Monthly Archives: January 2012
This vision you see before you is the result of a family bonding event gone this past weekend.
Let me start by being honest: things can get pretty nuts around here. I know this is true of pretty much every family household I know, so I’m certainly not pleading special circumstances, but just with the added factor of Mummy dearest to-ing and fro-ing all over the countryside for performances and such, well yes…I’m pleading special circumstances.
And with more performances coming up this year than ever before in our family’s history, I’ve recently realised more than ever how much we are in dire need of some help in:
a) making our time together really, REALLY TRULY count; and
b) getting more organised in terms of practicalities. (Oh dear HEAVENS when we can finally afford professional help with that I will consider that my moment of having “made it”. You have it in writing.)
So, I headed for the first place any approaching-overwhelm mother would in such circumstances:
an all-you-can-drink buffet a helpful e-book. After seeing it plugged on another blog, I opted in for this one: One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler.
Thus far, I’ve checked off a couple of these projects, much to my delight (hello morning routine! Menu planning! IS THERE NOTHING I CANNOT CONQUER?!) and last night, the five of us gathered together to nut out one of these tasks as a family: crafting our Family Purpose Statement. A little cheesy? Sure. But those of you who know me well know how I love to embrace the dairy in life.
We each contributed ideas to the kind of family we want to be, even littlest (whose contribution of a Buzz Lightyear quote: “I come in peace!” was included on the grounds that:
a) we wanted everybody in the family to be a part of the statement; and
b) once we adapted it to “we”, it actually is rather cool indeed. WE COME IN PEACE, YO!
Then today, we set about emblazoning it in gold. Only that didn’t work out, so we opted for the next best thing: a mixed media collage.
It now has prime position in our kitchen. And I kinda love it. Now I finally have something to stare dreamily at when I find my happy place.
Note: I have already uttered the phrase today (that’s right, on DAY ZERO):
“Where does it say “hit each other!” on the family purpose statement? WHERE?!?!?!”
I am not proud.
And yet…I am.
I responded in the comments so thought I’d share the story with you.
I was living in Sydney and had just found out I was pregnant that week, completely out of the blue and in far from ideal circumstances. Broke. Single. Jobless. It had been a rollercoaster ride of a few days, calling my sister, my friends, my ex-fiance, counsellors, asking for advice, mulling it over, drowning in hormonal angst…then that Saturday, I did something that took me completely by surprise: I made the decision to have the baby.
I was walking down the street with my friend when this homeless guy sitting there asked for some spare change. I said “sorry mate,” but then stopped and went back to him. “I don’t have any money, but…do you smoke?”
“Yeah!” he said.
“Here.” I handed him my near-full packet of tobacco, rolling papers, filters and a lighter as he thanked me.
My friend piped in: “She’s just found out she’s pregnant.”
“Aw!” he said, smiling up at me. “CONGRATULATIONS!”
He was the first person to actually respond to the news in any positive manner whatsoever.
And I’ll never forget it.
I’d love to tell you that the reason I’m sharing this little tour of my home office is because I was simply inspired to do so by its sheer beauty, its gorgeousness and its wondrous ability to lift me up where I belong…but the truth is, I finally pulled my finger out today and shovelled about a gazillion bits of un-filed paper into other unknown crevices in an attempt to make it look at least semi-decent. And as Fiona O’Loughlin herself says, “there’s no point to doing anything without an audience”! So the moment I had mopped my brow from such complete and utter cleaning-exhaustion, I put finger to i-phone and documented the shizz out of it.
Because if I’m totally honest, heaven knows when or indeed if it will ever look this way again.
I swear I didn’t line these up specifically to show you; they are quite truly what are on my desk at the mo. I’m about halfway through “Dear Fatty” which I’m enjoying very much and connecting with in more ways than one (see my previous post on this here).
This is my prize and joy (yes, that’s right, I said PRIZE!) I ripped the original poster off a pole in Saskatchewan, Canada, where I had spent the entire day driving across the state 7 months pregnant, with two small children in the back of the car, just to seize my once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the man himself live. When he walked out onstage, I almost wept. What a masterclass in comedy that was. I should write an entire post just on that gig. Note to self: add to to-do list.
My philosophy on interior design? If it’s gonna be messy, at least make it a mess of pretty things.
