There is a new plan for Jacci Pillar. However, for most of this past week I felt like I wanted to able to blend in like Wally. I absolutely loved performing at Melbourne Fringe again, but felt I was at an impasse. I had to cancel three shows at Melbourne Fringe for largely, sensory and chronic illness related issues.
After a little ride in an ambulance this week, I’m rethinking everything again, but determined not to let it beat me. I almost retired Jacci Pillar forever and had almost decided to just go and hide in a library.
But quitting is not an option for me, I love performing too much.
I feel like I’m in my own version of sliding doors. So, I thought I would break it down. Everything I had planned for 2023 has just been flipped. And that’s completely okay.
Sliding door #1 Comedy – had my comeback and I am really proud of the show. But it brought home how chronic illness and my sensory processing issues limit what I can do in solo shows in the late-stage capitalist hellscape that is performing arts, and I don’t feel I can tour or do runs of four or more shows. The plan was for more solo shows at every available festival I could next year. But that is now changing and all is not lost.
It’s not that I can’t do a run of shows, it’s that the environment (both home and at the venue) has to be perfect (from a sensory perspective and enough time for rest). Unfortunately, life with chronic illness (which includes a significant stroke risk) is too unpredictable for that to be easy to pull off. I withdrew from my planned Midsumma solo show run this week, which is disappointing, but necessary.
I physically can’t do the ‘Jerry Seinfeld hit the comedy clubs every night and that is how to do it’ thing. I’d rather just love entertaining people from time to time. I’d rather be alive than pushing myself to breaking point, I’m not that much of a fan of capitalism to achieve that the level of hustle that seems required to ‘make it’ in comedy.
I’m going to commit to shorter musical comedy sets at bigger queer venues once a month, from February 2023.
Sliding door #2 Home environment – I’ve been living in the city after living in quieter suburbs. My sensory overload has been managed by seeking quiet at home and limiting how often I am in high noise environments. But with construction next door for 2 years, that plan has become completely foiled. So, back to the suburbs I go, and I reckon I’ll be more actively coming into the city. I hope.
And finishing my PhD next year and part of 2024 is the priority, with comedy for fun. Which makes it more fun for people who want to come and see my comedy, while it will be shorter performances, they won’t have to wait for once a year. Plus, I will get more joy out of what I do, which is the whole point really…not only bring joy but experience it myself too.
Sliding doors and roller coasters. And another Plan B and C and D and E. Such is disabled life.
See you in comedy venues for 6 – 12 minutes of musical comedy fun from time to time.