Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Vancouver Fringe: Morgan Brayton’s Raccoonery

One-woman show opens Sept 9

Raccoonery, says Morgan Brayton, is that catch-all term for the strategies people come up with to make sense of things that don't make sense, and to "stay sane amidst insanity." Brayton's one-woman show of the same name begins at the Fringe, Sept 9. Credit: Sarah Race photo
You may know that Morgan Brayton was part of the comedy troupe The 30 Helens. You may know that she’s been on the L-Word and Supernatural. And you more than definitely know she’s the MC extraordinaire of the annual Dyke March Festival. 
But did you know she’s the proud owner of a Snuggie? And that she sells cupcakes to raise money for orphaned kittens? 
Here’s a lot of things you don’t know about Morgan Brayton and her new show, Raccoonery, which runs at this year’s Fringe Festival.
XTRA: Define the word raccoonery.
MORGAN BRAYTON: A nunnery for Orthodox raccoons that enjoy solitude and prayer. 
XTRA: What is Raccoonery about?
MB: The strategies people, we as humans, come up with to make sense of things that don’t make sense and to stay sane amidst insanity, like the character that’s come up with a ritual to deal with her nemesis co-worker.
There’s what I call the hierarchy of oppression. If you’re gay, then you have this much oppression. If you’re gay and a woman, then I’m obviously more oppressed than you — you don’t even know how much I suffer. 
For instance, there’s a white character that is excited to find out she has Native ancestry and move up a notch on the ladder of oppression. 
It’s a show about wanting to belong and be someone special and noticed and fit in and have people care about you, even if it’s pity or acknowledging your oppression.
XTRA: Your director, Shawn Macdonald, says the show is about people trying to keep from going crazy. What makes you crazy?
MB: Things that are not closed or tightened properly. White people with dreadlocks.
XTRA: Where did you learn how to rap, and how deep did you have to dig to go there?
MB: At Juilliard. There’s this podcast called Exploding Sandwich, and they do this game called Right Lyrics/Wrong Song where you get the lyrics from one song and the music from another and you have to perform the song. I got this Eminem beat and the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, and it actually turned out really cool, so I decided I wanted to do a rap in this show.
XTRA: Do you Twitter?
MB: No, but it is helping me become a more concise joke writer. I’ll write something on Facebook and think, “That’s funny. I’m going to put that on Twitter,” but it doesn’t fit, so I pull out a bunch of words and it’s actually stronger because I did. 
XTRA: Why do you stay in Vancouver when so many queer comics leave?
MB: Cats. Age. Legalities.
XTRA: Can a queer performer make a living doing only queer content?
MB: Possibly. The only thing to compare it to is drag queens that don’t have day jobs, but they perform at straight functions as well. Outside of Vancouver there are people that do it: there are Olivia cruises and things like that. I don’t have any interest in making my living as solely a gay performer.
XTRA: Finally… why do gay people get married on the beach?
MB: If you change your mind partway through, you can just jump in the ocean. The undertow will take you out of it.