We are very pleased to introduce you to our new Web Editor, Elizabeth Holliday! Elizabeth will be handling all things music, fashion, film, and theatre in the realms of drama and social justice. Read on to learn more about her, and how very cool she is!
Hello! What are your preferred pronouns?
My pronouns are she/her, and hers.
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Yes I will! I was born and raised in North Vancouver, on Squamish Territory, and I went to catholic school for twelve years, which was a very interesting foundational experience. Graduated high school and moved to New York for three years to study musical theatre. Did that for a bit, went to the New School for a bit for general studies, which is where I first started taking gender studies and more social justice-themed courses. Moved back to Vancouver about four years ago, finished a BA in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC, and have been working in non-profit and social justice-oriented media like radio, magazines, books, ever since!
Who are your favourite artists?
I'm a really big Cindy Sherman fan. There's a series of photos of this woman in New York walking around these buildings, and I have a bunch of those images up as this kind of like—I don't know, it feels weird to have her as this sort of goal orientation, but it feels right somehow. I'm also a really, really big book nerd. I'm hoping to do a Master's in Library and Information Sciences, so books are my jam. Book-artistry-wise, Neil Gaiman is my favourite author of all time. I also really love John Waters. I really enjoyed the John Waters piece in the Trash issue; I ripped out that poster and it's on my wall now.
You mentioned training in musical theatre, as well as an upcoming Fringe show you're in. Do you mind telling me a little bit about your performing background and present?
I did theatre all through elementary through to high school, trained in music as a singer for... well, I guess I still am. In New York, I went through this interesting process of disillusionment through the end of theatre school. The school that I went to, which, I think is very common with conservatory programs that are pretty intensive, gave this sense of, “you better make this your whole life or there's no way you can do it”. I understand this argument, especially if you’re moving to New York to become an actor. But that sort of gave me this idea that, if I wanted to take a break from it, that meant I could never do it again. So I became convinced that I was like, "Well that's it, I gave up, and... bye." Totally casting aside that it had been something that brought me the deepest joy and satisfaction for years of my life. So, that was a bit of a mess for a couple years. The beginning of 2018 was my year of getting back into theatre. It's amazing how quickly getting back into it has just been like, "Oh, right. This is what I was supposed to be doing." And I also started something that I'm maybe most excited about: back in May, I started doing drag. It combines my musical theatre background, my theatre interests, my gender studies and social justice studies all in one, and it's just like, the most joyous, strange, completely... It's all your own, and no one's limiting or changing it. It's only been a couple months, but I already won a competition, and got to host a show, and it's just been... coming together so quickly. The community's so incredible, and so supportive. There's so much kindness and openness and generosity and incredible creativity there, and I'm meeting just like, the best people. I'm having a really wonderful time. That's been a really satisfying creative practice to start.
Do you have a favourite between reading or watching? Do you have a stronger relationship with one or the other?
Recently, it's been tending more toward the watching, which I can attribute to a couple different things. One of which is exhaustion and avoidance. The other is that my partner is a huge TV person, so it's become more of a habit, of doing that as a relaxing activity. I'm trying to compensate for that. I also started working at a bookstore that allows me to borrow books whenever I like. I've made my transit time mostly dedicated to reading rather than whatever else.
And, a sort of under-represented area: do you listen at all, to podcasts or the radio?
Any recommendations for us?
My favourite podcast is My Favorite Murder. I'm a big true crime fan. It's sometimes weird to tell people that I spend so much of my time listening to these really intense, brutal, murder stories. But it's fantastic. I'm a really big fan of Still Processing, a culture podcast from the New York Times. Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris are both culture writers there, they're both black, and they spend a lot of time dissecting culture and race and like, contemporary and historical views of that. Oh! I'm surprised more people don't listen to it; there's a show called Safe Space that's put out by Star Metro and Buzzfeed. The premise of it is like, “Can we bring together a room of young journalists that are majority POC, and women, and non-binary folks, folks from all over the map who aren't prominently white-cis men. Are there enough of them? Do they have enough to say?” All these things that majority has long been saying, "Oh, those people just aren't out there"—”No, guess what, we’re right here, and we put together this incredible show”. And it's so good. A nice little pocket to keep informed.
You love Neil Gaiman. Do you have a specific read?
This is tough. If you've never read Coraline, and especially if you've only seen the movie, read Coraline. I think everyone should read it, 'cuz it's short, it's accessible, and it's deeply creepy. His collection of essays, View from the Cheap Seats, is incredible. I just think he's full of so much wisdom, and it's so nice to get this swath of his opinions and... I made an entirely separate reading and watching list, just from that book and its references. I love him. I really love him. Deeply.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I wanna fly. ...I wanna fly.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Can I say neither? I'm trying to embrace my morning person side right now, because it means I actually do things with my day. So, let’s lean toward morning person. Also because I'm a highly-caffeinated person, and that's more appropriate earlier in the day.
If you ever feel like you're having a creative dry spell, do you push to create, or do you consume?
Ooh. Consume. Because I have previously fallen into the mode of, "I'm having a dry spell, I have to work harder", and that never works. For me, anyway. I find it easier to take a step back, and let some things filter in, let whatever I'm working on gestate for a bit, and... binge-watch some F.R.I.E.N.D.S. 'Cuz it's very inspirational. [Shakes head.]
What is your favourite animal, and why?
The nautilus is amazing because it's known as one of a number of animals that are like, living fossils. It's barely changed in the last 60 million years, and it keeps itself afloat by an internal gas chamber.
Are you gonna get a tattoo of it?