Title of Show: Lanessa Long: The Lanessa Show Venue: Just The Tonic, Just The Wee One Time: 10:50am Dates: 4th-28th August (not 15th) Photographer: Karla Gowlett Links: Profile and Social Media
Tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.
This show feels like when you’re 13 and make your family come into the living room to watch a show you made. Like how you imagine being an adult will be as a kid. Like the plays you make up with your friends in your backyard and beg one of your parents to come watch the premiere. You take it so seriously because you really mean it and you really care about pretending, well. There’s music, there are sketches, there’s improv, there’s stripping, it’s all my favourite ways of being on stage.
What are your expectations of this year’s Fringe?
I want to have the best time. I want the audience to have the best time. And I hope we both leave the show feeling like we just got an extra long hug from someone who smells like patchouli or ocean air. Is that too much to ask?
Who inspires you?
Today I feel pretty inspired by my niece. She’s two and my mom just sent me a video of her in a doll stroller, meowing, when she didn’t know anyone was watching. It’s just, that’s the level I’m trying to be on, you know?
What was it like first getting back on stage after the pandemic lockdown?
During the pandemic, I moved from LA back to my small hometown in Oregon with my parents and 90-year-old aunt. I kind of reverted into my 13-year-old self, I just became a real renaissance woman: sewing, playing piano, going on walks, writing songs, painting, making jewellery, pole-dancing (though I didn’t do this at 13. I waited until I was 14). I was just completely absorbed by hobbies and trying to do the things that genuinely made me happy.
When lockdown ended, I decided to do a 2-week clown workshop in France. Unfortunately (/very fortunately) that 2-week workshop with Philippe Gaulier ended up being a completely life-changing experience, and I decided to stay for the year-long program. My first time getting on stage after lockdown was in that clown workshop. It was scary! I had forgotten what it felt like to be looked at by a room full of people waiting for you to make them laugh. There’s fear there, but there’s so much possibility, too. I love that feeling more than about anything.
Looking back on the past two years, having all those hobbies, then going to clown school, and looking for the playfulness in every day, really showed me that’s how I want to feel on stage, too. Full of possibility and play, always chasing the fun. I don’t need to invent. I can just be who I am, in all her dimensions. I think this show is really sort of a celebration of all my favourite ways of being myself.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
I love the jumpsuit you’re wearing in your poster, did you make it yourself?
Thank you so much for asking! And yes! I did!