Fringe 2011 comedy blogs - Jason John Whitehead

The five stages of coping with trauma... and the Fringe

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This article is from 2011.

Fringe 2011 comedy blogs - Jason John Whitehead

This year my show is, on the surface, about the excuses that we’re always given when a relationship ends. Another relationship/heartbreak/anger in anguish kind of show but this time with a JJW twist.

A strong theme of my show has been the five stages that we go through when recovering from the demise of a relationship. These stages, or a variation of these stages, are applicable to any physical or psychological event that might be traumatic. Looking on the web, I found lots of people who had inserted their own stages in to the process, but in my opinion, 'drink loads', 'listen to emo music', 'make angry phone calls' and 'cry' don’t really qualify for their own stages.

The stages that I’ve concentrated on, and the most universally used, are:

SHOCK, DENIAL, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION, ACCEPTANCE.

Of course I’m sure you can picture how these are defined in relationships, deaths and even an old lady dropping her treasured souvenir royal wedding dish, and I certainly went through them when my relationship the show is based on ended, but I’ve also realized that I went through these five stages just as clearly when contemplating taking a show to this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

Like many comics, my initial reaction when my agents told me that the Ed Fest was just around the corner was indeed one of shock, especially since I could’ve sworn I was just drinking under the gaze of that frikkin purple cow just a few months ago … nope, it’s been a year. And so this is how my reaction panned out;

SHOCK

No! It can’t be time. Already? Really? No way? What happened to 2011? Oh my, another Edinburgh Festival

DENIAL

Well, I’m not going. No way. Its too much work, it's too long a month. I’m happy with my career, I don’t really need to go to Scotland to be judged like some student handing in his homework. It’s not going to help my drinking problem any.

BARGAINING

Ok, maybe I’ll just go for a week or so. I’ll just book in a short run. I’ll just go up and remind industry that I still exist but keep the run to nine nights so that I don’t drive myself crazy and for the most part I can avoid the media’s mind games.

DEPRESSION

Dammit! I’m going to have to go for the whole month. What’s the point of putting the uniform on if you’re not going to get in the game!? Oh man, I was liking the ass imprint on my couch, now I’ve gotta go to Scotland. It’s probably going to rain and I’ll be told of heat waves everywhere else in the world.

ACCEPTANCE

Actually, who am I kidding? I love it! Working every night to a crowd that wants to see you. Catching up with friends who are normally fragmented around the world, working solo like myself. Sleeping in the same bed for a month! (most likely). And stand-up comedy. I love stand-up comedy! GOOD EVENING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

Jason John Whitehead - Live at The Comedy Store (Sydney)

This article is from 2011.

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