I originally bought this from Ikea thinking I would stack it with to-do lists (one of which is actually up there; if you look closely you’ll see my daughter has thoughtfully ticked off every time and then written DONE down the bottom, despite me having not even read through the thing since it was put up), but instead it’s just become a bit of a rotating arty board, filled with magnets from my travels, photos and works of awesome from my kidlets.
And I love it umpteen times more than even the most inspired to-do list in the world.
I was absolutely delighted to discover this evening that 5 (count em, FIVE) Oscar nominees this year are “Groundlings!” To the uninitiated, this is the affectionate – or so I am led to believe! – term given to alumni of The Groundlings Theatre in LA.
Why was I so chuffed at this turn of events, you ask?
Well because the man who founded The Groundlings Theatre was none other than the director of “An Unexpected Variety Show” as well as one of my favourite people in the entire world, Gary Austin. Thus I feel suitably entitled to get up on my little high horse and feel just a little bit attached to these particular folks of jawsome. GO GO GO! (You can read more about my time with Gary and friends in LA last year over here.)
The nominees are:
Melissa McCarthy – Best Supporting Actress – “Bridesmaids”
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig – Screenplay – “Bridesmaids”
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash – Screenplay – “The Descendants”
Gary was quick to point out on his Facebook page that:
Not receiving a nomination but certainly deserving of one is long time Gary Austin Workshops alumnus Paul Feig – Director – “Bridesmaids.”
I will be cracking out the big guns for this year’s Oscars, PLAINLY! You know…brushing my hair, eating the nicer brand of chocolate…I MAY even splash out on a $12 chardonnay. Somebody stop me!
Though my grandma always tells me not to tell people, lest I be suddenly the subject of some sort of medieval ages type prejudice from the sins of the forefathers, apparently our family is in possession of Viking blood.
Perhaps that – or just a fondness for headwear with horns – was behind my immediate compulsion to take the kids to the Abbey Museum when I saw their advertised “Family Fun Viking Week!” Yes! If nothing else is gonna make me feel like Mother of the Millennium, it’s blowing an ivory horn while wearing shiny stuff!
I decided to surprise the kids, not telling them where we were going, so as to spring the amazing awesome on them for maximum effect.
We turned into the museum.
“WHAT?” they groaned. “A museum?” Insert enough whining to make Mummy start staring at the array of blunt axes with a dangerous glint in her eye.
That is, until we walked into the actual museum itself, where shortly after being christened with their new names…
…the kids were handed weapons.
Suddenly, Mummy’s lame idea turned into the MOST. COMPLETELY. AWESOME. THING. EVER.
The Abbey Museum, as it turns out, makes a real effort to not just be a museum of the “come in and stare at shizz” variety, but of the “come and interact with things, do stuff, handle bits, dress up, make props, get into it!” kind that pint-sized (and not-so-pint-sized) tikes really do love.
For a day, they became knights. Archers. Shield makers. Archeologists.
And ultimately, they became Mummy fans.
As we drove away, I turned to Mister 7.
“See?” I said. “I told you you’d like it!”
“I didn’t like it,” he said.
“Huh?” I said.
“I LOVED it!”
This viking Mama was just a little bit chuffed.
*This is not a sponsored post. We simply rocked up and did it and loved it. Note that these activities were part of a special Family Fun Viking Week, for deets on what else is going on week to week at the Abbey Museum you’d be best to check their website. I do know they have a rocking Medieval Festival mid-year, preceded by a special one-day festival event focused on the kiddies which we will almost certainly be at!
So I start putting together a list of some of my “must see” shows for this year’s Fringe to share with you here, in an effort to serve a purpose that is more than just “come see me! Come see me! Come see me!”
As I set out to write it all down, I decide to cast this little spotlight of mine on some shows that I know are gonna rock socks but that you may not have heard before i.e. people not necessarily well known (yet) and/or on TV (yet). Anyway, point is, there are many more shows I AM gonna go see and love the bejinkers outta and will no doubt blog about as I see them through the Fringe.
But for now, I think, what is in order is a list of hot “underground” tips! Ooh, I love that word. It just inspires feeling of sweaty, creative grit! Or something.
Anyhoo, so I’m putting my list together and I swear this is true, as I do so it dawns on me that each show on said list is by and starring ladies.
Then I think, “awesome! I’ll write a “Top Chick Shows To See at Adelaide Fringe!” but then am disgusted by my own patronising tone the moment it enters my head. So…I forget that and just write the damn list.
