Cathy Jones: The Human Realm is the Middle Ground

Cathy Jones gets personal in new one-woman show

My brother Andy told me, he said, ‘Stop feeling like your career is like this thing that you’re climbing. Think about it as a garden and look at the things you have in your garden.’

New one-woman show is part of the Stages Film Festival by Eastern Front Theatre

By Natalie Dobbin, CBC News Posted: Jun 19, 2015 9:22 AM AT Last Updated: Jun 19, 2015 9:22 AM AT

Cathy Jones with director Ann-Marie Kerr. Kerr says Jones has taught her that it's okay to laugh at things.

Cathy Jones with director Ann-Marie Kerr. Kerr says Jones has taught her that it’s okay to laugh at things. (Natalie Dobbin/ CBC)

Comedian Cathy Jones turned years of thoughts and writings and into a new one woman show called Stranger to Hard Work.

“I’m just making fun of the idea that people say, ‘She’s no stranger to hard work,’ and I was thinking, ‘Yes I am. I’m a stranger to hard work,'” said Jones.

The show covers a lot of ground from Jones’s life, and mental health is the key theme.

cathy jones

Jones rehearses for the opening of ‘Stranger to Hard Work.’ This is Jones’s third one woman show. (Natalie Dobbin/ CBC)

“It’s my life that I’ve not written my book. It’s my life that I feel awkward with normal people. It’s my life that I wish I had a partner,” Jones said.

Jones has yet to write the self-help book she talks about, but this show is like the stage version.

“I also think, like the Buddhist, there’s a middle ground. And I think the human realm is about the middle ground. It’s about there not being so much suffering that you can’t take the time to work on yourself and that things are not being so great that you also don’t care about working on yourself.”

Jones said This Hour Has 22 Minutes doesn’t feel like work to her because it is so much fun, and she works with a team of people.

‘Laugh all day long’

About five weeks ago, Jones ran into director Ann-Marie Kerr at a coffee shop in Halifax.

“When I went to Cathy’s for the first time to begin this rehearsal process she handed me a very fat file of stuff and said, ‘You know, I’ve got a lot of material.’ And it turned out, of course, she’s not at all a stranger to hard work and she’s been writing for years,” said Kerr.

“What we think about this one is it’s a brand new baby being let out into the world for the first time,” said Kerr. “It’s phase one of hopefully a big life for this show.”

Kerr says Jones has taught her that it’s okay to laugh at things.

“And, in fact, it liberates the creative process when all you do is laugh all day long. And then you just try to shine up the bits of gold that you find at the end of the day.”

‘Think about it as a garden’

Jones admits she has “wobbly confidence” at times.

“It doesn’t matter to me that I’ve been doing this for 40 years because I’m an Aries I think I have a fresh mind and every day,” she said. “I just feel like I’m just starting. And I forget that maybe I do have something, you know, in my quiver that I’ve done before.”

Recently her brother, playwright Andy Jones, gave her some advice.

“My brother Andy told me, he said, ‘Stop feeling like … your career is like this thing that you’re climbing. Think about it as a garden and look at you know the things you have in your garden,” she said.

“You have your one woman shows and your 22 Minutes and all the things you’ve done. And I was like, ‘Oh, thanks Andy!'”

Stranger to Hard Work opened Wednesday and runs June 19 to 21 with showings at 7:00 p.m. at Neptune Studio Theatre.

It’s part of Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Theatre Festival, which includes shows at all different stages of development.

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