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Too2Much, Soho, London, United Kingdom (with Holestar)

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We caught up to reminisce about Too2Much, which was a theatre bar and club in Soho, London, open between 2004 and 2006 before changing its name to Soho Revue Bar. 

We discuss the t-word, army life, and the joys or packing your performance gear in to neat little bags! 

Follow Holestar on twitter and  instagram 

Holestar 0:00
These these these club land legends were there and I remember Pete burns came in once. And he was just so rude to me but I kind of loved it. He was so rude because his his partner Michael was like chatting to having a chat and everything. And he just walked over to me and I looked at me up and down was like, Where’s the toilet? I was like, you know what the toilet is paid. I just thought I want to clap back up Pete burns, you know, tick done. Thanks for that. He’s just really rude. But fabulous, but an icon.

K Anderson 0:29
Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, a podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories they created there. And the people that they used to know. Jose is an entertainer, DJ and bio queen. And she’s gonna hate me for saying this. But after knocking around for nigh on 17 years is a true veteran of the London drag scene. We caught up to reminisce about too too much, which was a theater bar and club in Soho, London, open between 2004 and 2006, before changing its name to Soho review, but it was also warehouse doors very first gig in London was.

Holestar 1:45
So I left home at 16 with absolutely nothing. I discovered Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll quite early on. Lots and lots of fun.

K Anderson 1:51
So before you left home after you left home,

Holestar 1:54
after I left home, okay, no, sorry. No, no, no, I left. And then I left home at 16 Not long after my GCSEs. But I had literally nothing. Because I was too busy partying, having fun. Once I’d left home, that became a lot more. I wanted to be a performer, but I didn’t have enough GCSEs at the time to do this course that I wanted to do. So it took a lot of drugs, a lot of partying, blah, blah, blah. Then I woke up one day on a massive come down and thought I need a job. I need direction. I need some sort of focus in my life. And I went from one extreme to the other. And I joined the army. Because I was Yeah, I was. I’ve done it cocky the lot. So yeah, I was completely like I went there. I went there on a calm day when I signed up and I’d done the whole thing. I was on a comedown when I when it eventually happened, and it was almost it was happening. It was real. I got absolutely trashed the night before. Like my friends, like you won’t last five minutes. You’re too gobby. Or too opinionated, you’d like to party too much. And I was like, No, I’ll give it a go. And I did, I got through it. And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically, mentally, because you go in as a, you know, unique snowflake, and they break you all down. So you go in as an individual with their own freedom of thought and expression and ideas. And they want you to be all the same level, because that’s how an army works best when you’re all working on the same level. And so it happened to me after a year, the back of my head started going, whoa, this is not you. This is what and I just got onto the nafi bar with feather boas and be ridiculous and camp and everyone was like, What? What? Nutter but then she was medically discharged, which was good, because at the time, it was like, I couldn’t deal with it any more. I couldn’t deal with this horrible. It’s horrible. It’s a very toxic environment. It’s very heteronormative. It’s very aggressive. It’s very male centric. It’s just you know, as a woman, you’re constantly questioned why you’re there. And the men would thought it was appropriate to be like, Oh, so you do? Do you masturbate in front of everyone? I be like, yeah, just because I was like, well, don’t try and shame me. Once you’ve made me a victim in that way. You’ve got something to play with. I’m going to turn that around and say, Yeah, don’t you and they were like, Oh, they had nothing to say. And my surname being whole. h o l e. I was private whole. I got a lunch as well.

K Anderson 4:18
I’m allowed to laugh.

Holestar 4:20
It’s fine. I’ve had everything. I’ve heard all the bullying. I heard all the names all the jokes of the time I became private whole. I was not that bothered. Am I father was the MP Whoa,

K Anderson 4:33
yeah. Oh, okay. I’ve just cut you off. You’re gonna tell me your father.

Holestar 4:37
Now my grandfather, his his he was Mr. aihole. So you know. And it’s it’s funny how I then, you know, years later, as much as I hated the name whole, I turned it on myself. And I’ve used it as part of my name. So I left the army. I had a friend who was doing a course in photography, and I thought, oh, that seems like a lot of something to do. And I went along and I blogged my way onto this course. So mean nothing about anything. And one of the tutors said like I don’t think you’re a photographer in the conventional sense you you’re very something about you that’s a bit different. No shit upsets me you know because it goes to go to live we go look at people like Robert Maple for Cindy Sherman and artists that use photography. And my mind exploded like I was never into art as a kid at all. And I just went oh my god, this is this is my people and I became a sponge for art and art and photography and performance art and video art and all these new wit you know, ideas. And so I did that I did my degree in Blackpool. pitch was at the time, it was one of the best courses in the country and me at a pure stubbornness. My tutors. Were like you’ll never get here you’ll never get in. It’s such a hard course to get into. It’s one of the best, you know, courses in Europe, blah, blah. So I went on pure arrogance. I’m going to get this and I got it. I went in, I smashed it. I said something beginning I want to be an artist. I don’t want to be a commercial photographer. And it was a great course really, as good course and some of the people that I graduated with great, great, great photographers. But I was doing weird things like, you know, as well, should we practice a little bit at the same time I became a professional dominatrix while I was at university. So I was into the whole BDSM thing. And I thought I’m good at this. I’m gonna make some money out of it. Because it’s it’s one to one theater. It’s almost like performance.

K Anderson 6:27
So is there a big market for that and Blackpool?

Holestar 6:30
oddly enough, yes. Oh, there’s someone who wants to get their ass pegs or beaten up or whatever. So I was doing a lot of images at the time that were kind of like dealing with s&m and trans people and submission of males. And it wasn’t a negative thing about you know, feminism and anti male stance. It was just what I was into at the time. And my tutors couldn’t get their head around that I was being trying to be provocative. And is that no, I’m not such as the ship that I get to. And this is what goes on in my head. Sorry of that. I finished my degree, went traveling for a bit. And in Central Europe, and I went to end up in Vienna. And literally the first night I was there. I was talking to this girl and she was like, you’re dominatrix. You’re an artist. Why don’t you move to Vienna and I was like, yeah, no money, no job, no apartment. Nothing. I just thought Fuck it. Let’s just go and be decadent and fabulous and live in Vienna. And it was gorgeous, beautiful, beautiful city. took me to work a while to realise that actually it’s quite a negative city. I love Austria. I love Austrians. But Vienna has this very clique-y elitist class system. It’s very racist, incredibly racist. There were times I didn’t want to repeat them. They’re just absolutely vulgar things that I witnessed myself and being a part two with black friends. And it was just like, Whoa, this is this is vile. But I started doing drag there because my artwork was kind of moving towards Okay, let’s have done the s&m the sexuality thing, less little more about gender. And it was almost looking at my own gender or not feeling with non binary wasn’t a term then. But I knew that there was something about me that wasn’t completely female, whatever that is supposed to mean. So you know, I was I have polycystic ovary syndrome, my ovaries never work properly. I’ve got high testosterone in my blood, and very assertive very aggressive. So it kind of makes sense that I was kind of like, okay, I feel this. And I’m physically this and looking at those areas between the gender binary is these gray areas, because at the time, trans people were very, very invisible. And even on the queer scene, it was very much gay men and lesbian women and that sets. Now there’s a lot of biphobia still confusion about people. It was, you know, people, those people who are in the gray areas, we’re kind of not being represented. And when I popped back to England during those four years, I’d see a lot of really ropey drag queens, being vile about women. And I was thinking how long you came from a woman? You know, she Your mother is a woman, your siblings perhaps or whatever? How can you you’re putting on a frog or you’re taking on all the visual things of what it is to be a fabulous camp. Fierce, fantastic woman. You’re being vile about them. I never quite understood that. It was this comes with a lot of inbuilt massage or inbuilt hatred. I don’t know. But I just thought it’s an easy laugh to go. Where are the lesbians in the room? Oh, smelling a fish, blah, blah, blah. A lot of that. And I started thinking Hang on. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. So at the time, there weren’t any visible women being super super camp. You know, the 90s did a great many things for feminism. But that that came with a lot of androgyny and it kind of killed off fabulousness and come Plus, and he just had Cher and Dolly Parton and people like that rocking around being fabulous, but they were big stars with lots of money. on a day to day level, there wasn’t so much camper. the fashion industry was very kind of neutral and androgynous. So I thought, hang on, let’s reclaim those, you know, symbols of Ott femininity and reclaim them to the female body. And initially, it was going to be just a one off art project, it was going to be me lip synching to Shirley Bassey in a black room with spotlight. That was initial idea, but never happened. As I was a dominatrix, I was asked to host this costume competition at the Vienna lifeboat, which is this huge age benefit that went on for years and years and years. Liza Minnelli was there Bill Clinton was there, you know, the search. He was there. It was a big thing. And I was asked to kind of host not host kind of corral people who I thought were good into the costume competition, who had great outfits as a dominatrix. So at the end of the party, there was a big after party in the garden club. And I remember pinching a bike from somewhere. And I was riding around the dance floor on a bike and just ringing the bell and Being Annoying. And this DJ Henry was like, Who’s this crazy bitch. We got chatting, and he just liked the fact that I was English and weird and whatever. So he invited me to come and emcee for him. And I was like, wow.

