Podcast interview: I Want It That Gay with Cara & AnnaJun 07, 2022
I Want It That Gay
Thurs 9 June, @ The Red Rattler, Marrickville, Doors open at 7:30 pm
Danica Lani 0:01
Hello, and welcome everyone. My name is Danica Lani, and this is my podcast Yay. I am known as the King Coach. I'm a choreographer, I work to empower LGBTQIA+ people through the body using dance, yoga and tantra. And today, I'm very thrilled to welcome Cara and Anna, Anna and Cara. They're sitting the opposite ways. This one, let's let's let's do a wave. Anna, if your name is Anna, please wave. And if your name is Cara, please wave. Oh, good. Very good. Yeah. Trickle.
Cara Whitehouse 0:38
Danica Lani 0:40
Very unique. Yes. So welcome. Welcome. You two.
Cara Whitehouse 0:42
Danica Lani 0:43
And yes, so these two here have created a queer cabaret called, I Want It That Gay. So you will hear us say, I Want It That Gay several times throughout this interview. So
Cara Whitehouse 0:59
I do want it that gay.
Anna Gambrill 1:01
Does your mom know?
Cara Whitehouse 1:02
Anna Gambrill 1:03
Cara Whitehouse 1:04
She's not an idiot.
Danica Lani 1:08
So let's hear from you, Cara, if you could introduce yourself, and also tell us a little bit about your Kings of Joy experience from group II?
Cara Whitehouse 1:18
Sure. Hi, my name is Cara Whitehouse. Pronouns: She, they today. I am an actor. I'm a director, a singer, a teacher. And I moved to Sydney at the beginning of last year, and jumped straight into drag with Danica in Kings of joy group two. Literally I'd moved to Sydney a week before the performance and it was it was just fantastic. It was fabulous. I love putting on the masc mask and playing and you know, like well really rolling around both figuratively and literally, in that persona, because there's so much freedom to play that we don't necessarily have in everyday life. And I really also love being screamed at like I'm in a boyband. Like, feels like I'm famous. And I really enjoy that feeling. So
Danica Lani 2:25
Yes, we live for the applause, don't we? And your drag persona's name is?
Cara Whitehouse 2:33
Oh, George Saint. Who works for St. George. Yes, I know. There are not many St. George banks anymore. That's sort of the point. But so yeah, he's he's a little bit bookish by day. And he really loves to live it up by night.
Danica Lani 2:54
Mmm. Saucy. Love it. Thank you. And Anna, will you introduce yourself?
Anna Gambrill 3:00
Yes. So Anna pronouns are they/them. And I, I was really privileged to perform as my Drag King persona, Chad Love in the very first Queers of Joy, which was excellent. And you know, as someone that sort of come out recently, well, in the sort of last two years as non binary, it was just so wholesome to be part of the Queers of Joy and the Kings of Joy community because it's a night specific to people that are gender fluid or trans and so it's just such an incredible community. And because I was there the first time, I also got to meet some of the Kings that you'd been working with Danica to, to give them their initiation into King-hood. And and to be there. Yeah, it's huge. And it's so profound, like to be backstage, even in those moments where, you know, people are seeing themselves with chisled contouring and facial hair for the first time. Helping them with makeup looks and and having that conversation of you know, yeah, what do you what do you want? Like, is it a is it a light stubble? Or is it a, you know, a thick sort of pirate beard? And, and I think, yeah, it's just it's been such a privilege to be able to, you know, be backstage occasionally, I will occasionally whenever you run the nights, I'd love coming along and getting to meet the new Kings and just really seeing seeing how you've helped them step into a side of themselves that makes them feel more complete and and more expressive. It's just, it's, it's so it's so transformational and just so cool.
Danica Lani 4:30
Well, you are cool. We just want you to know you're cool and thanks for being such a contribution, you know, to everyone who's gone through the Kings of Joy experience, you'll remember Anna doing makeup in the back backstage and you've been a massive contribution to everyone's journey. So thank you for your generosity.
Anna Gambrill 4:51
And did you know Danica that the first person to do your drag makeup is your daddy your drag dad. So technically, I'm Cara's Drag Dad.
Cara Whitehouse 5:00
You're my daddy, (*Looks at Anna) And your my, Mummy. (*Points at Danica). Danica's my Mummy and Annna is my Daddy. Yeah, sorry, parents. Love you. And yep.
