“It’s gonna be a great night” We talk to actress Rosie Jones before her concert at the Homotopia festival
Comedian Rosie Jones is thrilled to be performing in front of a live audience again and she’s doubly excited to star in Queer, As In Funny, at the Capstone Theater this Saturday.
As part of this year’s Homotopia festival, it’s a celebration of “some of the funniest LGBTQIA people on the planet” – meaning all 8 out of 10 cats, The Last Leg and Live at the Apollo had to be there. .
“It’s gonna be a damn good night,” says Rosie, “because I’m a gay woman and proud of it, and it’s just great to have a party where every act is Gender Queer Spectrum, and we let’s ‘hello, this is something about us’.
“Even now people are saying why do we need Pride or Queer events, and we absolutely still do. There is still a lot to do in terms of homophobia but, also, it’s great to spend an evening in general, hugging our queer family.
Although she adds, “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, queer, or straight, you’re just going to be watching a bunch of funny people. It’s gonna be a really fun, really good night.
It’s hard to believe that about five years ago not many of us had heard of Rosie Jones, but the 31-year-old from Bridlington has made a huge impact ever since, as a panelist on some of the best shows. on Channel 4 TV, going on stand-up, appearing on his own prime-time travel show – Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure – and even appearing on BBC1 Question Time (later).
She went from being a television researcher for panels – and dramas, working briefly on Hollyoaks and living in Liverpool – to appearing there, which she never expected to be able to do.
“When I envisioned my adulthood, it was just me working in a local store, where my mom and dad would drive me and pick me up. I could never imagine living alone and having a job that I wanted to do, ”she says.
The barrier, she thought, was cerebral palsy which affects her movement and speech. But whether it was her sense of humor, or the determination that burned fiercely within her, it was one of the many that she’s broken or is aiming for.
“Growing up, I always had a disability and, soon enough, I discovered that people underestimated me, or felt uncomfortable with me, or didn’t know how to treat me,” he says. she. “Incredibly young, I found humor to be a great way to overcome this. If I made a joke about myself and my disability, you would see a sparkle in that person’s eyes, when they would realize that just because I was wavering and speaking slowly, intellectually, there was absolutely nothing wrong. .
“Humor played an important role in breaking the tension. But then running by that, growing up, I would turn on the TV and open a magazine, and I rarely saw anyone with a disability. So I felt pretty lonely in who I was – but I was still so determined, stubborn and ambitious, and I knew I wanted to be the best version of myself I could be.
“When I went to college, I thought to myself: how can I make a difference? Should I be a lawyer or a politician, but no, it’s a bit boring. Then I turned to TV because, back to comedy and humor, I thought the best way to make a difference was to go on TV to show that people with disabilities are like everyone else. world.
She loved her job as a researcher and “had a little bit of power” but, realizing that in terms of comedy, there was still no one “like her”, she decided to give it a go. “Doing the stand-up myself has always been a secret dream, but I thought I couldn’t do it because of my speech, that everyone would get to the punchline before me.
“Then I realized that if I was a little smart I could use it in my favor. Sure, they could hit a punchline, but that wouldn’t be THE punchline. I would use what I saw as my weakness as my strength. And it went a bit well … “
She still has to fight against the restrictions that society imposes on her, and against ignorance.
Rosie recently appeared on Question Time and subsequently suffered horrendous online abuse of her appearance and disability. But such a negative response unfortunately did not surprise her and only strengthened her resolve: “There are bad people out there. I get abuse everyday, but I know it comes from a place of anger and sadness in themselves, and I’m lucky to have such a strong friendship group and the biggest family of the world, and I am surrounded by love.
“It will never stop me or silence me. On the contrary, it makes me more determined to speak up and stand up for all minorities. If you are diverse, you deserve to have a voice; we are here, don’t abuse us. no, don’t condescend us.
It’s that same determination with which Rosie talks about her sexuality and that of others.
“Even a year ago, if I was doing a gig or an interview, I was like, am I disabled today or am I gay, because I can’t be both. I’m passionate about intersectionality because I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to fit into different areas of society and growing up in the 90s it was difficult.
“No one knew there was intersectionality and I feel like you have a tag and my tag has been disabled so all of my other tags had to be put aside, my sexuality and even , my genre.
“When I progressed in my career and reached the age to have more confidence in myself, I realized that I was not disabled, I am not gay… I am a woman, I am Rosie. Rosie encompasses it all.
“It’s like when I come to Liverpool. Yeah, it’s a gay gig, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving my disabled label at the door. I love who I am and I’m proud to represent all of these amazing different sections.
Rosie is in the process of writing her second children’s book, she has an acting role in the works but doesn’t dare say too much at the moment, and she has many other comedy and work TV appearances. .
“I’m so busy but love it,” she smiles. “I feel like I’m in a really privileged position.
“I had cerebral palsy because when I was born I didn’t breathe for almost 20 minutes. I almost died. I give my everything 100% because there is a world in which I have not started to breathe and I will not be there. I’ve always been aware that you only live once and I just want to make the most of it.
Book your tickets here.
Article written by Janet Tansley
Featured Image Credit: @josierones owns Twitter