PuSh Blog

PuShy Questions with Ursula Martinez from Free Admission

January 14, 2020

Ursula Martinez is the creator and performer of Free Admission, showing at the Scotiabank Dance Centre from January 31-February 2. Click here for tickets and more show information. She also presented at last years’ festival as the director of the sold-out 2019 Club PuSh show Triple Threat.

1) What motivates your work as an artist?

I guess when an artist starts to make work, it is usually because there is a strong desire or need to express oneself in some way. As you continue to make work, at some point that strong desire might start to feel less intense, not because the desire is less, but because with time and experience the feeling becomes more and more familiar….. more normal. It might start to feel like you simply make work because you are an artist, and that’s what you do.

2) What does being part of PuSh 2020 represent for you?

Bringing my work to a new country, to new audiences, and getting to experience one of the consistently high ranking most livable cities in the world.

3) Is there anything you want audiences to keep in mind while experiencing your show?

That humans are complicated and full of inconsistencies and contradictions, and that we are capable of change.

4) How might we see PuSh 2020 themes of subversion or vulnerability reflected in the work?

The show is called Free Admission, not because it’s free to get in (unfortunately), but because it is a personal, confessional show in which I freely admit stuff. Throughout the show I am also building a brick wall between myself and the audience. As the material becomes darker and more difficult, the wall gets higher…. it’s a kind of metaphor about vulnerability and self protection…. amongst other things. And there is a twist at the end. Nuff said.

5) What other PuSh show would you most like to see?

She, Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt caught my eye. Also I am a massive fan of Back to Back Theatre (The Democratic Set) and I haven’t seen this one.

6) What qualities do you most admire in other artists?

Innovation and risk.

7) Any advice for emerging artists?

Just make work, however you can, with whatever means you have.

8) What about Vancouver most entices you?

See my answer to question 2. Also I am a big ‘foodie’ and one of the things I like about touring is experiencing food and different food cultures and gastronomies. And I hear the Chinese food in Vancouver is pretty good.

9) What is your biggest art-making wish or fantasy (if money were no object)?

I’m quite a realist…… my aspirations are never hugely ‘fantastical’. I’ve had an idea recently that I’m hoping to realize later this year.

Click here for Free Admission tickets and more show information.


Writer, performer and director Ursula Martinez hails from the U.K. She was quick to rise on the London cabaret scene, and soon thereafter came into prominence in the theatre world with shows including A Family Outing. She is an associate artist with the performance group Duckie; their C’est Duckie! won them an Olivier Award.

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