Stephen Fry described Christopher Green’s Tina C as “one of the great comic creations of the age”. Tina may not agree as she thinks she’s just a girl singer who used the healing power of country music to help the post-Bush US. Having gone down under a few times, she’s realised that there’s some serious stuff to workout between the older and newer inhabitants of this country and is joining acclaimed Aboriginal country musician Auriel Andrew in Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, on at Malthouse from 21 March.
Anne-Marie Peard has a quick chat with Tina about politics and vjazzling.
If sorry is the hardest word to say, what’s the easiest?
Sorry. I don’t mean that to sound clever. It’s hard to say, but take a deep breath, be brave and suddenly it’s easy.
What brings a Tennessee C&W singer to latte-drinking, urban down under?
Well, you might have failed to notice that yours is one of the only English speaking countries that isn’t bankrupt. Think it through.
Is there any clothing that sequins can’t improve?
No. Even a band-aid is cheered up with a bit of diamante encrusting.
A lot of reviews claim that there’s a fierce intelligence under your glitter; what do you think about that?
I never suggested anyone should underestimate me. You don’t get out of Open Throat Holler and into Iconhood by being pretty. You have to be smart AND pretty.
Vajazzling? Yes or no?
My PA just googled this and it was blocked by the filter installed by my online virtual Pastor. I hope you weren’t intending to expose me to something I wouldn’t want to be exposed to.
Hipsters? Can you explain the irony?
Do you mean low slung denim-wear? Well if it’s denim – the couture fabric of the empowered white trash – then it’s fine with me.
(Note: after a week or so in Melbourne, she’ll know we didn’t mean low-slung denim wear.)
If you wrote a C&W song about Melbourne, what would it be called?
“The World Famous St Kilda Road – Ain’t.”
If you could swap places with Julia Gillard, would you? (Please, would you.)
I have no wish to be unkind to Marge Simpson’s cousin from Down Under, but I’m looking to lead a nation larger than yours, and a little closer to some decent malls.
What lessons can our federal government learn from its US equivalent?
That democracy is fundamental to everything and gay marriage must never happen – though I do approve of them buying my albums. But it seems your federal government is having no trouble working out my second point for itself.
Who is going to hate your show?
What director/actor/writer would you just die to work with?
I want Nicole Kidman to play me before she has too much surgery to do my signature bottom lip tremble.
If you could invite anyone to see your show (and know they would come), who would it be?
Honey, they have to put in extra seating and extra shows already, we don’t need more freeloaders.
What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?
I’m just a girl singer – I don’t know nuthin about the theatre
What was the last book you read?
The Economic Consequences of Peace by John Maynard Keynes. Well it was the talking book version, read by Bill Cosby.
If a gentleman caller wanted to get your attention, what would he have to do?
I’m done with guys for the time being. I’m concentrating on spiritual growth currently.
What’s your favourite theatre superstition? Do you believe it?
If the audience can glimpse your panties, this is a good thing.
What was your first time on stage?
At the Puckered Hole Holler annual jamboree aged 3. The audience glimpsed my panties during an instrumental break flick flack.