cheers, and applause breaks, to couples holding hands and quietly wiping away tears, so my main aim is to have people connect with the show and take something away, which ever form that takes, I'm very happy.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
My main strategy is to create a relaxed feel to the show, to have the audience feel I'm an old friend sharing stories, rather than a performer on a stage. And really, I am sharing stories and reliving them as I go, so there's not a whole lot of strategy to the show, I just need to be ready to share, and everything else flows.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
Maybe I lack a knowledge of theatre and storytelling, but I don't really see my work within a tradition of sub genre of anything. It's some very candid stories, on a stage, and some commentary on on society, so I'm sure it fits in somewhere but maybe that's for the audience to decide.

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