I never would have imagined my life to have turned out this way at 18 years old. Now at nearly 48, thirty years later – I am constantly pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns of my life.
You have heard the stories about people who pursue performance/arts/writing careers?
I’m sure you have heard about the lack of stability in income, the need to fundraise and the need to live off the good will of the arts community and the arts consumer?
It’s all true. What is also true is that those things often make creative people put off careers or keep them as “hobbies”.
This July I made a huge decision and committed 100% to my arts career. I have a completed book manuscript in edits with a publisher after winning the 2016 Hachette Publishing Mentorship.
I have a non-conventional comedy show titled “Labelled” (part audio-visual, part theatrical, part storytelling, part musical comedy, part costume comedy) that is touring and doing Sydney Fringe and Melbourne Fringe Festivals in September. I plan to do Adelaide Fringe, Vault (London) and Edinburgh Fringe (Scotland) in 2019.
“Labelled” is a show about growing up different, conforming and finding our way back to our true selves.
It is essentially comedic storytelling of gendered inter-generational trauma and positive mental health through the experience of growing up “different” in the 1970’s and 80’s. Aims to free the audience of the need to label through a story told from a tripartite of sexuality, gender and disability. There is a strong emphasis on neurodiversity (I am Asperger’s).
I have been involved in community radio broadcasting and will continue to be involved in that. If you have followed my blog you will see a recent period of recovery from a stressful period and the decision to pack up and move 2200 km’s a little over four weeks ago.
Since then I haven’t felt better and my emotional and psychological health is rapidly improving.
I’ve registered with recruitment agencies to get short term contracts in my old profession of anthropology – pursuing work to fit around my arts career, instead of my arts career being made to fit around anthropology.
I don’t have savings or assets and this move into the arts as a career is a big risk. I am part of the cohort of older women who have had long periods of income loss due to domestic violence and/or disability and who may not have adequate super or savings because of that history. We are rapidly becoming a significant homelessness risk.
To be really committed to this arts career – I’m gonna be broke assed and always in need of support and I don’t know how long for – and I don’t care, I feel alive for the first time in years.
I have finally committed to me.
I have been in denial of who I really am for many years, conforming to old ideas from my family of origin and slowing dying inside by doing work to pay the bills, instead of work to pay my soul, my heart and to be able to give to the world something really meaningful.
I’m starting to source a little arts consulting money and I’m so grateful for that (thank you Kerry if you are reading this!). But it’s going to be slow.
My living arrangements may be with friends for the next twelve months, rotating between available bedrooms for periods of months at a time with people who support what I am doing with my arts career. I am exceptionally grateful to them for understanding what I am trying to do and offering me space in their homes.
So yeah, it’s a challenge, but never has there been a more satisfying, more enjoyable and more fulfilling one.
At the moment I do have a GoFundMe campaign to help me get myself and my sound technician and sound effects guru Tim Read to Sydney Fringe accommodation. If you can throw me $5 I would surely appreciate it! 🙂 #GoFundMe
Live a life fulfilled not imagined.