It’s Important To Not Give A Shit

That title is from George Carlin, who’s a hero of mine. If you don’t know him, start with his piece about stuff and enjoy going down the rabbit hole of his genius.

But it’s that advice that he gave as he neared the end of his life that I find myself think about this evening, as I plan my day tomorrow. Depression has taken a brief reprieve (potentially because I did something as simple as begin the search for the right psychologist), and I’ve been taking advantage of that to the best of my ability- in fact, I had my first big audition here in Melbourne just yesterday.

While I don’t feel comfortable admitting who they are at this moment, I can tell you that it is paid work (which is a huge tick right there as any slogging actor knows), and it’s ongoing all year round. So naturally, after not acting in anything big for over six months for The Brain Room I was pretty nervous, and I said it was probably unlikely the audition would go anywhere.

I entered the space, confident, determined to do my best- but not overly concerned and/or desperate as I know I have been in the past. And here’s the thing- I fucked it up. Not a lot, but… enough. A fudged word, here and there, a need to improvise through to the next bit I know, move along, move along, hope they don’t notice. But I did what any actor does on stage and faked it, kept moving forward. I tried to have fun with it and  ended up only showing my mounting discomfort at staying on the metaphorical bicycle right at the end.

They seemed cheery. Nice people. They told me that I took direction well, and I projected well and that even though I messed up “I didn’t let it show” which is important.

I nodded, I smiled, I said “thank you”, but in my head I was quietly confident that it would proceed no further. I received compliments from the casting directors, but as far as I was concerned it was just them trying to be nice so I wouldn’t throw a chair at them on exit. I’d heard it all before.

Imagine my surprise then, when I learned I had a callback! A real one. For real acting. What a huge step. What a opportunity. What a-

Okay seriously, who’s messing with me?!

I was legitimately shocked. But then I remember that sage advice from my husky voiced hero, George, (fun fact, a lot of my heroes have weird or overly loud voices, go figure), it’s important to not give a shit.

I went in there, confident but not needy, not too intense, just wanting to perform for the sake of performing. Not too long ago I may have cancelled on my audition just to save myself the embarrassment my brain conjured up for me. Now, I seem to be handling writing out my schedule, keeping to it, and even doing work WAY BEFORE A DEADLINE.

Tomorrow I go back in there to improvise and do work with other actors, which I’m so excited about. Amongst that I’m going for an audition for a music show among lots of other creative endeavors.

And I’m okay. I am legitimately okay. I’m not freaking out, despite the fact I am busy and having to balance many things.

I owe it all, I think, to finally taking Uncle George’s advice. I feel deeply passionate about my work, I’m willing to go through hell to get closer to my goals. But I think I’m finally finding a balance, learning to relax, when to let go, to not give a shit. I didn’t get that thing? There’s another thing. No feces given.

I don’t give a shit, for once. And it feels great.

Individuality vs The Entertainment Business

So I’ll keep this short, it’s 3:52 AM and I’ve been playing Freddie Mercury interviews because right now apparently I don’t feel sad enough. I wanted to discuss something, potentially with likeminded creatives/actors and you, no matter what you do, if you’ve got something you want to say about it.

As we all know, we’ve lost many greats in this month alone. 2016 is shaping to be a pretty grim year, particularly for fans of British anything (which I am, massively). Bowie, Lemmy, and Alan Rickman and we’re all crossing our fingers that that’s all for one year, thank you very much.


Word.

But the thing about these people, despite the fact they’ve no doubt influenced your childhood/life/taste in one way or another- is they’re freaking mad. No really. They were renegades in their fields. People who didn’t fit in the playing field so much as dig a man size ditch, jump in and responded anyone trying to shove them out with a hearty FUCK OFF and a poke of the shovel.

They were absolutely folk that we responded to for that reason. We wanted to be as happy as they were to be themselves. I did too. I do too.

But, I consider myself a performer first and foremost (I used to call myself just an actor, not so anymore- that’s a story for another day)- and as such I work* in the entertainment industry, and they do not  encourage renegades.

There was an article I read about what it took to be cool, and, pompous as that concept was, it did raise an interesting point about how people buying out the entire radio business essentially killed music movement as we used to know them: 60’s psychelics, 70’s punk, 80’s electronic, 90’s grunge- countercultures, the article argued had effectively died with this move, and it shows in the entertainment industry. Every new young and hip ‘rock’  embraced by mainstream culture looks like Mumford and Sons.

This isn’t just in music though. More than ever before, folks are looking for strong men to lead the charge in acting. It’s no surprise Chris Hemsworth is the face of Australian tourism- like it or not, it’s what people want on their screens now more than ever.

And here I am- the birth result of a troll and a lorikeet, growing out my hair and wanting tattoos… and I really don’t feel like I belong. And I know, I know, I should follow the people who’ve passed this month’s example- dig my ditch and defend it.

But honestly? I don’t actually know if I even have the ability to dig my own ditch anymore. I fear our need for safe entertainment and reality TV on public channels has removed my chance at even getting a grip on the shovel.

Still, if they’ve locked it up in the shed, I guess now’s as good a time as ever to try and find me some bolt cutters. God knows that I can’t give up now.

First photoshoot in the morning. My first real step back into acting in about a year. Wish me luck.

Good night/morning.

*when I get paid