Ahead of bringing her autobiographical feminist comedy, ‘Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind’, to the Edinburgh Fringe, LA-based writer, comedian and actor Diana Dinerman tells Female First what inspired her to write her show.
I wrote ‘Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind’ because I want women to know that they don’t have to have it all figured out.
There was a time in my life where I was certain I knew who I was and where I was going.
I had a successful career at a major American university, I was becoming a history professor, and I adopted a traditional definition of success. But, something inside me was unquenched. I felt disconnected, unseen, and I couldn’t figure out how I got into that position when I had followed the rules: Work hard! Be Good! Achieve!
While I was writing my dissertation in American History, I quit and became a stand-up comedian. It’s the most surprising thing that has ever happened to me.
I was in my mid-30s, when women are starting to become less visible but more interesting.
There were several years of financial and emotional instability, and I was sure I’d screwed up life permanently. After many dark nights of the soul, I decided to speak my thoughts into a microphone. Something clicked. You know how when you lose your keys, they tell you to go back to the last place you had them? For me, that was the stage. Becoming a comedian was like finding my keys. It unlocked all the doors inside me.
As much as I love stand-up comedy, I am seeking a larger expression that includes more parts of me, not just the funny ones. I wrote ‘Detour’ because I want to connect with my audience on a deeper level about the difficulties of trying to create the life you want and running into blocks along the way. Theatre is so human, so based in connection and shared experience, writing a solo show gave me an opportunity to have a different kind of conversation with my audience – one where I get to say, it’s ok to be confused and uncomfortable, and keep striving.
Have you ever made plans for your life, then realized you grew out of the person you were when you made those plans? Detour is for you.
This idea of “losing your way” is predicated on the idea that there is one way to begin with. ‘DETOUR: A Show About Changing Your Mind’ asks, what if there isn’t one path? What if we’re not supposed to know? What if the entire purpose of living is to discover the possibilities?
From an early age, I knew what made me feel alive: expressing myself. In the midst of all the pressure to be a certain kind of woman and certain kind of person, I lost my passion. Many women I know have found themselves in the same position, and that’s why I wrote this show.
It’s not too late. It’s never too late to become the person you want to be.
Diana Dinerman performs ‘DETOUR: A Show About Changing Your Mind’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 31st July- 26th August (not 13th).
Tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/detour-a-show-about-changing-your-mind