Interview With Candy Tish; A Young Queer Greek Performer.

Moonlight Experiences met Candy Tish aka Candyna (@candytishh) from Thessaloniki, Greece.


Moonlight Experiences met Candy Tish aka Candyna (@candytishh) from Thessaloniki, Greece.  We discussed about his career, social stereotypes that still exist, nightlife before covid-19 , and future plans. 

Read the Greek version here! 


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Photo credits: @manrozou

What could you tell us about yourself? When did you start performing as a queer artist? How the names Candy Tish and Candyna came up?

My name is Candy Tish I am 21 years old and for the last 7 months, I have been working as a wrapper in a local restaurant. I say I would describe myself as a person who always tries to do what he wants professionally without always worrying about happiness. I am also very happy, and I always try to solve problems based on the logic I have. I try hard at what I do, and I am always proud of my work and the results. In general, I like to be constantly engaged in something. I started performing a year ago on my birthday in February at a club here in Thessaloniki. As a child I was always smiling, and I ate a lot of sweets hence Candy, Tish is the name of Miley Cyrus's mom and because as a woman she has achieved a lot in her life I thought it should be like second. Candyna is a name that was given to me by a friend of mine because in general as a character I am “simpler” and he wanted to give a sense of simplicity and so he gave me this as a nickname and at that moment I felt it and I liked.

Photo credits: @manrozou

Do you have any role models that you’ve taken inspiration from?

As a role model in my line of work, I like the aesthetics of Hercules Terres, an excellent stylist. Regarding styling, I would not say that I follow a particular role model, I try to have my type and style while of course using the inspiration from various people that I see on the internet - loads of outfit ideas.

Can you tell us about the process of creating your work? What is your routine while working?

Hmmm, let me first tell you that I have only done two performances because of the pandemic but I will give you an answer. When I have a show/performance I start rehearsals 1-2 days before because I want the whole show to be fresh. When the day of the show comes, I start with my skincare routine, another rehearsal, and then I prepare my clothes, cosmetics, and props that I will need for the stage. When I get to the venue, I get dressed and do my make-up there. I do a quick last rehearsal of the songs so that there is no misunderstanding. As a stylist for photo shoots, I deal with the subject of the project given to me start looking for shops to borrow/rent the clothes needed for the shoot - you need to collect all the clothes, accessories, and props and it may take some days. Besides, I like to go before the shoot to check out the space “connect" a little with the space. When the day comes, I will make sure to be at the shoot at least 2 hours before to set up the shoot area. When the models are ready, I explain the concept, what I want for them to do, and then we are ready to start working on set!

Photo credits: @hemnoid

Are the experiences of your life reflected in your works of art?

I think that the experiences I had in my life are not so much related to my professional life, so I cannot tell you that it helps me somehow, but they certainly do not bother me at all anymore. However, because of those experiences, I became more mature as a human being so I can say that it helped me somehow.

What are the main struggles that a queer performer faces in Greece? Have you noticed any improvements throughout the years?

The main problem with queer performances in Greece is that there aren’t enough clubs to be able to reach a different audience each time (referring to the LGBTQIA + community clubs). As for the clubs in general, I think that we should feel welcome by most nightclubs in the country. Because we offer impressive shows and most of us put in a lot of effort and preparation so most of the shows are just fantastic. Another problem could be that most people do not recognise us as artists and it is a bit annoying if you think about the work that you have done to be on the stage. Now I do not know the general problems to tell you because I do not let any problem affect my work negatively. In recent years queer/ drag performances have risen a lot so yes there is a huge difference compared to the past. 6) Now people are more open-minded to queer/drag performance and it has become very widespread. Even the youngest of people can be a fan of the drag / queer scene. Some people celebrate and see drag as an entertainment art.

Photo credits: @kennymisa91

Nowadays, is there more audience engagement in LGBTQ performances compared to the past?

Now people are more open-minded to queer/drag performance and it has become very widespread. Now even the youngest to very small mouths can be a fan of the Drag / queer scene. Some people deal with this and see it as an entertainment art.

Would you like to work in a country where fashion and performances are more widespread?

It is in my plans to go abroad for work but of course without giving up in Greece because this place has a special beauty. I would rather go to another country because both the styling and the drag performance are to a greater extent, so I will gain many more experiences in a very short time. I want to work abroad because I believe it will take many years for Greek people to accept our art.

What is your favourite compliment you have ever received about your style?

There are many comments both negatives and positives. Usually, I hear a lot of negatives like "slut" , ”faggot" and various other things that are normal to hear here in Greece when someone sees me in a dress or a short top. However, I was impressed by the reaction of a girl in Thessaloniki who initially stopped me at the temple to compliment my bag and then we started talking, and in between the conversation, she said so many nice comments about my clothes.

Photo credits: @kennymisa91

What did you miss the most about nightlife during the COVID-19 restrictions?

I miss all the preparation before you go out to the club, the pre-drinking moments. Moreover, I miss spending a night outside with a friend and probably you will end up with 5 people dancing until the morning and then going for a perfect bougatsa (Greek traditional food).

What are your favourite club nights or venues in and out of your hometown?

In my city, there are from few to almost no clubs that I like. I like Bequeer which is in Gazi in Athens, Lohan, because it is based on a project which comes from abroad. In Thessaloniki I like Ts14 which is a drag club located in Vardaris street and it was the first club I went to when I was 15 years old. Another that I like is the Enola in Valaoritou and the owner is a very good man.

Photo credits: @kennymisa91

We would like to personally thank Candy for this discussion and we hoped you enjoyed this interview as much as we did. 


Images provided by Candy Tish

Written by: Maria Tomprou

Co-editor: Paal Sidhu

Moonlight Experiences is led by a dedicated queer collective of diverse voices who are changing the perception of queer culture through curated activities and stories from the community. We are using the economic power of LGBTQ+ tourism to tackle the lack of black/POC representation in travel, and help amplify marginalised artists and sustain queer venues.

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