And he kind of a DJ, and I just gotten the microphone and I be like, yeah, I’m gonna beat you up and shit. It was really I didn’t know what I was doing. So this was the second time that I was having these kind of, you know, ideas about gender and these gray spaces in between and drag. And I thought, okay, I’ve got an audience. I’m doing this and getting paid and vodka. It’s fun. Let’s dress up, and just see what happens. And people went for it. And then afterwards, because I was just drinking and doing my usual thing, and he phoned me up the next day, he’s like, you can sing and I was like, What is going on? We’re listening back to the tape from last night, you can sing you’re seeing over the top of the tunes as i was i, okay. Because I didn’t know that I could sing. I just thought I was just going blah, blah, blah, whatever. So it kind of took off there all of a sudden became a job. It wasn’t just like, oh, you’re doing this for all sorts of fun. It was like people wanted to book me because I was English and a bit weird. And

K Anderson 12:24
I was that on your business card. Should it be.

Holestar 12:31
So I was kind of, you know, still being a dominatrix. And then doing these drag things. And I did well, I was in Central Europe, I traveled around a lot. I toured a lot with like big name, DJs, blah, blah, blah, but I hated it. I hated the scene, because it was very cocktails and blowjobs kind of champagne and cocaine, you know, way it was the club that I played in, there were beautiful. They were nice. And the people were beautiful and not so nice. It’s almost like they would sit there looking really, really bored. Until the camera people will turn up. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, oh, we’re having the best night ever. Um, this was 15 years ago, people are still doing it now. But, you know, it was very much Oh, amazing. I’m so happy. And I did one gig. But I never performed at the venue again, because I had enough of these people. And the owner of the club was very cool. And he gave me a spliff beforehand. And I went onstage stoned out of my mind. And I stood there and I did my first song. And I was like, right, all these people at the front, were dancing, having a good time, I’m going to perform for you because you’re here to have a good time. You’re letting go Good for you. You people are set on their expensive tables, you can all pop off, go for yourselves. And I was just yeah, and absolutely how they’ve got books there again, wash off.

K Anderson 13:46
Without the sanitised version. I feel like maybe they were more upset.

Holestar 13:54
So yeah, I was getting a bit frustrated with not Vienna, but just the scene that I was in. I was making good money traveling around. It just became so like, this is not who I am. I train to be an artist. I want to be creative. And this isn’t creative. For me. This is just on a treadmill entertaining people that I don’t particularly like and I don’t particularly like me, so let’s do something else. So I moved to London. And that was actually 15 years ago. This no December. Yeah, so coming up. Yeah. December 15. My God, where’s that time?

K Anderson 14:26
I don’t think about a long time.

Holestar 14:29
Yeah, I came to London. didn’t know anybody. Of course. I mean, I knew a few people from my space that was so long ago. It was I mean, those people that I was aware of, and there was people that I always kind of admired as I used to come to the, you know, the gay scene, kind of late 90s early noughties, I was never part of the scene I just dipped in and out as a visitor as a you know, a tourist. And now all of a sudden I was living here and I didn’t know anybody and I contacted loads of clubs and promoters and as a hi I do this and they’re like never heard of Who are you piss off so how do I how do I get on this treadmill How do I you know get onto this scene as it were? And someone said suggested that I go to Tony shack. I know we can’t say Tony check anymore but that’s we’re talking about that that time 15 years ago when existed so dusty Oh, and tasty Tim and Lady Lloyd Glendora, ritzy crackers. Have no lash restaurant rest in peace, my love. Yeah, they all had this cup night called trannyshack at two too much, which used to be the Raymond review bar. And then it came to too much and it was it was a great venue you had like this. You walked up the stairs. You went in as you kind of went in the main door. There was a stage we could stage it was really it was good width It was good depth. Really good depth. And the dressing room. Yeah, most stages are tiny. And yeah, as a nice nice little dressing in the back. Again, decent size and the seating on the dance floor. And the seating kind of what staggered up. It was very kind of Yeah, tears gorgeous, kind of you know vaudevillian style kind of cabaret was perfect for that. And the bar was at the back. And it was a gorgeous venue and dusty wasn’t you know, a lot of pieces that I was contacting. They want to realize I was a woman they were like, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no women can’t do drag. I was like, Okay, fine. Move on. And dusty was like, Oh, can I have a go? I did and it worked. And people seem to like it. And I started working there. And it was it was a you know, it was a great venue. It was really was you get a mix of people I think at the beginning when I was there it was very quick It was very like Wednesday nights in Soho you had nag nag nag ghetto and then you had trannyshack you get a kind of mixture of people would come across over from those venues and come to this show then go to nag or wherever else and so who then was just pop in you had trash palace or ghetto you had you know to too much you had at the alternative spaces it wasn’t just the mainstream gay gogo bop in you know my eyebrows kind of venues

K Anderson 17:18
it was just this thing about eyebrows the windows of the face of how are you are you judging people like you making their snap judgments when you say very you know what, what do you make of my mana brow then

Holestar 17:33
I can’t even do what what he says. But there are some people that eyebrows a part of their identity. And it’s like really, really just Yeah, okay, good for you, babes. You you do you babes you too. But yeah, there was a time you had that very kind of member’s club. Very tan very cliche out if people want to pay to clean shows. That’s what they’re there for fine beer stereotype, darling, do you, but you have this kind of very, look at me kind of gay scene. And then this kind of queer nonsense, crazy anarchy, which I love. I appreciate beauty. And I appreciate things look gorgeous, and people to look, you know, fabulous. But I love art. I love creativity. I love the other. And that’s what I was kind of drawn to at the time. And that, that silliness,

K Anderson 18:27
that sense of silliness. That was really around, then. Can we talk then about that first performance? Do you remember what it was?

