Monthly Archives: January 2011
I finally got around to watching “Bright Star” this week and it got me thinking – I mean, aside from the tragedy of a great love cut short – about the nature of success.
What really hit me – especially after getting my John Keats-google on (and if you’ve perchance stumbled on here by googling that phrase then hello and I can’t quite decide if I love you or loathe you) – was the revelation that John Keats met his death believing himself a failure.
Not one of the most revered romantic poets in the entire history of mankind, but a FAILURE.
My hubby and I were afterwards discussing the notion of posthumous success, with me saying that it seems so bizarre that somebody so revered would never even be aware of the impact their life actually had on the world.
I rattled off some other names, Jeff Buckley and Eva Cassidy among them. “Yes,” said my hubby, “but even with those two, they at least experienced some success in their careers before they died. John Keats didn’t just find his success cut short, he actually thought he was completely unsuccessful.”
Is our success – overlooking for a moment what you even define that to be – only valid IF we are there to experience it? Or is it still “our” success if we don’t even know that it exists?
I’m so interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this.
One thing I know for sure though – if I find myself on my own death bed before I have achieved whatever it is I’ve set out for myself, I’m going to take great comfort in convincing myself that my Oscar will come posthumously.
Even if I have never acted in a film.
TODDLERS ON SET.
Oh how I love it. It sounds just like a fabulously trashy reality talent show, resplendant with on-set tantrums, tiny bodies dealing with the limelight and countless others running themselves ragged trying to meet every reasonable and unreasonable demand of the talent.
You know, so TOTALLY different from every other reality talent show out there.
Wow, what a week it has been.
a) I absolutely LOVE working on camera – and as it turns out, so does Cassidy. Whaddya know? Show ponyism is apparently genetic.
b) I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to reveal on here about the specifics of what we were working on – let me just say that we were presenting a series of little video snippets for an upcoming website of a major company. Will most certainly link to the real deal once it’s up and running!
c) Catering on set ROCKS. There’s nothing quite like bottomless cappucinos (made FOR you no less) to round out the feeling of being a Z list starlet.
d) They take the “kids on set” thing VERY SERIOUSLY. Did you see how I typed that in all caps? Yes, that’s how seriously. Man oh man. Sometimes I wish I could type my instructions out to my kidlets, purely so I could just press caps lock when I really mean business. Ah me. One of many dreams left unfulfilled.
But yes, they have extremely strict rules about how long a child can be officially on call for while on set – 4 hours at the pint-size, as it turns out – and once bubba’s off, bubba’s off.
e) It’s a tiring business, this show business. While they’re only officially on duty for 4 hours, there’s still the whole night before, trying to make sure they get a good amount of shut eye so that they’ll be in good spirits while on set, then waking them up (if required: in my case, yes) earlier than they want to be woken so that we make our call time, then trying to entertain, feed and otherwise convince them to “stay happy!” for the camera. Ah me.
Mother of Mary Kate and Ashley, I take my hat off to you.
Admittedly, it’s tattered and torn, namely because my son has not yet shown any signs of launching his own television specials, fashion lines and/or eau du toilettes (though if he does my money’s on: “Shades of Brown. For Toddlers.”) and so is not yet a GAFREAKINGZILLIONAIRE. (Yes, caps intended).
Still. Holes and all. Hat off, Madame Olsen.
What a whirlwind of a few days.
Will write a full update shortly.
About to jump on a plane back to Queensland, hopefully with a sleeping toddler in tow, possibly with a wakeful toddler in tow, certainly with some sort of toddler in tow.
‘ I had a very enlightening conversation last night – one of many, in fact – with my host here in Sydney, Ms Jodie Ekert.
I first met Jodie many years back when we were both fresh faces on the stand-up comedy scene (not saying anything about the current state of our faces, mind you, I am speaking purely metaphorically…ehem) – we hit it off and when some many months later she came to town to perform and was looking for an MC, she called on yours truly.
Fast forward x years later and we’re now playing mummy club together in her suitably faboosh child-friendly pad – her bub 15 months, my little dude just a little older – and we found ourselves with a whole new level of common ground over which to chin-wag.
