On “Settling Down”, Comedy, the C Word and Creativity

Been a while since I last blogged and a lot has changed.   Haven’t travelled since Cambodia (except domestically for work purposes), but moved back to Alice Springs and “settled down”.  Or my version of that anyway.
I realised that I kept running away because I was conforming (as a woman) to settling as being about the  mythical white-picket fence story.
Instead of running, I have dug in, so to speak, to reclaiming my identity, in Alice Springs; through getting serious about my art, writing and continuing to develop my stand up comedy.  Whilst I am still very passionate about my “day job” – it has become more and more about a means to an end.  The end being embracing who I am and not compromising that identity, least of all to any patriarchal concept of what my femaleness is supposed to mean.
My comedy and art are both about sexual rights, anti-slut shaming and anti-body shaming.  It is funny, but makes a point too.
No, I am not intending to shock – because NONE of this should be shocking.
This “settling down” for me consists:
  1. A day job where I represent a number of NGO’s to government and has lots of advocacy that supports those directly acting for those who are experiencing disadvantage.
  2. Four paintings, a series of stylised vagina paintings, embedded in nature.  Cause vaginas are natural you know – not something to be ashamed of and hidden.  They have titles that include the word Cunt.  TreeCunt and FloralCunt are the first two. AnatomicalCunt is the third and the fourth is yet to be titled.  The fact is, that penises are everywhere in art, why on earth are not vaginas?  Yeah there has been some artistic expressions and it’s growing, but honestly I am over the response they get as shocking.
  3. Stand up comedy that is about women owning their sexuality and has an anti-slut and body shaming context. Note: I don’t talk about sexual acts, I tell stories that are funny and about real life situations where we can choose to own our sexuality or be ashamed of it – and choosing to own it.
Women have the same creative rights as men and I will not back down on the language or medium I use for the fear of being reprimanded as not “lady like”.
So thus the title of this post – if it offends you I suggest you take a good look at the world today before you get upset about the Cunt word.  First of all Cunt was once a good word to describe a woman and her vagina in almost sacred ways.  Sure, it may not always have been flattering, but it hasn’t always been the put down it is now.
In case there are rattles, I do swear in my comedy.   The swear rate is just about 5% yet I know it raises eyebrows. I for one, am sick of double standards that say it’s okay to use it in a negative light and not okay to use it to reclaim it’s old value.  In my comedy I Cunt once or twice tops, and probably five other expletives.
A woman comedian owning swearing on stage and the use of the word Cunt is apparently scary to some.
Me?  I am scared of war, death and poverty, but not profanity. 
Like most things I do, I am committed to doing it properly.  I have been doing workshops and learning from other comedians.
Last week I had some professional comedy shots taken.  Cause I have a few upcoming gigs in the new year and I want serious promotional material.
jaccipillar
Jacci Pillar is my stage name.  Pillar was my paternal grandmothers maiden name.  Check her page out at  https://www.facebook.com/JacciPillar/
Some savvy friends noticed the middle finger on my comedy shot, instead of my pinky lifted while drinking tea.  Well done. 🙂 subtle but truthful depiction of my supposed contradictions!
Last week when in Darwin for work and as happens to me sometimes; I received a stream of judgements from varying people about what I should aspire to.
All from people I can’t tell to fuck off (for obvious reasons). I ended up feeling “lacking” (momentarily) – then….I came home to my much loved apartment in the desert.
To my own space in Alice Springs which is becoming uniquely me. And I didn’t feel “alone”, like some think I should. I came back to friends who don’t judge but support. I felt content. I am currently buying this space. Alone (yay!).   A man has never been a plan for me.
I really don’t want a partner…it is only when in the presence of other people who think I should I begin to feel “less”.
I don’t give a flying fruitloop what other people think…but like anyone I can start to respond to the pressure of “normalisation” that surrounds us as women.
Last weeks “settle down” judgement list looked something like this:
Be thinner.
Be partnered.
Don’t paint cunts or talk about them either.
Don’t be vocal about sexual rights.
Don’t be “picky” about who I date.
Don’t aim to be good at anything, just  average will do (this from a guy I once liked and am glad I didn’t follow through).
And finally, that I should “settle down”.
I am settled thank you very much.
Settled on being who I am, how I can best use my skills and abilities without having to end up a slave to someone else’s idea of who I am.
My judgement of these judgments? Considering I have had to hear so much of it lately? Stick your boring, mainstream, self-medicating white-picket fence up your ass!
Special thank you to Joyce Van Dijk Photography for my new head shots! Thank you – check her work out here