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Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Jason Reid’s Cabaret Interview: This February Jason chats to drag diva Candy Heals

Gregarious Soho drag diva Candy Heals has been performing on the cabaret circuit for a few years now and she is an artist who always goes the extra mile to entertain. I caught up with Candy to chat about her weekly residency, and more…

Tell us about your residency at Little Ku which is called Spin The Wheel. And what sets it apart from the rest?

We start early, from 7pm. So it’s perfect for a pint after work. I create a friendly welcoming vibe so even if you’re alone, you wont be for long. I enjoy matching new friends
— and every 20 minutes I spin the wheel and somebody wins! It can be a cocktail, a bottle of Prosecco, or even a naughty prize sponsored by Prowler.

As a Soho queen who’s keeping the drag flag flying, how would you improve the area?

All of us drag performers are keeping drag fabulous and versatile. However, I find it very difficult to get into venues unless someone literally takes you in. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Your performance style can be best described as?

A camp and colourful extravaganza with lots of crowd-pleasers and unearthed music gems to make everybody sing and dance along. And with my personal charm I always make sure it’s immersive enough and everybody’s feeling included and welcomed.

What do you like and loathe about drag in general right now?

‘Thanks’ to the drag reality show, drag is being hugely Americanised. Young audiences much prefer what they see on TV as they identify with that, so singing and cabaret is more for audiences who are in their thirties and beyond.

But now we also have straight people interested, invested and highly appreciative of drag cabaret. They’re having the best time and when they do, so do I!

Aside from yourself, who are your 3 favourite drag artists right

Are you asking a drag queen to praise another? Me, me, me [laughs].. Joking aside, I enjoy the fabulous Sissy Lea, the talented Vanity von Glow, and of course the legendary Sheila Simmonds. Can I also include the legendary Sandra? I’m sure we can squeeze Sandra in as well.

For you, what’s the drag dream?

I’m making a living from something I adore doing. So that’s a dream in itself. Of course I want more and I’m working hard to get there.

Away from the stage, what makes you happy?

Even when I’m off I still do job- related things, because it’s my passion. Singing and learning songs, plus styling wigs etc. I also enjoy watching movies and TV. And I’m happiest when I get to spend time with my real friends.

Who are your non-drag inspirations and why?

The person who inspires me most is Louise Hay — she was a motivational speaker who cracked the code for a happy life. She passed away a few years ago but her work is very important. I wish I’d spent more time taking it all in and living by it more. I’m also inspiredby Skin — lead singer of Skunk Anansie — who’s such a strong goal-oriented artist. She also does a lot of charity work. I’ve just finished her book. It was a joy to read.

You can catch Jason the same time next month with another cabaret star. Give him a follow @jasonreiduk

Jason Reid

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