Berlin-Liliana Velasquez Montoya is probably best described as a performer and multi-talent: dancer, comedian, artist. The Colombian native relocated to Berlin from New York in 2014.
How are you coping with not being able to perform?
Who said I am not performing? I have been performing in my living room since age three. My balcony is a stage and Neukölln is my audience. I have continued to train in dance and comedy as we adapt to the pandemic rules. Fortunately, I spent the summer working with the BadBruises team in a SUPER COVID rule-following, interactive theatre piece called "OVERMORROW". The design was brilliant and allowed us to perform for groups of two-four people by appointment and with distancing. The way our community adapted and continued to create reminded me that we are evolutionary even in art. We stood together as a team to create our own work after society decided the arts did not matter. We provided an income for so many and are now brainstorming as to what is next because the bills keep coming and the theatres are shut down.
What do you miss during the corona pandemic?
The rolling laughter of large crowds. Going on tour with our show Pussy Powered Protest! The adrenaline rush of standing by the stage before you jump on. The knowledge and power of growth when you bomb! The audience reminding you that, hey you really speak to me! Thank you for being vulnerable on stage and being strong in life.
What have you been working on creatively during lockdown?
I purchased a stripper pole. I figured most comedians tell jokes at strip clubs anyway, so why not get into top lockdown shape and tickle your funny bone at the same time. Bonus: sex sells even when it's the end of the world zombie apocalypse ;).
Any recommendations on what do in Berlin during lockdown to fight boredom and stay sane?
Make lists of the things that bring you joy. Stretch that body out, make the blood flow and use your imagination. Find your own routine.
What are you looking forward to most when the pandemic is over?
Dancing, dancing, dancing. Hugging people with force. Making full audiences laugh till they cry. Some kinky stuff with consensual strangers.