Cabaret and burlesque YouTube movie Cabaret Soup features la crème de la crème of the UK’s scene including Burlexe and Boylexe stars and friends Fancy Chance, Trixie Malicious, Phil InGud, Reuben Kaye, Chiqui Love, Violet Blaze, Empress Stah, Blanche Dubois, Lilly Snatchdragon, Vicky Butterfly and Danny Ash among others.
We’ve been hanging out with director John Bland for the past couple of years, particularly at Trixie Malicious’s Sleaze in Camden, so we’ve been watching this work of genius emerge from the sidelines. But who better to talk us through it?
How did Cabaret and Burlesque Movie Cabaret Soup come about?
Cabaret Soup started as an idea for my next feature length film that evolved into wonderful short shows.
What’s the inspiration?
I had been hanging out at cabaret and burlesque shows around London for the past 5 years researching the feature and was impressed by some very talented performers. I knew I wanted them for the film but had to see how they were for the camera…. Not all performers and acts translate into what I call good entertainment.
What is it all about?
It is entertainment, I am an entertainer just like the Cabaret Souper stars, but my skills are not front of camera, I make entertainment and get my joy from understanding people have liked what I have created. It really is all about attracting and entertaining the viewer. I hope people like it.
Why did you choose the stars that you chose to take part in the cabaret and burlesque YouTube movie?
Because they are very good and they excited me, the spirit of each of them made me want include them. None of them knew about each other when they agreed, if a performer asked me to validate the project by offering a shopping list of co-stars, I swiftly moved on and focused on those that did not… that is why there is an odd number of 22. The viewer can be sure that these entertainers came and shared there talents because they wanted to entertain – they all have very different shows but the spirit behind them is the same… sharing good.
I don’t have a favourite, I love them all. Each star brings something different to the table and together they make me very proud of what we have achieved, the topics we touch, the themes and the quality we deliver in the cabaret and burlesque movie. I hope they are as proud as I when they see each other.
Any stars you’d still like to work with?
I’d like to work with most of the cast again, there is still more to do with each of them I believe that this is just the start and these 460 films are just seeds from which we can grow together. Other stars….hmmm: Willam Belli the man is genius – I love to do documentary strands like I have with Empress Stah – but I guess he will be sitting on that for a book deal, a day in the studio with him would be ideal.
What’s your background in film-making?
I started making films at MTV back in the early 90s on a fashion magazine show called The Pulse which became Stylissimo. From there I made commercials for Dolce & Gabanna, Levi’s, Nintendo, music videos with U2 and most recently Charlotte Church.
I have travelled the world making over 50 short-form (five minutes and under) documentaries for Discovery Channel, shot my own feature length fashion documentary and lost count of how many personal projects I have done. I have been lucky I have always worked with the best and had the best reactions to my work and now I hope for that to continue with cabaret and burlesque YouTube movie Cabaret Soup.
Why are you choosing YouTube to launch this as a proposition?
It just feels instinctively the right place for this incarnation of Cabaret Soup, the world can taste it if they want and I hope they do, there really is something for everyone… well maybe not the Pope!
Why do you think cabaret has been relatively slow to embrace digital media?
Like I said earlier, not all things translate well, there is a fourth wall in Cabaret a moment when the audience connect with the performer. I hope that my experience of creating popular films may touch each film in Cabaret Soup. None of the stars are doing exactly what they do on stage, that is a stage performance made for stage, we got together in a studio and hopefully created unique and compelling films that inspire people to feel, if that feeling is laughter, inspiration, saucy stimulation, laughter or good scarey… then our energies were well spent.
What makes cabaret an exciting medium for you?
The people behind the talent, I just love good people with good hearts who in the short time we have on this rock try and share the good.
What’s the vision for Cabaret Soup?
It will run for two years and hopefully we will get a season 2 or 3 and then a feature length film.
Through making cabaret and burlesque YouTube movie Cabaret Soup, what have you learnt about…
I’ve learned that a good cabaret courts conversation through performance and should affect the mind to embrace or make change… while being entertained of course.
and b) yourself
It is not over, I am still making it – it is ongoing, like learning but in respect to working with cabaret stars … hmmm … they don’t like a 6am call time like on most of my other work – shooting starts at 1 … well they were out last night entertaining the party people of the planet! At least you can now catch the best of the best anytime on YouTube.
Shall we see Fancy Chance in action? Oh yes, let’s!!!