Holestar 18:38
I think it was probably what I used to do was mashups, or biscuit and bootlegs back in the day, but it was mashups we used to do now take one song and and sing the other one over the top. I think it was, you know what I know what it was, it was a mash up of delay see hideaway as the vocal. And how soon is now by the Smiths which ended up being on a train track album, funnily enough. And yeah, people just seem to like the fact that yes, I was mixing up the genders and I was also mixing up the music and the performance, you know, initially, I just thought, Okay, I’m going to just do the singing thing. That’s what I did there. And eventually, I kind of moved on from that venue. And I find everywhere in the East London scene, where, you know, I wasn’t the only woman it was, you know, everyone, all of us nut bags with you know, is very much more anarchy. Let’s just have fun and silliness and water on the floor and glitter and not give a crap but put on a show and make a bit of money. Right? I mean, now it’s very obviously post drag race. Everyone’s not everyone. A lot of kids come into this as career drag queens. They come into it as this is I’ve done my performance degree or whatever. And I’m going to be a drag queen and I’m going to get on that TV. I’m going to be a star call. Great Good for you. But we did it initially is like, This is fun. And yes, we’re earning a bit of money, and then it turned into a career it just happened. That’s the way it was because we were having so much fun and being creative and being silly that the main focus wasn’t what was, let’s have a career, let’s make this a big thing. is just natural organic pressure on kids now, because that show has made it very, especially the aesthetic. No,

K Anderson 20:30
yeah. Because it’s now it suddenly is something that you can aspire to, because there are people who make money from it. But like 20 years ago, there would be like, one person or like day med now and report they make money from drag no one else does. So if you’re gonna do it, you better fucking love it. Yeah. I have a few more drag questions. And some of them, some of them are probably going to be questions that you are asked a lot. So apologies. So hopefully some of them are a bit more interesting. And I wanted to go back to talking about the misogyny and drag and how prevalent that was up until maybe a decade or so ago. And why do you think it’s changed?

Holestar 21:13
I think I have to say it’s changed the decade or so is actually in my experience. It hasn’t changed. There’s still a lot of mythology, there’s a lot of times where I’ve had gigs booked. And they’ve Okay, let’s scrap that. Let’s go when I had an agent and as an agent for a while, and they booked me for a series of gigs at a venue in London, great turned up did my job. As far as I know, everyone was happy. The bar staff were happy, punters were happy. It was great. And I got a phone call saying, Oh, they don’t want you for the future dates. I was like, Okay, fair enough. But can you tell you what I’ve done wrong? I get some constructive feedback. What was it? And he had nothing to say? And eventually I said it’s because I’m a woman, isn’t it? He had to say yes. Basically, they miss judge their audience to think that all they want is a man and a dress. And it still happens today. And it has what happens now, what has changed is queer politics, and queer rhetoric has become more prevalent. And there are now you know, female drag queens, biological weapons, pilot, bio bows, bio, Queen, female drag queen, sister, or whatever the semi different categories

K Anderson 22:22
are gonna ask what your preferred term is, but it seems like maybe you’re a bit exhausted by them.

Holestar 22:27
No big. Do you know what I say I sell a ticket in a wig. That’s it my gender, what’s in my pants is neither here nor there. And that, for me is the essential idea about drag is it’s not about a gender binary swap male to female, female to male, if you want to do that groovy. Essentially, drag is the performance like, you know, again, because this whole drag race aesthetic, you’re expected to look a certain way. I would rather see a raggedy old mess in a potato sack, throw themselves around on stage and

K Anderson 23:01
potatoes.

Holestar 23:02
Any potatoes or potatoes are good or not potato specific. Okay. But I’d rather see energy and love and passion on stage. Because essentially, drag is about performance. The aesthetic is important. Now more than ever, so people have to look a certain way. But you look at someone for 10 seconds, and then that’s gone. The look is kind of like okay, we’ve seen the look now Great. Now what can you give us? And so what anyone’s gender is on stage shouldn’t bloody matter. Just bring it. And now we’ve got a lot more, you know, female body people, sis people doing drag. Great, brilliant. I mean, I’m considered was it? Was it the independent? They did an article about female drag queens and I was called them whole star is the veteran of female drag queens.

K Anderson 23:54
false modesty like oh, which which newspaper? Was it? I can’t remember. could have been any of them.

Holestar 24:03
It was one of the Sunday supplements. But they were like, yeah, holster the veteran, a female drag queens and I was like, Oh my god, I’m old. shake up and do this for quite a long time. Because in my head, I’m still a child. And I’m still experimenting and playing and haven’t really grown up in the conventional sense. So to be called a veteran, it’s kind of like, I guess it’s flattering.

K Anderson 24:26
Like I’m gonna update my Instagram bio immediately.

Holestar 24:30
The veteran as far as I know, I’m probably the longest serving drag titon away, whatever. As long as much as I know. Which is great, which is nice. And then some some of the some of the young girls have been really you know, respectful of that they’ve kind of been interviewed and they’ve they’ve mentioned that it was me that encouraged them to like Victoria sin I really encouraged her. They sorry, to you know, do drag Because their artwork was very innovative, innovative and knocking around in both fabrics at the time, and they were very much like I want to try dragon I was like go for it. It’s nothing stopping you there is never anything stopping you. You will always come up against people who oppose it because they’ll say no, you can’t do no dragon Superman only, and especially what people like Rue fucking pour themselves saying these anti trans comments about you know, you can’t do the Olympics with with enhancement drugs or whatever. It’s like what and then I’ll there’s no danger in a woman doing drugs. What? What, Okay, I get it. She’s from a different generation, where it was just men in drag. And it’s like, well, I’ve been punched in the face for looking like a drag queen. I’ve been abused. I’ve been attacked, because people think, but I am a man in a dress. they’ve they’ve they’ve seen the big wig and the lashes and I am far more count, but I’m in drag, obviously. They just reduce you down to that kind of, oh, that’s what you are. I’m going to react. And it’s like, well look at my jaw line, my hands my tips for God’s sake. So to say there’s only danger in men doing drag is complete bullshit, because I’ve had that danger as well. I’ve actually had physical danger of thirst upon me, and misogyny. And being ignored. There are times where I thought Hang on, why am I not getting these gigs. And it’s probably because I’ve had like, you know, my mental health has been in a mess. And I’ve been a many bitch. And I’ve been around people, I mean, like moan, moan, moan, and people find me down or work with her. I compete take responsibility for that. But I work when I work hard at something, I do my very best. And I’m not the best at all. I’m in no competition with anyone else. But myself. But there are times when I know that I’ve been looked over for gigs, because of my gender. And that is still happening today. Unfortunately.

K Anderson 26:50
Yeah, and it’s this, it’s this really I just kind of really gross space, isn’t it when people can deny deny things, even though it is blatantly driven by one thing and one thing alone. And so it just makes Yeah, this just becomes a bit of a psychological mess for you, if you’re trying to justify it or trying to understand it, you just tie yourself up in knots.

Holestar 27:16
I’ve tried to stop being angry about it, I think that’s hard to let go of, because I felt like I am very much a lone wolf, I’m not part of any. Now I’ve worked with lots of groups of people, and I have friends in different, you know, packs of drag packs or whatever. But I’m very much my own person. And you kind of have to take on all that on board yourself. And it’s like, you feel like you’re being attacked from every angle. And you’ve got to get to the point where go fuck it, you know, I’ve been angry. I’ve been banging this drum for 17 bastard years. And that’s someone else’s time to do that. And there were younger kids were coming through, who are very politically motivated and very angry and good for them. Because I did it for a long time, and no one was listening. And now those kids are doing it and people are listening, which is great. It’s like, as a veteran, I can call your turn, it’s your turn to do it. Because there’s so little work to be done.

K Anderson 28:10
But it’s still it’s still, it’s still tough to watch. Isn’t it to be like, What the fuck, I was fucking doing that. Be angry for you. So have you ever considered like starting? I mean, I don’t know if it is so much of a thing in the UK. And I always like end up asking really dumb drag related questions on on this show. So apologies. Did you ever consider joining a house or starting your own house?

