Hello gentle gatherers,
I am on holidays, officially, it has begun. Although I’m largely unemployed, day to day life does not feel like a holiday. One could argue “oh you can just do whatever you like!” but one is wrong. Official semi-unemployment to an actor, artist, musician etc is well, kinda normal unless you’re super famous and rolling around in $100 bills in a hired gown for the Oscars. Pursuing a career in ‘the arts’ (say in swanky upper class accent with a stiff upper lip) is like throwing a pair of dice and then never getting them back cause the homeless guy sitting next to you stole them, its like skydiving and not knowing wether or not your parachute will open, or if you have one, its like taking all your hopes, dreams and goals and rolling them into a ball and then attempting to throw the ball to the top of Mt Everest. Well perhaps its not that unreasonable, but it is a risk, a big lovely, beautiful, terribly frightening yet somewhat exciting risk. I have made an acronym for the word RISK which I have stuck on my wall along with all the other notes I stick there to remind myself of BEING MY AWESOME SELF and that I can succeed and so forth!
RISK – Rising Into Success Kingdom, or Rising Into Success Kicking-ass-kingdom-YEAH!. Yes I have copyrighted that slogan, it is now mine. So instead of seeing risk in a negative light I see taking risks as getting closer to my goals, of being more awesome, of growing and stretching into success.
The other night I sat and thought about death. Yes I know somewhat morbid, but I am writing a show based in a graveyard so these things happen. (I am a bit of a Tim Burton fan). Its weird to think we are living, to well, die. Eventually anyway. We will all eventually be dead one day. Such a strange thought. But its something we often forget. This, this right here (looks around) is temporary and what gives me the poops is when people forget that! Its like the one important fact you shouldn’t forget – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE (say in booming scary voice). But it’s true and its liberating. If you think of yourself on your death bed, what kind of life do you hope you would have led?
I don’t want to lie on my death bed and regret not following my heart, my passions, my dreams. I don’t want to lie there and think “dammit! I shouldn’t have taken that office job and spent 45 years of my life behind a computer never again creating lovely things…what a waste”. NOW THAT is scary. I don’t want to lie there and realise I was too afraid to try.
Every time (which is at least once a week, who am I kidding nearly all the time) when I freak out over being unemployed, stuck in Australia, seemingly stagnating in my ‘career’, I have to remind myself of what I truly want and that one day I am going to die. Heck it could be tomorrow (touch wood). I have to remind myself that I want to be and continue to be a theatre maker – that I want to write more theatre shows, operas, musicals and films, that I want to direct and act in them. I have to remind myself that THAT is my goal. I have to let go of the naysayers nay-saying (which is mostly my mind saying “oh its impossible, you’re never going to get payed, all that work and it you could fail!”) I have to acknowledge these fears of failure but then CHOOSE to risk failing regardless. Perhaps I should make failure my bestest friend, so the fear of failure will no longer be a fear. Thomas Edison, lightbulb man (I just quickly read a bit of his bio) failed SO many times and was a bit of a down and outer, but look at all he eventually achieved! Just keep on keepin’ on!
You know, dancing really has changed my life for the better and a lot of it has to do with what I have learnt about myself through the process and the encouragement I have received from one of the teachers. I’m not naturally the kind of person who will confidently try something new, even if they will make a fool of themselves. I’m the kind of person who will watch, observe, copy and then practice said ‘thing’ for hours on end when no-one is around until I have perfected it and then I will do it in public. I have this weird, performance thing going on, as if every rehearsal, every dance class I attend must be executed with perfection. Which is the most ridiculous thing in the world, because rehearsals are there to well rehearse! To get to that really amazing level, same with dance classes. So this strange desire to be perfect at all times inhibits me from trying, what a massive and unrealistic burden to carry!
Well I try more now, I fail more too, I throw myself in the deep end and make a fool of myself, cause thats the only way I will get better – IF I TRY. I often (I imagine) look like a real goose attempting some of these dance moves, but BUT a teacher told me the other day ‘You’ve improved so much! You’re looking so great’ (along with other amazing stuff I can’t exactly remember right now :S). I off course was like “SAY WHAA?!”, but he was like “You now have to take this feedback and let this add to your confidence, let it build you up!” And he’s right. He’s totally right. Believing in yourself is the first key to success. Cause you’ve all heard it, if you don’t believe in yourself no one will!
So take risks, lots of risks (but not really stupid ones like running naked into oncoming traffic). Stick your neck out there and grow, learn, fail, try again! TRY. Just keep trying and never stop trying. PUSH YOUR OWN WORK. That’s another thing an influential creative told me and I’m gonna live by it!
1. You’re gonna die some day, so you might as well do what you love
2. Try, fail lots, keep trying, take risks!
3. Push your own work
So during this silly season and on your inevitable off time when you shall be pondering life anew remember these things and re-assess what YOU really want out of YOUR life. It is YOUR life after all, not your parents, not the governments, not society’s, YOURS. Create the damned life YOU wana live!
DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
Much cheer and peace to you all 🙂