Precious Chong, the daughter of marijuana icon Tommy Chong — of Cheech and Chong fame — is taking her Yugoslavian alter ego to the Vancouver International Fringe Festival stage this weekend for a new kind of cable access show, Zdenka Now!
Why take part in the festival?
I didn’t get into the Vancouver Fringe last year, but I did my show at the Toronto Fringe and the Winnipeg Fringe the year before. A lot of my family is in Vancouver and my parents have a house up here, so I wanted to do it on the West Coast so they could see it.
Why should people watch Zdenka Now!?
It’s funny and weird and entertaining. I based my five characters on people I’ve met in my day-to-day life in Toronto. Zdenka is a real person. She’s a former Yugoslavian talk show host and she calls herself the Yugoslavian Oprah. When I met her she was a background performer on a Scotiabank commercial I did and I was like, who is this lady? She saw the show at the Toronto Fringe and she really liked it, thank God!
What’s your relationship like with your famous dad?
We’re pretty close now. Ever since I started writing and performing, we’ve found that common ground to bond. When he went to jail, ironically enough, that bonded us more because I wrote him a lot of letters and he really liked getting them. I was influenced by my dad’s performances but also went against it because I didn’t want to be like my dad. I wanted to be different.
Did he ever tell you not to smoke up?
He fully encouraged it! I was the boring straight girl, and my brothers were way more into it than I was, but I did get stoned with my dad once during university and he was so happy!
What’s something people don’t know about you?
I’m a stilt walker. I used to be in a group called Girls On Stilts. I’ve performed with Jane’s Addiction at the Hollywood Bowl and all my best friends are in the troupe. After Fringe I’ll be doing a role as a circus performer in the HBO Canada series Living In Your Car and you’ll see me on stilts for sure.