In the fall of 2017, I received an email from the Reston Community Center about their upcoming performances. I noticed right away that they scheduled a performance by Maysoon Zayed in March of 2018. I got tickets almost immediately. Thrilled with my purchase, I told my daughter as soon as she got home from school. My daughter immediately asked, “who is she?”
Likely, you haven’t heard of her either, so here is a link to her website. She is a comedian with Cerebral Palsy. Maysoon gave a TED Talk in 2013 – here is a link to that talk which I hope you will enjoy. Her show is not suitable for young children though I did take my daughter who is 15. I felt that my daughter could handle a few bad words and adult content. The show took place on March 31, 2018.
Maysoon started her show by telling the audience who she is. Her opening line is “I got 99 problems…palsy is just one.” Her talks cover a slew of issues ranging from politics and women’s issues to living with a disability. She is opinionated, poignant and sometimes lewd, but she gets her points across with humor and who can resist that? Soon after using her opening line, Maysoon asks the audience if there are any other “CPers”. I thought it was a nice touch to acknowledge members of the audience people living with CP. She closed the show with an open question and answer segment where she encouraged the audience to ask her anything. Though a risqué move – opening herself up to ANY questions – this part of the show was truly great because a young woman, with CP, stood up, held the microphone and despite speech articulation issues, asked Maysoon a question.
My daughter did not get many of the jokes from the show – but here is what she did get. She saw a person, with Cerebral Palsy, up on stage talking openly about her disability. She heard Maysoon’s frustrations and challenges and her comical way of dealing with them. She saw a person who choose to be in the limelight despite her condition.
We met Maysoon after the show. She was welcoming and encouraged my daughter to talk about her condition openly and to not let her CP define her. A truly amazing evening!