Thursday, February 28, 2013

INTERVIEW: The Kinsey Sicks

The Kinsey Sicks started a bit by accident. But since those humble beginnings in 1993 they’ve had a run in Las Vegas, an Off Broadway show, performed in two feature films, recorded several albums and have appeared all over the world. Their unique blend of drag, music and comedy has won audiences over. Their over the top a capella musical performances mix broad comedy with sharp political satire. 

On Thursday, March 7th, the group is performing in Fresno on the Fresno State campus at the  Fresno State Satellite Union. Click here for the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE . The event is sponsored by USU Productions and United Student Pride.  

Purchase advanced tickets at the University Student Union Information Center. $5- Fresno State Students with valid student ID
$10 - General Public. For mature audiences. Tickets at the door: $7 - Fresno State Student with valid student ID $12 - General Public * CASH ONLY at the door Parking Enforced - $3

I interviewed the drag group about their act and upcoming performance in Fresno.
Chris Jarvis: Is it true that this is all kind of an accident that came together because you did drag at a Bette Midler concert in the nineties?

Kinsey Sicks: It's true! It's too strange a story to make up. At the end of 1993 we went to a Bette Midler concert dressed as the Andrews Sisters. We were just all friends and on the spot someone offered us a singing gig. That idea had never occurred to us. So that night we invented the Kinsey Sicks, and unleashed the product on the unsuspecting public the following summer. 

CJ: Were you all doing drag performance before the group came about?

KS: We'd all done some drag for fun here and there. But we original members were all professionals - two of us were lawyers, one an audiologist and one a marketing executive. We had no intentions or aspirations around performance.

CJ: What are the origins of the group’s name?

KS: It's a reference to the Kinsey Scale of sexual orientation, with a "6" being a perfect homosexual score. Of course the spelling "sicks" relates to our sense of humor, as anyone who has seen us can attest.
CJ: You all have some form of LGBT activism in your bios. Is that still a big part of your lives?

KS: Absolutely. But now we do our activism through the Kinsey Sicks. It's amazing how much serious content you can get people to listen to when it's done using 4-part harmonies, hilarious lyrics and high heels. 
CJ: What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had while touring?

KS: Too many to count. One that comes to mind at the moment was when were hired to perform at Fuhrman Collage in South Carolina. Conservative students there mounted a campaign to have us banned from the school. They got loads of TV coverage and promised a picket outside the auditorium. As a result, the 1700-seat venue sold out. It was a love fest.

CJ: Your act is filled with satire…is everything fair game or are there some lines you won’t cross?

KS: We most definitely have a point of view. We are not equal-opportunity offenders by any means. We're willing to make fun of people for their questionable political views and horrific life choices. But not for their bodies, their backgrounds, their loves. 

CJ: What sets you off, motivates you and drives you to write the next piece?

KS: As a collective we tend to be driven to follow both politics and pop culture. And every new event on the public stage sets us buzzing. Sometimes those moments can best be addressed with a song. For instance, last fall when Todd Akin made his ridiculous comments that women who are raped can't get pregnant, we immediately responded with a song:
CJ: Are you secretly sad that Romney wasn’t elected, if only for the material he could have given you?

KS: We are publicly sad that WE weren't elected, after a full year of campaigning in our touring show "Electile Dysfunction: The Kinsey Sicks for President." Very disappointing. At least we're the front runners for Pope. 

CJ: How about a reality show starring the Kinsey Sicks?

KS: Funny you should mention. The show we will be performing in Fresno is, in fact, a reality show called "America's Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild." We'll see Thursday if we win or not. We were, in fact, contestants in Season 3 of "America's Got Talent," but you can ask us about that experience after the show.
CJ: You’re appearing March 7th at Fresno State. Are college audiences different in any way?

KS: College audiences are very different. They don't pay as much to get in. Oh, and they're cuter. 

CJ: You have an educational panel after your performance at Fresno State. What kind of topics do you discuss?

KS: We discuss any topic the audience raises! Often we talk about politics. Sometimes about life as a performer. Sometimes it's music tips and makeup advice. 

CJ: What’s on the horizon for the Kinsey Sicks?

KS: Hang on, let me look out the window. Um, looks like a mushroom cloud to me.

Visit the Kinsey Sicks website HERE.  

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