What a week. I don’t believe I’m out of line speaking on behalf of the entire clan when I say that we’re sore, tired, high, low, socialised up, gigged out, rocked in the spaces between and now facing a house that looks like a shaken snow-globe. Such is the roller coaster marathon of wonder that is a season spent at Woodford Folk Festival!
My Top 5 Personal Highlights in No Particular Order:
1. Debuting WONDERLAND!
With the first EVER performance of this new show (yep, the one that’s coming to Adelaide Fringe and Brisbane Comedy Festival shortly!) I was understandably nauseous about this one. BUT…I’ve gotta tell you, the moment the curtains opened, the band kicked in (they ROCKED IT SO BAD I NEARLY SWEATED PRIDE BEADS!), I looked over and saw the Betties being all Betty-ish, I took in the ridiculously awesome set (designed by extraordinardo incarnate Dan Endicott, who took my instructions of “Well, I know it’s crazy but I’d love a giant gum ball machine that actually WORKS!” and turned them into even more amazeballsness than I could have ever hoped for)…I honestly had goosebumps.
It was way too much fun. I’ve got plenty of tweaking (and more writing!) to do between now and it’s resurrection in Adelaide (opening night is Friday February 15th) but I am just so relieved and elated that WE HAVE GOT A SHOW, PEOPLE!
2. Hanging with Betty and the Betties!
3. Having Utterly Fabulous Hair All Week Long!
After 13 years of coming to Woodford (as a performer for nearly half of that), this one marked a turning point in that for the first time ever, I had a wondrous man of Edward Scissorhands-like-hair genius stroking my tender locks each and every morn. Even to be able to type that sentence is a dream come true. Derek from the fabulous Pink Salon (if you’re in Brissie you really MUST check these guys out) was on Betty and Jenny hair patrol and my oh my. I don’t know how I will ever go back.
That the top of my crown looked so well spruced came in particularly handy during a surprise photo op with Australia’s very own PM. Whoda thunk?
PLUS…Derek’s daughter and my own (who became little partners in crime around the festival all week) succumbed to the allure of the Betty hairstyle and by the end of the week, became our very own honorary Betty Juniors!
The Great Debate!
Doing the debate is always one of my favourite gigs of the entire festival, however it is also the one that causes the most turmoil to my digestive tract. Fortunately, being able to meet Rod Quantock (a long-time hero who, it turns out, is not just hilarious but the sweetest man) AND Kate Miller-Heidke (whose Mum I met at a gig last year, after which she came to see “An Unexpected Variety Show” in Melbourne, love her and Kate is as gorgeous in person as she is onstage) within 10 minutes of going onstage to debate my buttocks off, was soothing balm for the affirmative team’s soul.
I should also point out that I have such strong memories of being a punter in the crowd and watching these debates – they were my only “I cannot miss that!” events each year, and thinking how much ridiculous fun it would be to be up there doing it. Dreams can come true. They really can.
Camping With Friends!
Between the half a gazillion gigs, my favourite thing to do in between was as little as possible back at our campsite. Hanging with friends and family that we otherwise don’t have nearly as much of a chance to catch up with properly throughout everybody’s highly busy years, this was just the bomb. And that almost all our fellow campers had kids as well was organic icing on the gluten-free cake.
PLUS…Just Soaking Up General Woodfordia Goodness!
Last year we got home from Woodford and my littlest was all fired up about doing somersaults. This year? We can hardly pry the ukelele away from him. This morning he woke me up by singing “I love you Mummy, I love Ella, I love Caleb, I love Daddy, I love myself!”
Thank you Woodford. Til next time. xx
Cutting to the chase: If you don’t have time to read this post in full, the bottom line is that if you are thinking of supporting our Pozible campaign, PLEASE do so either today or tomorrow! It would help us HUGELY! Thank you! And slow down or you’ll tear a ligament.
So by now you’ve heard about my Pozible campaign to get my new show up and running and down to the Adelaide Fringe – or not. Goodness knows my head has been spinning so hard lately to keep up with all the plates round here, I wouldn’t blame you for missing that crucial nugget of news. Here’s the video of me explaining the whole deal (deliriously exhausted shooting it at 2 in the morning no less) if you wanna play catch-up.
