Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.
CQ: I am a London based drag artist, actor, singer, comedian, writer, event producer and emcee. I was originally born in Texas, raised in New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur, studied Film & Theatre at Reading University, and received 3 years of training from The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. I’m known for my kooky humour, filthy parody songs, and drag shows with an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. I’ve recently been performing a number of solo and variety shows, and work full time in cabaret and events entertainment. I’ve recently begun a return back to the theatre world with Crayola in tow, both in solo and ensemble forms, and am currently doing some voiceover work.
SS: I’m a Greek-South African composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and filmmaker. I’ve written music for award-winning documentaries, stage plays, short films, and musicals, as well as solo projects. I’ve done corporate work as a pianist and performer for companies such as Remarc International, Grecotel and Atlantica Hotels. I was classically trained in piano until I decided to leave the conservatory I was studying at to pursue jazz and film music. Being brought up in a multi-cultural home with all sorts of musical influences ranging from bebop to opera, to Eastern European and South African music, I’ve developed a passion for combining different genres together and creating new sounds. I ’m currently working on a new solo album, my debut short film, attending weekly workshops (remotely) with legendary jazz pianist Dr. Barry Harris and working as a singing teacher/MD with various performing arts organisations.
What drew you to each other’s practice?
CQ: I was drawn to Stamatis because of their fabulous musical talent, but as I’ve gotten to know them better, I’ve realized that we have some important things in common – we’re both multi-national, non-binary and have a huge passion for musical theatre! And it’s a huge bonus that working with them is always so fun – productivity and laughter in equal measure!
SS: I was introduced to Crayola through social media and we instantly seemed to click. I have a passion for drag and musical theatre, and their whole image just drew me in so I was very happy when we got in touch. Apart from our similarities, I liked the fact that they gave a platform to new performers to experiment and grow in, something that seemed selfless and endearing in such a competitive industry.
Why did you choose the idea you will be working on?
We both want to create original songs for theatre and cabaret, but are limited in what we can achieve alone. Crayola is skilled at writing lyrics, but has never had the chance to do so with an original composition. Stamatis is an incredible multi-instrumentalist, composer and musical theatre actor. Our skills and passions align so beautifully, and we are really thrilled to find out what comes from the lab space that this fund is providing.
What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?
It would be fabulous to have some finished songs to show by the end of our 1:1 FUND collaboration, but we most hope to explore and nurture what will hopefully be a fun, fruitful and ongoing artistic relationship together.