Danica Lani 5:14
I think the only way is up in this conversation... Speaking of up, tell us about I Want It That gay because it is a very uplifting kind of throwback to the 90s and 2000s kind of classics. Pop songs that we loved to sing along with, with a bit of a rainbow twist. So how did this all happen?
Cara Whitehouse 5:40
Um, I was singing in the shower.
Danica Lani 5:43
Cara Whitehouse 5:44
And I noticed that it was a Britney's hit, which I won't reveal because it's in the show. And I noticed that I was changing the gender of the person I was thinking about in my head. And, and then I noticed that I was doing that. And then I thought, oh, maybe other queer people do that, too. And wouldn't it be cool to sing 90s hits and change the pronouns, change the situation? Make it relatable to the queer experiences that we've had. Maybe they were in the 90s? Or maybe they're in the 2000s? Or maybe they were yesterday. But there's something powerful I think about hearing your story, told through music.
Anna Gambrill 6:33
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, it was great, obviously, when Cara got in touch and came up with this idea. I play a bit of piano and do a bit of singing, and I do love a parody song. And, and this show is filled with parody songs, which I think is such a great, it's a great format to, to really tackle things that are quite serious in a comedic way. Because it's yeah, it can be really - and in song, it's really relatable as well. So I think, yeah, you know, it's, it's a lighthearted show because of the elements of comedy and parody, but equally, we really get deep into some seriously sort of political, you know, gender, social
Cara Whitehouse 7:10
Anna Gambrill 7:11
...like base sort of conversation. And, and I think throughout the process, you know, we almost unraveled things about ourselves that, that we didn't know, were going to come out during the show. 'Come out.' Yeah.
Danica Lani 7:24
Love that. That's great. And I have a little confession to make. I was outed in 1996, at high school. And yeah, I had the experience of listening to Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill, one of those songs, and it was it became me and my first girlfriend's song. You know, the changing of the gender, the changing of the like, everything just opened up in my brain. I was like, Ah, I'm singing about her, not about him.
Cara Whitehouse 7:54
Danica Lani 7:59
In I know, in the show, there's some personal kind of reveals and storylines as well about your own journeys. Is there anything that you can kind of let us in on?
Cara Whitehouse 8:12
Yes, I mean, there's plenty. Spoiler alert. I - my first lesbian relationship moved - so I'd been in a relationship for two years. And I moved to Vancouver to find myself - and many others. And I and it it really was a choice and through that process, I discovered my queerness - what I like, what I don't like and some of the horror stories of that dating journey are in the show.
Anna Gambrill 8:48
It's juicy, it's real juicy. Every time I hear Cara talk about it, I'm I'm in awe. I'm just - you couldn't you couldn't you couldn't make up this stuff.
Cara Whitehouse 8:56
No, you really could not.
Danica Lani 9:01
Brilliant. I can't wait for those juicy bits
Anna Gambrill 9:04
Yeah, and I think it's a nice balance because I feel like you know, Cara's sort of the established you know, lesbian, and I'm a little a little greener and in the gender space-
Cara Whitehouse 9:15
You wouldn't think so.
Anna Gambrill 9:16
You wouldn't think so. Not with this haircut, no. You Yeah, I guess with gender, that's sort of something that I've been exploring for a bit longer. And yeah, it's something that we sort of go into but again, we'll we'll talk about that in the show. Yeah, but yeah, I think drag as well which which comes through in the show and and sort of that backstory as well is that for me drag was actually a vehicle to safely and creatively explore gender identity and almost like initially a bit of a just look, I'm just dressing up because look at me, I'm the kid that dresses up and then it was like, uh-oh, hang on a minute. There's more to this than I thought and then it just evolved into shorter hair cuts, you know, wearing more men's clothes and and just really owning Um, a self expression that was not just feminine. So so yeah. And that's something that's awesome about the Drag King community as well, is that it can be just sort of an exploration of that spectrum of your masculinity and femininity, or it can actually solidify your identity. It can be big.
Cara Whitehouse 10:17
Yeah. That is a spectrum in itself. Yeah, that's huge. Yeah. So, much room so much space.
Anna Gambrill 10:26
That's why everyone should try drag. Yeah. And do Kings of Joy.
Cara Whitehouse 10:29
So fun. Yes.
Danica Lani 10:32
Love that. And what are some of the challenges that you've come up against in putting this show together? Because it's been going for a while, huh?
Cara Whitehouse 10:39
About a year now? Yeah. Over a year, May, April, or April or May last year?
