Meet Meirav. (Pronounced may-RAHV). This is her story and what led her to put herself out in the spotlight in to unburden the pressures of her own experience with infertility and provide some relatable comedic relief to others going through the fire. Meirav in no way makes light of infertility, instead she takes to the stage to highlight the absurd situations that members of the infertility community may find themselves in and does so with levity. Her sketches are also an educational training of sorts for others who want to understand their partner, friend or family member who may be faced with the challenges of infertility. Read on to get to know Meirav and what inspired her to do the Inconceivable (Show).
And if you are in New York City on September 22nd, you can check out Meirav’s award-winning show Inconceivable: The Totally True One-Woman Semi-Fertile Quasi-"Musical" at the United Solo Theatre Festival at 6pm. Tickets may be purchased here or you can enter for a chance to win at @Fertilust.
First off, we would love to hear a little bit about you.
I grew up in Atlanta, and now live in a town near Tel Aviv, Israel. My extended family lives in Israel and we would visit them almost every summer while I was growing up. I always felt some sort of connection to Israel, and after university studies in the U.S., I decided to move to Israel and serve in the army. I wanted to be part of what every person in Israel around my age at the time was experiencing. I met my husband, fell in love, and stayed.
What are 5 fun facts about you?
1. If there's a good song on, I will karaoke anywhere. No lyrics necessary.
2. I love making people laugh, especially my husband and daughter. Jokes, characters, funny voices or faces, anything goes.
3. I like to draw.
4. The kind of shopping I love most is for office supplies.
5. I like to make birthday rap-o-grams for my friends.
What is your fertility story?
My husband and I have experienced unexplained infertility and unexplained secondary infertility for over 11 years. I never shared that with anyone until recently. When we first started trying, it took about four years and a couple of miscarriages until we went to a fertility specialist. Nobody else around us spoke about any of this, and this was before the era of Googling anything for more information. We kept thinking “it'll just happen”.
The day I was meant to start my first hormone injection in preparation for an IUI, I found out I was pregnant naturally. We were of course overjoyed, and I got to "graduate" the fertility clinic without ever actually knowing what it was all about. I thought maybe it was because we finally went to "get help," and that I felt taken care of, had a plan, and that must have lifted the load and stress. We had our amazing daughter, and she was about a year or so old when we started trying again. We wanted her to have a sibling and figured it might take a while again.
This time the magical whatever-it-was didn't work. I had to go through many rounds of hormones, IUI's, and we also had an unsuccessful IVF. The stress and hormones and everything was unbearable. It put a big strain on our marriage and family. I really think that these intense emotional roller-coasters and the PTSD that comes with infertility is incredibly underestimated and overlooked. After the failed IVF, my husband and I decided that we had to step out of that all-consuming pressure cooker of infertility in order to let ourselves just be a family. We are now a happy family of three, and we're good.
What inspired you to create the Inconceivable Show?
About 3 years ago, which was a couple of years after our failed IVF, I went through a 2-week or so time period when I was pregnant naturally (found out quite late into the pregnancy), heard the fetus heartbeat for the first time, went to get an initial full scan, heard no heartbeat, then got a D&C a few days later. It was intense for me and my husband. It was really heartbreaking.
A little while after that, it dawned on me that maybe I should tell someone about everything that has happened, because in the last few years, especially those recent months, I was even more withdrawn from social events, work projects, etc. But I didn't know how I could bring myself to say anything.
I figured out that the only way I could talk about my infertility was through comedy, so I decided to invite some friends over and tell them. They didn't know why they were coming over. I told them (about it) the only way I knew how, with silly songs, characters, odd thoughts, and lots of humor. I was so nervous. And when I was done I was so relieved that I got through it. I figured that they would all just go home and that would be that. But instead, they all told me I needed to make my comedic sketch an actual show. And even more surprisingly, they stayed over for a long time afterwards, because everyone started TALKING. They talked about their own infertility-related stories, that other friends in the room didn't really know about. And suddenly there was this deeper understanding and connection. That's when I knew that THIS was worth exploring. It got people talking about this thing nobody ever REALLY talks about honestly. And it got people LAUGHING, too. That's how I was inspired to develop that night into a whole show.
What are 5 reasons why someone should see the show?
1. You will laugh. Laughing is something that's good for all of us and we can never laugh too much.
2. You will learn about yourself and others. You'll learn a bit about what your friends or family members have gone or are going through (and everyone knows somebody, whether they're aware of it or not).
3. You might be part of the show. It's interactive, in a non-threatening way.
4. Just in case reasons 1 - 3 didn’t convince you, the show won an award and got great theatrical reviews (from men)!
5. You'll have a new perspective on sex-ed(ucation).
Meirav Zur is an actor, writer, and producer currently based in Israel. Meirav was born and raised in the U.S., where she first began to pursue her theatre and education studies. In 2005, Zur founded the independent English-language professional traveling theater in Israel, English On Stage, subsequently writing, directing, and acting in its various original productions. The theatre's extensive repertoire includes original musicals, children's plays, and improv shows, with productions having been performed across Israel, including at the Habima National Theatre of Israel. Zur's most recent production and first solo show, Inconceivable: The Totally True One-Woman Semi-Fertile Quasi-"Musical", had its U.S. debut at the 2018 United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City, where it was awarded Best Interactive Show.