I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Joey now when they start a new journey in higher education, and I would like to thank them for all these years they have been such a big part of Wotever World and Bar Wotever specially. Here I collected a few good bits and asked Joey a few questions before they leave.. Best of Luck Joey, you have been amazing to work with! Love, Ingo x
Name: Joey McKillop
How/when did you first get in touch with Wotever World, and what event, When did you get involved? I got involved through Community News, maybe half a decade ago, but it was another year before I joined the crew, first as a compère, then an apprentice tech, then as a journeyman tech in my own right.
Have being involved in Wotever opened other doors for you? Wotever opened doors into the performance side of the community. I have now teched gigs for The Cutlery Drawer, Lashings of Ginger Beer Time, and CN Lester’s Transpose. I’ve since landed a part-time job as a stage tech in the theatre at my college, working on shows for theatre students.
Anything special you wanna say to others who think of going, being part? If you want to get involved then I say go for it! You can ride this crazy train as far as you want to, if you’re willing to put the work in.
This is what Joey wrote, and read on stage at Bar Wotever back in 2010
To my sixteen year old self,
you won’t want to hear it. You never want to hear it, and you only really listen to yourself. A good thing, then, that it’s you who is writing this letter. You’ve made some good choices and some bad choices, but that’s alright. Try not to make too many millstones for your neck with your choices.
The solution is a false one, in that you cannot fix what isn’t broken. Learn to enjoy your teenage years in peace. In two years, you’ll find that at your core you are an unstoppable force of nature. You’ll enjoy that force for another 5 years before reigning it in when you realise the damage it has caused. A little serenity now might prevent you from having to cage your soul in your early twenties. You won’t be dead by then. In fact, you’re looking at a long and semi-healthy life. Stop cracking your knuckles before you give yourself early-onset arthritis. Don’t start cracking your neck. Don’t stop exercising or you’ll regret it. The only thing that holds a fire in check is the amount of air and fuel it can burn.
Your libido will remain just as formidable into your mid-twenties as it is at 16. It’s a part of you and one of many conduits to your inner passion. Just don’t let it become your main conduit. Find other passions, lots of them. Make some fucking birdhouses or something! Never look to other people to validate you; or shallow, ignorant arrogance will consume your self-esteem more than once. Never let yourself be used, you’re worth more than that. Anybody who claims to know your animus better than you do is a liar and a danger.
You have issues, sure, but you also have a roof over your head and food on the table. You’re not always weird because you’re damaged. Usually, you’re weird because you’re autistic. Learn to tell the difference between the former and the latter, embrace the latter as a part of you, force others to do the same, and the former becomes insignificant. The sooner you stop sleeping with that knife, the sooner you can address your vulnerability issues. You’re still driven more by fear than by surety, and you’ll have more fun once you make the change. Discuss all this with your Mam. She’s rooted in the 1970’s and all that that entails, but she has grown a lot since then and will continue to do so.
Don’t go to college just yet. Live a little first and see some of the world. Broaden your horizons and never allow any one topic to occupy the focus of an entire day, or longer. You’ll see France, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Denmark and the Czech Republic in the next seven years. It’s called Czechoslovakia just now, but Eastern Europe is still a very protean thing. Go to college as an adult and everything will be in context. You won’t view yourself in terms of the subjects you take and what your degree will be. People who identify as their job are just as daft as people who identify as their race, their religion or their sexuality. These things are parts of you, but you are greater than the sum of your parts.
Don’t blow your bike licence on stupidity as it’s not worth it. You’ll never be Valentino Rossi and besides, the best adventures allow time to appreciate the scenery. Sports bikes are for eejits, whereas V-4 naked bikes are more fun, easier to handle and more attractive to women. Get yourself a GSX-F 600, streetfighter it and shiny-up the motor. Seriously.
Learn about love. Learn to understand what it is and what it means. Learn that you are capable of it, even if you don’t recognise it when you see it. I said before that you have a soul, but it is something you will not recognise until you feel it weakened and tamed. You also have more emotions than just fear and rage. You’ll find that, actually, your strongest emotions are courage and love. Learn to experience them, to feel them. Learn what it is to be human. Your dad will die in the next few years. You suspect this already as his health wasn’t that great to begin with. Before he does, take the time to discuss music with him. You have the Clash and the Beatles in common, who knows what else? When he does go, learn to grieve. Grief is love, and to grieve is to be connected to your humanity. Stoicism is your handicap.
Finally, I leave you with these words: To thine own self, be true.
Yours with much-belated love, Joey
Joey also did a passionate speech for the ‘IT GETS BETTER’ Campaign in 2011
See the youtube video here: It Gets Better
Bar Wotever Tuesday, run by the community for the community, specialising in Queer / LGBT Arts and Culture