The­High Life

QUEEN OF THE SKIES PAM ANN, AKA COME­DI­ENNE CARO­LINE REID, TREATS CARY GEE TO SOME IN-FLIGHT EN­TER­TAIN­MENT AND TELLS HIM WHY SHE’LL NEVER JOIN THE MILE HIGH CLUB

Pride Life Magazine - - SPONSORED FEATURE -

Since first tak­ing to the skies as Pam Ann in 1996, Aus­tralian come­di­enne Caro­line Reid has had a “hell of a ride”, rack­ing up the air miles to per­form in front of guests in­clud­ing El­ton and David, Cher, Vic­to­ria Beck­ham and Madonna. She’s cur­rently back in Lon­don, where it all started, per­form­ing new show Queen of the Skies to sold out au­di­ences at Lon­don’s Le­ices­ter Square The­atre, be­fore em­bark­ing on a na­tion­wide tour. I caught up with her be­tween per­for­mances to ask how she is feel­ing. ‘Ex­hausted. Keep­ing up with the Kar­dashi­ans is f**king hard!” Pam Ann comes in many guises: from slutty Vir­gin Air host­ess to horse-faced Bri­tish Air­ways crew who “can close the over­head lock­ers with her eyes”. Can Caro­line re­call the Franken­stein mo­ment when she first re­alised she had cre­ated a smartly-liv­er­ied mon­ster wear­ing big hair and court shoes? “Well, to be­gin with, Pam was in­spired more by the uni­form than any spe­cific host­ess. But over the years she has be­come more ob­ser­va­tional as she’s grown. Dif­fer­ent air­lines em­ploy dif­fer­ent crews, each with their own men­tal­ity, there’s a bit of Pam in all of them.” Does this mean that Reid al­ways flies with notepa­per and a pen in her carry-on? “I’m definitely a bit of a sponge. But as for the show, a lot of it is made up on the night.” Does Pam travel incog­nito, or are air­lines aware of just who is in­cluded in their man­i­fest? “I pre­fer to fly un­der the radar. Some­times I can, some­times not. But I don’t mind ei­ther way.” When I saw her bril­liant new show at Lon­don’s Le­ices­ter Square The­atre, a few days be­fore talk­ing to Reid, het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples were no­table only by their ab­sence. One chap, sit­ting next to me pro­claimed his affin­ity by an­nounc­ing to his girl­friend that “the ho­mo­sex­u­als just love her, don’t they?” Is this a com­mon re­ac­tion at a Pam Ann gig? Af­ter guf­faw­ing with laugh­ter, Reid at­tempts to ex­plain her ap­peal. “I’ve lived in Lon­don most of my life. I guess that we just share the same world. I guess I’m just drawn to the nightlife and gay cul­ture. Most of my friends are gay. In fact, the first guy I fell in love with was gay. He was a bal­let dancer. We’d go out and look at opera glasses to­gether and I thought he was the straight­est thing! We’re still friends to­day. I saw him a year ago and I’m still in love with him. I was about six­teen.” Reid’s home town is Mel­bourne. What is it about the city that makes it so gay-friendly? “It’s very cre­ative. There’s a lot of art and cul­ture.” For any­one who hasn’t yet seen Pam in all her pri­mary-coloured glory what can they ex­pect from her new show? “Well, there are some awesome videos, a lot of great ob­ser­va­tion com­edy. It’s fun. I wanted to cre­ate a party at­mos­phere. So there’s lots of co­caine. It’s like a pan­tomime.” There’s even a dame. The in-flight movie fea­tures an hi­lar­i­ous scene in which Pam ap­pears op­po­site Mag­gie Smith in Down­ton Abbey. Has she in­vited Dame Mag­gie to see her­self in the show? “Oh my God, wouldn’t that be amaz­ing? I love her. But I don’t know how to con­tact her.” Some­one who most definitely counts her­self as a fan is Madonna. Has she been in touch re­cently? “I so wanted to see her in New York. Amy Schumer (a US come­di­enne) opened for her and I so hoped that Amy might have a lit­tle accident so I could get the gig. Madonna is my in­spi­ra­tion. She’s the queen,” Madonna once de­scribed Pam Ann as “cru­elly funny”. Is she? “Yeah, I think Madonna nailed it. Some peo­ple may find Pam cruel. I may say some­thing they don’t like, or of­fend some­one. Things come out of your mouth, they are said and you can’t take them back.” But is it al­ways al­ter-ego Pam speak­ing? How much of Pam is there in Caro­line, and vice-versa? “We’ve kind of mor­phed so that we’re now 50- 50. Caro­line is the one talk­ing about the air­lines, and all of the druggy stuff is prob­a­bly Caro­line too.” It sounds like Caro­line is ad­mit­ting to be­ing quite a badly be­haved girl at times. “I’m very bad, very naughty!” How of­ten does Caro­line re­turn home to Aus­tralia? “Not of­ten. I just don’t feel con­nected to Aus­tralia. I pre­fer Lon­don, or New York [where Caro­line cur­rently lives]. I like big cities. There’s just too much I need to do. I can’t sit still. It’s too ge­o­graph­i­cally dif­fi­cult to do any­thing from Aus­tralia.

“I loved liv­ing in Lon­don. Right now I love New York. I may try Miami or LA in the next five years. I’m on the road half of the year any­way.” Does the dis­tance she keeps from Aus­tralia mean she hasn’t been fol­low­ing the fierce de­bate about gay mar­riage at home, where it re­mains il­le­gal? “Well, it’s good that they got that id­iot [prime min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott] out. At home we have the Emu and the Kan­ga­roo on coins. They are the only Aus­tralian an­i­mals that can only move for­wards. Maybe we should change the an­i­mals for ones that can move back­wards as well to bet­ter rep­re­sent Aus­tralia.” Af­ter rack­ing up the air miles as Pam Ann, who does a sur­pris­ing amount of cor­po­rate work within the air­line in­dus­try, does Caro­line have her own opin­ions about what makes a good flight? “First class al­ways makes a good flight. Free drinks and a nice bed. Econ­omy is your worst night­mare.” And has she ever used her celebrity per­sona to bump her­self up? “No! I’d never do that. I’d be so em­bar­rassed. That would just be too awk­ward. I’m lucky that I’ve worked with so many air­lines who can be quite re­spon­sive when I need a ticket. But no, you just have to buy the ticket.” That said, some re­main more re­spon­sive than oth­ers. Caro­line failed to se­cure a gig with Delta Air Lines af­ter re­fus­ing to tone down her act. “I’d love to take the money but in the end I ad­vised them to book some­one who was a lit­tle

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