Meet Sigi Moonlight

a youthful East Asian drag king stands with his hands together in front of his chest. He is captured sideways onto the camera. He wears a white shirt with balck waistcoat and black jeans with black sequin detailing. He has a thin moustache and black hair with bleach blonde streak worn in a long side quiff.

We’re very excited that drag king Sigi Moonlight, will be performing at The Kingdom Come: Queer Future Edition in Sheffield next month.

You might remember him from our online discussion with Festival of Debate last year, Drag Beyond the Binary, or if you’re a long term Andro and Eve fan, you might have seen him on our stages in 2018!

Ahead of The Kingdom Come, we caught up with him. As somewhat of a chameleon in the drag scene, we thought we’d dig a bit deeper and find out more about this amazing artist!

1. We first had you perform in Sheffield in 2018. How did you get into drag?

I always used to play the male roles at the all girls’ schools I went to, and that was my first approach to performing masculinity and being on stage. I didn’t perform for a while after that. Even though I loved being on the stage, I never felt any of the castings mirrored my gender or racial identity.

Then in 2017, I saw my first ever drag king, johnsmith, who just happened to be performing in Leeds where I used to live. That was when it clicked. I took part in your king workshop led by Adam All and Apple Derrieres a month later and that’s where Sigi Moonlight was born. Shortly following that I came third in Man Up! drag king competition at The Glory, East London and it swiftly took off from there; it felt like I was meant to have been doing this all along.

an East Asian drag king, Sigi Moonlight strums a small banjo onstage. He wears a red shirt and black trousers and has short black hair with a bleach blonde streak at the front
Sigi Moonlight Performing at The Kingdom Come, 2018

2. Can you tell us about the character of Sigi and how you approach your drag performances?

My drag name is a play on Ziggy Stardust and it’s an expression of everything that’s gone a bit wrong with masculinity. Sigi was born in 2017, the same year that Donald Trump became the POTUS, and to me that spelled the beginning of the end for humanity. Just like Ziggy Stardust, Sigi is a bit of an alien sent to earth, an empty vessel who embodies different types of masculinity in order to shine a light on the weird and terrifying extremes it has reached. My “Siginature” (excuse the pun) style is taking an overtly darkly masculine character and flipping it on its head to reveal a softer, more feminine interior in the form of striptease and comedy.

3. We last caught up with you in a Festival of Debate Q&A in May 2021, what have you been up to since then?

I’ve since joined PECS Drag King Collective, graduated from drama school, got an agent, starred in an HBO series, played on a West End stage, performed in a lead role in Mulan Rouge at The Vaults in Waterloo, and been on a Netflix tour with drag race queens performing at venues across the UK promoting new forms of drag to audiences who’ve never seen a drag king before!

4. You’re part of the Bitten Peach collective. Can you tell us a bit about that, and what you enjoy about performing with them?

The Bitten Peach is the UK’s only Queer Pan-Asian Performer Collective aiming to address the balance of Asian performers on lineups in cabaret and live performance spaces as well as showcase the excellence of Asian talent on the drag and cabaret scene. I have performed in as well as hosted shows with them since they were formed in 2019.

The best thing about performing with The Bitten Peach is the strong sense of community and identity that is served up to make each and every show really special and heartfelt. It doesn’t just feel like any old “gig”; everyone is committed to performing and preparing well, and the spirit in our rehearsals and final shows is very apparent. I also love our outside social occasions like hot pot dinners and sports day events. It feels like being part of one big loving family! I’ll next be appearing in The Bitten Peach Halloween Whodunnit Show on Wednesday 19th October at The Pleasance Theatre in Islington… keep an eye on their socials for tickets!

