Interesting anniversary. Four years ago today I announced that I was dropping out of comedy for a few weeks. Except it wasn't as Julia Clement I announced it, it was done under my birth name.
At that point I was living a weird mixed life where in a very few contexts I was Julia & not in others. Tessa Clement knew & I think I'd made contact with Genderbridge. What I didn't say in this post was that my plan was to return to the stage as Julia.
Five weeks later I returned to the stage and without prior announcement to the audience stepped on stage as Julia and have been performing and interacting with the comedy community as me ever since.
As an artist it's been an interesting four years. For the first three I was doing material that was heavily influenced by my experience living as a transgender woman then a year ago I came to understand that I wanted to address other sides of me and have also been doing more geeky material. No, I'm not stepping away from openly living as myself, just acknowledging that there is more to me than that. Reviewing a large number of old videos when assembling my retrospective show 10 Years A Comedian, 3 In A Skirt helped with this process. Yes, the last few months before the decision to perform as Julia reflected my pain and had some really bad sets, but there were some absolute gems in there too. It's pretty obvious that I've revived my DEATH character (no pun intended) from 2008, but also some of the more geeky stuff had ideas I have been able to rework and expand into my current skill level.
Another recent change is seeing myself not only as a performer, but as a producer. Doing shows in the last two Auckland Fringe festival was an interesting, if scary, experience . This year I'm doing The Grin Reaper in the Palmy Comedy festival with ambitions to tour it and we have recently revived our One Mic Standup free line-up shows but this time around we are not just trying to do a cookie cutter free lineup show, we have distinct ideas around the type of show we want to do that we are testing in our monthly show at The Dominion.
We're working on establishing the Performer Power identity for our production efforts. We have ideas where we want to take this, for now it's a case of "Watch this space".
To quote the RNZAF motto "Per ardua ad astra": Though hardship to the stars, or possibly through hard work to the stars.