Holestar 28:41
No, purely out of respect for what houses actually mean? purely because, you know, watching Paris is burning while I’m first getting into dragon getting on the scene. I have a very deep respect for that culture. And especially what you saw in Paris is burning with New York and I happen a lot all around the US. These are people who were kicked out of their homes. These were people who had no lives, their families rejected them for their gender, their sexuality for whatever. And the house mothers would home these children were to feed these children would encourage them to do things and be better people. That’s a true house mother. I feel like now probably get into trouble at first but I’d really care you’ve got a lot of people who who are privileged themselves who just go Imad drag house mother blah, blah, blah, blah. And start barking orders around and you know that in their 20s they haven’t got a clue. They haven’t lived they haven’t worked come to be a bitch No, but they come with this kind of like, okay, I’ve performed for one year or two years or whatever. And all of a sudden they they they think they deserve this reference. And it’s it’s like respect isn’t You can’t demand respected it’s earned. And the house mothers original house mothers, they deserved every bit of respect they got because they worked at it. They they helped these children, not just were part of a group of people or so called house and it’s great their house has existed. I love the fact that you know, especially the voguing houses, black, the Latino people are still doing that. I still massive fan of voguing proper voguing not death, plopping, as you know, there’s so many of these children, honestly, I think hang on honey, your knees are going to be knackered by the time you’re 30 because you aren’t landing properly, you haven’t learned how to death drop, or dip as it’s properly called. All you’re doing is getting lipstick lipstick legacy and throwing yourself on the floor and you look like a mess. And she can affect your backup baby.

K Anderson 30:56
So I mean, see so you know from what you’ve just said, and you know being the veteran female drug why why is it not time for you to start your own house? You can tell them like think about Jenny’s.

Holestar 31:14
Think about it. Do you know what i, i i’ve said I have been a drag aren’t because I’ve got no instincts whatsoever at all. So I’m happy to be a drag aren’t and go do this, do that no piss off, because I don’t want to change the nappy Doom itself. Unfortunately, this is this is the downside of it. There are a few people that I’ve taken on board, and try to encourage and help and give them my wisdom and talk to them, you know, talk about them to other people and other promoters and other people say this person is really good. And I tried to lift them up. And they’ve all stabbed me in the back. So I’m like, I’ve been hurt too many times. I’ve been burned too many times. And maybe it’s generational thing I don’t know. It’s just used to just taking and not actually giving anything back in return. just basic decency, and backstabbing. And being just, I can’t be bothered.

K Anderson 32:09
I mean, in some of it driven by this shift in the the level that you can aspire to in drag now and that people are viewing it as a profession more as like a world in this together. We’re all having fun. So it’s a bit more kind of doggy dog and a bit more. Very much the very

Holestar 32:29
Yeah, they’re very competitive. Now the kids, I mean, when I first came to London, I love the fact that you had all these different scenes. So I first night, I arrived in London, I went to cash point, I love cash point, and it was freaky, and it was weird. And the music was all over the place. And I loved that. And then you can go to you know, Soho and see a traditional drag queen doing a traditional drag queen-esque show. And then East London, you had all the weirdos there, all these different people, not necessarily working together, but just kind of like, okay, you exist there, we exist there. And we’re just doing our thing. And now you know, everyone is drag queen, there are no club kids anymore. Everyone is a drag queen. And it’s so competitive. Because obviously, you know that TV show has made things huge and good luck to anyone who does it. But those kids at the bottom who are kind of, you know, not on the TV or not part of a clan or a house, get left aside. And it’s just become very just very. Again, there are people that I love on this scene, and I appreciate them. I think they’re wonderful. But as a as a group, I think as an outsider looking in, you’ll get drag queens that occur what they’d like as a group. We were very encouraging of each other back in the day, especially East London, when a song got a really good gig. It was like well done, girl. Well done. Fantastic. Good for you. Now there’s so backbiting and such backstabbing going on. And that’s why I prefer to stay lone wolf and just split between group and group because I don’t want to get involved in that drama. My mental health can’t deal with it. And I need to self preservation sometimes because it’s like, I want to be involved more, but at what cost to myself. And so I’d rather just be removed from it, and just dip in and go. Cool. Yeah, I’d like to see what people are doing your call your great Whoa. But it’s just it’s the negativity about it. Like you said, it’s because of a hug is now a job. It’s now a business. It’s not just titon about rolling around like a tat. It’s now a career move for a lot of people, so I get that they’re more competitive.

K Anderson 34:30
It’s still rolling around. Like, it’s just making sure it’s a good filter on it later when you um, but so so without like turning this into some kind of therapy session is this like, because when you give something you give your role? Yeah. And so when you’re like, if you’re part of our group, you are like synced into that group.

Holestar 34:53
There we match. So I don’t like anything by halves. I think it’s like going on stage. I try and try Every performance like comic palladium, even if it’s the, you know, in a basement on a buddy’s stack of beer cans or whatever,

K Anderson 35:06
I think it’s always in the basement.

Holestar 35:10
basement somewhere, I like, you know, I always think majority of the audience’s you get whatever scene you’re part of the majority of people work nine to five Monday to Friday, they want entertainment, they want escapism, when they finish their, their usual conventional roles. They want to go out and they want to escape. And that’s my job is to give them some escapism, you know, I’m a facilitator of fun. I want them to enjoy themselves. So I will give my all no matter who I’m performing to, I’ll be like, okay, all in all, there’s no point. And it really frustrates me when I see a lot of you know, Queens who just dial it in, or dial into performance. And I just feel like learn and Mark Mark, do what they have to do, and not give a shit or be so into themselves. It’s like, baby, it’s not about you right now. It’s about entertaining. People always say that’s the ultimate role of a drag queen is to perform and to entertain the people. So it’s the same thing with Yeah, with these kind of groups, I try and give as much as I can. And it’s just has to be that, you know, against proposed part of my nature. And I just think over the years, I’ve had to step back more and more and more, just because it’s become more toxic. I don’t know, maybe it’s the word. Just as look after myself. I can’t I can’t give it all and have it been taken away again. I’d love to set my OS on my own and smoke a spliff and watch an 80s trash horror film, which is my favourite thing to do right now.

K Anderson 36:38
Can we talk about the you’ve made the assertion a few times that drag is about performance? Do you think that’s changing?

Holestar 36:47
Oh, yeah, definitely. A lot of it now is the ascetic, especially with social media has a huge role to play in that. I mean, some of these children, they put a picture on Instagram, I’m like, baby, how much of that? Is that? Is that you? How much is that you are? How much is that technology? And, you know, good luck to him. It’s just the way the way things happen now, and you know, everything changes, for better or for worse. The performance now, for a lot of people is very secondary. And again, it’s because of that bloody TV show where it’s very much

K Anderson 37:22
about this. Is that what we’re calling it now, that TV show? What do you

Holestar 37:27
think is the differences between British drag and American drag is American drag is very pageanty. And it has a great tradition of pageantry. So the look is very, very much an important aspect of it. British drag has always conventionally been about the entertainment about the actual show, and giving people a law or a laugh or singing along, I feel it’s quite emotional thing rather than just aesthetics. So that TV show has come over here. Great. And now you’ve got kids who are spending a fortune on their looks, there are children during lockdown spending 300 pounds or less front wig and it’s like you’re not earning right now. How can you afford this? You know, maybe mommy and daddy are paying for you. Good for you Bay wonderful. But there are kids now who focus so heavily on the aesthetic because of the TV show, then make capacity flawless work has to be this that like there has to be you know, bespoke blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, what about the show when you put yourself together and you’ve got all those likes, you’ve got a little dopamine hit on Instagram for the likes, good for you. Great. However, take it to the people. You’ve got to take that into the people and show them your fucking soul. Your asshole could do that as well. If you want to

K Anderson 38:40
show your soul on the same thing. Great project I can get behind. Get behind this

Holestar 38:52
show wants to do something about that, because I’ve got some really sick ideas because I’m a dominatrix still. And I ran a couple of sex parties that were very, I had one called pan people The idea was was completely pansexual I hate the idea of men only spaces female only spaces, blah, blah. I wanted it all to be color groovy people and it was it was lovely. It was full of very mixed bag of people. And I did it on a Sunday for a while. And the idea was, you know, have a roast and can have a spit roast. And then you get to Hackney and there was one event that I did and I looked over and though it was just it was a beautiful Tableau there was a man there was a woman there was a trans woman there was a non binary person there was all these seven night people all connected together. And it was just glorious and they all do and stuff and everyone was happy. It was very positive and

K Anderson 39:48
united colours of Benetton commercial.

