The unsinkable Myra DuBois, gin queen of Rotherham is back from her month long exile in Edinburgh where she was wowing the lovers of deep fried Mars bars with her show DuBois Entendre. This Wednesday (13 Sept) there’s a special one off performance of the show at Underbelly on the Southbank. We asked the always obliging Ms DuBois to talk us through a ‘typical’ day in her showbiz life.
I wake up every morning at 2pm sharp. Ish. The first thing I do is a little mindfulness trick that I picked up on a Buddhist retreat to Blackpool. Sensing each of my extremities beginning with the toes, I work my way up the legs, leaping over my torso, nervously side-stepping my boobs before resting at my head making sure everything is present and in working order confirming that I did indeed make it through the night. It’s this point that I usually realise that I have a headache and a hand is thrown out, my nails will scratch around the bedside table until they locate my precautionary paracetamols which are promptly thrown in my mouth before being washed down by whatever beverage is left on the side from the night before. This can on occasion cause me to retch, but I’ve learnt to view retching as a cleansing, perhaps even purging, act of the body and if you ask me that can only be good for you.
The rest of the day varies depending on my schedule. Let’s say, for example, I’m doing one of my hit shows in groovy London (very much like the one at the Underbelly’s Southbank Festival on 13 September, thanks for asking). I have to make sure my energy levels are maintained for the evening’s performance, so I’ll probably have a Vodka Red Bull with my lunch (technically breakfast) which will usually be something like Vegan Dripping on toast (white bread, can’t bear that cardboard brown stuff) eaten on the sofa, listening to Elaine Paige on a Sunday on Radio 2, mentally composing my weekly email to her with suggestions on what she could have done better. She’s never replied to these emails, but I hear my suggestions on her show ALL the TIME (playing songs from the musicals for example, my idea). After this, I might work on some of my poetry written by me, Myra DuBois or perhaps dab at a canvas. Something creative anyway that fulfils my obligations as a nationally acknowledged renaissance woman and cult icon. Or I might have a nap.
At some point it’ll become necessary for me to tend to the administrative side of show business. I say ‘tend’, I have someone who does that for me, Gareth – who like me hails from Yorkshire. It would be incorrect to call him ‘staff’, as ‘staff’ would suggest ‘payment’ and indeed the potential to unionise. ‘Friend’ is also stretching it, as it would imply social cross-overs and I can promise you that we’re never seen in the same room together.
Gareth pops round in the afternoon with his little laptop and he’ll sit at the kitchen table firing off questions and typing up work emails dictated by me from the settee (I live an ‘open-plan’ life).
Perhaps this little detail has whetted your readers whistle for details on how my homes are decorated (I have a London address, and a currently static so not so mobile-home on my sister Rose’s drive way for when I visit home in the North). I’m a big practiser of Hygge living, a discipline in decoration where the idea is to surround yourself with a sort of self-reflective comfort. Because of this, each room has framed pictures of me. Not just pictures of myself, that would be vain, but pictures of me in shows I’ve put on, productions I’ve been in and some of my most popular Instagram posts which I’ve had framed.
At 5pm I go to the off-licence who now know me by name. This is a kind of customer service and respect that’s disappearing and why I insist on going in person rather than online. I also enjoy the interactions it leads to with local youths, who are so charming that I’ll often find myself performing a little errand for them in the shop which may or may not relate to the side of the legal drinking age that they happen to fall on.
And then it’s in a cab and on to the theatre, to the enveloping mystique of backstage! It would shatter the magic to let you through the dressing room door, and if you don’t mind me saying so you’ve been intrusive enough. No, I shall leave you here, the stage door shutting in your face and forcing you to take your seat in the auditorium. But don’t be too sad, I’ll be seeing you in a short while when I sweep onto the stage. You’ve got just enough time to buy me a gin and tonic before I do!