MISCHA BAKA: Billie McCarthy
Showing posts with label Billie McCarthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billie McCarthy. Show all posts

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Billie McCarthy Takes Up Space

September 22, 2018 1
Billie McCarthy Takes Up Space

Billie McCarthy, Kate and Julia at High School/  Ms Boon art class.

I went to high school with Billie, and now I was going to her cabaret show almost two decades later. Her show is called Billie takes up space. She tells stories and sings songs that include her experiences of being identified as ‘fat’ and living in her skin. She recalls experiences from her childhood, high school and adulthood.

I recalled my own memories with Billie from high school, we would sometimes keep each other company in the school grounds, café or an occasional visit to her house.

I recall laying on the grass with Billie in the park and giving each other intimate face massages. This was the type of intimacy that was significant as a teenager. Moments like this in the park felt defining. I was at an age when small interactions such as a friendly hug, a kiss on the cheek or an intimate conversation was enough to shape your sense of self; what I could or couldn’t do as a person. Can I have that type of intimacy with another person, am I worthy.

Billie reflected on her time time in high school and how her body played into these defining moments. I remember that in a performing arts school, there was a keen sense of how beauty and charisma could define who we were and our path in life.

Billie joked about being the best friend of a beautiful, slim, goddess girl in school, and having to listen to all the boys as they confided in her about their love for that friend. But how that love never seemed to be directed her way. I confess, I couldn’t remember who this friend might have been in high school, all the girls seemed so beautiful and spectacular. It was true that Billie moved in a crowd that was particularly charming.

I remember Billie being beautiful and charming and seemingly perfectly suited to her group of friends.

Later in Billies stories she speaks of a trip to New York where she feels appreciated in a way that didn’t seem forthcoming in Australia. She received more attention from men and it was both exciting and challenging. The type of attention that is laced with the potential to turn possessive and aggressive at any moment.

This story became harrowing, and it is difficult to hear how a friend has struggled and come so close to a type of annihilation. I felt for Billie, I wanted to give her a hug. In this moment, her music and voice gave so much depth and feeling to her story.

I love Billie, her musical and dramatic skill is intrinsic, it appears to come so naturally. With this show I felt so grateful that she has managed to cultivate and maintain the magic she shares with the world, even though at times, the world has made it difficult. Her ability to open up and share her touching vulnerability is so brave and generous, and in this show we learn that it is sometimes risky and dangerous and hard to keep giving that to the world. I’m so glad she shares her magic with us.

Billie McCarthy Takes Up Space
Written and Performed by:
Billie McCarthy
Created and Performed by:
Andrew Bruce, Nick Meredith
Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club - Ballroom
Melbourne Fringe 2018
Billie McCarthy high school /Mischa Baka
Charlotte, Natalia, Camilla, Peter, Billie McCarthy and Kate at my 16th/17th? Birthday Party Mischa Baka