Anna Gambrill 10:45
Cara Whitehouse 10:47
Well, lockdown. I think we had our first rehearsal scheduled and then we went into lockdown in June. So we actually wrote most of the show over zoom. So that there was that, and then scheduling and rescheduling the show as well, because of omicron, or because of lockdown. We just simply hadn't had enough in person rehearsals to say we can get up on the stage and sing the songs in front of people.
Anna Gambrill 11:17
Cara Whitehouse 11:19
And the I think in terms of the - I'm going to talk about the writing process. Like the writing process itself, sometimes... [*zoom delay] ways to figure out how/ what's the most powerful, succinct way to say that?
Anna Gambrill 11:43
Cara Whitehouse 11:44
And, you know, and so we have a couple of characters in the show that deal with some of the heavy heavy stuff, the Karens. Love those love those. But yeah, it's a creative process. And sometimes that's really challenging when you have to throw away what you think are great ideas but sometimes they're not.
Anna Gambrill 12:05
And I think as well, like, you know, a lot of the stories that we tell in the show came out of like a conversation that Cara and I would have like we'd maybe pick a topic on. So this happened to me, and that would set off another idea of oh, well, that happened to me when I was young. And and then I had this breakup. And then I learned this about myself. And so often it's like, oh, let's have a rehearsal just turned into like a d&m session, a therapy session
Cara Whitehouse 12:27
A therapy session
Anna Gambrill 12:27
Where, I don't know, who was the therapist, and who was the patient?
Cara Whitehouse 12:31
Anna Gambrill 12:31
It overlapped, it tag teamed. But yeah, I think overall, like it has been a really therapeutic creative process. And, and, you know, it reminds you like I guess, I've had periods where I've felt like, being an artist is too hard. And I don't, you know, have the creative energy or, you know, you go through lulls, and you get a bit disappointed with opportunities and COVID with the locked down like it's really been disheartening. But this whole process has really like reinvigorated being an artist for me, because it reminds me that it is through art that we access our humanity and we we start to reflect on who we really are and who we want to - how we want to show up in the world. So it's just yeah, it's for me it's really been that.
Cara Whitehouse 13:11
I love that. That was great. And, and then to celebrate it.
Anna Gambrill 13:14
Yeah. And being queer, celebrate being queer.
Cara Whitehouse 13:16
Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely a celebration this show.
Danica Lani 13:19
With a show called I Want It That Gay. How could it not be in celebration?
Cara Whitehouse 13:24
That's a statement!
Danica Lani 13:27
Love that. Question for you Anna - what do you like about working with Cara?
Cara Whitehouse 13:34
Anna Gambrill 13:35
Of course, yeah, I really like some - I tend to be someone that wants to like rush through things and get it done. But I really liked that Cara will sit deeply in a moment and like, consider all the different options and lean in and want to try things and and just want to yeah, like double click and pause. And I really appreciate that. That deepness. And that soulfulness of like having a long conversation where I probably I get very just like, productivity focussed sometimes. But I mean, you're very productive as well. So yeah.
Cara Whitehouse 14:06
You also enjoy long conversations.
Anna Gambrill 14:07
I do I am guilty. But no, I just-
Cara Whitehouse 14:09
I get it.
Anna Gambrill 14:10
I feel like and also, because Cara's a teacher, I'm getting like so much incredible acting feedback, and I have to call Cara Miss Whitehouse while we're rehearsing. It's a bit weird. It's a little bit weird, but no, no, but I just Yeah, I love your openness and being on the journey.
Cara Whitehouse 14:24
Danica Lani 14:25
Fabulous. Cara. What do you like about working with Anna?
Cara Whitehouse 14:28
Oh, so much, so much. Um, I It's interesting. It's so interesting the way we work in when we're scripting is that it goes it's so tangent, tangental - What's that? What's the word? Yeah, yeah, like Anna's conversations go down so many different tangents that I have no idea where we're gonna end up and that's kind of exciting, because you uncover something that's deeper and more interesting than what we had at the beginning. And, and like your willingness to do that. Just like and also willingness to follow my tangents. And type while I talk. Really good, really good. It's great. It's very good. I'm not a very good typer, but it's good. It's a good function.
Anna Gambrill 15:21
A very functional work partner, yes.