Holestar 39:52
Sex debauchery and I’m sorry when a friend at the bar was like, you know had a party, don’t you? I was like, yeah So I’ve I’ve sometimes thought about bringing that s&m element into the drag. And sometimes I’ve thought, let’s keep those two identities separate. Because I know with my Twitter or Facebook, all that I’ve got, I missed RS profile, and I’ve got my whole star one. And the whole star one is a more active on that one because that’s kind of my main job. And the dominate has always been my side hustle. Because I can’t not do it. I did stop for a while when I dislocated my knee at Glastonbury on the stage. I was in a wheelchair and in crutches for 18 months, so you know, kind of stopped. I can still DJ I just sit there and put on a chair. I just DJ that was fine on a little stall. But the dominatrix stuff kind of stopped because you know, being a dominatrix and flat shoes isn’t much of a look. So I kind of gave it up, but it called me back. It was very much like the Godfather. It’s when you’re out they

K Anderson 40:52
pull you back in. I was gonna ask her so how much like how much of the dominatrix. I’m gonna say characters, please correct me, if you disagree informs holster and vice versa.

Holestar 41:06
I mean, Mr. S, the dominatrix came first. So I always think she, she, she is the boss actually know me as Judy, I’m the boss. They’re both very assertive creatures. They’re very, very bold, very confident. There are times where perhaps the directory has come out on stage as whole star. And I’ve got to check myself and remember that I’m here to entertain people and not bring people down and not be that bitch, because I’m not getting paid for that right now. I get paid a lot more for doing that and then doing the drag, but that’s another story. So they’re not Yeah, as characters, it’s almost like I kind of prefer having a clear definition of boundary between the two of them and keep them kind of separate. They’re all informed by each other. You know, I call myself a self aware schizophrenic, because I’ve got all these different characters, but I’m all aware of who they are and their place and time and when they’re necessary. But do they share wardrobe? No, no

K Anderson 42:11
way to save money.

Holestar 42:13
It would be, um, I hate this is the thing I hate PVC I hate. I hate like I’m fat. Aesthetically, it doesn’t look great. And I hate all that shit. Even when I do sessions. I draw our nice little black dress and our bear stockings and all that. But I won’t wear any of that shit. Because it’s so restrictive when you’re trying to beat someone up or bum them into next week. When you’re wearing PVC. It’s all crankin and ask it in the bloody way. So in my wardrobe, I’ve got a whole section in fact, yeah, I’ve got a wardrobe. That’s one sides of the holster, the other side’s old Julie, and then all my Mr. s stuff is dotted around the place in like bags and stuff, you know, what they call suit bags and stuff like that. They all kind of separate there are occasions where holster has worn PVC or wall high high boots. But generally I’m so uncomfortable. I can’t be bothered to do this for too long. I’m so old, I don’t care anymore.

K Anderson 43:16
And so and so there’s never been a highly comical situation where you’ve gone somewhere with like a bag of clothes that you thought were for one thing and were actually for another and then had to wing it. Unfortunately, not the answer that you want. That would be a really great anecdote. Can you can you get on that, please?

Holestar 43:36
I’m quite boring. I’m quite organised. I just learned from a long time ago that you go into dressing rooms for drag queens and it’s chaos. It’s like, you know, bring them by sale or there’s just stuff everywhere. Where’s this miss out on? Like, you know what, I’m gonna buy lots of little bags. So when I go to pull out this bag,

K Anderson 43:55
vacuum sealed,

Holestar 43:57
not vacuum sealed actually looks like here little things. Kind of I know what to do. I’m like, there’s no accessories. There’s this. There’s that. And I see everyone else around me. Chaos. I might know I’m going to be a little bit pious here go No, I’m nice and tidy. And at the end of the show, I could pack up my stuff. I know everything is by and gone just easier. makes life so much easier.

K Anderson 44:20
But there’s something about that ceremony of chaos. That helps, doesn’t it?

Holestar 44:24
I love to see it. I love to see it because it’s always different. And I’m surprised no one’s actually the photo series of bat of the chaos. I mean, yeah, I mean when I used to do NYC danno at Glastonbury when we got the trani tank there again the word tranny, we talk about that in a minute because the usage of that these days. It was just absolute chaos. And I would get my little station and I would like box myself in I’m like, here’s my makeup, his mat underneath the desk, I’d have all my stuff and around me was just and when you’ve been in the field for five days with a bunch of drag queens you haven’t really washed and the smell of methods Round an ass and you know, go back to where 20 so 2020 Shaq was originally in San Francisco by a cleaner and then the guy who ran trash shack, UK Walt and dusty they use the name and they actually bought the trench that goes over and there was a big who heard about the name but I think I don’t know what happened in the end first it was like okay it’s okay cuz he bought everyone over and paid for more to come over and that was how can making amends but then it all went a bit tits up and there was miscarry? I don’t know got kicked out of that.

K Anderson 45:37
That’s like about actual use of that name. Because

Holestar 45:41
Yeah, cuz it was established night in Cisco. So at the time, everyone called each other trainee, you know, this is what I’m funded. And like 15 years ago, it was a term of endearment. It wasn’t a disparaging thing was instead of saying Hello, dear, it was a high trainee. And this was across all genders. This was men, women and trans people. You know, we all used it amongst ourselves as a term of endearment negative never as a negative. And I just call myself a trainee with a funny, I was a trainee for a long, long time. And I did an interview with The Guardian, and I defended my use of it because of the past, you know, positivity and blah, blah, blah, I got a lot of shit for that. And rightly so because language changes, and I realised, okay, let’s move for the times. Let’s just drop it. It’s not important to have that it was just a funny, little strapline. Yeah, I hope training with a funny just sounded camp and I and it rhymes. And it’s last why, like Titian a wig, you know, doesn’t rhyme. But um, so yeah, back then it was very much in a positive term. And I like the fact that, you know, like the word queer, we reclaimed that word, it was a negative for a very, very long time. I understand that a lot of gay men who hate that word still. and rightfully so everyone’s got their own reasons for using words and terminology. So we we, as an LGBTQ plus community reclaimed Queer as a positive. It’s not my place to say to trans people, we must reclaim tranny as a positive, it’s not my place at all. Even though I do identify as non binary. I’m not so heavily into it. I don’t care about the programs, I just know that physically I am non binary. And this is God, this is a scam, but of scandal, stop or get in trouble for this as well. I accepted quite a while ago, that I wasn’t going to transition. Because for years, I thought about it. And for years, as a woman in the army, as a woman in drag, you’re very much, you know, on a lower pegging level as a woman and seeing men being respected and treated in a different way makes you think, hang on, I want that. And I deserve that. But that’s what I can do with it. I just knew from a young age that I didn’t fit this body that I’m in. And I thought about it a lot. I thought about it. And I was like, hang on, I have to accept the baggage that I’ve been given. I’m too much of a pussy, pardon the pun, to go through that anyone who transitions has my utmost respect and admiration and love. And Wow, amazing. I haven’t transitioned for various reasons. One unless I can have a penis that works like a sis man. No, I again, it’s like I want to piss standing up. I want to fuck someone in the bum. With a with a Willie. When I get no rising thought I want to get hard on. That’s not yet possible. Our piston here, hold on, I wanna I want to be a man, I want to walk around to the dead, but also as a woman who’s been treated shit from various aspects of my life. I’m generalising here, but a lot of men are crap. They’re not very good people. Do I want to be another crap person? Do I want to be another ship bloke? It’s sometimes it’s probably easy to make a shit woman who talks too much shit. And you can still get it’s almost like you should get away with things. But it shouldn’t matter. Either way. Anyone who does it, good for them? Absolutely. 100% gets my love and attention and admiration. I just realised for me, I’m going to accept what I’ve got, which isn’t a lot and just go, I can live my gender expression through drag. That’s how I can express my gender. I can go out sometimes I went out earlier and a baseball cap on no makeup on just you know, going along and people call me here all the time. or Miss Jen misgendered me I don’t care. So I can do that. I can go between those lines. And that’s a hold on.