Drag King Sigi Moonlight, a slim East Asian masc guy is pictured bearing his teeth in a fierce grimmace. He wears a white shirt with royal blue satin waist corset and dark blue brocade jacket with gold embellishments including spiked studs on the right shoulder. He also wears grey brocade trousers and dark round sunglasses. His hair is black with a white streak and styled into a side quiff.
Sigi Moonlight, who loves a 1950’s or 1960’s rebel! Credit – Captured by Corrine

5. What or who inspires you either in the world of drag or queer performance or any arts and culture?

I look to the aesthetic styles of the 50s and 60s for many of my own fashion sense, poses and direction in my photoshoots and acts. The film rebels, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and James Dean, are and will forever be my idols when it comes to style and eschewing the boundaries between masculine and feminine performance onstage and onscreen. In terms of drag artists, I am in awe of the make up talents of Landon Cider, the prop and costume making skills of Oedipussi Rex and Marnie Scarlet, the charisma and voice of LoUis CYfer and Beau Jangles, and the clowning wonders of Fancy Chance. However, I’m also very amazed by the upcoming drag king talent who have emerged the last couple of years.

6. What would you like to see or make happen as part of a hopeful queer future?A mainstream show on a worldwide platform that rivals RuPaul but welcomes and celebrates drag kings. There are more and more talented kings on the scene each year, so I hope it’s only a matter of time before we enter the mainstream.

You can catch Sigi Moonlight along with our amazing line up of drag kings at The Kingdom Come #6 on Thursday 6 October. Grab your tickets now!

Follow Sigi Moonlight on Instagram @sigimoonlight or on Facebook.

Open Call – Digital Film Commission

a pink square has the words Open Call i white text overlaid on two jaunty indigo rectangles. The background has a dotty texture fading to a deeper pinky purple with a wonky turquoise border at the bottom.

We’re very excited to launch an open call to find an artist to create a digital film on the theme of ‘Delight’. 

Queerness is something that an individual experiences in their own way. What delights you as a LGBTQ+ person? What delightful experiences would you want to convey to other LGBTQ+ people? What sensory delights have meaning for you? 

Many LGBTQ+ people have suffered from disconnection through the pandemic. Finding and feeling delight can be healing. Many of us are still unable to be physically together, and this commission is intended to bring delight to LGBTQ+ people who are still isolated as well as the wider community.  

We imagine that this short film will primarily be shared via technologies like mobiles and tablets, but we also intend on it being displayed in a physical location or locations later in 2022. We want to ensure the film is accessible, and can support you to make sure it is accessible to deaf people and people with sensory processing issues.

We use the term ‘artist’ to encompass people working in illustration, animation, moving image, and a myriad of other mediums. As long as you can produce something to be experienced digitally then this opportunity is for you. 

This commission is aimed at emerging or mid – career artists identifying as LGBTQIA and is open to artists based in the Midlands or North of England only. 

Commission: 5 days at £250 – £1250.00

Materials or equipment costs covered up to £100 

Timeframe: Final film to be completed by 20 September. 

To apply for this opportunity please send us an email to [email protected]

Please include

  1. Your name and pronouns
  2. Where you are based. 
  3. Your social media and / or link to website
  4. Links to 2-3 previous examples of your work. 
  5. 100 – 200 words about what ideas you’d like to develop for this commission; responding to the theme of ‘delight’
  6. A brief artist biography

If you have any questions about this opportunity please don’t hesitate to drop us a line. FAQ’s will be posted here as they emerge.

As well as supporting a wide range of artists, our team have lived experiences that enable them to support inclusive practices. We particularly encourage submissions from those currently under-represented within the UK arts sector, including those of Black, Asian or other Global Majority ethnicities, those who have faced socio – economic barriers, those who identify as LGBTQI+ and those who are disabled or neurodiverse.

Deadline for submissions 9am Friday 22 July.

FAQ’s

How long should the final film be?

We do not expect the film to be any longer than 7 minutes, and anything between 3 – 7 minutes is what we’re expecting. We’re happy to discuss this further with the artist we commission.

I am based outside of the North of England or the Midlands, can I apply?

Sadly not. This opportunity is only open to creative people and artists based in these regions, in order that we fulfil our mission to celebrate and represent LGBTQ+ people in the region in which we are based.

Get to Know Seleena Laverne Daye

A Black woman with mid length hair stands in front a painted pink brick wall. She is wearing a turquoise tee with black dungarees and pink cardigan accessorised with bright yellow beaded necklace. She has on glasses and is smiling with an open smile at the camera

Our new zine, JOYFUL NOISE, is being designed and curated by experienced zine artist, Seleena Laverne Daye. This July some of you may have met her through our zine making workshops. But many of you won’t have. So we thought we’d do a proper introduction, so you can find out more about her practice and what brings her joy!