And so it was that the topic turned to the effect that having kids has on your life when you have them early in life versus later. And Jodie’s take on it was an interesting one to me, given that my experience of parenting has been quite different, at least in terms of the timing in my life.
You see, I remember very boldly proclaiming to somebody that “I’m not having kids til I’m at LEAST 33!”, not realising of course, that at that very moment, I was indeed, pregnant.
I was 22.
And once I’d overcome the initial shock of this unexpected twist of events, my first thought turned to all the things I’d wanted so badly to do with my life but hadn’t.
Backpack through Europe.
Carve out a career in showbiz.
Go to Nepal and hire a sherpa.
I was kicking myself for not having taken action before now: why hadn’t I just pulled my finger out and made these things happen when I had the chance? Now that I was going to be a mother, I’d have to just resign myself to those dreams going on the backburner for the forseeable future, if not off the stove altogether.
Then something in me snapped. I resolved – in my traditional melodramatic form – to absolutely NOT let this new stage of my life mean the end of the things I really wanted to do. I was so completely resolute in this, so determined to still make serious headway on even the maddest dreams and adventures in my heart that I think, to be honest, I actually became quite selfish.
I still believe I was a good mother in those early years, in that I cared for my kids, loved them to bits and made sure they were well looked after – but I also recognise now that I became so damn hell bent on achieving what I wanted to with my life that at times my mind wasn’t really present just to enjoy my beautiful babies right then and there, which makes me sad now especially as I realise how quickly those first years really do pass.
Would I change anything?
I don’t know.
The flipside of this, of course, is that my kids have always known (and will always know) a mother who is at least trying – with various levels of success and failure – to look after her own needs and pursue her own goals, as crazy as they may be. Whether this turns out to be a positive thing for them, I can only hope. Time will tell.
Anyway, I am in typical Jenny-fashion, getting rather side-tracked here.
My point is that for me personally, motherhood at such an early age hugely impacted on the way I live my life (duh!) in the sense that it made me resolutely determined to carve out the life I’d barely even begun to live.
Jodie, on the other hand told me that she felt – as a first time mother at 32 – that her struggle was more about dealing with the sense of loss of the life she’d already had. i.e. the career she’d had, even friends she’d had – the difference between her and I being that I’d barely even begun to carve out my life when motherhood hit, whereas she had an established life that then had to change.
Let me hereby state for the record that both of us adore our little ones to bits and are so happy that they are in our lives – but it is fascinating to me the effect that becoming a parent has on your whole world.
It was only last night that I really thought about my own experience from a different angle.
That is, up until now I’d kinda thought at some level that maybe if I HAD done all the stuff I’d wanted to do pre-kids, even if I HAD waited til I was “at least 33″ to have babies, maybe even if I HAD backpacked, treaded the boards and found my sherpa before embarking on the adventure that was family life, that the transition to “mother” would have been simple.
It’s now that I realise that’s just not so.
There’s never a “right time” to have a baby. They change your life no matter what.
And carving out a life for yourself is not just something you do in your early twenties – it’s a lifelong undertaking.
What do you reckon?
So it’s mere days since I wrote my goals list for 2011, yet those mere days have turned out to be more than mere, indeed. And so it is – in the grand tradition of this crazy unexpected thing called life – that already my goals have changed.
Epiphanies aplenty in this little mind, or rather, dots that have been up there for a while have finally started to connect.
More to follow.
*Note: I’m off to Sydney tomorrow to shoot some web videos with my little dude Master Toddler Extraordinaire. We shall be back on Thursday, hopefully with some fun tales to tell (and hopefully will have a chance to blog some of them while they’re happening. Damn I want an iphone.)
In the meantime, love and peace from all of us here at Club Comic Mummy.
Thanks so much for the messages enquiring after our welfare this week. It seems that where we live is now well and truly past the worst of it (touch wood) and naturally, we feel extremely lucky compared to so many others. To catch you up on the week just gone for us:
By far the worst day here was Tuesday.
