I last posted in September with big plans for streamlining the blog, actually writing something for a change but then I got confused and distracted. Writing just didn’t seem to be high on my list of priorities, but some things have happened and I’ve got a new love and enthusiasm for it.
So firstly, I got two part time jobs, one in Meadowhall and the other at Sheffield University Student’s Union. They couldn’t be more different, but I’m working with lovely people at both, I have a relatively steady, but meagre, income and I’m feeling happy again. I’ve also been making some of the felt pictures, more on that in a later post, and trying to build myself a social life again after becoming a relative hermit from habit and poverty. As part of my self care, building my social life and getting out doing fun things more…
…let me introduce you to The Sparkle Dress:
The Sparkle Dress was something I saw online one day in September but couldn’t think of obtaining. I got a job and The Sparkle dress became something I gazed at as I walked past Simply Be on my way to work. The Sparkle Dress called to me because it had all the colours of my hair. The Sparkle Dress was something I couldn’t afford because I had to pay for other, less frivolous things, like rent and food and travel to work and Netflix.
I bought it on sale, no refunds because it was a bit broken (something I could easily stitch up. It made me so happy to get it and wear it to Christmas. At Christmas I got a ticket for Greg Davies’ show ‘You Magnificent Beast’ as a present – thanks Liz and Richard. I decided that the Sparkle Dress should not just be worn once, but should be worn out and where better to dress as a giant glitter ball from G.A.Y. than a show called ‘You Magnificent Beast’?
On the 28th of January I took a train to Leicester, put on The Sparkle Dress and some make up and headed to the show. It was brilliant, I’ve loved Greg Davies’ work since We Are Klang and the DVDs of his shows had made me cry with laughter. I don’t want to talk to much about ‘You Magnificent Beast’ because he’s likely to film it and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it was so good. And I was sat, on my own, amongst strangers all laughing at a very silly man telling stories about his life. In a sparkly dress that matches my hair and feeling good about myself and my choices for the first time in ages.
Afterwards I was sitting, waiting for my taxi, when a couple of other audience members came up to me and told me that they’d spotted me in the crowd and I’d really made them smile, because they could see the sparkles in the dark and now they could see that it matched my hair. It was really lovely to hear that from them.
Last year I only went to two comedy shows – Jeremy Hardy and Adam Hills. This year I’ve already been to one and I’d like to see more. I think it’s good for my positive mental health to get out more, laugh more and discover more brilliant acts, so I’ve invented for myself:
The Sparkle Dress Challenge 2018
The challenge involves me going to comedy gigs, either on my own, or with others, at least once a month, wearing The Sparkle Dress. Where possible I would like to get a picture with the act(s) – I’ve already failed that part for January because I didn’t get to meet Greg – and I will the write a bit about it afterwards.
So why The Sparkle Dress?
1. The dress means that I will be seen. In my darkest moments with depression I have felt invisible, even when lovely people around me try to assure me that I’m not, but when you have a mental health issue, it’s hard to hear that.
2. The dress makes me feel confident and when you are going to things on your own, that can really help!
3. By aiming to go to at least one gig a month I am supporting artists that I admire and I am leaving the house for something other than work and buying food. I’ll also, hopefully, start to meet some new people and widen my circle of friends in Sheffield. Perhaps the dress will be a bit of a talking point as it was in Leicester.
4. It’s just an awesome dress and I like wearing it!
My main sources of information currently on newer, diverse acts are three podcasts that I love and spend probably far too much time on – Made of Human, The Guilty Feminist and Global Pillage. These shows have given a platform to many fantastic performers that I might not have come across because they don’t always get exposure on mainstream TV. I’m going to try and see the guests from these podcasts if they are here over the next year.
I’m looking for something for Feb and John Kearns is performing locally on my birthday, so I think that’s a shoe in. Josie Long, Grace Petrie, and Jonny and the Baptists are coming to do ‘Lefty Scum’ on the 26th, so I’m aiming for that too if I’ve got enough cash.
I’ve already booked in for the brilliant Sofie Hagen in London for March and she has pre-approved the dress choice – thanks Sofie! I’ve also spotted that Sarah Benetto and Bec Hill are performing in Sheffield at the start of March, so that’s two outings for me and The Sparkle Dress.
But beyond March… I am open to suggestions.
Please comment below if you’ve got any ideas of people you think that I should see!