The year my brain broke

2015 was a year of hard work, heartbreak and incredible joy. Some people I love and admire endured tragedy this year, we lost more friends to cancer and many of my friends lost parents.

In March, my Clown Doctor colleagues, Dr S. Duffer and Dr P. Brain and I had a lovely visit to Sydney Children’s Hospital with three members of the Australian cricket team, Brad Haddin, Nathan Lyons and the captain Steve Smith. Lovely blokes who spent hours with very sick kids, told corny jokes and when we took the mickey out of them they were great sports.

My mum went to live in a nursing home

I visited beautiful kids at the Royal Deaf and Blind School with Dr Noodles

In May I received a four-star review for my second solo show and sold out my last performance a the Enmore Theatre for the 2015 Sydney Comedy Festival Looking For Mike Brady

I didn’t find Mike Brady but I developed a crush that lasted all year

In September I wrote and performed my third solo show A Real State for the 2015 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival

The worst federal government in Australian political history realised they had to ditch the idiot at the top and replace him with a sly fox

In October I played Dream Cricket in Bowral with very special children

In November I travelled to Queensland to giggle, train, sing, laugh and be inspired by my Clown Doctor colleagues from around Australia

In December, I kissed a few babies, met Fred Nile and stood for the federal seat of North Sydney for The Arts Party. About 2% of the electorate voted for me

Then I spent an incredible night with Dr Boogie at Taronga Zoo for Dreamnight, and a week later flew around Sydney with a bunch of amazing families on a large QANTAS jet then had a joyful day at Bear Cottage

I shot two ads and did some fabulous corporate jobs thanks to my marvellous agents

The heartbreaking deaths of Sandra Bland and Miss Dhu taught us that we still have a long way to go if we want to end the high rates of black people dying in custody

White Australia failed to acknowledge Aboriginal people in our constitution

Sharks ate lots of humans this year, Adam Goodes retired and despite finding a Boeing flaperon, MH370 is still missing

In Paris, Syria, Beirut and Afghanistan innocents were murdered and suicide bombers went off

I spent another wonderful year being a fool in hospitals in the presence of beautiful families, while the mothers of MEB helped me parent. 2015 has been an exhausting and inspiring year of madness

at Sydney Children's Hospital

Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Nathan Lyons, Dr Quack, Dr Duffer & Dr P. Brain


What happened?

Thank God this year is nearly over. 2014 felt like a bad party that lasted all year, the kind of party where you turn up late and all the cool people left 20 minutes ago and you’re stuck with maudlin drunk people who don’t dance and only have one beer and a packet of stale crackers left. In 2013 I travelled to new places and made new friends. In 2014, the shiz got real; single mothering became the major focus of my life when my kids barely saw their other parent. These are the edited highlights of my year of slavery:

I dated different men, which became a social experiment rather than an exercise in true love

I finished the HSC (translation: VCE, O levels, graduated from high school). Well, my 17 year old daughter did but I wrote essays, made lots of food and threw some tantrums

Sports uniforms were big this year and the bills for the outfits were even bigger

My middle child completed her first year of high school without me sending her to a maximum security boarding facility for pre teens

I performed in my second solo stand up comedy show “Looking For Mike Brady” at the 2014 Fringe Comedy Festival and my darling friends turned up to laugh with me

I spent another wonderful year being a fool in hospitals in the presence of beautiful families

The Australian dream was flushed down the toilet by the worst federal government in Australian political history

2014 was a year of many tears, I lost too many treasures, “precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,” as Shakespeare put it, passed into the next world way too young. I went to 10 funerals this year. Two funerals were for my mentor and for my teacher, people who are largely responsible for my career. These were the only two funerals I attended that were for people over the age of 50. I learnt the hard way not to take beautiful young people for granted. I want to find a cure for brain cancer.

I found these words in the possessions left behind by one of my darling friends:
Walk slowly,
Water lashing at your toes,
Crane ready to take flight.
Wait for the tide to change

For many of my friends, the Year of the Horse was a year of heartbreak

And the world lost brilliant artists who made our lives happier, including Rik Mayall, Joe Cocker, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Shirley Temple, Alice Herz Sommer, Mickey Rooney, Doc Neeson, Phillip Seymour Hoffmann, Peaches Geldof, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Bob Hoskins, Stella Young and Dr Peter Spitzer who founded the Clown Doctors in Australia

I became an aunty again to a gorgeous girl and a fabulous boy

Two of my beautiful colleagues had babies

I travelled to Queensland to laugh and dance and cry and remember with my Clown Doctor colleagues from around the country

Malala Yousafzai accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and went straight back to her chemistry class

#YesAllWomen became the most viral feminist hashtag of all time

I went to my school reunion and reconnected with old friends who made me laugh out loud

Mary Lambert singing at the Grammys made my eyes wet in 2014

Two planes fell out of the sky breaking more hearts

Horror unfolded as the year came to a close in Sydney, Cairns and Pakistan

Sydneysiders and our visitors poured love and flowers into a memorial site in Martin Place to remember two shining stars we lost and to promote cultural tolerance. Our mission as Australians is now to replace hate with love

What a year! As Michael Clarke said at his best friend Phillip Hughes’ funeral, to honour our loved ones who have passed too early, ‘We must get through to tea, and we must play on.’