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That was whack - Q&A with Roshelle Fong

Tell me how you got into the performance art thing? What inspired you to go down that track?

Since doing Chinese poetry recitals aged 4, I’ve been addicted to performing, filmmaking and storytelling to experience the world. I discovered the Spoken Word scene during my time in Canberra, and since then I’ve been experimenting with mixed-media performance art and theatre at events around the country. It brings me so much joy making a crowd laugh, cry and squirm!

How did you develop your idea for the Virtual Virtual Reality Show? What fascinates you so much about virtual reality?

The first time I viewed a Virtual Reality short film with Google Cardboard completely spun me out…I felt pretty disorientated and was left wondering…if ‘Virtual reality’ is a reality that doesn’t physically exist as such, then what about ‘Virtual reality’ dealing with imagined or perceived incarnations of reality that also don’t physically exist? How much of our experience of ‘Reality’ is truly anchored in the physical anyway? These questions led me to create the Virtual Virtual Reality Show: a playground of conceptual wormholes for me and audiences to slosh around in together.

What do you want audiences to take away from your performances?

I’m thrilled if audiences leave my shows full of questions, emotions and/or inspiration of any sort. I particularly love it when young women come away from my performances thinking ‘That was whack. Now I don’t feel so worried about putting myself out there.’

What other projects are you working on/what is on the horizon?

I’m planning to tour this show at festivals worldwide and develop it into a longer-form theatre piece to run here in Melbourne and beyond. In my day job I’m creating art in government contexts in the hope of contributing to continued oneness and openness between these ‘sectors’.

Who is your dream collaborator and why?

Margaret Cho – because we would dress up as cute animals together and make some seriously hard-hitting, mangled curiosities of nature!

Roshelle will be presenting her Virtual Virtual Reality Show at the Auckland Fringe Festival. You can check out the event here.

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