Unknown Origins

Cherry Valentine on Performance Art

April 03, 2021 Attitude. Imagination. Execution. Season 1 Episode 48
Unknown Origins
Cherry Valentine on Performance Art
Show Notes Transcript

Cherry Valentine is a Performance Artist and an influential voice in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, and Transgender community and provides perspective on creativity by combining life experience, curiosity, comedy, and satire into performance art.

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Roy Sharples:

Hello, I'm Roy Sharples, and welcome to the unknown origins podcast. Why are you listening to this podcast? Are you an industry expert looking for insights? are you growing your career? Or are you a dear friend, hoping to spoil your old pal on? I created the unknown origins podcast, to have the most inspiring conversations with creative industry personalities and experts about entrepreneurship, pop culture, art, music, film and fashion. Carrie Valentine is a performance artist who grew up within a Roma Gypsy community in the northeast of England, which fueled Shelley's creative instincts, curiosity for adventure, and freedom for expression. Sherry has blended a lifelong passion for understanding what makes the human mind tick. By combining Mental Health Nursing, with fine art and fashion, Sherry emerged from ripples, drag race, UK success as an influential voice in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community by combining life experience, curiosity, comedy, and satire into performance art. And as a practitioner, and the National Health Service. What inspired and influenced you to become a performance artist in the first place,

Cherry Valentine:

I actually just got the drag couple of years ago, when I moved to it was Lancaster University in the UK. And I met my partner. And we're still skating now eight years later. But it's it's one of the things because I was always like, I want to do something I was, I felt like I was missing something. And I was always super creative as I went through school, and college and university. And then I had always been interested in fashion as a textiles, fine art, all this stuff. So I never really been like a performance artist was never really something that I've considered myself to be, but then a partner, and we went for a couple of nights out around Canal Street in Manchester. And if you don't know, if our streets, it's very vibrant, very. It's very colorful. And we're for a couple of nights out. And I discovered that there was drag queens on stage. And I thought being a drag queen. Growing off, everything I heard about drag was really through TV, and the internet. And it was always depicted as something that was like a DJ, or someone who just makes wigs or something like that, like I didn't think that there would be a lot of people on stage doing it. So when I went to Manchester, I saw all these amazing people performing on stage and drag, and some of the performances are incredible. And it really opened my eyes to it and, and then started experiment to him. I eventually went out in drag. And one of the managers of one of the bars approached me and asked me if I wanted to start working there. And it wasn't for a couple of months in that I actually was offered like the opportunity to go on stage. And then after I was on stage started doing my own thing, and really, really get into performing and like creating a performance. I ended up working like 567 nights a week, some weeks. Like a year later, it really it really took off very quickly.

Roy Sharples:

Manchester has been a bedrock for creativity, which spawned from being the birthplace of the industrial revolutions maker and do our ethos lets you helped universally establish itself as a distinct creative city, not just in music from obviously the from punk through to Indy, then I said house, and the whole mud Manchester scene back in the late 1980s. But in multiple artistic disciplines and domains, as well as being a tough, and no nonsense place is very much a place where you feel autonomous and free to express yourself. Was that whole discovery liberating?

Cherry Valentine:

Yeah, I mean, it was to be honest, because I'd always been doing drag for a long, long time. I remember when I was very young, and my mom and dad would go out the house. And I would always like look through my mom's wardrobe because she used to wear some fabulous things. And I would like put heels on around the house. And that was quite liberating in itself, but I just felt like happy. It's very obvious how like clothing and certain things can make you feel differently what it did. So obviously, as I got older, I started experimenting more especially with art because I've always been interested in art in the sense that it can mean so much more than what you see on the surface of it. So I think that goes for people as well. So I just find people in art faster men and And I obviously started doing drag in Manchester. And then when I was on stage, it was very liberating because I was doing performances, sometimes I would do very typical performance. So I'll be dancing around and having a good time and stuff on stage, but then I would do others that were quite political. Yeah. And I think it's really interesting, because drag itself is rooted in quite a political like, it's got quite a political past itself. And a lot of think a lot of people fully appreciate that sometimes. But I think it just gets, it gets taken away with it, whichever way it goes. But it's I think it's very important, whatever you're doing to understand where it came from. But yeah, it's been incredibly liberating to be a drug artist. Yeah, definitely.