Seleena Laverne Daye is a self-taught textile artist, workshop facilitator, retail worker and zine maker who creates bright and playful works using traditional sewing techniques. Her work is centred around race, class, gender and sexuality.

A diagram of how to make a mini zine is drawn in a cartoon style. It shows the 8 steps to make this from one piece of A4 paper.
How to make a 1 page zine – Seleena Laverne Daye

She makes zines about the things she loves and her identity, such as Without You I’m Nothing, Happy Alone and the Brown Girl zine series. She also co-hosts Poor Lass, a podcast sharing working class stories and aims to make art, crafts and creativity as accessible as possible.

How long have you been making zines? What is it that you like about them?
I’ve been making zines around 21 years now.  I really love the DIY aspect of them and they’re fun to make. There’s something about cutting things out and sticking them down that sparks joy! also really like that a zine can be about anything and everything, and each one is completely different. And that you get to hear from marginalised groups in zines, sharing their story in their own words.

A white cover of an A5 zine. Printed in black ink are two fists that have the words 'Brown Girls' written across each finger. The title Brown girls is is bold lettering above and below the fist illustration in slanted typeface.

Can you tell us about previous zines you’ve worked on or created? 
Most of my zines are about race, class and identity, oh and fandom; I love making zines about the things I love. I’ve made a couple of long running zines with friends, One was called Sugar Paper which was a crafty how to zine and another called Poor Lass which was all about working class stories. I’ve also made zines for and with organisations and groups with subject matters ranging from safety for sex workers to community activists.  

A felt portrait of Angela Davis. She is wearing a red polo neck and has a net afro hairstyle.

You make things with felt too, how did you get into craft?
I’ve been crafting since I was very small. Part of it is growing up with not much money, so having a DIY approach to most things in life has been passed on from my mum, and I just really enjoying making things. My mum taught me to sew when I was little and her dad, my grandad also made a lot of things. I did GCSE textiles at school but beyond that have had no formal training, more just a hobby that developed over time.

What’s it like being based in Manchester? Do you feel connected to other artists or creatives? 

I really love living in a city, I think it’s influenced me a lot in what I make. My mum grew up in a village in South Yorkshire, so a lot of my family visits were there, but I think I was made for city life. I realise how lucky I am to have access to free art spaces and meet other creatives, which happens everywhere, but more so in a big city. And I’ve met a few artists in Manchester whose work inspires me and who I’ve collaborated with.

What other zines do you love?
One of my all time favourite zines is Shotgun Seamstress by Osa Atoe, which is a zine about Black Punks, with reviews, interviews and more. I also love zines by Holly Casio. I am biased as she is one of my best friends and the person who was instrumental in me getting into zines as much as I did, She makes zines and comics about fandom and sexuality and life.

What do you hope to achieve with Joyful Noise?
To spread some Joy!!! The past 18 months have not exactly been filled with joy and I think we all need to allow ourselves space and time to experience joy. And as with most things I create, I hope to encourage people who aren’t always able to take up space, to TAKE UP SPACE!

A cover from a zine by Seleena Laverne Daye. It is yellow and has the words 'Happy Alone' painted in blue writing with a heart and two 'x' in the middle

What do you do to cultivate joy?
Dance! I love dancing, it always makes me feel good. Create something, chat rubbish with friends and eat crisps. They’re the main ways I cultivate joy.

Finally, have you got any advice for someone wanting to make a zine?
Just do it! I know that’s easy to say, but don’t overthink it. Don’t feel like you aren’t ‘artistic’ enough or whatever. If you have something to say or share just note it down, put it in a zine. You don’t have to show anyone when it’s done. There’s no right or wrong way to make a zine.

Thanks to Seleena for being interviewed. We hope you feel inspired to have a go, either to make your own zine, or submit something for JOYFUL NOISE.

Find out more about submitting creative work on the theme to our new zine by clicking here. Deadline for submissions is 24 September!

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