Things I don’t normally mention (disability, neurotype, non-CV history) because they don’t define me, and because there are more interesting things to talk about. If you want the boring stuff go to the bottom of this page, or for my CV go to Linkedin.
I lost 21 people between the first Christmas of the pandemic and the end of August (2023). More since then, but I’m not about to update this every time.
High functioning ADHD (only recently realised this thanks to a niece. It explains a lot).
Also, my (low) tolerance for fools increases only if I see a way to turn my experience with them into a funny story. You have been warned..
Diff-abilitty – disability if you prefer. I choose not to see it that way
ME/chronic fatigue/whatever you want to call it. Mostly manageable except when it isn’t. Bits or all of me get tired at unpredictable times. I feel ill at unpredictable times. Compounded by other stuff that is boring and also unpredictable. When I’m upset it’s harder to fight this all. Luckily I’m a naturally happy person.
There are advantages, believe it or not. These experiences have made me far more empathetic, have helped me get my head around how it might be for people who are othered in other way, and give me more time to think.
Breast cancer survivor. Chemo. Mastectomy. Periodic panics about whether it’s back, but that’s pretty normal. Recently discovered that each grandparent comes from a completely different ethnic group.
Honestly I’m doing OK. It would be strange if I didn’t lose the plot sometimes. It would be strange if my memory was normal (especially since I’ve been forgetful since my late teens). More worrying is that recently I’ve beem misremembering things. But ADHD). If I feel that I’m still loosing the plot too much and forgetting too much a full year after the 21st death (assuming that’s it for a while).. then I will start worrying.
as hidden dis/abilities. Some who should know better seem to be able to carry in their heads a wonderful cognitive dissonance. I want to rant here, but won’t ’til I can make it proper funny. I believe I can mostly manage it, though whenever I tell others, I simultaneousy wonder if I’m in the same type of denial as the classic alcoholic. It’s not as proprortional, as simplistic or as balanced as this suggestion, but for the sake of argument I’d like to point out that for every mad adventure – and I’ve had quite a few – there have been weeks when it felt like an achievement to have been able to put out the bin.
And the bio stuff
Labels don’t suit me but here’s a brain dump:
I write, I perform, I dance, I take photos and videos. I talk a lot to people I like (they might call it mentoring, but it’s really mutual investigation). I’ve managed organisational and technical projects worth tens of millions of pounds, created marketing strategies and been CEO, Publisher, Managing Director, Programme Manager and more.
I’ve been Creative Director for music videos, supported artists at prestigious events, am an Artivist (proud to be a Trustee of Unlimited and Chair of What Next East London), am founder of DanceGRiST, have curated and presented multidisciplinary and dance events (proudest of DanceGRiST at the RSA which talked of how multidisciplinary artists make and express change), have acted and danced on professional stages, done 11th-hour management and production of an East London borough-wide dance festival and an online arts activism event with over 3,000 attendees over 3 days (remember IncArts?), run large international photography competitions (and won others, the most surprising of which had my images in a film by Mike Figgis), negotiated for photographers’ rights at the highest levels (on behalf of the NUJ and with the British Library, for example), cared for my mother and am currently cat butler to an elderly black cat with white whiskers (she’s over 20 human years and so demanding, bless her).
The last few years have been totally shit. Not just for me, but for almost everyone I’ve met. The next few years should be a time of healing. I hope that this blog, and the related performances will make a small contribution to that.