BIO: ANTONIO BAVARO performs in & between boundaries: being a professional actor/writer/cabaret host/gender bending artiste & a Grant MacEwan Uni. Theatre Arts graduate & soon to receive a BFA in Concordia Uni.’s Theatre & Development program. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, their practice has shaped to new heights since throwing themselves into the hot poutine of Montréal 4 years ago. This trilingual community artist explores our psycho-social ‘global-village’ and their own identity, sharing humanity’s stories with extensive experience in the worlds of history, arts administration, tourism, education, language, sexuality, gender, fashion & cosmetics. Recent MTL credits include: Aphrodite in PoiMoi’s Hippolytus, Frank in “Rocky Horror Show” at Mainline Theatre, “re_Generation” & “Tightrope” with 2boys.Tv, Jesus in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”, and co-produced/starred in “Hedwig & the Angry Inch”. They host their own avant-garde alt drag show, cabaret COCHONNE, every month at the historic Cafe Cleopatra.
Many moons ago, Antonio taught me a very important thing: To give a fuck by not giving a fuck.
It was a blurry night at the Artery, four or five hundred years ago. Maybe it was Christmas, or maybe it was Halloween, whenever it was, Antonio was done up magic styles. Styled to the nines in a dress that made me think of some sort ninja-gala-debutante-ball…it was so tight you could see his religion.
I forget what I was doing there. Probably fumbling with a guitar or my emotions or both, anyhoo, he was in between numbers and we started chatting. We talked of the world and life and all things in between. We were both probably going through something in our lives, but what I do remember clearly was something that stuck with me. He said that not giving a fuck about what people think about him helped him give a fuck about himself. It wasn’t a rant or a diatribe, it was just a quick witticism. Then, I think he was up and belting out some number from a show he was doing. Either that or he climbed into a cannon and was shot through the roof. Either way, there was a lot of applause.
All things aside, what he said stayed with me. To care by not caring. It’s tough to apply, but functional if you try. What I think he meant was, look past all the guff…the people who hold you down or can’t forget about silly things you once did. To look forward into the future that you are going to share with yourself. To understand that to give up things that you can’t control gives you control over the things you can. People hate because they hate themselves and the pendulum swings the other way. Do unto yourself as you would have others to unto you. I think you can see where I’m going.
I learned two things that day: 1. You can get some damn good advice from a man in a dress. 2. A man in a dress can look pretty damn good.
If you would give yourself a nickname what would it be?
Other than all my other aliases? Like my middle names Jay, Douglas or Dodd? Connie Lingua, ****, T.J., Teej, Tonio, Toto, To’… If I could change it and start fresh, probably: ‘Nio <n-EE-oh>
If you could switch one body part with anyone else in the world living or dead, who and what would it be?
Alexander the Great’s chest.
In five words, describe your most uncomfortable dream.
North Saskatchewan Ritual Child Sacrifice
What is your favourite word?
C*** (Cunt: not very PG13?)… OR Zucchini.
What does that word smell like?
Power… OR Fortune.
What is your spirit animal?
Definitely the Squirrel… My dearest & OLDEST friend, Teen Jesus Barbie, read my Animal Power Totem Tarot; and the Squirrel came up as the Above/Spirit Guide card. Plus, there are some albino white squirrels in Parc Lafontaine here in Montréal that have seriously come right up to me at the picnics and nuzzled my hand. There were never really many squirrels out on my family’s acreage in the south of Strathcona County, but in the Big Poutine there isn’t a lot of nature. Somehow, I really identitifed with those gorgeous, off white squirrels after relocating out to the madness of this metropolitan city.
If ghosts existed, would you want to meet one? If so, what would you ask it?
Only if it wasn’t trying to harm or possess me! I’d probably ask the nice ghost whether they were shades/daemons trapped in this existence, in another dimension, or between the worlds of the living & the dead: and why?
If you could share a bottle of alcohol with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be and what would you drink?
I’m gonna say my Nonno Antonio, whom I’m named after (also named after Grandpa Doug). I never met Antonio as he died of cancer soon after my parents were married. He served in the Italian army in WW2, and would have liked to get know him a bit & hear his best stories.
What would you rather have as a pet: A dragon, a unicorn Pegasus or Ezra Levant?
Hmm… definitely a Unicorn Pegasus with a mohawk that fires rainbows out of it’s mouth & butt as an added bad-ass defence.
Finally, if you could live your life over again with guaranteed success, what would you do?
(What does this even mean? Hahaha… okay, umm…) I would have gotten involved into making video games instead of theatre, I guess.