Anyhoo, point is, if you are at all thinking about getting your hands on any of the rewards (see our neat little poster below outlining some of these goodies up for grabs & YES I can ship internationally, just check out the campaign page for details) PUHLEASE don’t hold off in taking action: because you can help seriously rock this campaign’s casbah if you PLEDGE TODAY OR TOMORROW!
So…why today and tomorrow? What’s the big rush?
Well, here’s the deal. We are on a mission to get as many pledges as we can over the next 2 days in the hope that this crazy influx of support may get us to the Pozible homepage as a featured project. (They calculate it based on which projects have scored the most support over the past coupla days, you see.) If this works, this means our campaign will be in front of the eyeballs of a GUTLOAD more people than we could ever be scanned by otherwise. So if you’re already thinking of supporting, but haven’t gotten around to it yet, please pretty please could you click over and pledge today to help us try to make the homepage?!
The cool part is that WHENEVER you pledge…you don’t pay a cent. Not one. Not until the campaign is successful (it’s due to end in December) so you pledging tomorrow or Saturday makes ZERO difference to your wallet, but a HUGE difference to helping us make this thing happen.
Alrighty. Here endeth the plea.
This is Jen “self-promo slorry” Wynter signing off, hoping to report back with some rocking “we made the pozible homepage!” news early next week.
Thank you and salada!
I’m so chuffed that in the craziness of this past month, a craziness which resulted in me forgetting to even organise anybody to take still photos for the show, the kindness of strangers has reigned surpreme, by way of an audience member sending me through these rather lovely shots of last week’s show.
We had a time.
One more sleep! Tickets are selling, rehearsals are all but dunzo, the camera guys are getting the set-up sorted for the DVD filming, plus I have set myself a rather insane task of writing a NEW SONG for “An Unexpected Variety Show” today. Yes, I know. Ridiculous. I am. Absolutely ridiculous. I kinda disgust myself. Ugh. But as some of you know, there is one cover song in the show and I have been meaning for ages to replace it with an original, so of course, it is only once the finish line is in sight that I am prompted to get off my butt and write it. I’m not the only one like this am I? Am I? Hmmm….
We had our last Betties rehearsal last night and by golly gosh, what a bunch of fine ladies I have the privilege of working with. Seriously. Love these girls. I can completely screw up the choreography, lose my kazoo, lose myself in my kazoo choreography and they love me still. And I them.
Bottom line, tomorrow night, whatever happens, it is gonna be so much fun. And we will smell like hairspray for weeks.
Kicking off from the ABC Radio studios, where I chatted about this nutty plan and comedy stuff with the lovely Spencer Howson, Friday saw us spend almost 8 hours around the streets of Brisbane with a prammed-up puppet accepting gold coin donations down her gullet.
We were very sensible – I had my back strapped, we factored in lots of breaks for stretching and resting and with the help of fellow comedian Damian Cosgriff, we were supplied at checkpoints with water, snacks and encouragement!
So, how did it go? Well, we got lots of strange looks, met tons of lovely old gentlemen – the most enthusiastic puppet-feeders of them all, it turns out – but…not a ton of cash.
Note to self: in future, don’t try to raise $ by gold coin donations. Unless you have a sizeable team of minions.
But the point is, WE DID IT. And I’m pleased to report that last night we finally passed the $8000 mark thanks to a couple of last minute donations, and with that, I am happy. I have done everything I can. I’m done. Now to move on to my regular schedule of avoiding the vacuum cleaner and shamelessly self promoting.
THIS WEDNESDAY! (Note: I think cabaret seats have sold out already but there are theatre tickets still available). Really hope to see you there and clink champagnes afterwards!
So….not to go all soapie cliffhanger on you, but I have to let you know: I have an incredibly exciting launch coming tomorrow.
Particularly if you have any interest in any of the following:
- “An Unexpected Variety Show”;
- Adelaide Fringe;
- the new show I’m working on at the moment;
- Betty and the Betties;
- parties; and/or
…if you’re into ALL of the above?
You’re about to hit the jackpot baby.
Woodford is coming up faster than my anxiety at getting through the next few months/my life.