So…after that long-winded intro of self-justification, here are my hot Fringe tips. Don’t go see them because they’re female. Go see them because they rock.
In no particular order…
Annie Siegmann: En Route to Modesty Lane
I caught this show last year at the Cabaret Fringe, where it received beautiful reviews and sell-out crowds. Annie is a gorgeous bundle with a heck load of heartfelt songs and a velvety voice of YUM. We did the recent Cabaret Summer School together where her 10-minute show about a stalkerish bike rider wannabe was a twisted brand of funny, just the way I like it.
At last year’s Fringe I caught only an exerpt from Tessa’s comedy duo act with Kai Smythe “Sexytime” and was so sad it was only a tantalising taste: I nearly lost my shizz and wanted more, more, more! Soooooo funny and truly unique, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Tessa is ridiculously talented, I’m sure this show will be brills.
Gady Lala: Songs for the Sophisticated Fag Hag
Even looking at their poster image, I am utterly chuffed to say that the ladies that stand before you each taught or mentored me during the Cabaret Summer School. I am so going to this SHOW!!! The only issue is that apparently it’s already sold out its season (already?! YES ALREADY! That’s how in demand these ladies of lovely are!) but they are currently extending it. I know that even if I have to wear a mammogram on the night, I will squeeze myself in somehow!
Mercedes Benz: Awkwardly
Hannah Williams knocked it out of the park at last year’s Melbourne Fringe; a 4-star review from The Age, sold out crowds and to top it all off, the Audience Choice Award! I would hop on those tix rather quickly.
Urzila Carlson: The Truth According To Urzila Carlson
Full disclosure: I knew I dug this woman moments after meeting her last year. There we were, perfect strangers sitting backstage at “Titters” (where we were both performing and will be this year also), when I mentioned I had a sore throat. Without even batting an eyelid, she raced downstairs and brought me up a cup of hot water in which to put my lemon and honey concoction. She rocks. And onstage…POW. This woman is, pardon my french, friggin hilarious. YOU MUST SEE HER!
Oh and by the way, “Come see me!”
Got a hot Fringe tip? Let me know and I will do my darndest to get there!
So that video I was telling you about, from the Australian Cabaret Summer School showcase is online!
And if you do enjoy, then please share it around with people you wish to mildly amuse.
I would hugely appreciate it.
P.S. Musical accompaniment from the utterly brilliant Matthew Carey.
How to do justice in one measly post to the incredibly week that has just been? Note to 2012: I am a huge fan already and we’ve barely begun.
If you’re into it you can read my full day-by-day breakdowns of the Australian Cabaret Summer School experience over here at Cabaret Confessional, however in short:
- I feel like an entire world of possibilities has just opened up to me in terms of what is creatively possible.
- My goal during the Summer School was to come up with a new 10 minute piece (i.e. for the showcase) which would then form the basis of my next show, i.e. the one after “An Unexpected Variety Show” and I was so very, very excited by the results that a huge part of me just wants to drop everything, write the new show and start performing it now, now, now! I guess it’s a similar feeling to being pregnant with the second bundle, when you’re all “agh! A new excitement!” but have to also remember that the precious nugget you’ve already got in your life is pretty damn special and in need of your love and attention too!
- I made so many beautiful connections with truly wondrous people this week who I am already missing. Crazy. Good thing I’m going to be back in Radelaide soon for my Fringe show and this time with a fantastic community of folks to hook up with. So, so grateful for that unexpected bit of awesome.
- The showcase was filmed; I am currently trying to get my hot little hands on some of the footage so will post that on here as soon as I am able. I have one piece in particular I am dying to share around the interwebs, it was such an out of the blue piece that I developed through the week with some spectacular mentors; I honestly didn’t expect to perform it at all, it was more of an experiment really, but turned out to be my personal highlight performance-wise. Watch this space!
- I am slowly coming back to earth; it always takes me a few days to settle back into the routine of family life after these adrenalin fuelled stints, the fact it has been pouring with rain has been a little tricky on the one hand, but has meant lots of hot cups of tea and snuggles with my kidlets on the other. And again, I say DAMN we are all nice to each other when we’ve had some space away!
I have had to stop writing here to have a little self-indulgent weep, as I allow the significance of your easy forgiveness for my absence, and the sheer warmth of your appreciation, to flood through me. I should be with you today. I don’t feel guilt about it, I just feel the pain of separation, which confirms of me how connected we are.”
Dawn French in “Dear Fatty”.