Humans of DUCFS - Our 2020 Presenters

April 12, 2020

Our amazing 2020 presenters, Brandon Saint Catherine, Alex Best and Louis James, spoke to Caragh Taylor about their experiences being a part of the DUCFS movement, as well as what their every-day lockdown routines look like, what they’re enjoying and appreciating in these strange times and what they’re most excited to do post-lockdown.

Our amazing 2020 presenters, Brandon Saint Catherine, Alex Best and Louis James, spoke to Caragh Taylor about their experiences being a part of the DUCFS movement, as well as what their every-day lockdown routines look like, what they’re enjoying and appreciating in these strange times and what they’re most excited to do post-lockdown.

How are you all holding up - are you with your families?

Brandon: Not too bad! My parents live overseas, so it is what it is. I’m still in Durham with some friends right now which has been nice. We’ve been doing the best to entertain each other - my mate Rory dances for us every night which is jokes but I’m also worried for his sanity. Luckily, that’s normally followed by the 8pm applause which makes us all smile.

Louis: Pretty good, it is a bit gutting to miss out on a few things and obviously was hoping to head back next term, but at least the dog’s happy we’re all home. I hadn’t seen much of the clan for a while so it is nice to be back, for now at least.

Alex: Hasn’t been the funnest few days I have to say, have had all my deadlines
pushed back until now so pretty dull stuff. Lovely to see the family though and I
agree with Louis here - the dogs are thrilled. 

What does your day-to-day lockdown routine look like?

Louis: Pretty much the same every day. Up at 8:30, attempt to work through till around 17:00, go for a run, supper, and then spend the evening in the Gulag.

Brandon: It normally goes something like wake up. pray. work. footy (round the back of our house don’t worry). And then one of the girls prepares a massive meal for us all. She wants me to credit her food instagram so here you go: @beaeatsworld

Alex: Wake up bright and early, work for most of the day, football with the dogs (it’s got to that point), then spend the evening up the fam. Once my work is over I want to do all the fun quarantine stuff like puzzles. Something to look forward to! 

If you could sum up your lockdown style in three words, what would they be?

Alex: Diss-Er-Tation. 

Brandon: Hold it down.

Louis: Haven’t unpacked suitcase.

How are you keeping motivated?

Brandon: Getting to sleep and waking up at a normal time sets me straight.

Alex: Doing daily walks to get some fresh air. Trying to eat super healthy as well - a first! 

Louis: All my essays are due in at the start of May so that’s definitely a motivator. So yeh, I feel like I’ve got plenty to be getting on with. 

What are you appreciating at the moment? 

Brandon: Shout out all my key workers - risking their lives everyday and putting the rest of the country on their shoulders. Salute.  

Louis: Living out in the sticks: plenty of space and I’m already quite well practiced at doing nothing and seeing no-one when I’m home. The village shop also seems to be the best-stocked in England at the moment so that’s a plus.

Alex: Seems like there’s a pattern here - but yeah I’m just really enjoying the fresh air! I live in Switzerland so looking at the mountains is always pretty humbling. 

What have you been reading/watching/listening to recently?

Alex: my diss, my summative, chuck in some lecture notes in there, absolute tunanees. 

Brandon: The freedom to play music 24/7 is a blessing especially with the amount that’s been dropping. The new strokes album is pretty sick. Skepta, Chip and Young Adz put together an instant classic of an album. New Bob Dylan! A lot of Fred Hammond and Robohands getting played too. 

Louis: Tiger King and Dub Side of the Moon.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past term and on DUCFS 2020 - do you have a standout memory from the 2020 shows/DUCFS 2020 more widely?

Brandon: Louis’s yo mama joke will go down as one of the greatest moments of all time, the ballet was beautiful too, but my favourite has to be Melissa Frateantonio and Jake de Glanville opening the show.

Louis: It’s a pretty easy one for me, running out on stage for our first entrance on the Thursday night. I was absolutely bricking it so it was such a relief and from there on it was so much fun.

Alex: Our last entrance, coming on to Chelsea Dagger in particular, felt pretty insane. It felt like the accomplishment of our hard work and much of the stress at that time had gone. Got a bit carried away though and choked on a VK. 

Did you ever have a particular ‘oh, wow’ moment?

Brandon: Louis and I locked eyes before that first entrance. That was pretty special. 

Louis: Am I allowed to say the same one?

Alex: Thanks guys.

How were all the pre-show rehearsals?

Brandon: I’ve got to give it to Alex, he brought something to every rehearsal that made Louis and I way more creative. His energy is always up, it’s very impressive. Lottie Dick coached us all and that definitely made a massive difference.

Louis: It was a pretty painless process - Alex falling off the stage aside - and having Lottie to help us with our performance on stage was a game changer. Rehearsing with Brandon and Alex was great, but they were both on about 7 meals a day prepping for aggression sessions, and spending so much time with them I did slowly adapt to their diet and ended up bulking by association.

Alex: Big up Lottie, she was incredibly helpful coaching us along the way. The rehearsals were all together, but we did most of the script over skype which was a weird but hilarious experience. As time went on we got to know each other better and from there everything just flowed. It all started one charming evening when they invited me to theirs for a Nasi Goreng

What was your favourite thing about being a part of DUCFS this year? 

Louis: People aside, probably the spray tan.

Brandon: Doing it with one of my best mates was beautiful. 

Alex: The whole experience was surreal really: the people, the rehearsing process, the performances themselves. 

What are you looking forward to over the coming weeks? 

Alex: Growing my hair back. Currently on a bowl cut right now and it’s not a look.

Brandon: More music.

Louis: Getting to really dig my teeth into some New Keynesian Economics, can’t wait.

What are you most excited to do post-lockdown?

Brandon: See my mum. For sure.

Louis: A haircut? My brother as a barber is just not cutting it I’m afraid. Well, he is, but you know what I mean.

Alex: A quiet pint with the boys!