After an initial launch at the end of 2019 (before the pandemic), Better Off Said returns in June at the Brunswick Ballroom with a stellar line up of guests: Denise Scott, N’fa Jones, Samuel Johnson, Janelle Da Silva and Senator Lidia Thorpe as well as a musical performance from Mama Alto.
Better Off Said is an afternoon to release some words, thoughts and reflections for the living and dead. It was created by the incredible duo: Emilie Zoey Baker and Marieke Hardy, part of the team behind the international literary phenomenon Women of Letters.
Presented as a monthly soiree, Better Off Said invites four guests to respond to the phrase ‘what I wish I’d said’ and at the June event, Senator Thorpe will deliver a ‘living eulogy’ – paying tribute to someone or something still of this earth.
“There are times when we find ourselves caught up in spiral, overthinking those unsaid comments or responses that scream to be let out. Better Off Said is a platform to release these words in a composed and cathartic way. It may be a comeback line, a confession, revenge or even a compliment,” said Baker.
“Humans often just accept that everything and everyone dies. We’ve curated a space where we can all reflect on love, loss, healing and letting go together. It’s a privilege to even be able to sit in this realm and ruminate. To listen and learn. I never want to take for granted life’s impermanence,” said Hardy.
Past guests have revealed a myriad of responses. Em Rusciano talked about the things she wished she’d said to the boss who fired her from commercial radio. Charlie Pickering lamented never thanking his grandmother for making him funny. Lou Bennett eulogised the Djab Wurrung birthing tree. Celia Pacquola wished she knew how to say ’no’.
Hardy describes that Better Off Said has seen tears and laughter as well as so much catharsis, transformation and reflection, “Everyone has something they wish they’d said. That’s why during our break we hand out seed paper to our audience, so they might note one of their own and plant it into something beautiful later.”
Life can be too short. Sometimes people wait too long to say the things they really want to express. This is a moment to let the words go and not be weighed down by the ‘what-ifs’. Instead, stand tall and let it all out to a room full of strangers.
Better Off Said donate a portion of their profits to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Better Off Said – June 2021
Eulogist: Senator Lidia Thorpe
Readers: Denise Scott, N’fa Jones, Samuel Johnson and Janelle Da Silva
Musical act: Mama Alto