Lolly Adefope | Women In Bars Reading Tarot | The Pool

Lolly Adefope | Women In Bars Reading Tarot | The Pool


Crisps, or nuts? Maybe nuts? The reading has already begun, Lolly, this is the first bit! Hi, I’m Caroline O’Donoghue, I’m a journalist for The Pool, a novelist, a podcaster and also an amateur tarot fan. I’m here today with comedian Lolly Adefope to do her tarot and see what she’ll tell me. We’re like two aliens who have heard of the pub and are trying to emulate what it is. Yeah, yeah. I’ve never done tarot before.
What is your experience of the occult in general? Absolutely zero experience. Where would you say your cynicism level is with all of this? Seven. But, like, I’ll read horoscopes and be
like, oh, yeah, maybe I am really nice. So, it’s 78 cards and this one is full of, like, naked ladies, like this one, she’s feeling herself. Ooh! So, in tarot we’ve got four suits and then on top of that there’s something called the Major Arcana, which is where you’ll get like the death card and all the biggies that you’re used to seeing on TV. Right. With that in mind, I’m going to ask you to shuffle. Is there an aim that I should have with
this? That would be good actually, yeah, so if you have like a specific question
that you’re looking to ask the cards? Guys, I’m going to the Edinburgh Fringe
Festival this year. Am I gonna have a nice time? Oh, very nice. So, take your left hand and spit them three ways. Remind me what your show is called again? Lolly 3. Lolly 3. Yeah, because it’s my third show. Cute! OK, now we’re gonna do seven cards in a spread that I basically made up. So, it is going to be like a horseshoe shape. So, your first card is gonna represent where you are in the situation. OK.
There’s really no need to be nervous this is just a laugh. I’m so nervous.
The second card represents the first step. Third card represents a first, sort of, struggle. And the next card is your biggest ally. And that could be like, either a person you know or like just something that lives within you, like Mufasa in The Lion King. Yes. And then your next card is your second step.
And then your second big struggle. And then your outcome. Ooh, these are super interesting cards already. I mean, it’s weird that we talked about the death card before… Is it up? … because here it is! Your first card, Lolly
Adefope, is the most famous card in all of tarot, the death card! No way! Yes, it is! No!
I’m out of here, sorry. Bye! OK, so this is like a really friendly deck, it’s called the tarot of the Old Path. It doesn’t seem like it’s friendly. Based on this grim reaper and this baby that he’s about to murder? Yes. Lovely. First card? Yeah, I know! I mean, it’s actually – I always see it as being a really good thing, because this has been renamed in this deck as The Close, which always signifies the end of a part of your life. OK. And also the beginning of a new one. OK. What’s kind of interesting to me from
what I know of you already, obviously we’ve never met before today but, like,
you are someone who’s coming out of a phase of being like the hot new thing on
the scene, kind of thing, but now you’re like, it feels like you’re getting into
this part of your career where you’re like, it’s not so much about like “hot new thing” but it’s about like, making the work happen… Sure. And it’s about like you know just letting a legacy down. Does that jibe with you at all? Or am I completely shooting in the dark? Yeah, no, I think that does… I mean, it sounds lovely to me. I find it hard to agree and be like, “yeah, I’m a legend now”. But, yeah, I guess so. Maybe… so, I’ve done quite a few Edinburgh shows and now I’m starting to do more
acting and TV stuff, so maybe it’s like an end to the live stuff. I don’t wanna say
that, though. No, of course not. I’m really interested in that transition because obviously the sort of stand-up comedian to film to TV or whatever is like a well-trodden path. Yeah. Like, is there like an anxiety about that, of being like, “oh, I’m someone who
used to write their own material and now other words are in my mouth”, is that weird?
Yeah, well, I quite like… I find it a lot easier to do acting because
you don’t have to write it and you just get told what to do. Yeah. And you don’t
have to make your own deadlines or things like that. But then I do also have
kind of like a small chip on my shoulder about character comedians and female
character comedians, because I think a lot of people think that they are just good
actresses who are writing some silly stuff that they can perform for themselves
and then eventually going to become actresses. Right. Whereas I want to be like, no, we’re all character comedians and we write our own material in the same way that comedians do, and we’re all writers and comedians not just people who can act. Yeah. So, that’s interesting. So, I’m going to die? You’re going to die a grisly death… Yes. And I’m gonna turn back into a baby. Yes, while an owl watches. Yes.
