“I studied theatre at York University. I wanted to become a theatre director. That was my dream. I didn’t know anything about art or conceptual art growing up. There was no musical talent in my family. They had this amazing theatre program at my high school, the AY Jackson high school in Toronto. The people in grade 11 were the actors, the grade 12 students were the producers and the grade 13 students were the directors. I thought it was so cool – it was an independent study program. I couldn’t wait to be the director; then I went to university. It was the first time they had the director’s program at York University in Toronto.
One day I thought: 'I want to get out of this program. I don’t want to work with actors, I am going to have a heart attack by the time I’m 30. This is not what I want to do.' Then, I took art classes and fought with a lot of professors at York. I would take the multi-media classes with a musician’s point of view but I wasn’t a musician then. It was challenging. I fell into music and realised that’s the best because I can do directing, acting and have immediacy. That was the biggest thing, theatre didn’t have the immediacy.
"I wanted to become a theatre director. That was my dream"
It was great coming home, not only to the Toronto International Film Festival to premiere the movie, but to do theatre. I had all this experience and a love of musicals. Which I know, so many people hate. I want people to like musicals for the right reasons. For Peaches Does Herself, I wanted to do musicals I love and go beyond.”
Peaches is the legendary gender-bending performer who brings the unconventional into all her performances – which are deeply rooted in conceptual art. A music and drama teacher before her skyrocket to fame with the Teaches of Peaches album in 2000, Peaches fuses futuristic stage costumes with ghetto glam when onstage with her German band Sweet Machine. The Canadian electro musician and artist has come full circle to produce a theatre play called Peaches Does Herself which is now a feature film on the circuit. Go check it out.
Text by Nadja Sayej