But seriously, SOOOOOO thrilled to announce that not only am I coming back to perform all over every corner of this year’s Woodford Folk Festival – truly, it’s a highlight of my year, both in terms of doing gigs and the family being able to come along for the ride (they LURRRRRRVE it!) but…I’m coming with Betty and the Betties! Wooohooooooooo!
This will also mark the debut of my new show, “Jenny Wynter’s Wonderland! Featuring Betty and the Betties.” (Friday 28th Dec, 10.20pm at The Parlour.)
Stoked. Stoked. Stoked.
Now I just have to finish writing it! Up, up and away!
Writing and performing An Unexpected Variety Show has been one of the hardest, most thrilling, painful and exhilarating experiences of my life.
The content of the show itself forms an emotional rollercoaster, so it seems fitting that my own ride performing it, from the insecurity of launching it at the Melbourne Fringe where nobody knew who the heck I was, to the complete out of the blue delight of it winning the Cabaret Award at that same festival, to a rocking season at Adelaide Fringe, to even being accepted into a festival in NYC this year (an opportunity it PAINED me to turn down, chiefly due to finances!) to sharing the show with my daughter in the front row for the very first time, to performing it in front of my brother and sister on the night of my 10th wedding anniversary, to having complete strangers email me with their own incredibly personal and heartbreaking stories saying how it impacted them (AMAZING, SO honoured), to the excruciation of performing the same painful portion of the show night after night after night, has been exactly that.
And it’s that last bit – the pain of performing the show – which has brought me to the decision to put it to bed.
At least for a LONG TIME. And at least for Australia. It would have to take something HUGE (like NYC and actually having the ability to take it there!) to bring it out of retirement.
Those of you who’ve seen it will understand what I’m talking about. When I was writing the show, I knew that I wanted to do something different from just pure comedy. I wanted to do something massively personal, something dark as well as light, something real, something authentically me. And when I first started performing the piece – and people started responding – I was so happy to go there.
But earlier this year it got to a point where I felt like performing this piece was starting to hurt me. I’m specifically talking about the material about my mum and her very sad premature death. It was like going over the same wound night after night after night – OR, I could switch off my emotions to protect myself, only then the performance itself felt disconnected. Do you suffer for your art or does your art make you suffer? Where do you draw the line?
Well, I’m drawing it here. I have started writing my next show – one which I’m already getting ridiculously excited about, it’s going to be massively musical, interactive and SILLY! – and in the name of moving forward, have decided that I want to give An Unexpected Variety Show a fitting farewell in front of a supportive homecrowd, record it onto DVD so that any who wish to see it, still can! That this final Aussie performance will be part of the Brisbane Cabaret Festival at the scrumptious Judith Wright Centre is just a GODSEND. It really is going to be magical.
To all who have supported the show thus far, I want to say a huge thank you. Whether you’ve bought a ticket, facebooked it, tweeted it, reviewed it, told your friends to come see it, messaged me, approached me, or even just sent a positive thought this way, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! Any performer who gets a show up and running on a shoestring knows how bloody all-consuming it is. When I’ve been on the downward spiral on the coaster, these little nuggets of support have totally gotten me through.
I’m so proud of the show. And I will be proud as I wave it goodbye.
Wanna join me?
Tickets here. (Just click on my head on the poster!)
Just over four days to go, and the official tally as of tonight is: $3096.50.
Meaning of course: just under 7k to raise in the next four days.
Am I insane to still be thinking it is actually possible?
Of course, it still requires an element of magic – however, with several significant events planned this weekend alone (cabaret, comedy, and a garage sale among them: you can click here if you’re keen on the full details) so long as they perform well & with a bit of luck on the donation side in the coming days (by my calculations I need to muster up another $1k in donations, with the events taking care of the rest): I REALLY DO BELIEVE IT’S STILL POSSIBLE.
Likely? No. Ambitious? Totally. Possible? Yes!
Of course, come Monday morning, even that I have written this in quite a public way puts me out there as either:
a) a believer who got this shizz done!; or
b) a more than mildly embarrassed Pollyanna.
P.S. Donations will be welcomed with warm loving cuddles & metaphorical chocolate muffins straight out of the oven.
P.P.S. Thank you for bearing with me in this overwhelmingly overwhelming time of pleading, hair-tearing and fundraise-speak. Whether you donate or not, for that, I am so terribly grateful!