Anxiety, paranoia and sheer terror are all the right ingredients for a successful performance. Tonight I’m performing my solo stand up comedy show ‘Looking For Mike Brady’ for the 2015 Sydney Comedy Festival at the Enmore Theatre and I can’t wait to meet my audience, if not my future husband.
“The loveliest of faces are to be seen by moonlight, when one sees half with the eye and half with the fancy” Persian Proverb
With one week to go before my Sydney Comedy Festival solo show opens I’ve started having my regular nightmares. In the latest one I am backstage at the Enmore Theatre (the venue for my current show), which then morphs into a Wembley Stadium size venue, and for the rest of the dream I embark on a Spinal Tap-esque hunt for the stage I am going to perform on. In the back corridors and bowels of this massive arena I meet footy players, rock stars, roadies, other comedians and officials and I ask every one of them if they know the way to my part of the venue as, “I’m on in five minutes.” Everyone ignores me or laughs in my face as I grow more and more anxious because I know I have an audience, I just don’t know where they are. Every time I wake up thinking that I am late for my show or that I’ve forgotten to get to the venue, I have to look at my phone to check the date and time. It is always around 2.30am.
When I was at acting school 20 years ago, my regular recurring dream was being back stage and other actors coming up to me and laughing in my face because I’d put the wrong make up on for the play we were in. Then one grotesque looking actor would snatch the script from my hand so I had no idea which play we were performing.
I guess the recurring anxiety about my show means I give a rats about the outcome. So please come to my show, I promise to turn down the volume on my neurotic brain
There are so many parenting books telling us confused time-poor parents how to raise our rugrats that mothers like me get lost in the blur of DIY parenting manuals. As a shortcut, here’s a few parenting strategies I’ve picked up in my 18 year journey through smotherhood:
Sycophantic soft soaping
Bubble wrap parenting
Single mothers take a portion of each one and back off. If we don’t let our children raise themselves we will end up mummy-fied
In the lead up to my Sydney Comedy Festival show ‘Looking For Mike Brady’, I’ve been thinking about my comedy because people see me doing stand up and say, “oh I love that trashy single mother character,” and I think I’m just being me, the me I see myself as. So I don’t think I’m playing a character (she and I are very close) but some audience members who don’t know me think I’m exaggerating my behaviour. Now I get why comedy people are private, often reclusive so they can pour all their energy into their work. When I lived in London I used to walk past Benny Hill’s place and when I looked in his front windows he was always sitting very quietly by the fire, looking a little sad. To give out that much mayhem and happy I think you need to have quiet time to balance the fun and madness coming out of your head. Life is funny but not every day
I’m very lucky to be a professional fool. Wherever you are in the world, I’d like you to take a silly selfie, post it online and you can help the Clown Doctors bring smiles to sick kids in hospitals across Australia. Until April 2 (yes, less than 24 hours away), for every silly selfie that you post on Instagram or Twitter (or a public post on Facebook) with the hash tag #ClowningForKids, the Commonwealth Bank will donate $10 to Clown Doctors Australia. You don’t have to use your own money. Make a funny face, post the photo, tag it and the bank pays. So simple a fool could do it.
Share this post with your friends. My day job makes me so joyful I could almost turn into a happy clapper.