Adelaide Fringe Festival Tour Diary: Bad News and Caring Too Much

Trying my hand at "Skee Pong" on set with Jason Chong at Festival Fishbowl

As I was heading into the Light Hotel this avo to get ready for my show, I heard some news that rocked me.

A family member – a distant family member, but one whom I have extremely positive memories of from childhood – died. I was so shocked, not just by the news itself, but also by how very upset I felt about it. And selfishly, I was also more than a little worried about being cool by the time the curtain rose, so to speak.

For…upset or not, the show must go on.

I have had to perform before under circumstances where I was deeply sad but still needed to make people laugh. It was two days after my friend Chris Daniel had died and I was flown down to Sydney to perform in a filmed comedy spot. Prior to Chris’ sudden passing, I was elated thinking about this gig. But after, I was terrified I was going to get onstage and completely lose it. I didn’t. But looking at the footage of that show afterwards, I could see the sadness on my face. And it was one of the best gigs I ever did. Because…I just didn’t give a shit about it anymore.

Tonight was my first ever sold-out show; again, a gig I was completely over the moon about prior to hearing about my family’s loss. Only after? Well, it wasn’t that I didn’t care as such, but in processing the news, it certainly put everything in perspective again.

Really. This does not matter. How tonight goes, whether there are reviewers, audience members, promoters, whatever. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter.

The people you love matter.

Please allow me my cheesy musings.

Earlier today, during an appearance on the Festival Fishbowl online show (which seriously made me want to make an online show so badly. Just add it to the to-do list, imaginary PA Beryl!) Sam Simmons made some comments about not caring about comedy that really unnerved me.

On the Festival Fishbowl set.
Jason Chong and Sam Simmons getting comfy.

When he asked me why, I told him I thought it was because I had gotten to that place of not caring (post car crash especially), but then when things started going well the caring started to creep back in…listening to him go on about it made me wonder whether I was now at a point where I was actually caring too much all over again. About the wrong things, that is.

But after this afternoon?

I think I’m all good.

Checking out some street theatre in the mall.

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jennywynter Written by:

One Comment

  1. Franipantz
    February 28, 2012
    Reply

    Jen! Jen!! I’ve recently been having the same epiphany. After the loss of my sister I went the other way and after ‘caring’ WAY too much about my work I went a bit bonkers ‘cared’ too much about all the wrong things as a way of distraction that destroyed everything around me until I had nothing left to care about but what had just happened to my sis. In the aftermath I found a new job and at first I didn’t care to much, but the ‘caring too much’ crept back in again and started to be destructive to me and others around me again. This year, I vowed to ‘not care’ so much. Because, of course, short term work doesn’t matter in the slightest in the big scheme of things, to family and the people I love most. Every time I’ve felt myself care too much, to the extent I start getting upset, I remind myself that it really doesn’t matter and that “I don’t care”. Of course, I still do care and do my best always, but the emotion is taken out of it. The caring and drive I was occupied with was destroying me and the things I really cared about. So, ‘not caring’ has turned out to be a very positive thing, whereby I can take the emotion out of an issue or problem and start thinking more practically about solutions. It also means my spare time is not taken up with thinking about things that don’t really matter and that I spend more time being creative and finding the funny in every day little things. I’ve let go and everything seems so much easier. I’ve worked really hard to be everything I am, as small as that may seem to others, and that in itself can bring an ease and enjoyment in everything I do. Caring too much can actually put people off and make them feel uncomfortable. The more comfortable you feel, the more assured people are around us. Here’s to “not caring” as odd as that may sound. 🙂

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