Interview with a Stage Daddy: Miss Cherrybomb (a.k.a. Cherry)
What is a stage daddy?
Well, to understand what a Stage Daddy is, you really need to understand the whole stage ecosystem.
You’ve probably heard of Stage Kittens, they’re the seldom heard from, sweetly done up folks who tip toe quietly around stages in search of pasties and panties gone flying. They survive on a healthy diet of finger snaps and literal cat calls from the audience. Clock them by their all black ensemble, and occasional kitty ears adorning their heads.
Then there’s the Stage Hand, and the name really outlines their qualification as being quite handy. Useful to keep around for larger props, you’ll find them at the end of the night during bump out, they’re always the first person to start stacking chairs.
Next is the Stage Manager, and you can identify a Stage Manager in the wild by observing their desperate hold on their clipboard, and a frequent twitch of their wrist carrying their all important watch, making sure the show is running in order and on time - and by god it always does. Again, you’ll seldom hear from them in the context of any show unless you’re on cams.
Most anyone with enough training can become a stage Kitty, Hand or Manager.
Finally we come finally to Stage Daddy; Stage Daddy is a way of life, it’s a vibe. No one ever puts baby in the corner, and the same stands for Stage Daddy. Stage Daddy is a part of the show; Stage Daddy never skulks around a stage meek and quiet, nor do they watch the clock. Stage Daddy holds presence, the show runs when Stage Daddy says it runs. From the moment they enter the venue, to the minute they leave Stage Daddy is the point person for all performers, venue staff and a reliable aid for the Producer to lean on and trust to make all of the nitty gritty parts of show run, and run seamlessly. All while wearing the most bitching, impractical outfit you’ve ever seen.
Where do you stage daddy?
You’ll catch me Stage Daddying at Flazéda, and most shows produced by Jazida Productions. But you may also catch me Daddying at my day job, because frankly, someone needs to keep the wheels turning.
What’s your most memorable stage daddy experience?
My most memorable Daddy moment was absolutely, hands down from the Flazéda Fundraiser event in 2020, where we were fortunate enough to have Monica Trapaga (icon for so many reasons, but specifically for her work on Playschool!) Emcee the show. We were still deep in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, and Monica’s initial plan to walk through the audience during a number she was performing was foiled during tech. Vetoed by our COVID-19 safe plan, and the venue. During the adrenaline and joy of the show, Monica got caught up in the moment and performed her number walking sexily through the crowd. Once her number ended and she was back on stage she remembered that she wasn’t supposed to do so, and as Stage Daddy I had no option other than to tell her off. How did Stage Daddy tell her off? On stage, in front of the entire audience, bending her over, having her grab her ankles and spanking her with her own clipboard. Best moment ever.
Favourite thing you’ve seen behind the scenes?
There are so many incredible behind the scenes moments, but the one that comes to mind is when Chris from Captivitae Photography was running from operating the streaming equipment backstage at Flazéda to the stage to take photos of an act, his shirt caught the door handle and ripped every button off his shirt and left him looking like the photography equivalent of Superman getting changed in a telephone booth. Hilarious!
What makes a performer good to work with from a daddy-perspective?
It is so important for all acts, but particularly acts with a prop element to know what shenanigans the performer intends to get up to on stage and what are the things that could go wrong. I take it upon myself to make sure I have a conversation with every performer before every show, regardless of how many times I’ve worked with them, to make sure I’m across their props, placement and pressure points. For danger acts, what is the safety plan, what are the things that go wrong, and what is my role in helping should things go wrong. For messy acts, if a performer doesn’t come prepared with the right equipment for me to clean up after the act, and relies on the venue providing tidy up equipment you can bet Stage Daddy is going to be grumpy, and the audience is going to know about it. Performers who have every possible outcome covered, are open with their needs and do the work to make sure they’re safe, the audience is safe and their fellow performers will be able to hit the stage safely after them make Stage Daddy happy.
What’s the daddy-performer power balance? Who’s in charge (who’s the top)?
Just like sex, there are many conversations about consent that happen between performers and Stage Daddy, because why? CONSENT IS SEXY. Dynamics are discussed well before the lights go up, and the doors open to the audience. No one ever wants to be blind-sided on stage or made to feel less than their full fantasy, so there is a rolling dialogue between to discuss things that are fun to highlight and things that are not okay to joke about. Also like sex, after care is important - so this conversation extends after the show to make sure everyone was happy and comfortable with the power balance. Daddy wants you to enjoy the whole experience!
Top ten things you keep in your stage daddy toolkit in case of emergencies?
Well, I officially have a Stage Daddy tool box filled with everything anyone could ever need for any conceivable emergency thanks to my incredible Flazé-Fam. But my essentials are:
⁃ 2x redbulls (no one likes an under-caffeinated Stage Daddy)
⁃ A large bottle of water (no one likes a dehydrated Stage Daddy, see above “Redbull”)
⁃ Power bank with multiple charging cables for many phones
⁃ A sharpie
⁃ A bangle of gaff
⁃ Hairspray/Bobby pins
⁃ A dramatic, oversized handheld fan (to thwoorp at appropriate intervals, and because Stage Daddy gets hot)
⁃ My Flazéda pronoun badge
⁃ a DJ air horn hotkey at the ready
Tips for becoming a daddy-of-the-future?
There are not nearly enough Stage Daddies in the world, so if you want to become a Stage Daddy, you’ve just got to get out there and do it. Come along to a show, have a chat or shoot myself or the Flazéda page a message, and we can get you on your Stage Daddy journey!