K Anderson 49:53
Were you saying that if you if you transitioned, you would become an annoying man. Absolutely. Like, and is that because because of the man or because would you just be bringing your, your terribleness with you?

Holestar 50:16
I’m, I’m riddled with testosterone anyway. And I know if I had more testosterone, I’d be a bigger asshole than I am. Now, I just know that for a fact. I mean, I’ve had to go on various medications to reduce my testosterone, which makes me more emotional and I cry more, and I put them away a little. So my whole chemistry inside me is very up and down as it is, I should know if I took testosterone, that I’d be more aggressive, I’d be more argumentative, I’d be just prick.

K Anderson 50:49
More argumentative? How is that possible?

Holestar 50:53
I know, I think I probably would be, I’d be more angry because I’ve been angry, I am angry still. But I think I’d be angrier. I would have an excuse, then, again, almost have an excuse to behave like an absolute prick. And I’m learning as I get older, there’s no excuse to be an absolute prick only when it’s necessary not to step back and go. Okay. That’s not something I need to be involved in. I used to, you know, very much get involved with arguments online about various things. And because I’ve been really naughty at one time, and I said something that was really bad, and I got a lot of trouble for it. And I got death threats. And I got a really horrible backlash online, and I was bullied a lot. And what I said was, was shit, it was shit, I owned up to that I learned from that. But the crap that I got, because of it made me realize Hang on, it’s not worth it to get so involved, which is, which is a shame, because there’s a lot of people really good opinions out there who feel the same. They feel like they can’t say things openly anymore. They can’t talk about various things, because things are taken out of context. And, you know, you’ll say something to somebody or write something online. And they’ll take one part of that rather than the whole message. But just reduce it down to Oh, I’m offended RA and then just go for you. And I get now you know, you’ve got a lot of people who are very liberal, pious, kind of, you know, liberals who are very Oh, no, you can’t say that. You can’t say that. I’m very fucking liberal. I’m very trans positive. I’m very sex positive. Um, yeah, I tried to be a decent human being, but to get really Aggie and, and just see the way people do it online now. And people are canceled. I was canceled for a while there are people who blocked me, boom, like that. And it’s like, do you actually know me at all actually understand where I was coming from? So, again, that’s just age and learning. That is such, there’s so much I would like to say, but I just, I try not to I try.

K Anderson 52:52
Well, it’s tough, isn’t it? It’s like, there is no respectful disagreement anymore. There’s no room for that. Because it’s just like, you’re either here or you’re here. And that’s Yeah, there’s no nothing in between. And I find that, yeah, that that’s dangerous. I mean, I do also agree, I don’t know the the situation that you’re talking about. So I’m not alluding to that at all. But the I do agree that although there is freedom of speech, there is not freedom from consequence. So absolutely. So people should be challenged. But people should be challenged respectfully. Yes.

Holestar 53:32
Yeah. I think that’s what you said, there, there’s no room knife for discussion, all this interim, you know, because everything is, is again, it’s binary. I think when I think about everything in my life, my gender, my sexuality, everything. I like these gray areas, you know, coming back to the whole gray area of gender. And I think even with with various things, I think, okay, let’s take that aside, and let’s take this side, and then make her decision rather than just, Oh, my God, this person said this thing, and I agree with them, and they’re all i disagree with them, and I’m going to take it upon myself to bully them, and dox them and whatever is just very, very, very toxic and negative. And when I hear now of universities, you know, banning certain people from from conversations just like, hang about whole point of a debate is to take various opinions, and you might not agree with that person, let them speak and let them have their say, and then disagree with them. And when I hear people go, No, we can’t have this person because they’re a turf or whatever. I hate turf myself, obviously. But I sometimes think we have to let them speak a little bit. We have to let those other sides come in, just to then have your to create an opinion. But all see from the same hymn sheet, you create this massive divide. We’ve got now the left and the right, this and that the black and white is just these horrible, negative divides. You know, sometimes I think, am I wrong? Am I on the wrong side of history? I’m on the wrong side of opinion. I’ll try and look at the rights and look at their rhetoric. I look at that, and I come back here. No, I am right. They are complete idiots. But it’s important, I think, to look at that other side sometimes if we just all read the Guardian non stop and just take that as, that’s the way the world is cool. You’ve only got a look at the times, but look at the Daily Mail, look at those idiots over there and go, what are they writing about? Now? I have an informed opinion. Now I have something to actually take things from from both of the sides.

K Anderson 55:29
Yeah, but I guess it’s like, you know, like I yeah, I have just had I believe in freedom of speech. But when that freedom of speech is then seeking to infringe on other people’s right to exist, then there doesn’t need to be kind of some moderation there doesn’t need to be some stopping of those voices being amplified.

Holestar 55:51
I think if they are not You mean, I think if there if those people are trying to instigate violence, or instigate negativity, hostility, fine. You know, when, when Katie Hopkins was banned from Twitter, I was absolutely elated. I was like, brilliant, she doesn’t deserve to have that platform to talk to bullshit about people. So I completely agree on that respect, because she was inciting such negativity, that there wasn’t any argument, it wasn’t a debate in which she was saying it was just very much I’m coming in with this block. So people like that, cancel them, absolutely. Get them out. We don’t need that kind of negativity, or that kind of destructive language being out there. But I do think there are people who are kind of slightly more in the middle that kind of do get ignored. Even in liberal circles. It’s almost like you have to choose everything on this side, or that side, or this side, or that side. If you’re not, you’re out. You’re rejected. Which is Yeah, how do we evolve as a species, if we’re just going to do that if we just got to, you know, try mobilise ourselves in these groups of you know, this or that?

K Anderson 57:00
Yeah, and, and you’re not going to win? I mean, this kind of goes against my nature, because I’m just always like, no, you’re a rock star. But like, you’re not gonna win people over with your argument. If, if you if you act in that way, or you

Holestar 57:16
if you fight fire with fire, you fight fire with fire, you get more fire, is the way I see it. Again, that’s to learning and age that I’ve got to realise that yeah, if you go in, someone’s attacking you attacking them back then no one’s listening. Everyone’s just going rah, rah. It’s just loads of noise. Maybe both sides need to listen. I think the right hander

K Anderson 57:35
then say No, you’re wrong. No, you’re wrong. Yeah. Yeah. So we didn’t, we didn’t kind of finished this conversation about the use of the word tranny. One thing I wanted to get your opinion on is this, there’s some debate in the like, who has, who has the right to not own that word, but you know, who has their right? Because that word has been used in a derogatory sense against them to, to have an opinion on that word. And and on one side, there are people who are transgender. And then on the other side, there are sis men predominantly who do drag. And do you have like a view on? Do?

