“Hiding in plain sight”. I feel that until I was 45 that is exactly what I was doing. Then I found the joy of performing comedy.
My father’s father was a iron monger.
My mother’s father was a house painter.
My father’s mother was a milliner.
My mother’s mother was a “housewife” aka as business manager of a house painting business.
Working class. Blue collar. Not that Australian’s like to think we have classes. But we do.
I work in the white collar field of anthropology, I am a writer and a performer. I travel lots. I don’t aspire to the same way of life my grandparents did and most certainly not to a “settled or domestic life”.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved and admired both sets of grandparents and appreciate how different their lives were and that many of the choices I have were limited to them or not available at all. So, the motivations for how they lived had to be different as a matter of course. However, some of my ancestors would not have chosen a different course even if it is available to them – of that I am sure.
Yesterday I walked through the Melbourne CBD, where I will be working in the near future – thinking how very different I am to the last two generations of my family.
None of them wore parts of the female anatomy on stage. *Yes, I sometimes do wear a large costume on stage that is to do with women’s reproductive rights – but not always*
None of them went to university. They only travelled because of war. How very lucky I am and how very grateful to my ancestors I am.
And exactly how much my hiding in plain sight was linked to the identities of my grandparents and perhaps much further back than that.
We now know that some of our inter-generational behaviours are genetic – so that explains some of how difficult it is to be different from our forebears.
It also explains something for me about how different my course is – but how fundamentally similar it is. I will always work in jobs that fight for the underdog, the battlers and for those who experience disadvantage. Those are my social and genetic roots.
This might explain why we might feel as though we are “hiding in plain sight”. Trying to blend in where we don’t really feel we do. I think this is the source of much unhappiness for many people.
We need to stop hiding in plain sight. The world’s diversity is it’s greatest gift.
Stop it. Stop it now.
Be who you are.
I am no longer hiding in plain sight.
I am holding my own space – fiercely.
You can see my show “Labelled” at #SydneyFringe and #MelbourneFringe Festivals.
Sydney Fringe – Kings Cross Hotel – 14 & 15 September – book tickets at:
Melbourne Fringe – at the Hare Hole at Hares and Hyenas, Fitzroy, 24, 25 & 26 September, book your tickets at: