A partial transcript of the Mammalian Daily Radio (TMD Radio) interview with Thisbe, hosted by Winsell Tamarin and broadcast live December 3, 2014, appears below. Please note, this transcript has been edited due to space limitations.
WT: Welcome, Thisbe. It’s a great privilege to talk to you today.
T: Thank you, Winsell. It’s a privilege to be here.
WT: I’d like to start off, if you don’t mind, by addressing some of your fans’ concerns about your upcoming tour and your career decisions in the last decade.
T: Yes, that’s fine. I knew you would want to talk about that.
WT: You embarked on a farewell tour some years ago—
T: Yes. 2007
WT: 2007. And—
T: And I fell ill and we cancelled the tour because we didn’t know when I would be well enough to resume work. And the Barkettes … particularly Estelle … had other commitments, so—
WT: And that brings me to my question. Not about the tour. About your relationship … with the Barkettes. There have been many rumours, as I presume you know, that you aren’t particularly close. Some even say that you aren’t on speaking terms.
T: That’s nonsense. I mean, about not being on speaking terms. Of course we’re on speaking terms. We practically grew up together. But, are we close? Who is to be the judge of that? We have all lived our own lives, even while performing together and spending almost every waking moment together for many years. We are our own Canines. But we care about each other. Deeply. And, to a great extent, we understand each other. Perhaps more than any other Canines could ever understand the five of us. And not just because we’ve been together for so long.
WT: And Noreen? What is your relationship with Noreen these days? I see that she dedicated her book to you.
T: Noreen is a very special Canine. We have a special relationship that defies definition. I was the one who rejected her as a Barkette, so I was the one who had to live with that guilt for years. I was afraid it would destroy her, but she is the most resilient Animal I’ve ever met. In the end, it was she who helped me to survive, rather than the other way around.
WT: So, would you say that you are close friends?
T: I don’t understand why you keep asking that kind of question. Noreen has her own special abilities and she has her own life. However close or not close we are, is our business.
WT: We’ll move on. What do you hope to gain through this new tour?
T: Gain? I don’t think we hope to gain anything, per se. We are continuing with our careers, after a hiatus of about 7 years. We did do a few concerts together during that time, but we didn’t tour. The Barkettes, themselves, toured and pursued other interests. Mercedes went back to school; Lorraine has a number of charities that she works with; Carmen loves to garden and Estelle has done a number of television spots. We have all been busy. We are not returning from the depths. We are all well and happy and ready to start a new phase in our lives.
WT: What did you mean when you said that Noreen helped you to survive?
T: As you know, I was very ill for a long time and part of my illness was diagnosed as melancholia. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I was frustrated and agitated a lot of the time and I took to chasing my tail. I didn’t know how to move forward. As I’ve said to others in the past few years, life is what happens after the credits roll and I found out quite quickly that I didn’t like it and that I really didn’t know how to deal with life. It was something I’d been able to avoid by working so much. My concerns weren’t of the everyday kind; they were all career-related. When I was faced with the sorts of things that most Canines … most Animals are … I didn’t know what to do. It was Noreen who steered me in the right direction.
WT: How so?
T: She visited me one day and gently suggested to me that there were certain truths about my life and my upbringing that I hadn’t faced head-on … that I had spent many years running away from who I really was and, even more than that, who I was supposed to be. She said maybe it was time for me to take a look at all that.
END OF PART I
Stay tuned for PART II: “I was made for the shows.”