ALTER EGO Q&A – Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Tom Lenk as Tilda Swinton

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Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the festival, putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.

With sold-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2018, Vault Festival London, and across America, Buffy and Instagram star Tom Lenk portrays actress Tilda Swinton as a modern Mary Poppins who finds a depressed gay man on Craigslist and dissects his life for a character study for her next movie role.

Photo submitted

First we hear from ‘Tilda Swinton’… 

  1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?

    First impression: Gasp. Here to entertain and enlighten and hopefully fully materilaize in TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST.

  2. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

    Joy with a smattering of cayenne pepper.

  3. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?

    Arrived via Transcendental Mediation. We are all alone.

  4. Where will you visit on your day off and why?

    I have no days off sadly, except July 32, which doesn’t exist in your space-time dimension so as usual I’m alone.

  5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?

    I don’t understand the concept of food.

  6. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?

    I once enjoyed a dip in a black hole just on the outskirts of Pluto.

  7. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?

    Oh, if only I had a real friend. Friends are like time, already gone.

  8. Plug your show in three words.

    Fashion. Laughter. Girth.

  9. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?

    Veteran. You’re welcome.

  10. What do you love most about the festival?

    Tents.

  11. What do you hate most about the festival?

    Wooden sporks.

  12. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?

    Are my breasts exposed.

  13. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?

    “Nothing is perfect. Except for me, I have a certificate.”

  14. What does success and failure mean to you?

    Impossible to fail or succeed. We are all one. Reality is god.

  15. What is your worst habit?

    Building sandcastles.

  16. Most embarrassing moment?

    I once confused George Clooney for Abigail Breslin.

  17. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

    Italy. Sheep.

  18. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?

    I am you.

  19. What is your greatest ambition?

    To invent a gentle mouthwash.

  20. How can we bring world peace?

    World peace begins in our own mind. Peace in mind, peace on Earth. Peace is the mind’s natural state. Everything else is confusion. Where’s the bathroom?

    … and now we hear from Tom Lenk himself.

Photo submitted
  1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?

As a native Southern Californian, E-burgh is EXACTLY what I need. Green. Rain. Weather. Everyone apologizes for the weather, but I keep telling them. No need! This is what I signed up for! Also, there are so many wonderful senior citizens out and about on the street, in coffee shops! At Pubs! Hanging with friends!

LA does not incorporate our older community into every day life and to me it is one of the greatest things about E-burgh! And why am I here? I’m here to do TILDA again (and my new solo show Tom Lenk is TRASH) in a bigger venue and bring more laughs  and tears to the people!

  1. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

Joy! The only thing to dread is…will anyone come watch our show?! But last year I had the same dread and we Sold out almost every night!

  1. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?

I’ll be flying by aeroplane alone and meeting my castmates at our lovely flat on Morningside. Why? Wassup? Should I take a ferry or something?

  1. Where will you visit on your day off and why?

I don’t have a day off of TILDA because we want as many people to see it as possible! But during my downtime, I will try and venture off the beaten path as I’ve done all of the touristy things already. Maybe a lovely pub? A lovely stroll? Foster a lovely dog for the month?

  1. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?

Million dollar shortbread. Yum! We don’t have it in the states, which is devastating. I fear nothing in the way of delicacies but I do fear those terrible little flies that bite you up in the highlands by the water…I went camping up at Loch Ness once. I purchased a protective hat. It was worth it.

  1. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?

I mostly hang in the various festival beer gardens. Is that OK ? AM I NOT COOL ENOUGH FOR YOU?

  1. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?

GINGZILLA! His lip service late night show is brilliant, rowdy fun! And Jesus Loreal Christ is hilarious and honestly…he is very erotic. And my pals at 30 Minute Musicals and Kirsten Vangsness’ shows at Assembly!

  1. Plug your show in three words.

Non. Stop. Laughter.

  1. Are you a newcomer or a veteran? 

Veteran.

  1. What do you love most about the festival?

The gamble of seeing a show and not knowing if it will be a horrible show or an amazing show. Sometimes I even love the horrible ones. AND if you don’t like it, it was only an hour! And if you love it, it was only an hour!

  1. What do you hate most about the festival?

I hate that brilliant, hilarious, mind blowing shows may not get seen, because they don’t have a PR team or marketing budget or the critics just don’t get them…

  1. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?

I have many fears. None of them are stage related.

  1. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?

Drunk man at bar: I used to jerk off to you all the time when I was in High School.

Me (Angry/Offended): WHY NOT STILL?!

  1. What does success and failure mean to you?

Success is doing what you love, what you were meant to do, even if it doesn’t mean others label it as such, even if it means no financial reward or approval from others. Failure is never trying.

  1. What is your worst habit?

Procrastinating/being lazy/not responding to group emails in a timely manner but honestly just email solo, all those responses from everyone stress me out.

  1. Most embarrassing moment?

Bombing at a late night stand up show at the Fringe 6 years ago.

  1. Where is your favourite place in the world and why? Maybe Iceland? I took myself there for my birthday on a solo travel adventure and I just never realized how much nature I needed in my life until that trip and how much I love natural hot geothermal pools! Plus I love traveling alone.

    If you have never done it, I highly recommend it! You meet so many interesting people and are forced to get out of your comfort zone. Plus no one making an annoying schedule for you. I need lots of technology breaks and relaxing couch time.

  1. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?

Tilda Swinton

  1. What is your greatest ambition?

My own show on UK television.

  1. How can we bring world peace?

See #19.

Show Information

Venue: Piccolo @ George Square Gardens

Time: 21:00 (60 mins)

Dates: 1st – 25th Aug

Tickets:  £6 – £14

Bookings: Here

Recommended: 16+

 
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