WESTSIDER PROFILE: JC CLAPHAM

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Storyteller, comedian, writer, mental health champ and rad dad, JC grew up in Wangaratta in country Victoria, and while he knew he’d go away somewhere to uni and study creative writing, he was a bit intimidated by ‘the big smoke’ of Melbourne.

So instead, he took a halfway step (populationally-speaking) and moved to Canberra. It was fine, but he missed Victoria. And football. And being around more down to earth, genuine people.

Four years later, he followed his heart and moved to Melbourne for a girl. Her family were multi-generation westies, then living in St Albans, but her parents grew up in Braybrook and Albion.

They made their home in the outer west, and it quickly became home for JC too. He loves that many pockets of the west are like a country town or village.

The wedding reception was in Williamstown, one of their favourite places to go on ‘date night’, and later, to take their three kids for a nice day out.

The marriage ended last year, pretty amicably, and JC moved to the inner west – and it’s been fun exploring more of ‘real Melbourne’ with his kids.

He loves Yarraville, and has brunch there every few weeks. One of his favourite days this year was taking the kids to The Younger Sun on Local Bookshop Day. The store was full of people and authors and adventure and life!

“I’m in an apartment close to the city at present, but would like to settle somewhere around there, or WeFo, or Newport, or Seddon, or anywhere, really! Yeah, me and everyone else, hey…”

2016 was a really challenging year: his marriage ended, he was exhausted from a very demanding corporate career, and basically had a breakdown. There were some dark days and nights, to be sure, but in falling apart he saw the silver lining.

“At 35, already with three children whom I now have a few days a week, and needing to build a life different to what I thought it would be… that’s as close as you get to a fresh start, really.”

“And that’s what I love about the west: it’s brimming with people doing their very best to build a meaningful and happy life.”

See JC’s writing and details of upcoming storytelling comedy shows at : http://jcclapham.com

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