"I am an award-winning artist making forward-facing queer work in theatre, cabaret and in the club under the alter-ego XNTHONY. I explore pop culture, social phenomena and community life to create multi-platform performance that reflects modern social phenomena. The work is thought provoking, acerbic, hilarious and always entertaining. The work focuses on queering long held cultural traditions and modern societal norms resulting in surreal and exposing experiences for audiences. My theatre and cabaret work has toured internationally to commercial and critical acclaim. I premiered CONFIRMATION at Dublin Fringe Festival which visited Edinburgh Fringe at Pleasance in 2019. It explored rural life and queerness through pop music and was funded by Arts Council Ireland. From 2015 I toured my hit show DOUZE internationally, including the Edinburgh Fringe. A pop-comedy-musical about Eurovision and Europe, it explored Brexit and pointlessness. My community theatre work, which focuses on developing the stage practices of participants have been commissioned by the Roundhouse and Southbank Centre in 2019."
What did you do with your Bursary award?
With the bursary I was able to open up a few lines of enquiry that I was really interested in exploring. These related to getting my work from a small to larger scale size. I wanted to explore new ideas like how pop concerts and theatre can merge and a reinterpretation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles that has been on my mind for years. I got to see hundreds of shows and meet artists that inspired me. I was no longer limited in seeing new work, and taking trips to festivals which I knew where relevant to my work.
What has receiving a Bursary award meant to you as an artist/for your career?
While the route I took with the support wasn't what I had expected I was able to find answers to questions I had in relation to my work and my career. I could take the time to think and time to explore. Crucially I needed to find the fun in my work again. As a result of the bursary I now feel more confident in my practice and as well as professionally. I feel confident in my ideas. I feel brave enough to ask organisations to support my work because I am a relevant part of the Irish cultural landscape.
How would you describe your creative process?
It's all about the magic in the mundane. I tend to find my inspirations at the most mundane moments...taking a bath...peeling a banana. I also tend to watch and ponder on people's behaviour and social and cultural trends. I do a lot of reading. Maybe too much reading. I listen to an obscene amount of music of all sorts because for me, music is touch stone of my practice. Everything for me circles around the song, believing 100% in the healing and social power of pop music. Then of course there is the writing. This is usually bad, as I don't view myself as a writer per say, but it's always better to have a page full of something than nothing. After this comes the inevitable self doubt and 'why did I pick this career path?'. But these moments are fleeting. In the end the work gets made, at which point I want to instantly move on.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an emerging artist?
Find your own voice. Stop mentioning artists you admire. Admire yourself.
What or who has influenced your practice the most?
I would say a grand mix of Panti Bliss, Taylor Mac and Lucy McCormack. But I am also inspired by brilliant producers and directors of festivals who make brave choices like Ruth McGowan from Dublin Fringe Festival. I am also quite homosexual in the sense that my practice is inspired by queer icons Madonna, Kate Bush and of course, Bjork.