On Being A Queerstorian: Claire Christian
Ashlee Smale | On 02, Mar 2020
There’s more to being queer, than coming out and getting married,” said Maeve Marsden, so she curated a show for a community to tell stories on a larger scale. Cue Queerstories.
Say you are an artist with 3 published plays, an award winning novel, and a series of works as a director to your name, and then you get asked to join the sparkling stage of performers in the award winning show Queerstories. What a moment. And as Claire Christian recalls, a ‘swooning moment’.
Since winning Best Spoken Word at Sydney Fringe in 2016, Queerstories has sold out every event. And as the show returns to Brisbane as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival, we chatted with Brisbane artist Claire Christian, who will feature in the show on March 5th. We caught Claire in between editing her latest novel to give us the low down.
“Queerstories is created by the glorious Maeve Marsden as a space for queer identifying people to come and share space and come and tell stories. It’s about making space, and queer identifying people having space, to be seen and be heard. Which doesn’t happen enough.”
Queerstories provides a platform to translate experiences across space and time. And… there is a podcast! All hail the tech of 2020. You can literally listen at any time, to many of the stories told over the years via podcast. And we can confirm, they. are. fabulous.
Claire’s Instagram bio notes her as a ‘sparkly human’, and as she speaks with us we truly can’t think of a more relevant word to describe her. Claire articulates joy as the theme for her life, and she links to that in her description of coining herself as ‘multipassionate’.
“What I’m learning now as a mid 30 year old woman is, we feel like we have to box ourselves in, you know if we have a career for a certain trajectory. We feel like we have to follow a certain path in that career. I’m someone who happens to love doing a lot of things. And I think for many years I felt like I had to stay in my lane and do that one thing. But the last few years, as these different projects come up, I realise that we can do whatever we bloody want to do. But what’s at the core of what I do is tell stories. And so however those stories come up or whatever is the best form to tell those stories, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
When Claire was a child, she was chatting at an obscurely young age. Her mother would keep her novels in little boxes that she had been writing from the moment she could. For Claire words are how she makes sense of the world, and it has just always been like that. She has always been a storyteller. And now on the Queerstories stage Claire gave us a little preview into the story she will tell.
“I will be telling a deeply embarrassing story in honour of my 14 year old self.” “You will experience my adolescent horror, or embarrassing adolescent stories which I hope will make you laugh, that’s my plan.”
Her journey to working as an artist was an organic one. One that started with a love for drama. Her first gig was as a drama teacher, but quickly changed. “I had no idea that people could pay you money to make art.”
It was here that Claire found she loved working with young people, something that she continued to do, despite the deviation in her career. Her project, which she is working on for Brisbane Festival is titled Book Club, which sees a diverse range of young men start a book club to meet girls, but has other things that come out of the adventure. It’s a special show to Claire as she is working with young men that are now in their 20’s, but she has known them since they were 15.
As our interview came to a close we asked what audiences can expect from Queerstories. “I think joy absolutely. I think a sense of community, and feeling like you are in a space and in a room where people have got your back.”
Where Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington St New Farm
When Thursday 5th of March, 7PM – 9PM
Cost Adult $28, Concession $24
More information Brisbane Powerhouse