Holestar 58:24
I think I mean, again, through learning an age and letting things go, I think the only people that really have the right to use it, I suppose are trans people themselves. You know, I can say yes, I am trans. I haven’t physically changed anything. I’m non binary, whatever. But I’m seen as a sis woman, do I have right to use it? Probably not. No, even though I regard myself as you know, on the trans spectrum, should it matter how much surgery you’ve had? Or hormones? You’ve had to change that again? No. It’s such a difficult word. I think Time Time has to pass, I think there has been enough time to pass before to get used in a positive way. Because positive way again, purely because thing about the way queer was used quite a long time as a negative. It wasn’t really till queer theory started to come in. And then it became more of a more of a positive term. But there was a time that passed, I think, and I think with the word trendy at the moment, we’re going to this, you know, all the children are woke now and that’s brilliant, and they’re all understanding of queer theory and politics. And it’s, it’s great. I love the fact that our trans people all over the media right now there are trans people on TV, acting, getting work being represented in a positive way. That’s amazing. But the rest of the world is yet to catch up, as well. You know, it’s like, oh, gay people are finite about gay marriage. No, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Okay, trans people on TV. No, no, there’s still a shitload of work to be done for them. So I think the more time has to pass and who has ownership of that word, It’s not anything, it’s for me to say, regardless of how I see my gender identity it’s tricky one.

K Anderson 1:00:08
Language is just so fascinating, isn’t it? Because again, it’s this thing of people not necessarily taking it, your use of it in context. And that that makes it tough. Because yes, there’s never any. There’s no this is gonna sound so dumb. There’s never any kind of like, updated published list of like these words you can’t use you’re just expected to just know like, Oh, I’m not allowed to do that anymore. Yeah. And I find that that quite difficult.

Holestar 1:00:40
And it changes on a like a weekly basis. I think you find like, on Twitter, you’ll see someone say something and then so we can’t use that word anymore. It’s like I was I wasn’t aware of the update. Yeah. helpful.

K Anderson 1:00:52
Notifications or something. This is no no longer can you call yourself a faggot again? It’s okay. Yeah.

Holestar 1:01:04
Even recently, with I saw someone, you know, Jackie beats, did a live thing on Instagram. And when she did, dirty sanchez with what’s his name, Mario, Do da, present terrible. And I had a song that had the word faggot in it. And they, they couldn’t, they felt like they couldn’t even say the word, while they were discussing amongst friends who’ve known each other for years have worked for years together. Because they knew there were younger people listening who would be offended by that word, it was a song they wrote a long time ago. It’s almost like they’re so frustrated that you can’t use anything in certain situations, you’re constantly trying to police your own language. Or even now there are times I saw on stage and be like, Blimey, and now I’m holding back so much because I don’t really want to offend anybody. People might think that I do. I actually don’t, that’s not on my agenda at all. I want to entertain people, that’s my job. But I find myself it’s almost like restricting comedy, as well. There are some people who just tried to be shock. Comedians, for shock value, those people aren’t very funny. Because I think if you have to go to the lower stomach, you have to punch down and go to that low low space denominator, you yourself are not very clever and not very funny. Your stick for shock value,

K Anderson 1:02:25
but also like, what is that? Like? Yeah, what there is no new material there is like, let’s just,

Holestar 1:02:32
let’s be mean to a group of people see vile, and that ain’t funny. But there are people who are smart and who are intelligent, who are genuinely funny, who are having to police their language, because of potential backlash and potential Oh, you can’t say that under the desert. So it’s a contentious time. And it’s very this this this this tug between the old school and the new school and the young people think they know everything, and the old people are going Yes, but we live through this and you’re not listening. And but we haven’t caught up to date with this technology yet. So give us a moment. Because we’ve been living our lives. And this is whole, it’s a such a shame that everyone’s fighting amongst, within our own queer communities. There’s a no shit going on the world right now, what we’ve been fighting over words, and the intention, like, my intention is always never negative. It’s even when it’s someone’s paid to be beating the shit out of my, I’ll give them a hug at the end. Because they wanted that time. They’ve wanted that space, we’ve done that, and we’ve come out of it. I don’t want to hurt anybody. But that’s often not the case. That’s not how it’s received. And again, it’s that whole kind of policing yourself and try not to offend. I don’t want to offend. But if you are, yeah, where’s the line? Where’s the line where and there’s this,

K Anderson 1:03:49
you know, there’s this whole other layer within it of us as a society. And, and the way that we’ve evolved, like, we have to be right all the time. We We We don’t like being challenged. That’s not kind of that is not part of our culture, in saying, you know, so there’s no way that I can easily say to someone, by the way, would you mind not using that word, because that offends me. And so what we’ve learned is that the only way that people will respond to you, the only way that you’re going to get the outcome that you want is to clamp down on things is to be aggressive, straight away. And that’s that’s kind of how we’re in this space in this situation where it is just like from zero to 100, rather than opening a dialogue.

Holestar 1:04:40
Absolutely. I’m guilty of that myself. There were times where I’ve been attacked and I attack back on my on my fangs are sharper than yours. Let’s have it. And then I’m thinking again, ah, what’s the point? What’s the start not have that conversation? I’d rather have that conversation in a civil way. And there are people that have approached me and said, Let’s go for a coffee. Let’s have a chat with like, I know you all you’re coming galvanized, you’re coming with your weapons to attack me and it’s like, let’s just not just agree to disagree because my neck my intentions are not negative. I don’t hate you. I don’t hate anybody except Donald Trump. He’s going soon hurry. I’ve got a long list, but he’s at the top of it. Right in living memory. Yeah, you’re right. Absolutely. It’s a shame that dialogue doesn’t exist. Everyone wants to be right. Everyone wants to be seen to be right the first time and there’s no room for error, or mistakes or later. Apologies. It’s like, if you say something, you get it wrong. you apologize later, you’re seen as Oh, well, what you didn’t know what you’re talking about in the first place. And reality? Who does? I’ve got opinion on everything I know.

K Anderson 1:05:52
Yeah, it’s just so it’s just so hard to say you’re wrong. It’s just so tough.

Holestar 1:06:00
I find I find actually apologizing makes make you a better person at all. But you do get that sense of okay. There’s some sort of closure there. That however, but that person then wants to take it is then on them. I’m just wanting to say to you, I am sorry. What I said was wrong. Now it’s up to you to I don’t know. It’s who knows who can say it’s a mess.

K Anderson 1:06:24
It’s a mess. So back to two too much. Because we haven’t actually talked about it really at all. Sorry, listeners. Do you remember hearing about a closing?

