Miss Venezuela talks about bringing a carnival-style celebration to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Andrea Spisto
Name of Edinburgh show: Miss Venezuela
Venue: Just The Tonic – The Mash House – The Bottle Room
Performance time: 22:10
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: £7 Reserve or Pay what you want

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I am a London-based Caribbean/Latinx clown-performer-radio host and producer. I started performing as an actor, dancer and singer when my hopes were to perform in musicals. My taste eventually changed as I began performing and writing poetry as part of the Roundhouse Collective as well as going to physical theatre school to study the sacred arts of clowning and mask work. I am currently passionate about experimenting and mixing all disciplines to create one-of-a-kind performances for every audience.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Miss Venezuela is part manifestation and part rebellion explored through an intimate carnival-style celebration. Tearing apart the ideals of beauty from western society, which haunts Venezuelan women, as well as the immigrant experience as a queer Latinx woman. All of this is explored with playfulness, dance and wonder.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started working on this show this time last year after working as a producer in the Edinburgh Fringe. For the last five years I have seen the rise of femme creators and artists at the Edinburgh Fringe and elsewhere in the world, who are going out there and telling their stories from all edges of experience. It feels that in 2018 these voices are being encouraged to manifest and empower femmes/womxn/queer artists/immigrants and people of mixed abilities to share all their potential with the world, making it more welcoming, beautiful and exciting!

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
1.Walk, don’t run! The Fringe is a month long – don’t burn out in the first week.
2. Make a list of the things you will do that day / shows you will see. Include simple things like eating a nutritious meal or chilling peacefully for an hour. Those things are important too.
3. Don’t stress too much! The truth is even though we have all worked very hard to get here and are working our asses off, whatever happens in this time is not a reflection on your whole self as a human being. Be kind to yourself, love others, commune – everyone is in the same boat. The earth is a tiny blue dot in the vastness of the universe!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I am a clown and I thrive on embarrassing things as well as funny things, so they are all part of my show and I welcome them with open arms!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Hot Brown Honey! They have accomplished so much as artists and have spread such a beautiful and empowering message that includes us all. Betty Grumble taught me to be fearless and to respect my art and space. Rob Auton taught me how to love my ideas, regardless of whatever anyone says.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Praying to my altar and all the awesome Latinx women who did vulnerable and scary things in the name of art, power and beauty! People like Frida Kahlo, Chavela Vargas and Celia Cruz.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I can’t wait to see Hot Brown Honey, Yummy, Oxymoron, Tom Monckton, Rob Auton, Mawaan Rizwan, Sophie Duker, Zach and Viggo.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because mi casa es su casa and I will give you all of myself (including some dance moves to liberate your spirit).


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