Being Different for years Joy Carter thought was a tragedy, having adopted white parents, having unmanageable Afro hair that could fill a cupboard when damp, having a big bottom in 1980 that was embarrassing then but now is so fashionable she get’s hate mail from Kim Kardashian.
‘Being different with the wrong attitude sucks, but with the right attitude it ROCKS! I had years of negative attitude. I was daily bullied at my school in Scunthorpe, this just made everything worse’ Joy says. Then finally she hit rock bottom aged 24, ‘no bum-pun intended’ she says with a twinkle in her eye, she found herself dating a mercenary, having an eating disorder and trying to end her life.
However, things looked up for her when she started a 2-year counselling programme aged 24, and was able to face her adoption trauma, loss and self-hatred and realise she had the power to overcome inner lies and past issues.
In this show Joy candidly explores the concept of what difference is about in society and how to overcome tough stuff. Through her struggles with identity issues and feeling alone she has some glittering ‘trips and tricks’ she describes hilariously to help audiences not feel scared around ‘different’ types of people, celebrate their own differences and enjoy ‘spotting difference’ in others positively. The show is riddled with hilarious if not ‘stupid things’ she says she has done to help combat a life often lived in fear, such as her brush with knife crime accept she didn’t carry a brush it was more of a weapon she lovingly calls ‘Chloe the claw hammer!’ She says she can laugh about it now ‘good because this is a comedy show’ she quips, but the way she describes the obvious problems of carrying Chloe around in a fake Channel bag builds up to a spellbinding apocalyptic ending you know is coming, but has the audience scared, laughing and learning about the dangers of knife crime simultaneously. That is why young people and worried parents especially love this show, as there are some sparkling life-lessons to be learned about gangs, guns and anti-glamour.
Joy is a successful established musical comedian on the flute and piano; She brings along her angry flute ‘Bertie’ to add some musical mayhem into the mix, and is the only UK flute-playing comedian. She has worked in the UK and abroad for over 13 years. In 2015 she went to the Edinburgh Festival with her debut musical comedy show ‘Aspects of Joy’ which was very successful, however she found audiences literally queuing up to ask her more questions about adoption, gangs and suicide. So she felt that it was ‘time to bite the bullet, again no pun intended’ she says cheekily, and she began to research, explore and develop a show to answer surreptitiously complex questions and ‘make a difference’ to people’s lives.
Already the show has been very well received at the Leicester, Swindon (sellout show) and Derby Comedy Festivals. Later 2016/2017 she is planning a 30-venue UK tour of theatres, art and community centres and churches. The PR campaign and social media around this show has been exciting as Joy desires to make adoption and fostering ‘cool in society’. Her comedy campaign work has been over 5 years, her subject knowledge is increasing daily and she sees comedy as being a powerful vehicle to engage her audiences. After the fringe she plans to return early 2017 to Guildford with the next leg of this show journey, so please do watch this ‘different kind of’ space into laugher through the eyes of a Nigerian adoptee.
Joy Carter: Spot the Difference
Wednesday 13th July
The Back Room of The Star Pub
Laugher through the eyes of a Nigerian adoptee
By Guildford Fringe Festival