So, that’s what tarot is, OK. Yep. Then your next card is The Empress who’s just a lady giving birth in the forest. Love! That’s so me. I mean, it me. Yes. These tarot cards are roasting me. This is again one of these
classic tarot cards that, like, it feels like it means one thing but when you
bring it into the modern world it means a lot more. So, traditionally this was like, “Oh congratulations, you’re going to get pregnant tomorrow.” Yes, good. But actually it’s much more all-encompassing than that. So, it’s about like, being almost like pregnant with your own creativity… OK. And feeling like you’ve got so
much stuff coming out of you right now, a lot of ideas, a lot of ambition, a lot of
like, things that need to happen, it’s almost like, the world can’t catch up
quickly enough. Yeah. So, is that something that you relate to? Yeah I think so.
I mean, a lot more than the, sort of, the death card. I think my issue was, like, I
have lots of ideas and then I never actually write them or, like, make them
into something. Yeah. So, like, with my Edinburgh producer at the moment, I met up with him and was like, OK, so I’ve got this idea where… I can basically do
a very good Toni Braxton impression but I don’t know how to make that part of the show. Can you please do your Toni Braxton impression? I think the music has to be playing at the same time. OK. So, I have a lot of those that I just text my producer all the time like, OK, so what if there was a screen behind and it was a hologram of my head. And then I’m stood in front of the hologram and I’m doing a choreographed
dance that is the same as the hologram. So, I have a lot of those kind of ideas that he’s like… How big is your budget? Um, no. So, yeah, I guess yeah that kind of works. Yeah, it definitely feels like it works. And then you’ve got the
next cards, these are all very like interesting classic cards that you’re pulling. You’re a classic gal! Like a great car. So, this guy is The Wise One but in past
decks he’s often called The Hermit. OK. So, his whole deal is that like, sometimes people just get too much for him. Sure. This card generally happens
after you feel like you’ve given a lot of yourself to a lot of different people
whether you’ve, like, other people’s emotional baggage is kind
of on your shoulders, a lot of professional commitments, and you sort of lose touch with the fact that like, you know, that ability to say to someone like, I can’t do your show I can’t meet up with you, I can’t hear about your boyfriend
because I need to look after my tiny butterfly that I’m keeping alive in my
coat. Yes, finally! I feel seen. What’s your relationship to a card like that? I mean, all of these things are 100% true. Yeah, I think recently I’ve got to that stage where… it took me like quite a long time I think other people get to it earlier than I did but where I’m like, oh, you can not go to a
party and it’s very nice – you just don’t go. But when I was younger I was always
like, you have to go to every party and you have to be out all the time every
weekend having a really great time otherwise what else are you gonna do with your life? Yeah. And I can’t remember when the first time it happened, but I remember just being like, I think
I had like three birthdays in one evening, and I’m trying to plan how I
could go to all three of them. Right. And then I just… someone suggested not
doing that and I was like… What a revolutionary idea! OK! Yeah, and it’s just such a lovely
relief now to be like, actually no, I’m gonna lie facedown on my bed in the dark. Nice, man. And I’m gonna enjoy it. Do you feel that, like, essentially like a drag queen your job is to sell drinks and make people laugh. Yeah. And create a social atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and fun. Yeah, yeah. But you then have the pressure
to like, be that? Yeah, you feel like your personality has to reflect your
brand I suppose, in a way. Yeah. So, you kind of have to be this funny person all
the time otherwise people will be like, why would I want to go and see that? Because that’s what you’re going to be on stage. And also I think, sometimes I’m like, oh, do I want
to do a gig for £40 in Zone 8… Oh! No, I don’t. Whereas in the beginning I
was like you, should do gigs all the time because everything’s useful. Yeah. And then now I’m like, but I think it’ll actually be less useful cos I’ll have a horrible
time. Right. So this Eight of Pentacles guy, he’s very very interesting cos he’s like
somebody who works incredibly hard doing the same sort of thing over and over and
over again to the point where it’s both perfect and frustrating. Mmm. And that sort of strikes me as being very comedy, right? Where you like, you
have to do the same show over and over again. Yeah. And still have a delivery like you’re just coming up with it. Yeah, I guess so, yeah. And so
this, in the position in this spread, it’s very much like, your greatest ally is your ability to work incredibly hard. It’s very much a card of work
ethic and just, like, girl, you are like in the basement just sewing up your
little stars. Wow, OK. Like, making it happen. Yeah. But do you feel that with comedy you do sort of have that thing where you have to make it
like, perfect? Because it definitely is a card of perfectionism. Yes, yeah I
think I do, but maybe not quite in that way. Mm-hm. So, like, I can’t like write something that I don’t think is good, and
then just try it out. I have to wait until I think it’s perfect… Yeah. And then perform it. So, what’s like, the… I mean if you wanna do a little bit of character right now that would be cool… This is a character! My whole life. Everything is drag. Yeah. But like, so what’s the journey from like, you know, observing a kind of
interesting human trait about someone… Mm-hmm. Taking that and then going and making a fully realised character? For me, it’s a voice that I can do that’s funny
plus like, an aim that the character has, plus a flaw that the character has that
means that they don’t realise their aim. Which is probably a theory that someone else made up like 50 years ago, but in my head I’m like, I made this up. So, I have one character that’s, he’s like a cultural awareness guy who’s teaching people how to be verbally
sensitive. OK. So, that’s his aim, and then his flaw is
that actually he’s very un-PC himself. Yeah. And uses lots of words that he
thinks are fine to use because like, he has black friends and things. And then
the voice is based on a woman that I worked with who’s actually really nice
and is nothing like that person, but it’s like, “OK, OK guys,” so I just put
all of those things together and made it into this sort of, this grotesque man. So, there’s
one bit when he’s like, “OK, so you can’t say brainstorm anymore in case you offend
people with epilepsy, so you’re gonna need to say thought seizure.” Thought seizure. And that’s the kind of thing that you can say instead and that’s sort of the first step on the road to becoming more politically correct in 2018. I love, like this… the hand movements are so essential. So, all of that stuff comes, like, way after it. So, when I first wrote it he just, sort of, swerved around a bit. But because I’ve
been doing it for a couple of years now he’s just got all sorts of like… Yeah, weird little mannerisms… Yeah. They’re
really fun, it’s kind of like, a weird dance. Is it almost more fun to take the
piss out of male characters? Yeah, I think so. But then I also have characters that
are like, annoying girls that are quite funny to sort of, do like, weird like… You seriously, like, transformed, it was like Kafka. Yeah, I think it’s whether they’re annoying or not is what makes it easiest. And that’s the thing, annoying is something all the genders have in common. Yeah exactly. Everyone can be a pain in the arse. Yeah. So, then we’re moving on to the second half of your reading, we’re
talking about the Ten of Pentacles. And tens are really interesting in tarot
because its like normal cards, it’s like the end of the suit, so you come to the end of a cycle or whatever, and these are like people who… Pentacles represent
kind of, money – they’re like, “Oh, we finally have enough.” OK. It’s like, it’s not that
they’ve got like massive riches and wealth or anything, but it’s that
ability to like, look back at everything like, “Oh, I’m not gonna get kicked out of
my house tomorrow”. Yes. “I can afford an extra shot of hazlenut with my latte”. Yeah, yeah. So, like, I wouldn’t, you know, ask you about your money… You’re asking how much money there is in my bank account. How much money do you have in your Monzo, can you show me? But I’d imagine that there is… because I know you’re doing stuff in LA, and you’re in a show with Steve Buscemi now, right? Yes. Which is, like, I’d love to hear more about that please, but is there sort of a degree of like, “Oh, wow, things are really coming
together almost to the surprise of myself!” Yes, yeah, I think so. So, when I was younger, because my brother’s a very successful financial strategist. Oh, wow. And he went to Oxford and is a very cool guy, but obviously is doing really well. Yeah. Older brother or younger brother? Older brother. OK. Is it just two of you? Yeah, just two of us. And my Dad was a doctor and my mum did computer science, so they’re all like a very science-y family, and
when I was younger and I was like, “I want to be an actress and I don’t know how,
but I’m gonna move back in with you and not really earn any money.” So, for a long time I was kind of the one who was like, “Well, what is she doing with her life? Does she really know?” And now I’m like, “I’ll pay for the meal.” No! Which feels so nice to be, like, “Don’t worry guys, you don’t have to worry about me any more.” I mean, you still do, but… Oh, my God. Yeah. That is… I’m still waiting to get there, man. And I’m saying to my Mum, “Can you transfer me some money… so that I can pay for the meal”… That is so cool. So, like, what was the whole dynamic growing up, were you always the funny one? They’re
all quite funny in their own way, my brother’s very funny, so he introduced me
to a lot of comedy when I was younger. What comedy did that tend to be? He
