Roxanne Carney: I'm The Hero Of This Story

Roxanne Carney's spoken word show I'm The Hero Of This Story is on Friday 30 June at 8.30pm in the Burton Taylor Studio.

Hi there, why don’t you introduce yourself?

Hey, I’m Roxanne. I live with my parents in Braintree, Essex. I love red wine and Toy Story.

Nice to meet you! So, what’s the show you’re bringing to Offbeat and what’s it about?

The show is called I’m The Hero of This Story. It’s a show that debunks the millennial myth. In the performance, I present a mixture of anecdotes, statistics, poetry, game playing and audience participation.

What kind of person do you think will enjoy this show?

I think that people who are growing out of childhood and entering adulthood will engage with my performance. The kind of people who feel that they’re in limbo a bit with what their next steps in life “should” be. I think parents of these people will find parts of the show charming and reassuring.

Can you sum up the pitch for your show in 6 words?

Comic poetic love song for you.

What’s the background to the show? Why did you make it? What’s the journey been like so far?

In 2015, I moved home after finishing university and living away for a year. I was miserable. I worked for jobs I didn’t care about, had little money and just wasn’t happy with my living situation. I decided to move back into my room that I had since I was 12.

Since then, I’ve just been writing. Writing in a note book about frustrations. Without sounding melodramatic, I’ve just been going through an existential crisis (haha that sounded so serious) but I do really think it’s true. I moved home with so much certainty about my position in the world, my political and social views, my friendship group and so forth and every month I’m continually surprised at how I’m being proved wrong.

So the show started off as a series of poems about basically everything that winds me up. I performed it at Camden People’s Theatre knowing that it didn’t have any structure or clear narrative – it was important for me to show this and test my skills at poetry.

From there, I’ve been working with poet Hannah Jane Walker who has helped me define what the show is about. The strongest element of the performance was about not living up to expectations. I had been previously framing this as a feminist issue but I think it’s a lot grander than that. It’s a whole generation who have not lived up to their / their parents’ expectations. This is what I’ve been exploring and seeking whether this is actually true.

From 2015 to now, there’s been a lot of heartache. Everything I have written about has been a direct response to current affairs. If I was writing this 5 years ago, I probably would have said that this is satirical fiction and sci-fi. So, it’s been odd but I feel that my response is humorous and comforting to those who are trying to make sense of the world.

What other cool stuff have you done that folks might like to know about?

Umm…other cool stuff…This year, I stood outside of the Pixar Studios…obviously I didn’t go in – weren’t allowed.

This year alone, I’ve been to Venice, Berlin, San Francisco and Vienna. That’s not really cool is it?...I’ve been to three airports this year, each with three different people? No, that’s not either.

Cool stuff that I’ve done…Hmm. I might have to report back in a week!

Are you excited to take this show to Offbeat? Why?

I’m excited to show this performance to new audiences. I don’t have an audience base in Oxford so it’s great I can come to this place and generate conversations. I’m developing the show with plans to attend Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’18 so, it’s really valuable to have input from audiences before that, which is something that I hope comes out of this showing.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to folks in Oxford?

“Hi people of Oxford. If you’re worried about where you’re heading in life and have come to a bit of a fork in the road, come along to the show at 8:30pm on 30th June. I won’t have all the answers, but hopefully I might make you feel better about not reaching someone’s ideal potential.”