A Comedian Made Me Cry

Has a comedian ever made you cry? Ross Hepburn made me cry. I'm not talking laughing so hard you're crying, I'm talking full on, emotionally crying my eyes out (albeit as silently as I could in a room full of strangers). 
He didn't pick on me or anything, he made me cry with his words.

I popped along to catch his first Edinburgh Fringe run back in August with Emma and while I knew nothing about the show, it had Beetlejuice in the title and that was enough for me. I've loved that film for absolute years now. It came out the year I was born and I can't quite remember the first time I watched it (mammy if you're reading, do you know?) but I do know that I fell in love completely. From the campy horror, to the outfits everyone wore, from the inventive ways the Maitland's tried to terrify their unwanted house guests to being grossed out by Beetlejuice but also loving him. As with most childhood movies, there were some more adult jokes that I didn't quite understand or appreciate until I was older and I've had Harry Belafonte's Day O stuck in my head for over a decade but I still love this film.

If I'd known how much this show would affect me, I would have taken some notes or even recorded parts of it but hindsight and all that! We all know I have a terrible memory so bear with me as I try to cast back to almost 3 months ago. 

Ross might be kinda new to what he does but he does it well. He's captivating, a tad self deprecating and he fucking loves Beetlejuice. I thought I loved it, but he takes it to another level. I particularly enjoyed that he did the show in a pinstripe Beetlejuice-esque suit that you can see above, it definitely helped bring home just how much he enjoys this movie. Ross has Asperger syndrome, he makes no secret of that, so the fact that he did a full months run at the fringe was amazing to me. Not in a patronising 'oh well done you' kinda way but in a 'fucking yes, go smash it you absolute fucking champ' kinda way. As the title of the show would suggest, he did spend the hour talking about Beetlejuice, there were some tangents but he always brought it back to the bio-exorcist bastard that we all know and love.

Ross would photograph his audiences during the Fringe
As the show was drawing to a close, he started to get a bit serious. He spoke about how difficult life has been growing up with Asbergers, people treating him differently, him not understanding social situations, etc. He told us about how the film was always there for him when he needed it, when his world got a bit too difficult he could come back to the Maitlands, the Deetzs and Beetlejuice himself for comfort and guidance. He started talking about how it's ok to be different whether it's mental health, disorders, looking different, whatever. You know the 'It's not your fault' scene from Good Will Hunting? imagine that but 'It's ok to be weird' from Ross Hepburn.

I've had mental health issues for years now and while in the past I was ashamed and hid them, I'm much more open these days. Sitting watching Ross go through his show and that section at the end just hit me in a way I never expected from going to see a comedy show. I was silently sobbing listening to this stranger tell me that's it's ok to be weird or different. That whatever battle I'm fighting I'll get through it and come out the other end. I don't think he realised just how much his show meant to me but hopefully he reads this post and knows that I took his message home with me and often think about that show.

I promise if I can see the show again, I'll record the part I'm talking about as I'm doing it absolutely no justice here whatsoever but for just a little snippet into Ross and his show, I direct you to this video on his YouTube page, it's a promo trailer for the show itself. You can also find Ross on Twitter and Facebook if you're interested. I'll definitely be going to see him again and I hope he wows me just as much as he did in August!

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