In a very surreal turn of events that morning, Tim and I both opted to take a nap while littlest did the same – only to wake up to 14 messages on my phone asking if we were okay as they were evacuating our town!
My sister was in a complete panic at not having been able to make contact with us and to cut a long story short, by the time we were ready to up and evacuate, it was too late: we were cut off from the end of our street: in effect, our only way out of here.
And so it was that we came up with plan B: to seal off the doorways as best we could (i.e. towels and mats piled up on each other like rugby players in a whatever-they’re-called) and pack some supplies to take up on the roof if the absolute worst came to the worst.
“We should put a table outside the window,” I said to Tim. So we’ve got something to help us get up on the roof.”
“Agreed,” he said.
So we moved the table out in the rain, next to the water tank.
“It’s gonna float away, though,” said Tim.
“Alright, then let’s weigh it down with something!” I said, loading a few pot-plants on top. Genius, right?
“Uh, honey, that’s not gonna cut it.” Then, “Maybe I could pop a couple of bricks on top.”
“Great idea!” I said. “Okay, you do that and I’ll keep
checking facebook packing stuff!”
An hour or so later, I went outside to see what on earth my man had been doing with those “couple of bricks.”
It was then that I first laid eyes on this.
That’s what I said too.
Last night as I saw images of the post-flash flood chaos that is Toowoomba, I could not even comprehend what I was looking at. In that I couldn’t believe the magnitude of the disaster, but also I couldn’t even make out what part of the CBD I was seeing. And having been brought up in this little city on the mountain, I know T’ba like the back of my 31 year old hand. I know it. So to not know it and see it in such horrible pain was…awful.
Add to this that my 8-year-old daughter is currently up there with the grandparents – now stranded there for the forseeable future with all access back home cut off in both directions – that is, I’m separated from my daughter during an actual bonafide natural disaster and well…Mummy’s feeling a little numb.
Yet, in light of the horror of 8 people having lost their lives, 72 missing and countless others having lost so, so much in this time, really my personal state of affairs is insignificant. Which is a good reminder to keep this all in perspective.
And send all the love, thoughts and support to the others who aren’t so lucky.
Write and shoot a pilot (and more!) of this sit-com I’m currently working on. Last night my best friend Frankie and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning (her 30th birthday, no less!) sketching out a backbone for the entire show run. So freaking pumped!
Get Gumball Theatre running in a most professional and awesome manner. Note: I have actually formalised what this entails in my business plan musings, but for the purposes of readability here, will leave it at that!
Develop my solo show to a point where it is well and truly peformance ready – to pitch to festivals and the like for world domination in the latter half of 2011-2012.
Go to LA to become a ton better at solo and musical improv respectively. Happening. Agh.
Go to Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Invite more people over to my house for socialising.
Taking up a new sport. Maybe it’s time to get back into tennis.
Regular date time with the hubbster.
Regular date time with the kidlets.
Eat fresh food.
My heavens life is nutty.
This month alone:
1. I have scored a most fabulous gig (fab in that it is completely and utterly up my alley in a very un-sordid way) shooting some comedic style online videos with my little toddler the Cass-meister! We’re off to the big smoke in a fortnight to join forces in what will hopefully be some funny onscreen collaborating. Dig!
2. I am madly preparing for the first show of the year of my favourite creation of late (namely cos it didn’t hurt on the way out): Gumball Theatre! Yay! We already have quite a few peeps coming – PS today is the LAST day to book a group of 5 and get a free bottle of bubbly waiting for you on arrival, deets are over here – and so am super pumped. But you know, in the meantime: rehearsals. Organising. Stuff like that.
3. I am MCing a family fun day at Bribie Island for Australia Day! Merriment! Sausage sizzles! What more could you ask for?
4. My best friend is turning 30 next week. I want it to ROCK so hard for her. Stay tuned.
5. I’m contemplating making scones. Except the last time I did they turned out like hard little rocks of awful. As unstable as a career in showbiz is, there is one thing I know for absolute certain: I will NEVER be on Masterchef. EVER.