Following the October 25th premiere of her spectacular first full-length solo work as Cherdonna Shinatra, Worth My Salt, Jody Kuehner sat down with Seattle theatre celebrity David Schmader in an interview and open exchange with the audience. View below some moments from the conversation, with transcripts to read along. Featured image by Jenny Peterson. Worth My Salt was commissioned and produced through Velocity’s Made in Seattle incubator program 2013-14.
DS: This is an entirely new context, it seems like everything else I saw you in before, previously, was Cherdonna bouncing against something close to normality. Like the normality of the cabaret show at least, with the gender bending to the extreme. How does it feel to be in your entire own context?
JK: It feels great. I feel like this is what I have been working towards, and that part of the cabaret and the mix of caberet and modern dance was my research. Like, ok, what does drag look like, what is cabaret, what are those tools and techniques? But I really feel like this show is so special to me, that it is the first show that I’ve done where I’ve thought: “This is it, for me.”
JK: In day to day life, I’m pretty femme. I wouldn’t call myself androgynous, I’m pretty clearly femme, female—or seen, read, as female. And yet…I don’t necessarily feel it until I do this. And then it’s like, “Here’s my femininity!” And, that is a confusing thing, because this for a lot of people…they do think I’m male-bodied. So it’s bizarre for me too, because somebody’s reading me as male.”