For those in Jozi – BIG NEWS!!  I’m hosting a Mad-Hatster’s Coffee-Cabaret!  Woot!

Date:  Friday, 18th October.  Time:  6:30 for 7pm.  Place:  The Shed @ Fisherman’s Village in Honeydew.  Cost:  TBA.

First – allow me to explain the name:  My nickname (for years) has been Hat (I always used to wear hats… and especially during my teens when I allowed myself the freedom to be originally and authentically ME… before I started trying too hard to please the whole world – and thus, lose track of my ME’ness for a period of time)…  (long story).

Many of my family and friends (especially those who have known me forever) still call me Hat (or Hatster… Hatter… or other Hat variations).

Here’s some photos of the young, Hat-bedecked me… (so you get the nickname origins):

Even from a young age, I had a *thing* for hats...

Even from a young age, I had a *thing* for hats…

For most of my teens, I wore hats (which is why I got the Hat nickname somewhere around the age of 14 or 15)... This photo is of me (on the left) with my friend Tracy... (who, incidentally, is also wearing one of my hats in this pic)...

For most of my teens, I wore hats (which is why I got the Hat nickname somewhere around the age of 14 or 15)… This photo is of me (on the left) with my friend Tracy… (who, incidentally, is also wearing one of my hats in this pic)…

Tracy and I got up to all kinds of mischief... like stealing numbers off the walls of people's homes in the dead of night... (there's even a doctor's plaque in there)... (this was our version of "teenage rebellion"... stealing numbers... of all things!)...

Tracy and I got up to all kinds of mischief… like stealing numbers off the walls of people’s homes in the dead of night… (there’s even a doctor’s plaque in there)… (this was our version of “teenage rebellion”… stealing numbers… of all things!)… but, hey!  – at least I wore a cool hat!

Here's a typical, posed teenage-style photo of me (which I later tore up because I loathed it)... but, behind me, you can catch a glimpse of my hat display on my bedroom wall. I was about 14 or 16 at the time...

Here’s a typical, posed teenage-style photo of me (which I later tore up because I loathed it)… but, behind me, you can catch a glimpse of my hat display on my bedroom wall. I was about 13 or 14 at the time…

Performing in a play (I loved this hat - it came with attached fake dreadlocks)...

Performing in a play (I loved this hat – it came with attached fake dreadlocks)…

And then... a couple of years later... (I think this was taken around 2004'ish)... a nice glitter-hat... AND... a mustache!

And then… a couple of years later… (I think this was taken around 2004’ish)… a nice glitter-hat… AND… a fetching mustache!

Anyhoo…

You get the picture.

So – I’ve been “Hatster” forever… even though (very annoyingly), I have an enormous noggin – and most hats don’t FIT me!  I even had to get my mom to custom-sew me a giant pink sun hat… because all the sun-hats at the shops were just too bloody tight!  🙁

Now…  here’s the next part of the tale…

As many of you know – I’m an artist / musician / songwriter and poet…  HOWEVER… I have seldom (if ever) put MY songs… MY art… and MY poems… and MY stories out there.

Why not?

  • Because it’s terrifying to be vulnerable like that.  And I’ve been a scaredy-cat for a very long time.
  • Because I’m SO worried about what people will DO with all of this vulnerability.  Will they stomp on it and ridicule it?  Will they ridicule me?  Part of me is so afraid of troll-comments and ridicule that I’d rather not put myself *out there* at all…
  • I’ve fought a long fight with low self-esteem and the feeling that my art, music, poetry and stories are simply “not-good-enough”.  I have allowed these feelings of inadequacy to squash my dreams for a long, long time.

I have always been the back-up singer for other people’s concerts… (or a church worship leader singing other people’s songs).  In recent years, I put a lot of energy and investment into the Tapestry of Dreams project… and the VENT! project… both of which provided a platform for other people to share their stories and dreams with the world through art, media and creativity.

But never me.

As much as my heart YEARNED for it, I never gave myself permission.

I’ve been the backstage person… hiding away in the shadows… too scared… too chicken… too insecure… to step into the light and to share MY music… poems… dreams and stories with the world (this blog, by the way, has provided a great start – and in a sense, has been a healing and liberating process)…

Well – thus far and no more.

I have dug up my songs and poems (and have been manically rehearsing them)… I have compiled the stories (with lots of photos and multi-media to go along with it)… and I’m weaving together the structure of a very unique evening – entitled “The Mad Hatster’s Coffee Cabaret”.

(I was going to call it “Tea-Party”… but I’m much more of a coffee-fan – as everyone probably knows by now).

Those who join me will enjoy a very interesting and eclectic  evening which will include the following:

  • Stories (and specifically “How Hatster got her mojo back!”)
  • Songs & Poetry (… I may even experiment with some RAP)
  • Photos & multi-media… (I just can’t resist telling stories with loads of visuals!)
  • Art… lots of art…
  • Stuff to buy (art, goodies, zines and stuff)

… and, of course, lots of COFFEE… couches… cappuccino… and CAKE!

So there you have it.

If you’re in Joburg on the 18th October, I’d love to see you there.  And… to be honest… I can’t tell you whether I’m more terrified or excited.  Right now – it feels as though terror and doubt are ruling my head… but deep in my heart, there is the unmistakable yearning… and the stirs of excitement… as something (that has been dormant for so many years)… finally stirs awake once more.