Holestar 1:06:38
And? Yes, God? Actually, actually, no, I don’t because I was working a lot more in East London scene at the time, Mr. attack and Johnny woo and that lot. And then it close. And then it went to a training track went to a quarter modern jojos which another great venue that’s now since gone. And that was a great venue because I had different things every day of the week was to me there was like, you know, white heat on the Tuesday you had 20, Shaq, you had northern soul nights, you had burlesque nights, you had, you know, such a broad range of programming that went on man jojos. And it too, too much. But then too, too much became the box, which she you know, it’s one of those things very, I find things out the box. It’s almost like, Hey, rich people come and see the freaks. You know, it was that very much again, what I left behind a Vienna, that whole champagne lifestyle and look at me, aren’t I fabulous, I can afford this fancy table and this bottle of Grey Goose, rather than I’m going to go out and enjoy myself and be entertained. And for those people who work there, great good for them. They’re making good money. There are some interesting performance artists to who do stuff that because what they do is considered shocking. And therefore they’re like we’re trying to do the most commercially viable shocking thing we can give to people. And I was asked to audition at not the box, but another one on the road. And I knew other friends that were doing it and they were getting paid shit money to basically be poured out by city to arts and rich tourists, who just thought they were there for their entertainment, they can grab them and touch them. And I’m like, No, do not touch the freaks. You can’t afford me. So back the fuck off. I didn’t want to pay into that. I just don’t want to be part of that. You know, you can’t choose your audiences. And she can’t ever think well, I want to perform. Obviously, the queer people are my people I want to perform to queer people, but I don’t mind performing to anyone who’s receptive to it, who wants to have a good time, he wants to just enjoy themselves. When people come with unfortunately, with money that comes out of arrogance and a lot of, you know, nonsense. And too too much became that when it became the box, it became too too much was wasn’t cheap. It wasn’t cheap venue. But it was beautiful. And it was it was well lit and it was good stage. As you said it was very deep

K Anderson 1:09:02
tap.

Holestar 1:09:02
It was Yeah, it’s just another one of those the whole gentrification of Soho the whole thing of I called Soho now a giant coffee shop, because everything has been sucked out of it every all the sex has gone. That Yeah, there’s a few gay places that still survive I performing DJing a few of them. But I understand that London’s always been in a state of flux, you know, venues come and go all the time. And there are certain venues, as long as I’ve been here for 15 years that we’ve lost because of no greedy breweries or you know, commercial groups and whatnot and money generally. But people got to remember this is this is something I wanted to bring up is that queer spaces new, they’re generally not funded by anything but beer. And it’s great. It’d be great to have a community centre where for queer people they can go and perform and do whatever they want and converse and not worry about the overheads, but money is made people are paid through booze. When people come to a venue and they just sit there and share half a lager between six of them, and then demand that they know on stage uses the certain words, or behaves in a certain way, you know, unfortunately, these people over here might get a bit more pricey because they’ve got that, it’s it shouldn’t be that way. It shouldn’t be that way. But unfortunately, that’s the way it is. We look at all the queer venues have come and gone. It’s all to do with money and people spending money. They’re not community centres, we aren’t funded by anything else, you know, one look at you know, the glory are working so fucking hard to keep that space going. The RVT these independent spaces were select Show, Jonas wholebody locked down madness, it’s like, they have integrity, they have integrity and a heart of of what they’re doing as venues. And now a lot of the gay venues, our own bride chains and breweries, well, they clearly don’t care. This is why I would like to see more people actually support the independent venues who actually have a solid integrity. That’s why I will never go to fucking wetherspoons after the way that you know, he treated his staff. And, you know, being part of the black cap as well. Seeing all that crumble around through awful laptop, whole ‘nother story, again, with her upstairs, you know, people using it as a community centre. And if someone said something that was a bit rude or a bit crude or a bit lewd, on stage, you’d have certain people going well, this is disgusting. You can’t say that. It’s that but you’re not contributing to the business. This is a business. It will be lovely if we didn’t have to worry about overheads and bills and rates and all those things. And they’re in another venue recently that went way before lockdown. And the outrage was was incredible. Everyone’s Oh my god, you can’t do this. The queer people, they hate queer people. It’s like, no, you’re all going and taking a shitload of drugs, or you’re not buying alcohol. Unfortunately, that’s just the economics of it. You have to understand that if people aren’t buying drinks, and you’re getting for free, and all you’re doing is taking a shitload of MDMA. Great Good for you. I love that myself. But it’s we live in London and London is an expensive city as it is. And so you know, when to too much. I wasn’t really, let’s say around when it went to madam Joe, Joe’s train shack was there for a while. I was part of that I used to. That’s the thing I slag off drag race by actually hosted it for three years.

K Anderson 1:12:24
Yeah. And then went to the glory. Yeah.

Holestar 1:12:28
Yes. Because I know one producers and we were in Thailand, being fancy having cocktails on the beach. And it wasn’t legally being shown in this country at the time it was on I think, please one to one channel for later night. Then it stopped any kind of broadcasting. And he just said, you know, do you want to proxy hosting? I can send you the tapes, and I was like, Yeah, cool. So I did it at did you do the daughter superstore first? Then we went to Madame jojos. And then the glory and that season I just went it for me seasons four, five and six a drag race a great well produced good cast. After that it became the

K Anderson 1:13:08
I made out with Tom at the season final. When did violet chachki win? season eight that’s

Holestar 1:13:16
what she ate. Also, I can’t remember seven wasn’t wasn’t Oh, she was seven because that was a year it was all the pretty girls. So it was Miss Faye? How it was all about the aesthetics.

K Anderson 1:13:28
It goes so it goes Sharon Jinx. Bianca Bianca. Okay. Cool. Yeah. So season seven.

Holestar 1:13:35
Yeah, by see cuz I remember hosting it at the pauri. And sometimes I’ll be on the mic. I chip in something. Great dress forever. And I was just like that. I don’t care about these people. I just don’t I want to care about them. I don’t care about them. Drag is dead.

K Anderson 1:13:57
One of the things I wanted to ask so if you could go back in time and and see little little holster showing up to to too much doing our first gig. What advice would you give her? Um, I’d say they’re just gonna swear, don’t use this word. Don’t use this word.

Holestar 1:14:23
Just basically become a mute. Just lip sync for the rest of your career. I’d say don’t take it too seriously. Because I think I did. I had to take it really seriously initially because of, you know, being a woman in the scene and trying to scramble and get people’s attention. I did take it seriously. And I was very angry. So I’d say that I’d say just let it happen again. I’ve only become come because of age. I’d say what I keep repeating now because I didn’t realise that at the time. Take it to the people basket. what your job is is to take it To the people, give people a good fucking time and stop eating so much cake. And yeah, I think there were so many things that I, you know, in hindsight, I should have done this or I could have said that or not done this and the thing. Actually, I’m god, I’m so lucky to still be clicking around. Even amongst this whole madness we’re going through now it’s like, I’ve been around for 17 bloody years, and pretty much work consistently all that time. And I’m not huge. I’m not a huge star. Not everyone knows who I am. I don’t really care. I’m just grateful. I’m lucky that, you know, maybe because I’m stubborn. And I’m still wanting to, you know, crack on and do things. But it is wonderful that the privilege that I have of living in this country the problems that we do have, but I’m not somewhere else in the world where as a woman I will be persecuted for having an opinion for being a gender nonconformist, lunatic in a frock. You know, that’s a wonderful thing. So yeah, it’s been great. It’s been great. I always think if I die tomorrow, I’ve had a good time. Share, you know, when I get up to wherever we go, what did you do with alive? Wow. Do want to take it on list because it’s been quite a few things. But that’s for the bibliography when I retire.

K Anderson 1:16:17
Is that list in a Ziploc bag from IKEA? Absolute.

Did you ever go to too2much? Well, if you did, tell me all about it. Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, with the user name K Anderson music, and tell me about what you caught up to. Photos are optional, they’re very much encouraged. You can also find out more about homestar by following her on Instagram at the holster, or on Twitter hat holster. spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept of record as well. I’ve been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the coming year. You can hear the first single which is called well groomed boys and he’s also playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribe, left a review on Apple podcasts or just told people who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces

 







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