Exclusive Interview: Comic Stripper Woody Shticks on his Schlong Song (King’s Head Theatre, London)

Comic stripper Woody Shticks brings his unique blend of stand-up storytelling, hip-hop heroics, and emotional nudity to the King’s Head Theatre London this week with his Schlong Song, following sold-out runs in the US and a headlining slot at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Ahead of Woody’s London dates The Queer’s Review’s James Kleinmann meets the man behind the thong.

James Kleinmann: Hello! Help us to get to know you. Who are you? Introduce yourself…

Woody Shticks: “I’m a comic stripper who harnesses the unruly power of sex to confront power and privilege with stand-up, striptease, and storytelling in Seattle, around the States, and across the globe. I’ve been hailed as “razor-sharp” by Seattle Star, “comedy gold” by BroadwayWorld, and “too gay to book anything but children’s theatre” by my college acting teacher.”

When did you first realise that you had the ability to make people laugh & how did it manifest itself? 

“I’d say…conversion therapy, which I started when I was 11, was the first time I realized that I could make myself laugh. My counselor asked me if I knew who Britney Spears was, and I distinctly thought, “Of course, and I think that’s why I’m here.” Ever since, I only tell a joke if it makes me laugh the hardest.

When did you first get into performing, what were your early shows like?

“I grew up as a show pony (not literally, though that would’ve been exciting) in a professional ballet company. Outside of that, I staged elaborate performances on my queen size waterbed and cast my siblings and neighbors to perform alongside me. (Behind me).

How have you developed as a performer over the years? 

“My process has changed a little over the past 25 years, but my aesthetic is essentially the same. I’m classically trained in acting and dance, but it wasn’t until holding my BFA in my hand that I realized it was my weapon against classist artmaking. In 2011, I cofounded The Libertinis with Tootsie Spangles and Hattie HellKat, and together our interarts gang deals a low blow to high art as strippers trained as actors trained as clowns. (We’re a hoot.) These days I prioritize working with queer makers who center their experience in order to rock the boat while making a splash.

How do you deal with hecklers? 

“I deal with hecklers swiftly and mercilessly. I’m from Atlantic City, New Jersey so…don’t try it. (My hair is much softer than my heart.)

How would you describe SCHLONG SONG, what can your audience in London expect? 

Schlong Song is true-blue storytelling about some of my best, worst, and weirdest sexual experiences. And after headlining the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival this spring, it’s clear that Europe is thirsty for them. But trust me: Schlong Song is not another solo show that feels like your grandmother’s diary entries. We are taking the scenic route to the bone zone, so keep your eyes peeled for gut-busting hilarity, too-true tales, saucy striptease, fitness montages, emotional nudity, and stories about my mom Bunny. (I mean, my mom’s name is Bunny. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?)

Would you say it’s strictly a gay or LGBTQ show or do you tend to have pretty mixed audiences? 

“Everyone should (and does) come! But this is not-so-straight-up #propagaynda. This is queer art for the modern audience, so if that’s not really your thing…read a book because you’re part of the problem.

Have you spent time in the U.K. before?

“I have, and I’m looking forward to more local flavor! (Mmm.)”

Have you any encounters with British men? If so what was that like?! 

“So much foreskin, so little time.

The Queer Review meets Woody Shticks

When will you be in London and how can people buy tickets?

“Schlong Song will be at the King’s Head Theatre July 25-28, 2019. You can get tickets, read more about the show, and find photos to send to your mom at www.WoodyShticks.com/SchlongSong. You can also get the goodies on Instagram at @woody.shticks!

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