Roy Sharples:

How did growing up on a Roma Gypsy community and Darlington shaped your Outlook,

Cherry Valentine:

it shaped it in the sense that I still hold some of the values that I had when I was younger, to err. I mean, I'm still very quite a private person, very rarely talk about, well, I never used to talk about my feelings and things like that abortions, because growing up in a gypsy community was always put on me, as a present in mail when I was younger. I was always told not to be not to be very emotive, and just be very closed in that sense, and just get on with it. So it was it was quite difficult when I started doing drag to really open up when I was performing. But I think through if that was when I was going through college, I was doing fine art and textiles on the side of psychology. But my parents didn't really know that I was doing fine art and textiles on the side, they just thought I was doing psychology and medicine to become a doctor. But yeah, it's just it's one of those things. But that's where I really discovered art and what it can do and what it can mean. And I did actually incorporate some of my background like coming from a job security into the art the house creating. And in that itself, like going back to the last question, it was quite liberating in itself as well. It allows me to like discover myself a little bit more. Because I think it's easy, someone telling you things. But when you actually go out and try and find the answers yourself, it's it's very eye opening,

Roy Sharples:

what does being a performance artist mean to you?

Cherry Valentine:

It means absolutely everything. And I know that sounds very cliche, but I wouldn't be over exaggerating when I say that, like art has really has really saved my life more than more than a few times. And I just think that ability to be able to put what you feel and and what you're thinking out into the world is so powerful. And we we all have like the power to, to do that. And we really do. I think when people say they're not artistic, or they're not creative, it's not the case, they just don't know how to be or they don't know how to channel that energy that they do have into something. I think that just comes with time and just understanding what you like and things but yeah, it means everything. It's honestly changed my life ever since I've become I just every year I just get more and more creative and artistic. And I find that you always adapt as an artist to whatever scenario you put into. Sort of especially over the past year and a half like obviously being locked out. I think it's it's given a lot of people time to, to reflect on themselves and learn a lot more about themselves, which in turn is obviously like, pushed the rock forward as well.

Roy Sharples:

creative people are ordinary people who do extraordinary things. The ability to be creative, exists within everyone. It manifests itself in every domain, and profession. And at any age, you never lose the ability to be creative. I believe creativity increases with time, because we all gain more knowledge and insight as we experience more within our lives. life events provide us with more reference points and the knowledge gained through experiencing them, combined, obviously with our own imagination and maintaining our childlike wonder throughout life. And like you say, it's about knowing how to unlock your creative potential, and how to channel your passion and energy into creativity. point you made about coming out of a pandemic as an opportunity to further create and express and while the pandemic has affected people's lives and choices across every generation, it's compelled society to reduce division. Prioritize on what matters the most and come together to navigate the way forward at the universal level out of adversity. Comes opportunity, new creative solutions that drive positive disruption and change. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Cherry Valentine:

I honestly get my inspiration from absolutely everywhere. Everywhere around me, I think everything is everything has got so much potential to be something. Like if I'm walking outside in the woods or something, taking my dog for a walk, just, I might even be thinking creatively, but then I just have all these ideas See, see the sun shining through and it brings a song to mind or you see the colors in it makes me want to experiment with makeup in a certain way, I literally get inspiration from everything,

Roy Sharples:

manifesting what is inside and arrange you in your everyday life, and transcending the obvious, ordinary, and routine into something that may have value by putting things together to do to create something new. What is your creative process? In terms of how do you come up with ideas, develop those ideas into concepts, and then bring those concepts to actualization? Yeah,

Cherry Valentine:

find inspiration from everything. So it also really depends on how I'm feeling and what I'm going through in my life at the minute. And what I'm seeing is happening in the world. And I don't always plan. I think when I plan it, it's like a creative myself. I don't know, like, I know, a lot of people don't think like this in my life planning, but I like to just go in and see what comes out. So I have like, have all these ideas. And then I don't tend to draw things out or write things down, what I'm gonna do, I just sit down with things like materials, or paper and pen, I'll just sit down and I'll just see what comes out. And that's really my process, I don't really tend to vote. So there are like bigger projects that I do on for, but but at the heart of it. It's just how I was feeling in the moment. Such a bring it to life. It's just what I'm feeling at that time. And what I've got around me that I can sort of manipulate to create that.

