EGO Performance | Ego Member Story Of The Month – Joy Dehany
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Ego Member Story Of The Month – Joy Dehany

Hello Kyle Here and today I get to do something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, I get to bring you an interview with one of my Friends and Fellow Big Ego Member Joy Dehany!

Kyle:

Hi Joy, thanks For doing this with me, how you feeling today?

Joy:

You’re welcome! I think I have the start of a cold, otherwise it’s an ok mental health day, thank you. How are you?

Kyle:

That’s good to hear, I’m pretty good! so can you tell me how you got involved with EGO?

Joy:

Glad you’re good. 

Yeah…

I was looking for a vegan cafe in the city, so I looked on my Happy Cow app (a vegetarian and vegan restaurant finder) and found EGO (when it still had the cafe) I had no idea it was an arts venue too. We were eating when I saw Georgina come out of the rehearsal space with some kids, I heard them talking about a show, so asked the waitress what they do there, as I was keen to find out more. I remember this overwhelming feeling of home, a feeling of calm. She explained about the different groups, the shows, and I was hooked.

Kyle:

yeah EGO is a very warm place I totally get that, so how long have you been a member of Big EGO?

Joy:

Coming up two years in May.

Kyle:

Wow that’s crazy it feels like you’ve been coming to EGO for a lot longer, do you remember your first session? what was that like.

Joy:

It does feel like much longer, in a good way! Yeah, only because it was my birthday and I didn’t tell anyone  I didn’t tell anyone last year, either everyone was so welcoming and kind, I was nervous, but there’s something in the air there, it’s like instant calm.

Kyle:

That’s funny I’ve always managed to avoid people knowing its my birthday at EGO too! so when you started coming to EGO were you apprehensive about anything?

Joy:

Yeah. For someone who likes to sing and act, I don’t like being centre of attention. 

Yeah ( I was apprehensive about) Many things. I was worried I wouldn’t fit in, worried I’d say something stupid. Or fall over, or stammer too much, or just be unable to speak at all when someone spoke to me. Panicked about joining in, panicked about learning lines…Worried my arthritis, speech and other conditions would be a barrier. Turns out none of it mattered at all, and they understand really well!

Joy:

As you know my hearing is a bit messed up when it’s noisy, so I still have issues with that. I’m not a natural conversationalist.

Kyle:

Very very relatable! but as I’m sure you know by now, you do indeed fit in fine! did you tell Georgina or Corinne about any of your concerns

Joy:

Thank you! Yes, They put me at ease immediately and explained how they have many members with different needs and conditions. They go at my pace and understand me.

They seem to know when the anxiety is getting to me as well.

Kyle:

that’s great that’s one of the many reasons I love EGO, we are surrounded by people who GET IT. you say you like to sing and act, so would you say you have always been interested in performing?

Joy:

Yeah. I feel accepted and valued. 

Yes, absolutely. I grew up around dance, theatre and the stage from when I was four.

I’ve always loved singing. I always hoped I’d be in comedic musicals, but life, babies and arthritis came along and took that away from me. I was never a great dancer, though. Soon the arthritis, spasms, and poor balance made sure I’d never do it professionally. It hurts, but I’m grateful for what I can do when my body and speech lets me.

Joy:

It takes a lot of energy and concentration to speak. That’s where singing comes in handy, the breath control and enunciation really helps.

Kyle:

yeah, its a shame it’s took you so long to find EGO because you are definitely a natural at performing, I’ve never been much of a dancer either! what was the first Big EGO Production you were involved with?

Joy: 

I wish I’d found EGO when it first started,  Thank you, that’s really kind of you, I appreciate it. 

(my first show was) Sanatorium. Baptism of fire, I can tell you.

Kyle:

I loved that show! what character did you play?

Joy:

Stella, a diabetic coma patient 

No lines to learn, score!

Kyle:

I’ll let you into a secret, I was really nervous about that show because we were on set the entire show so I was really worried I was going to giggle with nerves, must have been worse for you as you couldn’t do anything?

Joy:

Ha you and me both. I was lying there having small spasms, and I was worried I’d have a huge one and spasm myself out of bed (but) I can disguise most of my spasms, not that I’m ashamed of them, by flicking my hair out the way

I managed to keep a straight face though, thankfully

I did a huge sneeze on one night. 

Kyle:

oh imagine! so when it comes to show night, what do you get most nervous about?

Joy:

A few things. Number one, forgetting my lines. Two, worried I’ll fall over or a joint will lock up, or I’ll stammer and trying not to let pain show.

Kyle:

but so far none of them have been a problem?

Joy:

I was in serious pain during Green Room, and the last performance of Rhyme Suspect, but I rested and sat down when I could. Sitting was incorporated as much as possible for me.

They haven’t been a problem because Georgina and Corinne have always been super accommodating to me.

Kyle:

you say not letting pain show, without saying too much it makes me think of our next big show which I’m really excited about. on a scale of 1 to 10 how excited about our next show are you?

Joy:

8. It’s going to be much more personal this time, and I think it will be my biggest challenge yet.

Kyle:

yeah, do you think it’s going to be the darkest one yet for us?

Joy:

Compared to sanatorium…

Which I can’t do, because each show is so unique, you can’t actually compare. 

I think it’s going to be the most challenging, we’re delving into something far reaching. Darkest? Possibly. Deepest? Definitely.

Kyle:

I agree, we do comedy very easily, so I’m looking forward to a more serious show. the devising  process for this show has been unlike any other, how have you found it?

Joy:

Me too. But I’m sure there will be some humorous moments. 

Honestly, I’ve loved and hated it in equal measure, but only because it’s made me face a lot of personal issues. And it’s not really hate. Things that were suppressed were faced and spoken about openly without fear, for the first time in my life. That was a very healing, ameliorating moment.

Joy:

Ok I was terrified, but felt very comfortable sharing for the first time in my life. It’s so safe there.

Kyle:

It has been a very special process to be involved with and everyone has given so much, I feel it has brought the ensemble closer. if someone was to ask you “why should I watch an EGO show” what would you tell them?

Joy:

Absolutely. There were defining moments with everyone’s stories.

It’s not just an evening at the theatre. 

They are entering into a world they didn’t know existed right in front of them; they will be experiencing immersive, intelligent, insightful, thoughtfully written art. 

It will stay with them for the rest of their lives, it will have an impact they won’t be expecting.

Kyle:

That’s perfect, you should be a writer! thanks so much for your time Joy, you have been fantastic! Last Question, in three words how would describe EGO Performance Company?

Joy:

Funny you should say that (thank you, that’s a story for another time)

Ooh. Let’s see. 

Altruistic, passionate, visionary. 

EGO is like a big hug. It’s a safe bubble where you can be unapologetically you. 

Once again, I’d like to thank Joy for taking the time to chat with me, Joy you are brilliant!

Till Next time, 

Kyle!

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