Following the previews of her brilliant show ‘Million Dollar Maybe‘, Robyn Perkins spoke to us about her comedy, science and Bi visibility.
How long have you been doing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and what brings you back to Edinburgh?
This is my 8th year doing the whole month. I love the Fringe! I come back not just because I love performing, but I love being in a city with a load of my friends for a month. It’s like a University Campus, without classes, walking down the street and bumping into your friends. So much art, so much talent, in one place. It is incredible.
This is the first time you have produced a show based on your bisexuality – did you find this easier or more tricky to write than your previous shows?
Actually writing the show was not tricky at all, because it is so personal. Also, because I have become a better comedian, the show was easier than most. The thing I think was tricky, was owning the fact that this is a show about bivisibility. Originally, I wanted to hide the theme, as I thought it may seem inaccessible. But the truth is, this show is for everyone.
Also, while the show has a point, most Edinburgh shows do. And rest assured, it is a comedy show. It is very funny!
As someone who has performed across the UK and the world, how much do you have to change your comedy for different locations or cultures?
Apart from local references, not that much. Obviously, not every country knows what a Jaffa Cake is. Having said that, there are some places I do need to check that being out on stage is ok. Things are changing, which is great. For example, in 2020, Singapore was totally fine with me talking a lot about being bisexual.
Your show is funny and informative combining bi visibility, romance and science. You also touch on some of the important factors impacting the Bi+ community regarding relationships, and mental health outcomes. Do you see the work you do as a form of activism and how important is that to you?
This is a tough question. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I struggle a lot in feeling like I am ‘enough’. That applies to my bisexuality. Realising so late in life, I sometimes feel I am not a real part of the community. I know I am! But I sometimes feel like I’m tagging along.
So in terms of being an activist…this subject is really important to me. I think we need to be talking about it more. But I don’t feel like I have the qualifications to be an activist, since I am so new to the community. Does that make sense? Or is that too honest?
You talk about coming out as Bi later in life, even though signs were there for many years. Do you believe that the increase in bi visibility is helping people realise their sexuality earlier in life and is this a good thing?
For sure! I think if we actually had role models and a media presence in the 80s and 90s, I definitely would have known! So. Many. Signs.
In terms of acceptance, do you think we need to “prove bisexuals exist”?
Haha. The show talks a lot about the notion of proof, from a scientific point of view and a personal point of view. The problem is, there are several things in life you just cannot prove, and not just because science can’t prove anything. But there are several things in this world that we just need to trust people about. That is much easier said than done.
Do you have any tips for Bi+ people wanting to help spread bi visibility through comedy, music, videos or other media?
If you are in a place to own it, then do. Not everyone is, and that is understandable. If you can talk about it, even better. For example, being able to explain things when people try to assign a sexuality based on your current partner. Some people just don’t realise.
I think that’s more on a personal level. But in the media, I have seen people identify to the public based on who they are dating. I think, even if it is harder, if you are a position to do so, be identify as bisexual.
The poster for the show depicts you in a boxing ring and the title of the show, Million Dollar Maybe also has a boxing link – did you consider talking about boxing in the show?
I did. Truth is, the show title was coined in February of 2020. It was a much different show then. However, while the show is different, I think the title, and the relationship to the movie, is relevant. It’s a show about validation and proving your existence. I did briefly think about making a boxing reference, but haven’t come up with one that is worthy of the show yet.
Thanks to Robyn for sitting down with us.
You can catch her show ‘Million Dollar Maybe’ at Gilded Balloon Teviot through to 28 August at 5pm. Tickets available from edfringe.com
Robyn is also hosting ‘Comedy For The Curious‘, a stand-up comedy panel show with a science twist at 8pm throughout August.