Dabbers Diary Esther - Dabbers Social Bingo

Artist, performer, comedian and occasional mermaid. Join us as we chat to Esther all about her newest show; Bad Art and Booze


1- Tell us a little about yourself. 

My Name is Esther Cross and I’m 28. I grew up next to the sea in Dorset. I left Poole when the conservative locals started to stare at my clothing choices with disdain and I was also growing tired of Fish and Chips! I moved to London without a job but quickly got work as a party princess. I’ve lived here for eight years now and since then I have been learning many more entertainment based skills!


2- What’s your background in performing?

When I was a child, my parents and school would do everything to help me develop my drawing talents and interest in art but eventually I started to dig my heels in. I loved art but I hated the idea of doing it as my main skill or for a career. I thought being an artist meant being stuck at home painting, whilst having full conversations with the cat.


A big reason for rejecting drawing and painting was that I wanted be on stage and make people laugh. As I got into my 20s I still wanted to perform but I never fully worked out which wardrobe I had to step through in order to get into that world, so I just focused on paying my rent. Shortly after moving to London, I was sat in my kitchen looking for jobs online, when a mermaid walked in crying. My new house-mate was a kids entertainer but hated the pressure and the attention. I asked her if I could take on her job as a party princess and I have subsequently worked as a performer, entertainer and occasional mermaid ever since. I learned how to do stilts, balloon-modelling, face-painting, clowning and hosting. But since you can’t swear in-front of kids I started stand-up comedy on the side. A combination of these strange skills was what allowed me to move onto leading clown and comedy workshops. Then after many years of thinking I had to give up art in favour of performing I proved my childhood self wrong by creating ‘Bad Art and Booze’.


3- Tell us all about your event Bad Art and Booze.

Bad Art and Booze, is an outlandish alternative to life drawing, which focus’s less on accuracy and more on fun. Everybody takes part in a series of drawing games designed to create a silly/humorous result. For each challenge I will play music in keeping with that theme, so be prepared for some unexpected remixes and genres! At the end of each round everybody holds their pictures up in the air and as the host, I provide commentary on this ‘Bad Art’ exhibition. After having a look at everyone work I choose the most ‘entertaining’ drawing and award that person with a shot. The games will be things like; “draw the last fancy dress costume you wore” or “draw yourself as a Simpsons character”. By the end of the night people relax into drawing with enjoyment with no judgement.

4- How was Bad Art and Booze created?

After working as a performer for entertainment companies I got to the stage of really wanting to create my own brand and do something new. I wanted to have control over making ridiculous creative choices, and now I am at a stage where I can play dodgy circus remixes and no on can tell me otherwise! I started forming the idea of a night hosted by myself that was interactive and this began with workshops at a Pub in Holloway road.

5- Who inspired you to perform? 

I am really inspired by creators who specialise in lots of different skills and piece them together like a patchwork blanket. I would love to have the career of Joe Lycett who has used his comedy skills in a variety of unexpected ways. In Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back (channel 4) you can even see how he has used his famously good/bad paintings in the title sequences of the show. Joe is able to create a big audience that celebrates his unique brain and style of humour and I would love to achieve the same.

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