On the Couch with Kaz Kane

Kaz-Kane-and-Cazeleon-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Kaz Kane?
Kaz Kane is a trans non-binary actor, singer, writer, producer and the beauty/brains behind international cabaret drag sensation Cazeleon.

What would you do differently from what you do now? 
For the past 7 years my life living in London has been about integrating all of my passions and skills in the arts into a multitude of different performance styles. Drag and cabaret have played an integral part of this journey. It has facilitated me in taking full ownership of myself as an artist and human in my utmost authentic form.

It’s lead to me writing and producing work and telling stories that are personal, political and important to me and my communities. More recently I have started to write and perform my own original music. Currently I’m working on my first ever EP and I am really excited to share my experiences through the art of music and lyric which is a whole new direction for me.

Who inspires you and why?
My biggest inspirations are a mixture of the strong women in my life I’ve had the privilege of growing and looking up to (my mother and sister). I admire their resilient and compassionate nature and how they integrate that into the world. The artists that inspire me have always pushed the envelope with their work and do it with finesse, style, mystery and integrity – from local legends such as IOTA, Meow Meow to Leigh Bowery, Grace Jones, Bowie, Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse. The running thread between them all which inspires me is their originality and sense of true self.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
Continue to amplify, provide platforms/opportunities and celebrate voices from POC, Trans and other marginalised communities. Using whatever resources are available to us to make the space for people who have not had the chance to have a seat at the table for far too long yet have always deserved to be there.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
My family is from Türkiye and I’m dying to go back there, but unfortunately I’m not able to because of army conscription laws and the current political climate, so instead I visit our neighbours, Greece! But more specifically Anafi island. Words or pictures don’t do this haven justice. It’s a small and very secluded island away from all the tourist hotspots. I guess for me it holds a special place in my heart as it was a real pivotal point in my life when I first discovered it. Going back there every year reinstates the discoveries I made on that trip and also allows me to connect with my ancestral roots.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why? 
Well growing up in Naarm/Melbourne I must admit I’m always excited and proud to show friends the best little cafes, vibrant street art, galleries and vintage stores the city has to offer. It really nurtured me especially as a young creative teenager I would often find myself wondering through the little ally ways discovering street art, taking photos on my film camera from school before finding a cute cosy cafe to sit and watch life and people go by in. It led my imagination to all of the exciting possibilities and places around the world that I’d want to visit or live in.

What are you currently reading?
Currently I am reading Queer Footprints: A Guide To Uncover London’s Fierce History written by my dear friend and activist Dan Glass. It’s a fascinating book that unveils different parts of London and the lesser known queer history behind it, there’s a lot more than you’d imagine!

What are you currently listening to?
I am currently switching between Jessie Ware’s new disco album That! Feels Good! and Lana Del Ray’s new album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd – both extremely different vibes but equally as incredible in their own right. It just depends if I’m in the mood for a dance or a sentimental cry which seem to be the two modes I’m operating in currently.

Happiness is? 
Happiness is creating, living and relishing in beautiful memories with the people you hold closest to your heart. It may sound cliche but life really is short and I’m choosing to lead with gratitude even on the harder days.

What does the future hold for you?
Currently I am about to make my debut with Black Swan State Theatre Company in  WA’s premier of Andrew Bovell’s beautiful play Things I Know To Be True. It is such an honour to be apart of this production and to be playing the role of Mark/Mia. If I can take anything away from the past 3 years it is that none of us truly knows what the future holds and that it can all change in a heartbeat.

I was fairly certain that drag and cabaret were the foreseeable future but here I am back in Australia going back to my roots, stepping back into acting and doing an incredible play. I couldn’t be happier. My life and career have taken me down all sorts of roads I wouldn’t have ever imagined. It has kept me pleasantly surprised and on my toes (or high heels depending on the night) I can only hope and wish for more of that kismet in the future.

Kaz stars in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Things I Know To Be True by Andrew Bovell in the Heath Ledger Theatre – State Theatre Centre of WA from 27 May – 18 June 2023. For more information, visit: www.blackswantheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Kaz Kane and Cazeleon (supplied)