Award-winning performance artist, drag queen, queer agent provocateur, rapper, punk hero, and self-described “human pissoir” – CHRISTEENE is all these things and more. After winning an Arches Brick Award in 2014, her deliriously entertaining show THE CHRISTEENE MACHINE returns to Behaviour Festival for one night only on Friday 8 May – a handful of tickets remain. Part gig, part furious ritual, her intense stage presence has drawn comparisons with Alice Cooper, Peaches, and “Beyonce on bath salts.”
The lucky Behaviour faithful get to see her not once, but twice – on Saturday, Christeene will perform a headline set at our outrageous collision of clubbing and live performance, Dark Behaviour, alongside the likes of Aerea Negrot, David Hoyle (to whom Christeene is in fact “married“), and CVNT TRAXXX. We spoke to the Louisiana-born, Texas-based artist about her first trip to Glasgow, the magic of butt plugs, and the influence of ballroom and vogue on her incendiary stage show.
Describe your show, for the uninitiated…
Da CHRISTEENE MACHINE iz a fuggin deep dive down uh stank electro hole dats gonna take you too da woods an feed ur pony hard.
Tell us something surprising about the creation of your show…
I never knew tha majiikal surprises that would happen when you combine butt plugs with 8 helium balloons til this show wuz created fer da world.
We are celebrating ‘Queer Futures’ at Dark Behaviour. Do you think people are more tolerant of non-gender-normative people than they used to be?
Hell yeah they more tolerant cuz they have to be. Iz in their face now, iz in their life an on tha plate now and even if they gotta hold tha nose ta eat it… they gunna have tooo eat it up. Therrs always gunna be them folks dat wanna scrape tha food under tha table an feed it to da dawg, but I got newz ferr them people. Da dawg iz on our side toooo haaaaaay. Times r changin faster than u can piss.
Playing alongside you on Saturday is CVNT TRAXXX, a British DJ who has done a lot to publicise the ballroom and vogue scenes in the UK and beyond. To what extent are ballroom music and vogueing an influence on your performance?
I fugggin LUV CVNT TRAXXX!!! Wee friends from Salford an wee share a lotta tha same mess in our heads. Ballroom music an Vogue’n tap into the pulse of the majiic trak inside our faggot souls. Its the rhythm an tha lineage an tha unstoppable force that can make a body move an swish in a way dat only this style uh music can doo. It influences my heart hard an when I work wit producers like JJ Booya an other producers it can find its way in and inspire da wurk from those foundations that keep tha family strong.
You are throwing a dinner party – you can invite whichever famous people, artists, or historical figures you like, living or dead. Who’s on the guest list and why?
I would like ta have Gore Vidal cuz he was a damned smart sassy political queen who would make trouble. Elizabeth Taylor an Richard Burton so they could fuck an fight under da table. Quentin Crisp to smack Gore down an eat real slow. Justin Vivian Bond to keep da room alive an ta laugh an scratch wit Quentin. My dancers T Gravel an C Baby cuz they soooo fuggin charmin. Little Richard cuz dat queen is CRAY an she scream a lot. Barbra Stanwyck cuz she so fuckin butch an hawt, an my cat Tickles Pickles.
You won an Arches Brick Award in 2014 for your Fringe show – are you happy to be back in Scotland? What is your favourite thing about our country or its people?
Winnin da Brick was da fuggin best…not tooo mention da only trophy I ever got an it wuz a fuggin BRICK. #trashy. Meee an da boyz are so dammned happy ta bee back in Scotland.. specially Glasgow wherrr we never been before. I gotta say, da fools an wild fucks we met from Glasgow while we wuz in Edinburgh? Diz iz gunna be gooooood. Full force reunion. I wanna see all da fuggin cray cray ass people dat I met last year at da Edinburgh Festival who live in Glasgow. I wanna share diz wurk wit them. I wanna taste their hard wurk. I wanna live again.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Travelin da world with my Boyz an havin some uh tha most important an creative conversations with other artists about da state of dis fucked up world and how we gonna fix it.
What’s the best thing about performing at a festival?
I luv da fuggin mix in dat crowd. I seen pregnant women, porn stars, old ass punks, faggots, dykes, teenage gurls, fashion designers, u name it. Iz a family affair.
What are you working on next?
I’m wurkin out an EP ferr 2015 dats got about 3 new fuckin videos attached to it.
Finally, a guest question from CVNT TRAXXX: “Where’s your pony at?”
My ponies are runnin all OVER diz side of da ocean!! When we go on deez tours, we git ta let da ponies run like dey never can in Texxxas. Iz da best feelin. Sometimes peeple try ta kick my pony when I in’t lookin. It makes my pony stronger. It make my pony larger. Iz a helluva tour.
Christeene: The Christeene Machine Fri 8 May 2015 | Doors: 7.30pm Show: 8.30pm (60 mins) | £12/£10 (Behaviour Festival Pass: £60/£53) (+£1.50 online-only TF) | 18+ Dark Behaviour: Queer Futures Sat 9 May 2015 | 10pm – 3am | Early Bird: £10 | Standard: £14 (£8 with a Behaviour Festival Pass) | 18+ Part of Behaviour Festival