I began doing stand-up comedy about 13 years ago. My first gig I was quite terrible (but not totally horrible) and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I kept doing it as a hobby.
Eventually (After about 6 years) I was doing regular stand-up and storytelling. I did some of TV stuff (4 shows on C31) but still had no idea what the hell I was doing.
I was enjoying performing and especially the TV stuff, but it was never something I could reallyquit my job for.
By March 2009 I decided to just go for it. I quit my well paid government job (in the Arts) and went traveling. I spent 10 months traveling to a bunch of different countries in the ‘1st, 2nd and 3rd world’. This opened my eyes and gave me a lot of perspective, even though I still felt that I had no idea what I was doing.
When I got home I started performing in arts festivals. Beginning with my home town/s Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy festivals. I had no idea what I was doing.
After this I went back to the same government job (in the Arts) but my focus wasn’t there. I’d gained a taste for both; traveling and performing in festivals.
In July 2010, I did my first international festival - The Montreal Fringe Festival. I had no idea what I was doing. After that I visited and performed various shows in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and LA. Then I did Vancouver Fringe festival. I still had no idea what I was doing.
In November 2010 I returned to Australia and went back to working in my well paid government job in the Arts (why they kept re-hiring me I'll never know). This lasted a year and half but my heart just wasn’t in it. During this time I traveled to Japan and performed at the Edmonton Fringe in Canada and 2 Melbourne Comedy Festivals as well as many comedy and storytelling shows throughout the year. I still had no idea what I was doing, but I’d managed to almost balance a life of working, performing and traveling... It didn’t stay balanced for long. I didn’t know what I was doing.
In May of 2012 I did it again, but for real this time. I quit my well paid government job (in the Arts) and began my life as a touring festival performer.
It’s now April 2016. Almost 4 and a half years of constant touring. During this time I’ve done:
6 Melbourne Comedy Festivals
5 Montreal Fringes + 2 Just For Laughs Festivals
5 Adelaide Fringes
3 Edinburgh Fringes
4 Perth Fringes
3 Winnipeg Fringes
3 Orlando Fringes
3 Woodford Folk Festivals
2 Vancouver Fringes
2 Edmonton Fringes
2 New Zealand Comedy Festivals
2 Brisbane Comedy Festivals
2 Sydney Comedy Festivals
2 Falls Festivals
1 Singapore Comedy Festival
1 Wonderland Festival
1 San Diego Festival
1 Toronto Fringe
1 London Fringe
1 Calgary Fringe
1 Victoria Fringe
1 Boulder Fringe
52 Festivals (maybe more).
And far too many to count performances in bars, comedy clubs, tents, houses, galleries and dreams. God knows how many actual times on a stage talking in front of people. I tried to count just last year but it got well over 270.
I’ve been to over 55 countries (maybe more).
I’ve performed comedy and storytelling all over Australia, Canada, USA, UK, Western and Eastern Europe, SE Asia, Central and South America.
In this 4 1/2 years I’ve performed what feels like an average of about 4 shows a week. My biggest being 11 shows in one day in Edinburgh.
I’ve had great and terrible reviews. I’ve had audiences in the thousands and performed to 2 people. I’ve had amazing shows, sold out runs and shows where I went home and screamed into my pillow. I’ve been nominated for and won some awards.
I still don’t really have any idea what I’m doing. I don’t know what the next month, year or decade holds for me.
There are 2 things I do know:
1: I am INCREDIBLY LUCKY. I am eternally grateful for every single moment. I’m in a position in the world where I have privilege, respect, self esteem, good mental health and good general health. I don’t face the issues that any kind of minority does on a day to day basis. I am one of the very very lucky people in this world and I acknowledge that. I will NEVER have anything to complain about and for that I am eternally grateful yet also apologetic. I don’t deserve to be this lucky. There are so many people who deserve this life more than me. I didn’t earn it but I’m taking it, hence why I'm lucky. I should give more.
2: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING...
YOU, the people around me and all people I have met are what keeps me feeling so INCREDIBLY LUCKY. Seriously, EVERYone. People accept me into their homes. People help me. People tell me stories. People have made me feel safe in the unknown. Strangers become friends. Beautiful people enter my life every single day. I am constantly surrounded by amazingly beautiful people. Inspiring people, talented people, people so full of love that I don’t know how they exist, people so funny that I laugh at random moments in the day, people who make me just so happy to know them that my heart feels like it’s going to explode just thinking about them. I’m so so thankful to know YOU.
THIS is why I still feel positive. There seems to be a lot of negativity in the world these days especially politically and environmentally, but from my perspective I can’t not have faith in people. Maybe I’m naive? Maybe I only associate with a certain type of person? But because of this I have to believe that every person - and I meet so many people from all over the world - I have to believe that everyone is inherently (for lack of a better word) good...
If you know me or have just met me once then I’m talking about YOU.
YOU make me feel so incredibly lucky.
YOU give me hope.
YOU give me so much optimism.
YOU make me happy.
YOU give me faith.
I love you...
So don’t fuck this up.