Cara Whitehouse 15:24
And also I wanted, like, I knew, I knew when I came up, because I came this - I was still in Vancouver when I was singing in the shower and came up with this idea. And then called my ex and was like, 'Do you think this would be a great idea?' And she was like, 'Oh, my god, that's amazing. Will you put this song in?' And I knew I wanted to work with someone who was very musical, and who could get behind the piano and like, work it out. And, you know, I could rely on to do that side of it and had all of these musical ideas, harmonies and like arrangements and would come with music song ideas, because I didn't - I wanted it to be an equal partnership. Not a, 'this is my show and you're at the piano.' Definitely. And so like, that's something I so appreciate about Anna as well. Like, they will just they're like, they come the next day and they're like, 'Oh, I was thinking about this harmony' and it's just gorgeous. Yeah, so that's just amazing for me.
Anna Gambrill 16:30
Thanks Cara. And that's been great. But also to have like an established lesbian mentor, just to talk. Anytime
Cara Whitehouse 16:38
A gender mentor.
Danica Lani 16:41
What a partnership. I love it. And so what ripple effect would you love to see happen out of putting on your show. It's only in a few night's time. What's the ripple effect that you would love to see out of putting on this show?
Anna Gambrill 16:56
Well, yeah, it's, I don't know. I mean, I can start. I think just from doing a little showing of the, the cabaret and getting some feedback, I think some stories that maybe seem a little bit trivial, like, you know, there's a story about purchasing some Lynx, which we include, and, and just sort of hearing from, from Beck's or Jim Junkie as well, just talking about those sort of relatable experiences and how, you know, even though it seems like a trivial story, it's actually a really relatable sort of, sort of symbol of exploring masculinity and the gender spectrum. And so I think I'm really excited to let people, you know, have those little moments of discovery or familiarity through through us just being really honest and authentic with our experiences. And hopefully, feeling like they're a bit more seen or connected to their community.
Cara Whitehouse 17:49
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I don't have much to add on that. The kind of ripple effect in people's lives. I hope that that just continues to grow. And as they remember moments from the show, perhaps? I'm really, I'm always, it's always interesting every time I perform, to see how that affects an audience, because you really don't know. You don't know, unless someone tells you, 'You sang that verse. And I remembered this part about my past, and then that healed me a bit' or something. Although I do think there are parts of the show, which people will find healing. Some a hilarious, some will be super relatable. And for some, there might be some conversations that we're having that they've never seen before on a on a on a stage. Yeah, so I just hope it resonates. Mostly. Like that it resonates with people. And then to continue to go on and perform it. Yeah. We're hoping to do a season. Keep it developing and do a season at some stage.
Anna Gambrill 18:54
Some more juicy content. Yeah. Go have some big nights out and just get some new stories.
Danica Lani 18:59
All right, great. Where do we sign up?
Anna Gambrill 19:03
Let's do it.
Danica Lani 19:04
A bit of audience participation perhaps?
Cara Whitehouse 19:07
Anna Gambrill 19:07
Danica Lani 19:09
And so where can people come and see the show? When's it on? Tell us all the details.
Cara Whitehouse 19:14
It's on this Thursday, the 9th of June. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show will start about 8 at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville. And you can get tickets from humanitix.com
Anna Gambrill 19:29
Just search: I Want It That Gay on the website and it will pop up. It's the blue poster. Looks like an album that Cara and I both had.
Cara Whitehouse 19:36
A very familiar album to those of you who've spent some time in the 90s.
Danica Lani 19:41
Yeah, I recognize. And tickets are $25 to $30. So yeah, type it on in humanitix : I Want It That Gay. You can follow Cara on Instagram @president_cara and Anna @king_chad_love so please do that. And come see the show. I will be there. I've had the privilege of adding in some choreography for the show. Amazing to work with you two. And a lot of fun. I've seen the previews so I cannot wait until everybody gets to see the real thing on the stage under the lights!
Cara Whitehouse 20:19
Anna Gambrill 20:20
Danica Lani 20:20
Thank you for coming in today.
P.S. When you’re ready... here are four ways I can support you to feel good in your body, be 100% at home in your own skin & feel connected.
- Download the best part of my restorative yoga class on audio here. Click here.
- Follow me and request a dedicated #dancebreak. Click here.
- Book a time for a complimentary call with me and we’ll look at your situation together and create a plan for empowering you through the body. Click here.
- Work with me by staying sane with an online yoga community, be uplifted in a performance group Show Ponies or Kings of Joy, or become a great lover with queer tantra. Just click on “Yoga”, “Show Ponies”, “Kings of Joy”, or “Queer Tantra”.
Get me in your inbox!
Inspiration and love letters delivered right to your inbox.
No spam. I will never sell your information, for any reason.