Roy Sharples:

Yeah, like using your imagination and creative instinct, by connecting emotionally with something that has inspired you to create within within your life, and to make it relatable and understandable by providing purpose and meaning and channeling that through your art. from your experience to date. What do you believe the key skill to be a performance artist is

Cherry Valentine:

I just think you need to be very open. I don't think you need any specific skill in any specific area, I think he needs to be opened and determined and be willing to really push yourself and really explore who you are as a person and how you learn how to understand fully how you can make other people feel by what you present in the world. I mean, day to day, like, everyday can be seen as a performance, we get up in the morning and pick what clothes to wear, we go out to the shop, we interact with people and say hello. Part of that is performing. You know, I mean, like it's real life, we're just we're playing this, this character. And this character, it's all it's all personally. But everything around us. It's got meaning to it, like I look at, it's just, it's incredible. Like, I'll look at a water bottle, and I start to see a water but I'll see the plastic someone's made time to make that plastic someone's made time to design the levels and the water has been technically my pee, but like everything is just part of the big, like, plan play almost like the world we live in is sort of do you know I'm saying?

Roy Sharples:

Yes, that life is one continuous performance loop. You're in a time machine. It's going backward.

Cherry Valentine:

Okay. Yeah.

Roy Sharples:

Based on what you've learned to date, what are the pitfalls to avoid, and the keys to success that you can share with aspiring performance artists,

Cherry Valentine:

I wouldn't necessarily avoid anything, because I think everything is part of the journey and it really does teach you a lot of invaluable lessons. Just the key is to have an open mind and just really take the time to understand what you what you're trying to do or what you're trying to say. Because it's one thing like in my line of work in drag, especially it's one thing looking a certain way you can put on some fake hair and strap on whatever you need to to make it look a certain way but it's It's not just about that. It's about how it makes you feel and how it will make other people feel around you as well. And I think it's just, it's just really good to be aware of your the impacts that you can have.

Roy Sharples:

What's your vision for the future of Performing Arts

Cherry Valentine:

spread the message that anyone can be creative, anyone can, can have that mindset. I mean, I just I love to see art everywhere. I love, love creative people. And I love speaking with other creative people about their ideas, and what they what their force, this is actually quite envious of you that you get to like, just talk to everyone about this. But it's just it's really interesting to see different people's perspectives. And I really am looking forward to see seeing where the worlds of performance are and performing really goals. Because I think especially after we've gotten up locked down, and things start opening up again, it'll be really interesting to see the impact that that that will have and the route that it will go down. Because I know that more people want to go and see more shores more people want to go and experience things that I've never experienced before. So I think it's been, it's been quite beneficial in that sense. I find some time to live, when we express our views on creativity, especially, and our men and how it makes us feel and think a lot of people don't take it seriously. And it's not all to be taken seriously. But it's just it's really important to understand that some people do see it in certain ways. It's just it's just nice to talk openly and creative. Like I always feel like, I never want to go backwards. Everything I do I like to do better than I've just done, do you I mean, I don't think you should be in competition with anyone but yourself. So I just like to I've got loads of things that I'm working on. I mean, I've got some music coming out soon. I'm working on a lot of visual things for that. Which I've been writing that over the past year and a half. Just like loads of tracks and stuff. And then I'm working on documentaries, just to like to really talk more about mental health and creativity as well. Because I am incredibly passionate about it, to be honest. And I didn't really get fully in touch with that until after I went on track race. Yeah. Which was like a big, big light. For me, it really did shed a light on how passionate I really feel about the arts. So I've always got lots of things coming up. Yeah, I'm constantly working on all this stuff. And I really feel it's, it's quite limited sometimes to just stick in a specific land. So I've always said to myself, wherever I get and whatever I do, I just want to try everything and see and see what I like and see what I enjoy and get the

Roy Sharples:

most out of everything you need is already inside of you. The key is to know how to unlock and channel your energy into doing what you are passionate about. In your pursuit of excellence and self actualization by committing to being your best every single day by performing to the maximum of your ability and seeing challenges as opportunities to continuously learn and grow. You have been listening to the unknown origins podcast. Please follow subscribe, rate and review us. For more information go to unknown origins.com Thank you for listening