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MARCH 27, 2014

Behind EmCee Granny

Featuring: Rapper, Jay Harley (EmCee Granny)

Rapper. That's funny.

After a lifetime of dual personality as an academic and a caricaturist, I find myself bearing a new designation.

Rapper. I laugh every time I say it.

Of course I'm an imposter and undoubtedly an embarrassment to the bona fide emcees who have brought to the world a superbly crafted musical genre.

I love rap and I especially support the Aussie hip hop culture. I'm always the only over-55 at rap concerts and I unashamedly groove to the beat whilst young people stand around with their hands in their pockets, grunting. My son's friends started calling me 'EmCee Granny'.

At the beginning of 2012, I discovered that my much loved husband was having an affair with a woman he met on an internet dating site. He walked out on our family the moment his double life was revealed. There were no warning bells. In fact, he had appeared to be as much in love with me as I was with him. I thought we were blissfully happy.

So paralysing was the grief of betrayal and sudden abandonment by the man whom I continued to adore, that I sought out women in similar situations. I felt like I was the only person in the world experiencing this numbing loneliness and isolation. I was to discover, through literature and forums, that this was something of a phenomenon. It was well researched in the United States. They call it Wife Abandonment Syndrome. The additional tragedy is that the children are abandoned too. The connections I made, mostly through responses to my own blog, opened up a pandora's box of 'abandoned wives' around the globe. We've muddled on together, supporting one another.

Marilyn Manson caricature

Marilyn Manson caricature by Jay Harley

EmCee Granny launched on March 22, 2014

The journey of healing is long and hard, because there are so many unanswered questions. No closure. The wife has no say in anything and she has no preparation for the sudden and instant cessation of the marriage and family life that she had cherished. Hubby's already gone. He's not interested in talking.

A consistent piece of advice that the experts give is for women to make efforts to "recreate" themselves, keep busy and to move on with life. It's easy for them to say.

For me it was just the passage of time that eventually brought me to a place where I could apply the advice of the experts. I started to feel a bit creative again and I decided that I would learn the art of videography. I bought a you-beaut professional video camera but it was so hot-off-the-press that there were no YouTube tutorials on it.

EmCee Granny YO

Jay Harley as EmCee Granny - "YO!"

Having decided that I needed a bit of personal tuition, my internet searches led me to Mark Paisley at Green Key Studio. His initial response was welcoming and inclusive and we had instant rapport. Then too, with cameraman Glen Rose.

I'm not quite sure how the chain of events led to the decision to produce EmCee Granny, but all I know is that within a short space of time I was going 'Yo!' and jumping around in fishnet stockings and a backwards baseball cap!

I was "recreating". It all happened so fast, but I had the most amazing time producing the video. Without exception, all the cast and crew were wonderful people and we had such fun. After two years of sadness, I felt happy for the first time.

Green Key Studio played a big part in that. Thanks guys! I'm still waiting for my video camera lessons, but I think they might be on hold for the moment, because EmCee Granny has created a life of her own. The crew and cast members are all enthused about doing EmCee Granny the sequel, and with all the creative ideas being discussed, it seems like Gran might be making a few comebacks.

The video is a satirical look at an abandoned older wife, who, with the help of a therapist, resolves to 'recreate' her life. She tells her story through rap lyrics. It's dedicated to women who are experiencing the loss of their marriages. It attempts to encourage them to move on with their lives and have fun doing so.

EmCee Granny is on Facebook and Youtube.
Dr Jay Harley is based in Sydney. To contact her, or for more information, visit her site www.JayHarley.com.au
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