‘I have a high tolerance for loose ends’


Kiki Schippers. “I’d like to think less for more, or for it all to happen now.”Statue of Eva Roefs

With or without belt?

Laughs: ‘Well, after the parade I’ll be out of tires for a while.’ Dan: ‘No, it makes me very happy and the songs really come into their own with the band. But it’s very different from determining the day’s energy one-on-one with your technician, which I’m used to in the theater. Only it is clearer, you are more agile. I can’t wait to spontaneously throw in another song.

“Suddenly I have a kind of campsite behind the Parade Tent, a family of fifteen people walking around in front of me. I feel responsible for it, I haven’t managed to be the diva in the caravan so far. I found the group dynamic exciting at first: keeping everyone together, hoping everyone likes each other, that it clicks. I had never done this before but it works and everyone likes it. I have my electric burners with me, my pans from home, an electric wok, my microwave, three refrigerators, two large beer tables. Someone else cooks every night, behind the tent.’

More or less? (1)

Put a voice on: ‘Well, my theater performance is called More…’ Continues: ‘Don’t you have that crazy song where he sings, ‘Don’t live your life like your very last hour’? And of course you have ‘Live as if it were your last day’ by André Hazes the Little. The question ‘What if you only have a little time?’ keeps us all busy. In my performance, I have tried to tackle them with the thought: isn’t it fear that drives us to such a philosophy of life that ignores the longer term? At least it’s getting smaller, and the world can’t keep going well either, so we’ll go with it for now. This is not a sustainable way of thinking.

‘I’m also full of the urge to be more, to want more and do more, literally to give our little bit more to the people around me – I’m a terrible person. feeder. It is in me to be afraid that it is too little. My father died when I was young, which has led to an eternal feeling in me: it must be right now, because if someone leaves, we must have a proper separation, there must be no arguments. Maybe it’s in the song That you are leaving. I know you’re leaving, but I just want to keep it for now, this temporary good feeling.

‘I would like to think less in more, or that it all has to happen now. We can argue today and solve it tomorrow, we can’t go to dinner now and go to a cafe tomorrow. Don’t always think that I have to give extra, because what is there is enough’.

Ghent or Amsterdam?

‘Gen. Since I lived in Ghent for five months in 2013, I try to be there as much as possible every summer. This year I rented through a temporary student studio. I live in Ghent as an elderly person. So hyperactive and full of energy when I’m on stage, I take it easy there. I’m thinking about a new show and reading a lot of philosophy-type books. Now I’m busy inside About freedom by Maggie Nelson.

‘Yes, how do people who say they have fallen in love with a city express that love? It’s all in the people who walk around there, many young people, open people, musicians. The language is soft and I just think Ghent is beautiful. At first I lived in Den Bosch and the distance to Ghent was easy to bridge. Now from Amsterdam it’s a four hour drive if things go wrong, but it can also be two and a half hours if I leave late at night.

‘I hope to be there four or five days in a row. This week it was only two days because of the parade. It’s short, but I think it’s better than not going at all’.

Kiki Schippers: 'I'm definitely a singer, but also a comedian.'  Statue of Eva Roefs

Kiki Schippers: ‘I’m definitely a singer, but also a comedian.’Statue of Eva Roefs

Just songs or also jokes and skits?

‘I’m definitely a singer, but also a comedian. I like things. The basis for a performance is the idea that I formed during the summer in Ghent, and the form is always musical. In the Parade program, I think every second I’m not singing with my band is a waste. But actually I want to say a few things in this program, go into the audience.

In preparation for my previous performance Where I went to try just stand-up to see what would happen. If I want to still be doing this work in 15 years, I need to make that part stronger. I was only allowed to sing when I thought: now I’m going to die, those people have paid for a ticket, they don’t laugh anymore. At first it was after ten minutes, eventually I had something in 45 minutes that worked well. I’m much more sure of it than I was.’

‘The Adele of the Lowlands’ or ‘the Dutch Bette Midler’?

‘Bette Midler! Once on vacation we only had one CD in the rental car and it was one by Adele. At some point it just becomes crap music, I’m sorry. No, it was very nice of Frits Spits to call me that. But Bette Midler, that was a compliment from Plasticinterviewing Jellie Brouwer at the parade… She is charming, coquettish, funny, dramatic and responsible at the same time. If I’m only twenty seconds into that whole performance, I’m happy.’

Discipline or talent?

‘I have an easy voice. If I don’t drink, playing the Parade three times a day seven days in a row is no problem. It was also easy for me to learn at school. I am not the sea ice who always had to fight hard for every 6. Discipline is not stamped in me. If I have to work under pressure or if there is a lot going on in my life at the same time, I give up.

‘I often rely on intuition and experience and usually feel: it will be fine. I think it’s a matter of focus. That’s why I like playing so much: it forces me to focus there. If I’m not forced to, the focus is everywhere. Then I have a hundred ideas and a hundred tasks, and thank God I finish a few. While I’m happy with the focus. A little more organized life wouldn’t hurt me.’

More or less? (2)

‘The premiere of More has been postponed five times due to corona. As a result, I ended up rewriting that performance 27 times with two different directors. As I was just on my way to our appointment, I thought, how am I doing today? Well, as tired as when the fourth date was cancelled. Completely empty, completely gone. Now that I’m in the middle of the Parade, I can’t think of going again in September More to be in the theater. A few weeks in advance I will probably have to adjust some things again and it will be different again. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also looking forward to doing something new’.

Leave open or record?

‘In the podcast Evil spirits I heard Erik Vlasblom, who used to be Toon Hermans’ regular keyboard player, talk about how Toon worked: as a kind of jazz musician. He looked in all directions beforehand and decided at the moment which way to go. I love that freedom the most. That it is not one hundred percent fixed, that you can always decide what it should be at the moment.

“I’m not really into recording outside of work either. Repeatability, reliability, predictability, those things are not my greatest strength. I always hesitate for a long time with big decisions. And I like that doubt. Keeping options open can also be perfectionism, I won’t settle for less. I don’t know, but I do know that I have a high tolerance for loose ends, higher than most people I think.

‘I just find my life so much richer when I don’t get into a routine, so I try to organize it in such a way that I can still go in all directions and have new experiences. I want to sit back and be stable when I’m 40, but first let me pick up loose ends for another six years.’

Kiki with band XL can be seen at the Parade in Amsterdam until Tuesday 16/8. From 10/9 she tours again with her performance Meer.

CV Kiki Schippers

1988 Born in Nijmegen

2011 The King’s Theater College, ‘s-Hertogenbosch

2013 Finalist Leiden Cabaret Festival

2014 Cameretten Audience and Personality Award

2015-present Nails with Heads NPO Radio 2

2016 Annie MG Schmidt Award for the song People wash dishes

2022 Third performance More and show Kiki with strap XL at the De Parade theater festival

Kiki Schippers lives in Amsterdam.

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