Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Sky's the Limit: Our Conversation with Harmonica Sunbeam: Part 4

Backstage at Escuelita night club with Harmonica Sunbeam

Fans are posting some of Harmonica Sunbeam's comedy material on YouTube, we discover.

LF: So, how hard is it for you to keep this individuality and creativity?

Harmonica Sunbeam: It's not hard. You know, you get inspired. As far as the comedy portion of it, anything can be – I enjoy doing different things just to gather the experience of being somewhere. And I can take that same situation, no matter how wonderful or how bad it is, and use it as a story on the stage. So, that's why I never turn down any new experiences, because you never know what you can get out of it.

LF: Being who you are, you are this personality, I looked on YouTube, and I found a couple of videos. One of them, that is my favorite, is your Bedtime Story. It's on YouTube. I don't know if you remember it?

Harmonica Sunbeam: Yes.

LF: It was really funny, I loved it. So, you have this fan base that take video of you, and then they go home and put it on YouTube.

Harmonica Sunbeam: Yeah, I mean, the YouTube stuff is great, because it is great for exposure, but the only thing is that sometimes you don't have any control over what people are putting up there. It might be, like, "Oh, gosh, I looked a mess that day." You know, I would not have personally put that up there. None of the stuff that's on YouTube I personally put up myself. I'm such a perfectionist that if it was something that I wanted to put up there, it would have to be right-right. But nowadays, I mean what can you do? With technology comes great things, and also things that can backfire on you.

LF: How do you feel about that? There are all these people out there, talking about you? They see you as a public person, because to a lot of people you are. You live a public life.

Harmonica Sunbeam: It comes with the territory. There's not much you can do with it. The only thing that I can say is that you don't let it get to you where it gets out of hand, or where you are taking it the wrong way. As long as it is not, like, a malicious situation, then I am fine with it. But people are going to have their views. When you post something on YouTube, two people might say, "Oh, it's fabulous, she looks great." And another one says, "Oh, I've seen better." It's like, Okay, these are people's opinions. That's what happens.

LF: What would you like to do in your career? You are based here. You've been doing this now for 10 years.

Harmonica Sunbeam: A little bit more.

LF: So what do you see next?

Harmonica Sunbeam: Well...?

LF: Or what do you see that you can do now?

Harmonica Sunbeam: What I would like to do – because I am approaching 40 next year, and I enjoy performing, but I would like to take it to the next level in terms of Broadway or more film/more TV. I'd like to get my old cabaret type stuff and not necessarily clubs stuff, and not as often. I don't want to be 43 doing 2 am shows for 20-year-olds, and I don't want to perform because I have to perform. I want to perform because I like performing and I enjoy it. So, I would like to broaden my horizons in that respect, like possibly a TV show or with the advent of gay cable shows, to progress my career even further.

LF: With this explosion in reality TV, is there something in reality TV, or were you thinking of a comedy show?

Harmonica Sunbeam: Like a Mad TV-type show. They have something like that, it's called Laugh Out Loud, a big gay sketch comedy show on Logo. Something like that, or people always say, "I think you'll do very well with talk show. I don't know if mainstream TV is really ready for a drag queen hostess doing a talk show?

LF: RuPaul did that for a while, didn't she?

Harmonica Sunbeam: She had a cable show.

LF: Right, on VH1?

Harmonica Sunbeam: On VH1, yeah.

Wolfgang Busch: And the one from Australia, what's her name, the one with the big glasses?

Harmonica Sunbeam: Dame Edna. I mean, the sky's the limit. You never know. And I always use RuPaul as an example, too, because, she started out as a drag performer, and then she did the song, and she had a recording career. And then from the recording career, she came to the acting career. She used to host on a radio station. She was a jockey on one of the radio stations for some time. The cable show. The film and TV part. So, you just never know. If people think you are marketable enough, they will hire you. Look at how many rappers turned actors. Put them in the role, and the role works. People respond to it, and the next thing you know they have more and more. I went to school with Queen Latifah. We went to high school together.

LF: You did?

Harmonica Sunbeam: Yeah. It's just amazing to see from when we were in high school.

Read the next installments of this exclusive interview:

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI

For another unique experience with Harmonica Sunbeam, please watch the independent documentary, How Do I Look, directed by Wolfgang Busch.


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