This content originally appeared in Scene, a free newsprint prologue to the National Arts Centre’s Ontario Scene Festival. Scene was created collaboratively by Guerilla, Apt613, and Herd Magazine.
Dressed up as a cabaret and performed by the sassy and hopelessly straightforward drag queen Regina, Do I Have To Do Everything My Fucking Self will allow audience members to connect with confessional material that is playfully abrasive with its unadulterated honesty.
This “adult subject matter” production comes to Ontario Scene on Saturday, May 2 (one show only) at the National Arts Centre.
Although fans may know him as the Toronto-based indie-rocker Gentleman Reg, the show’s creator and one-woman performer, Reg Vermue, offers here something very different from the local singer/songwriter persona through which many have come to know him. Calling it the most pertinent and prophetic thing he’s ever come up with, Vermue explains that the show and its title refer to a life growing up queer—and not knowing it—while also giving a nod to the challenges that can face a fully independent artist.
“At the end of the day, I live alone and am also single, so you know, after creating things all day and then scrubbing the toilet, I get to rub my own feet!”, explains Vermue. “And I know I hit on something because audience members tell me regularly how much that title means to them, too, [and that] everyone relates to it in their own way.”
After getting much encouragement from friends and fans alike, the artist says he was initially inspired for the solo show through years of his own banter during breaks between songs with Light Fires. And although plenty of eccentricities are promised, Vermue remains purposefully mysterious about the plot specifics, preferring that people not know what to expect when coming to the performance.
The artist promises to leave everything on the table, however, and to “make [himself] insanely vulnerable, sexy, playful, a little crass, very real and relatable, and ideally something you don’t want to stop watching.” If that doesn’t sound appealing enough, the Light Fires band members will accompany Regina with songs ideal for club dancing that also happen to be what Vermue call “lyrically outward-thinking.” The result should be an ideal balance between intellectual stimulation and guilt-free entertainment. Vermue clearly asserts that Regina is meant for the masses.
This production is a prime opportunity to directly support an independent artist. Not only did Vermue write the entire show, but he has brought it to the stage through sheer force of will. When asked about funding, the artist exclaimed “if someone’s funding my show that’s news to me! Please send the cheque!”
In the end, Vermue and Regina are presenting us with an opportunity to simply commiserate—a kind of human connection that we all need sometimes.
Do I Have To Do Everything My Fucking Self hits the NAC Fourth Stage on May 2, 2015, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25 and available online. Or present your Ontario Scene Pass (5/$99) at the box office to pick up advance tickets.