Just a little thank you to those that have booked tickets to see Gold Star Failure
This show means a lot to me and I’m super grateful.
I moved to Melbourne in 2018 to pursue more comedy and it’s been quite the ride. I know some of you reading this will be artists and felt the sting of the damage done to the arts by the pandemic. We are still here. This show is a lot of fun, but also nerdy. It’s like nothing I’ve done before.
Part of this show is dedicated to the idea that the world needs more thinking about issues and less outrage manufacture, less focus on ruining the canola fields for a photo, in a world where food security is becoming a real issue. While I sincerely hope the canola fields stories are exaggerated, I just feel these are all distractions are edging us away from working together and meaningful conversations about issues like food security.
However, I am not a perfect person, I’m a complicated bricolage of mistakes and trauma and I’m okay with owning that. I wanted to write a show reflecting that it’s okay to make mistakes, that mistakes can be the best learning of our lives.
There is a new song in this show, dedicated to the former Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It’s me being cheekily satirically critical. Everyone knows I wasn’t a fan of his, but as an autistic person I know what it’s like to be accused of having no empathy and the irony of the fact it’s not empathetic to make these statements about other people.
I have shit-tons of empathy, I just don’t always have the capacity to know when to say things that make people feel instantly better, sometimes my ability to find the words is just not there or I get it very wrong. For those curious, there is a distinct difference between effective empathy and cognitive empathy. Just because someone says the right thing only means they know what to say. I feel other people’s pain and joy deeply. So while some might be surprised to hear this, so I do feel for Scott. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with the policies he backed.
I can relate to the kinds of criticism he has received. I regularly misread social situations, get things wrong, say things that are hurtful while not intending to and I carry those failures very heavily. Then these same people saying I have no empathy say things like ‘hiding behind their autism’. At times I’ve even believed that myself, and beaten up myself for this.
I also try and make up for the communication issues I have, with actions, by what I do. I think that is more important than those who say the right things, but don’t do the right things. Even if the decisions I make about those actions mean someone else will dislike or even hate me for those decisions, I will do my best to make reparations.
So I wrote the “Poor Scott” song to poke fun at the politics during his time as PM and the chaos of parliament, absolutely yes, but it’s also an song about the expectations that we get everything right, all the time.
As much as this show is critical, it is also mocking the systems of power that put all the responsibility on a small group of people for everyone’s well being – and what an impossible task that is in a world facing issues like climate change. That’s what satire is supposed to do, in my humble opinion.
The show talks about the role of opposites in our lives, through a lens of debates about success vs. failure and how we measure that against social institutions and the expectations of churches, schools and even what goes on in parliament – under the heady influence that is late stage capitalism. It’s also my lived experience as a queer autistic person.
Before moving to the comedy heartland that is Melbourne in mid 2018, I had recently experienced violence at work and was pretty broken (and you only have to read this blog to see why). Nothing has been easy since (I was injured at work and then pandemic and my Mum passed away in May and I’ve got new disability issues to manage), but I’ve been putting my life back together – and even fully came out in my queerness since then.
Although it has some elements of my usual outrageousness and nerdiness, this show is something quite different to what I usually do, so I thank you!
I look forward to entertaining you and making you laugh. Thank you!