FASHION / Funny Boy

Micheal Foulk shot by Orlando Pelagio in Brooklyn, NY

Were you born and raised in Texas?

I was born in Versailles, Kentucky and then I was sort of "footballed" around the country for a few years while my parents separated. I grew up just north of Austin in Round Rock, Texas. 

Tell us about the spelling of your name?

Haha, I honestly don't know what to say. The story I'm told is that it was the result of a disagreement. Some sort of compromise to make a traditional name more unique or something. It's fun to have people correct me all the time. People love to tell you that you spelled your own name wrong.  

Where do you fall in the ratio of funny to extrovert?

I'm all for balance. Libra to the core. So I'm really very social and gregarious but, I also get so excited to read books and not talk to anyone. It really depends on if I have anything to say. There are certain people I meet that make me clam the fuck up. I'm very goofy, but as I've gotten older I sort of conserve my energy and joy more often. In my 20s I gave all of my energy to whoever wanted it, but that's unsustainable. 

When did you first have the notion of doing comedy for a living?

I've been doing comedy for about 8 years. I started out in improv and fell in love the impermanent nature of it. I've always worked out my shit on stage in some capacity. When I was younger I was in a screamo band for a long time. When that dissolved, after I came out, I found comedy. For me, comedy is all about lessening the distance between people. I met my best friend and comedy partner Vanessa Gonzalez through improv and sketch in Austin. I really started thinking of it as my main job about 5 years ago when I started my LGBTQ showcase Greetings, from Queer Mountain with my friend Ralphie Hardesty. We wanted to have a show that really pushed the gay agenda, haha. Now that show is running in Austin, New Orleans, and New York and I get to be part of something that provides a platform for so many queer voices. 

How was your time in Austin?

Being in Austin in the 90s and early 00s was great. My mom would make sure that I was exposed to all that the Austin theater and art world had to offer. It hadn't really been turned into a tech hub yet so there was still a lot of space and everything was super cheap. I still love it there, but it's changed so much in the past 10 years. Austin has so much to offer an emerging performer.  There are so many opportunities to see great comedy and music. And the food is so cheap. I miss how cheap Austin's food is. I never realized I would be missing grocery stores. 

Did you first connect with Alamo Drafthouse there?

Yeah! I remember going to the original Alamo Drafthouse when I was like 16 and sneaking into a screening of this weird Todd Haynes movie Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. It was all staged with Barbies and I loved it. The Drafthouse was always part of growing up in Austin. 2 years ago they reached out to me about developing some sort of queer programming for them and I really quickly pitched them Queer Film Theory 101 and they wanted it. Now that show is running in Austin and Brooklyn. I love the experience of "outing" heteronormative films and hearing performers talk about how Lord Of The Rings gave them boners and why Bring It On tells a subversive queer narrative. I'm so interested in the queerness that people squeeze out of something. 

What is your favorite queer film of all time?

I loved Moonlight so much. I had never seen a film that so delicately and earnestly told a story like that. When I was growing up I watched this movie called The Broken Hearts Club all of the time. It's not necessarily "good", haha, but it was very special to me. And I'll always sob while watching Fried Green Tomatoes. That and The Outsiders were my earliest subversively queer narratives. Like, they're both obviously about queer love, but it's never confirmed verbally. 

pants by Brooklyn Industries, shirt by 7 Diamonds / hat by DNO / jeans by Joe's, vintage tank top / long johns by H&M / socks by Soxnet, shorteralls by Topman