We had the honour of chatting with Jan van de Stool ahead of her show, Parting the Red Curtains, at the 2019 Brisbane Comedy Festival. Our curiosity about this inspiring woman led us to ask Jan about her special gifts and her new show.
Can you describe your new show Parting the Red Curtains in a nutshell?
I always wonder where that saying came from ‘in a nutshell’. What human can do anything 'in a nutshell’? Except maybe scrap the nut out and eat it and then perhaps put some water in the nutshell and drink it as a chaser.
But my show is all about me. It’s called 'Parting the Red Curtains', and it’s a night where I, Jan van de Stool, invite you, my ‘fan de Stools’ to come inside me and meet the real Jan, not just the Jan you know from all the reality TV shows I’ve done like Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, and Embarrassing Bodies.
I’m going to part the red curtains to show you who I really am inside and get back to the real me, Jan van de Stool: musical therapist, psychic medium, excellent singer, beat boxer, macramé master, and interpretive dancer. And at the show you’re gonna see...nearly...all of those things.
What can people learn or take away with them from this show?
Well, I’m going to help people with a musical therapy exercise that I always do at the top of every course that is so powerful that sometimes people leave right after that exercise because they say that gave them everything they need! And if people have had people in their lives who have died, then they are lucky because I’m going to use my psychic medium powers to get in touch with their dead loved ones; maybe their dead mum or dead friend, or even their dead boss if they were close to them. And of course, I’m going to give them some tips as a singer like about how to hold a microphone – or as we call it in the biz – holding the black log.
What made you realise that you have a gift to make people laugh?
I’m not sure what you are talking about? I don’t think I do anything. But I have noticed that the more issues people have the more they laugh. It’s a nervous thing. And in my shows and courses, I seem to attract a lot of people with a lot of issues.
What are some of your goals in life?
I think it’s very important not to have goals in life. What is it that John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. I always liked John Lennon, and Yoko too, and I never minded that they spent a lot of time in bed. Some people just need more sleep than others. So I don’t do goals. In fact, I think making goals is so destructive - I make it a goal not to make goals. Oh hold on, no I don’t. Because I don’t do goals - I really try to make that my goal every day. Oh. Sh*t. I did again. It’s hard but you’ve got to keep on practising…
How did you discover your talent for being a psychic medium?
Well, it was when I did I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Who would have thought that they would dump us in Holland in the middle of the Frisian Islands in that place with the unpronounceable name, Schiermonnikoog, which just happens to be the place where I was born and raised, and where I am related to every single person in the village? And so is Pieter.
There were just too many ghosts there. There is a reason I haven’t been back since I emigrated in 1970, and it was all too much for me. As you know from that video of me that went viral on the Tube of You, I had a psychotic breakdown. But something else happened to me. I began to hear voices, even when they were dragging me on to the helicopter to get off the island and I had underpants over my head, I could still hear them. But what I realised when I was in celebrity rehab – is that I had become a very powerful psychic medium. I had unlocked a great gift. In fact, I am so powerful that in psychic, mediumship circles, they call me a medium rare – I’m that good.
From your own experience as a mother can you give some tips on motherhood?
Yes, marry a man who wants to be a househusband - like Pieter - my husband (and cousin).
Jan van de Stool can be seen at the Brisbane Comedy Festival next week in Parting the Red Curtain at Sunpac and City Hall, and in the all-women’s show, Frocking Hilarious.