Personal journey revealed

Jess Cochran. Photo: Shawn Smits.

By Jessica Micallef

Jessica Cochran is ready to shine a light on her personal experiences.

The Sunbury resident will be performing alongside Hadley Johnson and Xavier Gouault in a show called Qualia at the Melbourne Fringe Festival later this month.

Cochran, 29, said the show highlights what it’s like to be in a “public psychiatric unit” for 24 hours with a disability.

“It focuses on people who have a bit of extra trouble accessing services, especially if you come from a background of being someone who is deaf … a young person who happens to be in a wheelchair and someone who is new to Australia,” she said.

Cochran, who has a physical disability, said the performance would draw on the actors’ own personal experiences.

“It’s part of why it’s so unique because we are not using third-party actors,” she said.

“I’ve been in and out of the psych system since I was 12-years old. People often have this view of what it might be like to be in a psych unit and often that in itself is a bit of a misguided view.

“It’s [the performance] given me the chance to take ownership of those experiences.

“It’s great to be able to use my experiences and hopefully get the conversation started.”

Qualia will be performed at the Northcote Town Hall on September 20-22.