G a t l i n  P e r r i n

"... We’re all a little bit weird and it’s kind of nice, to be weird together." Read our interview with writer and performer Gatlin Perrin...

Gatlin! Hi, we are so excited to speak to you today.


Hello, hi!


We’re gonna start off with our quick-fire questions. What are you watching right now?


I am re-watching all of the Alien franchise with my partner, who is a super fan. And then after that we are gonna watch all of The Evil Dead franchise, for me.


Excellent. Okay, what music serenades your commute currently?


I am a big ol’ They Might Be Giants fan so, a lot of them. And then also, my colleague has just got me into Babymetal which, yeah, I don’t know why I’ve been so afraid to open myself to loving Babymetal for so long. It’s beautiful.


We love They Might Be Giants! Especially Doctor Worm.


They also did the Malcom in the Middle theme tune too.


Wow, fun fact! So, any books on the go?


I am reading Uzumaki by Junji Ito, it’s like a horror manga. That’s huge, and very, very good and gross. And I’m listening to Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died on audiobook. Which is also, really, really good.


Love these recommendations, thanks! So, let’s get into it. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?


So, I grew up in North Wales. I’m not religious now, but I grew up very religious. And I started doing, it’s really funny, ‘coz it’s the cringiest thing in the world, but it’s also great… I started doing Christian sketch comedy, for my church, which was so much fun. And it opened me up to the idea that I could be funny and that was a thing I could do.


I was also a theatre kid, and I think if you ever read or see any of my things, I think it’s kind of abundantly obvious that I’m a theatre kid with religious trauma. Those are like, the biggest themes. And yeah, that’s how I kind of got stared then I started… doing more. I dunno, I wish I had a more interesting backstory.


Well, we think that’s a pretty interesting backstory! Were the church quite a tough audience to make laugh?


Weirdly, no. At least the church that I was with, it was a great audience because they made you work a little harder for the laugh, you can’t just rely on ‘gross-out’… well saying that, I did, but I had a few characters I’d play each time that they really liked. One of them was a cult leader who was finding different ways of asking for your money each time… and I just had this long black cloak and hood that I’d wear. And that was the churches favourite character! I even had a little skull that had light up eyes. The pastor at the church as well was super, super into it. They let me have a lot of freedom. I think they’re only thing was don’t swear… that was kind of it. Everything else was pretty free range.


They were a good audience as well because they were very kind. Encouraging me to do things and I think it would have taken a lot for them to not laugh, as you were part of the church community, and that was the scariest thing of coming and performing for not a church community. ‘Coz it’s like… they have no stakes in laughing for me, they don’t care about my feelings and that’s… it makes me feel a little better because now I know if people laugh they’re laughing coz I’m funny… and not because I’m immediately going off stage to sit with them and sing hymns.


What would you say your work was mainly about and who inspires you?


I think my work is mainly about… I’m trying to think of a way to say it without it sounding really pretentious… it’s kind of the absurdity of just… being alive, and how weird daily life just is. And how absurd we kind of have to make it, in order to make it liveable. Like, we do some really weird things. And I think a lot of it comes from being autistic as well, and being like ‘Wow. Most of the rules of life are strange’. And it just is. I dunno, the concept of everything is weird. The concept of memory is weird. The concept of trees is weird. It’s all really weird! Like, this is the stick that comes out of the ground and helps us breathe. Okay, sure. And I’m glad for it. I want a smaller one in my room, and I’ll kill it.


I think my biggest influence is probably the podcast Welcome to Night Vale.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s like a fake public radio… public radio for the town of Night Vale, which is an incredibly strange and surreal. It’s very, very good, you should listen to it, it was a huge influence on me. As well as like, the horror and the gross-out aspects of what I do as well.


Nice! We will add that to our list as well. What would be your advice for someone who wants to get more creative?


I think my main advice would be, stop coming at things from an angle of ‘what will people enjoy?’. That’s funny to say, but think of it as like, ‘coz I know one of the things that held me back a lot was ‘I’m gonna write stuff that people are gonna like and people are gonna laugh at it and its gonna be funny and people are gonna relate to it’ and then all my weirdness was sifted out. And there was nothing unique to me either. And when I started being like, ‘Okay. I’m going to write the thing that I would like to write and then see what works’ and that in itself... like I had no idea how relatable some of my things were until people were saying ‘that was relatable’ and I was like, ‘oh, I’m so sorry’ (laughs). I did this one about not being able to sleep, and pushing pins into the palms of my hands just to feel something. And the amount of people told me they related to that. I was like, oh my god!


People are really going through it!


Yeah, ha. But that also in itself is really nice! Because it was that kind of thing, like, I maybe wouldn’t have put that in before ‘coz you know it’s not very nice, but now I think… yeah, we’re a little bit scared of being weird. And we’re all a little bit weird and it’s kind of nice to be weird together. And that’s my advice, don’t be afraid of that.


Such good advice. So, last question. What is next for you?


Oh my god. So, I don’t know! I have no idea. I’m a little bit everywhere at the moment. I write children’s books, and I’ve got something in the pipeline that I can’t talk about, but its good news. So, there you go, everyone can have fun with that, that piece of non-information.


I wanna be performing more and I wanna be writing more so… what’s next for me is my email address… so everybody reading this can contact me and ask me to work with them.


We’ll sort that out for you Gatlin don’t worry. Thanks so much for chatting to us today!


Thank you!







Follow them @gatlin_is_a_squid


Their children's books @gatlinchloeperrin_author

Thank you @gstillmoment for their beaut picture