When life gives you lemons...

2020 has flipped my life upside down. In April I was all set to record my comedy special in a 400 seat theatre over 2 nights in my hometown, it was a dream come true. I'd already sold out 1 show in advance and worked so hard on it. 3 weeks before it, someone ate a bat. For the next 7 months I've been living at my parents home out of work, I felt embarrassment, shame and lost.

The realisation that international travel will be effected for a long time means my career and life has been temporarily crushed. Most of my work is overseas. The arts industry has collapsed and is going to take a lot to rebuild. It's beyond heartbreaking to have worked so hard for 20 years to see it all in tatters. Just getting on with it and finding a "real job" or to re-skill is a real kick in the guts, but the reality is, life doesn't wait. So many of my super talented colleagues who have only known a world of theatre and performing for decades are finding other work. It's scary. We're a different breed. We're not used to working for other people. I figured I'm not good at working for someone else, so in the current situation I decided while there isn't an opportunity to travel or work in my field as much as I normally could, I had to stay creative and keep working for myself. There's a saying that when it rains it pours, well in the last few weeks it has been torrential. The moment I decided to "get on with it" I have since performed my first gig back in 235 days (the longest time in 20 years that I'd not had a gig), I recorded another TV ad using CGI (keep an eye out for it), I took 2 nephews camping for a weekend (the longest time I've been responsible for little humans) and at the same time I have had one of the most emotional weeks of my life knowing that my best friend of almost half my life, our dog Lucie wouldn't be there again to cuddle. I've never cried or grieved this much, not for any human, the hole she has left is huge, but I also know that she helped me survive the last 8 months at home, it was her final gift to me to be there while things were at rock bottom and I'm glad in some strange way that someone ate a bat, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to spend every day walking her since March. While all this has been going on, I had an idea for a way to keep working without working for someone else and to keep a bit of creativity and travel in my life so as not to completely feel disillusioned about comedy and the arts world coming to a halt, I enrolled in a cert 4 TAFE course in small business management (the first time I've been in school in 20+ years and it shows) I'm not a good student but I'm working hard to focus on things I've never had to do before! And in the last month I've been searching for and found myself a 12 seat commuter van (which has been a complete headache liaising with the car dealership, sorting insurance, licensing and a myriad of other things) but it is finally in my possession and ready to be pimped to start a brand new business which I'm super nervous and equally excited about (watch this space). I am certainly not giving up comedy, I am just not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself any longer. When the gigs come I'll be jumping at it, it is my one true passion to be on stage, so if you need an MC or comedian for a work break up or any event online or in person please get in touch, I'm bloody good and I'm desperate to work! In the meantime, if you need a van to transport you and your friends, family or work colleagues to weddings, Christmas parties, wineries, breweries, produce and art farms or whatever, then keep me in mind. There is a lack of transportation and private shuttles in the Phillip Island & Gippsland region and I want more people from greater Melbourne to come explore, we have so many beautiful places to visit, so many breweries and wineries and attractions, and while none of us can travel overseas (or even interstate), I'll help people travel and support local businesses. Gippsland was already hit hard by bushfires this year (yes, THAT was THIS year!) and with so many businesses struggling since lockdown, I'm excited to be doing something to help keep businesses afloat, not to mention give myself something to do! Over the next weeks I'll be designing a logo, website, business name, adding features to the van and lots of cool things, so I'll be doing a few polls to get your advice. In the meantime, word of mouth is key. If you know people who work in tourism who may wish to work together or have a venue that needs transport or maybe booking transfers for a wedding or functions. Help spread word please. And anyone willing to lend a hand or advice or recommendations with window tint, flooring, interior fittings, web & logo design, marketing, payment & book keeping et etc, get in touch. I'm excited but overwhelmed by all the work ahead and I can't do it alone. Finally, to all my friends and family in the arts world. We're going through a scary time (as if being an artist wasn't scary enough) if anyone ever needs to talk, please get in touch, you don't have to do it alone. You got this. Ps. It's my mums birthday today. Happy birthday mum. Thanks for all the home cooked meals this year. Now please move your car, I need to put my van in the garage...



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