induced me to like, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia… Oh, right. Arrested Development, lots of cool stuff, basically all the stuff that I watch now is basically from him. I think I was always influenced by, maybe just being a younger
sister and wanting to impress an older brother as well. Yes. Which kind of, I think, gives you quite a good sense of humour. That is definitely my truth, I’ve got two older brothers and an older sister. Yes. Whenever people are, like, “Do you get on with your brother?” I’m like, “He’s the coolest person in the world.” I know, I’m the same! Yeah, yeah. Right, so these last two guys that we have here, it’s super interesting actually because it’s The King of Rods and The Page of Rods
and Rods are the suit of fire and like, passion, creativity, making things happen. And so the King of Rods is somebody who… he doesn’t necessarily have to
be working on every project to be a huge force behind it, so he’s like, you know,
executive producer. Yeah. And then the Page of Rods he’s like, almost his little tiny son… Mm-hmm. And he’s about, sort of like, keeping an open heart
and like not getting cynical despite the fact that you may have reasons to become
cynical. OK. And just, like, keeping the love of your passion and your craft alive. Yes. So, I mean to me, this sort of seems like you could be going into a place where
maybe you’re behind the scenes in TV, or writing or directing, producing, I’m not
really sure – but also, it’s kind of like, almost a word of warning, like, “But don’t lose your true heart!” OK! Is that something that speaks to
you at all or am I totally shooting in the dark? I guess so, yeah. I guess there’s a
sense sometimes with comedy where like, I used to love watching Mock The Week. Yeah. And would watch all the time and be like, “This is the best, I love all
these comedians.” And now when I watch it I’m, like, “Oh, so this person’s on…” Oh, my God, really? And I can’t really watch in the same way. Yeah. So, I guess maybe if I did take that step into directing or something it would mean that the illusions of film and TV would be broken
even more I guess. Because even now sometimes, when I watch things, I’m like, “Oh, so the
camera…” Right? It sort of ruins the movie magic. Yeah. What was it like being in LA and just like really seeing the man behind the curtain? Was this for the TV show? Yeah. So, that was in Atlanta. Oh, right, sorry. But I went to LA as well. I think I just assumed LA because TV… Yeah, it normally is. Yeah, it was very cool. It was like, the first time I’d been on a set that
felt like a Hollywood movie set that you see on TV. But they were also filming
the Ryan Gosling space film and then they filmed something else as well, so it
felt very like, “Ooh this is like, the movies…” “I’m on the lot!” Yeah, exactly. “People have walkie-talkies and head sets!” Yeah, the little motor-cart thingies, like golf carts. No way, did you get one? Yeah, they would just like take all of us over in them. And it just felt very like, “Ooh!” Like, this is showbusiness. OK, so that, Lolly, was sort of your tarot reading… I loved it. Did you enjoy it? Yeah. This sort of threw me for a little bit. So, to sum up, leaving a part of your life behind, getting into a space of inspiration and ideas, learning to have a sense of self-preservation, knowing that one of your greatest attributes is that you’re not afraid to work really hard, being comfortable in the fact that things are OK now and not being afraid of that success or not feeling like it’s about to slip away at any
moment, because it feels like you’re pretty… you’re good, now. And then sort of like,
learning to sort of take your creativity and like ascend it to maybe a higher or different level to what you’re already doing. Mmm. But keeping the love alive, of course. Yes, yes. I feel like this isn’t Edinburgh specific, it feels more career general. Yeah, yeah. So, I’m gonna like, what I like to do at
the end of every reading is we go for a wild card. Mmm. Cos like, who knows? Like a note of advice from the universe at large. You can hold this crystal for no reason while you do it. OK. Then give to you? I guess, yeah! Oh… you’re gonna die. I knew it! No, this is actually really good, it’s the Wheel of Fortune! I love the Wheel of Fortune! It’s like, everyone’s favourite TV show! Yes! No, this is like, this is one of those cards that actually doesn’t come up that often but it generally comes up when people
need to be reminded that like, “Hey kid, sometimes you’re up, sometimes you
down…” Sure. “… actually your destiny is many times out of your control, and
things are gonna happen, shit’s gonna go down… we actually have very little control.” Yes, yeah. So, sometimes it can be a card that’s asking you to let go a little bit. OK. I don’t know if that relates at all. Mmm. Lolly Adefope, so concludes your tarot reading. Thank you so much, thank you. Why are we doing this? I don’t know, I feel like it’s cultural appropriation. I think so, yes. Oops. Yes, like, it was something else. Turn it into something. A fish. Great, OK.

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