I’ve always been laughed at. Not in any sort of spiteful manner, mainly, in an, I know how to see the light-hearted things, of things, so to speak.
I have only my parents to thank/blame for this.
I was the very much wanted child of, back in the day, what would have been classed as, older parents.
My mother was thirty-eight having me, which in 1985 was practically geriatric, so she says. Writing this as an almost thirty-four-year-old I’m now horrified at this notion.
But this isn’t about me.
Well, it is, but you know what I mean?
I was a very much wanted child, a miracle if you please. They’d tried, and tried pretty damn hard by all accounts, for yours truly. And just as they’d given up all hope of ever getting pregnant, a decade after they’d started, my mother came home from Menorca, marched herself into the GP surgery with the worst case of holiday sickness she’d ever experienced.
If this was a blockbuster movie, you’d all be shaking your popcorned stuffed cheeks wondering how in the hell she hadn’t realised she was four months pregnant, but this was my mother and the eighties, so anything was possible.
On the last day of April, smack bang in the middle of the eighties, I arrived.
All bug-eyed and brown haired and everything my parents had ever dreamed of.
My mother then had her first nervous breakdown four years after I was born whilst my father did his first dodgy deal approximately six months after that. Both occurrences that could be psychologically sourced back to me, Hannah Evans.
I’ll be honest, I had what one would describe as a blessed childhood.
I travelled the world, played in a huge garden in a huge wreck of a house, whilst Dad sold ‘cars’ and Mam kept my energy levels up with tins of salmon and boxes of Microchips.
It was idyllic and what made my childhood three hundred million times better, was, the old school marble mantel piece thing that ran the entire length of our very, very long living room.
This meant I always had a stage.
A stage that I utilised daily for various performances.
One of my personal favourites was my rendition of Diana Ross’s When You Tell Me That You Love Me, which made my nan cry. At the time I thought it was emotion but now, as I reminisce, I imagine seeing your six-year-old granddaughter, belting out a soulful, out of tune, love song, whilst parading on a marble top in an afro wig and her mother’s neck scarf, was hysterical.
Almost as hysterical as the time I refused to take goggles off and would only answer to Pilot Evans, whilst I told Top Gun like stories. Or, the many times I sold Avon samples whilst pretending to be a highly-strung woman called Janice, who bore a remarkable resemblance to my Diana Ross. (same wig!)
Janice was the most frequent, if my memories recall correctly. Janice and the newsreader that wold report off an ironing board, wearing a pair of glasses, minus the frames, about the terrible occurrences happening in Rassau.
If you know of Rassau or have ever been to Rassau, a small village North of Ebbw Vale in the South Wales Valleys, you’ll know there was a lot to report on.
Like the lamb that threw itself off the heads of the valley bridge onto the pavement, opposite the steps towards the welfare field. Or the time, Iva, the poor, harassed, bind bloke told us all to Fuck off.
There was the time a kid tried to get a dog’s sperm into an empty bottle of Fanta and the time Jodie whatever her name was rode her bike over the verge, off the square and convinced herself she’d gone blind.
There was, and I imagine still is, an awful lot to report on Rassau.
(For reference the whole dog sperm thing got reported officially, not via a kid on an ironing board but to the RSPCA.)
Anyway, what I’m trying to say, which could have probably been condensed somewhat massively, is that, it was probably in me way longer than the time I took to the stage to read a poem about a vibrator or got caught up in the remarkable world of stand up comedy, way before the time I went to the Senydd in yellow wellies and told everyone about how I went running in a balaclava and got picked up by the police.
It being the show pony.
I Hannah Evans, was a proper show pony from the age of birth until I went to secondary school.
Then there were many years of, still making people laugh, but in a way that didn’t really draw any attention to myself, not that I can remember anyway? You know, like most awkward adolescent girls.
And then a few years later, more comfortable in my own skin, married, a somewhat adult, I got asked to write a poem for the Great North Run that was put on live TV during the race. And it was up in Newcastle after ‘101 reasons not to run’ had been aired, when random people were telling me they’d seen me on the telly, I realised, I liked the feeling that came with the recognition. I’d liked the feeling of writing the poem and had bloody loved performing and recording it for the cameras.
A monster was born.
Well, not born, but the years I had been embarrassed about my shape, my nose, my entire general make up, it was that evening up in Newcastle, wearing dried, sweaty running clothes, that I realised a few things.
1. It doesn’t matter what you look like.
2. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like you, or what you do.
3. Some people wont like what you do or who you are.
4. No one should spend any time wondering whether they get on people’s nerves or not, or whether they are good enough or not, or if people get them, or, well, you get the drift, right?
5. If you really enjoy doing something, you need to do it more! (Apart from picking your scalp, apparently my dermatologist said I need to do that less.)
So, when I got asked to do some stand up in Merthyr last November, I was like, ‘oh lets give that a go then, is it?’
I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for having me x