The less than bright side…but then?


photo by David Wayman


I cleaned my room today. Now, that may not seem like a big deal to some folk just as there will be others who give me a little imaginative high five from whatever place of safety and comfort they find themselves in today.

There will be still others who cannot imagine having the energy to lift the doona cover to shuffle to the bathroom because that is just the way that today feels and that is just fine too.

I have made a lot of changes this year. I’ve moved states, started studying in an area I know I am right for and that will lead to great things (if I can only just get through the #@8^ing course work!) and I’m playing the role of single mum to an almost four year old (with huge support in place from his dadda of course). There are many other bits and pieces going on but I may save that for another, more anonymous, blog post… J such a tease I am…

Looking over the last few weeks I can see how this situation unfolded. Not the room cleaning, although that has been a healthy symptom that maybe things are turning around, but rather my gradual and seemingly quite casual stepping downwards into a what felt like a personal prison constructed with my very own bars made of panic, paranoia, anxiety and self doubt.

I’m a big girl now. I have had a life full of experiences. Not all of them have been wonderful but one thing I really absolutely know about myself is that there is no point taking shortcuts. There is no point in attempting to do things quickly without taking time to face every little thing that pops up along the journey of new experience to examine consciously the effect it is having on you. Is it encouraging old habits, triggering past fears, building on past hurts without helping to heal? Maybe a bit of oh, I don’t know… ALL OF THE ABOVE?

And then there’s the old self-worth ‘pal’…. Who gave you the idea you could do this? Don’t you know you’re too old, too fat, too sensitive, too riddled with complex insecurities to possibly deal with making just a choice in the moment…any f$%#ing choice…

Any choice because actually the truth is that the sum of my experience is what has combined to exquisitely and painstakingly create the person I am today. I am unique and alive and bloody wonderful and each response I give, reflection I provide, choice I make is the right one for me to make in that moment and whatever someone else chooses to do with that is absolutely up to them in their own unique and wonderful way and I have no governance in that and it is not relevant to me.

So I cleaned my room today and I’m sitting in the rocking-chair that my mother gave to my grandmother, having just spoken to my gloriously kind and beautiful new housemate and I have had yet another time out of my classes but that’s ok. I am caring for myself so that I can return to my life (as a mother, partner, friend) and my work (as a student, artist and voice practitioner) and care for and facilitate the journey of others which is what I truly love to do and what I have been gifted with the ability and possibility of doing.

How very lucky I am.







Leave a comment

Filed under mental health, musings, Uncategorized

it’s not always shiny

I’ve had a big long think today. I am an incredible supporter of work within the performing arts to support outside causes. I have mates that support and work amongst many causes and sometimes it does feel like we need to do a little more walking of the talk in all honesty and I include myself in that critique.

I was discussing with my partner (a musician) today, the fact that occasionally he may see a post of a fellow equally talented musician that has got some gig or is working in some show/performance that he may have liked to have gotten a shot at. This might happen to him once every couple of weeks or so.

Are we REALLY caring about mental health? Because as an unemployed actor I read an average of 6 or 7 posts a day from people who are employed and most of them will keep talking about the same show the entire time they are in it…some days they may post twice…

It’s tricky because the producers put pressure on to share and be cute and candid and fun-loving but although the fan base in your friend’s list might be loving it your actual colleagues/friends are in stomach turning pain. Wondering where their next gig is coming, how they’ll finance next year’s cabaret, where on earth a whole new year of graduates is going to fit into the industry while they still haven’t gotten a gig.

I’m supposed to put up smiley posts about my day being fun and enlightening while I actually just cringe about the fact that wine o’clock is getting earlier every day. I do things. I teach. I get by.

I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t have recommendations. I am one ‘mature female’ actor that probably already comes across too kooky to cast even though I would happily be a ‘mama’ in Fiddler or a nun in SOM and I didn’t even get a spot to audition for Dame Julie… (yes personally sad about that. I’ve definitely got housekeeper potential) but we need more places to be honest about how we’re feeling and what constructive things we can do to help. A chat group is fine but a constructed play reading night/new musical theatre reading/workshop would be better.

I want to start walking my talk.


I want

YOU (no me, I meant ME)

to stop making things all about you (you are NOT going to get this if you don’t fucking understand me)

I have a life (can you LET me speak?)

that (please)

may (pleASE??)

have (PLEASE??)

importance (…)

I didn’t mean to say that…

Leave a comment

Filed under actingasacareer, narcissism, theatreindustry

What if all the world really IS a stage… ?

So yesterday morning I found myself in the local Magistrate’s court. The clerk called the court to order and said the standard “all rise..etc, etc”. As we were given permission to take our seats my youngest threw his hands in the air, shouted out a big yay and applauded. To him as  a mass we had just performed a beautiful synchronised choreographed movement and he was impressed.

Now he is a particular young fella. I have performed with him on me since he was 7 days old and only stopped because he got old enough to pull the microphone his way to have his turn. Morning usually starts with some music in “the dancing room” and not many days go by when he doesn’t witness one of his parents (or brothers) in a conventional performance situation. He is becoming aware that when you are audience you observe and you only ‘participate’ when there is a break or a conclusion.

I often am an observer. Not so much in the relatively small town that I live in but when I travel I am very quiet and reserved and I watch and sometimes I feel like applauding when I witness a beautifully constructed interaction or calling out ‘BOO’ if I am less than pleased with how a particular scene is playing out. I don’t though. Most of us don’t. I have occasionally subtly thanked an adolescent for offering a seat (out of ear-shot of mates of COURSE) and I have asked someone if they were alright after something upsetting has occurred but that’s been the extent of it.

What if we behaved as if we were on show? As if the choice of words and how we used them were important to the outcome of each moment. Oh it’s easy for me to say because for me “the stage” is a place of safety where I understand the parameters I am bound by. It’s my comfort zone.

Let me ask it a different way.

What if every time we interact with someone we do it in a way that shows that we care what a young person watching might think?

Let’s aim for applause 🙂


Filed under musings, parent thoughts

a love letter to step-parents everywhere

So my biggest boys are off camping with their dad. Actually, that’s a lie. They’re not with “their” dad, they’re with dad and “used to be step-dad who it became too hard for once me and your mum weren’t together anymore” and I am sitting in my lounge room at home with my husband and my 3rd born son. Phew…

I watched my husband relax tonight (this camping trip is 8 days long). We have been married for 5 years and our little guy is 18 months old but we have spent very little of that time away from “evidence of my previous relationships” (my older kids) and it feels both lovely and guilt-infused that we get to enjoy being our little mini family for a little while.

Step-parents do it hard. They rarely get expressions of love and gratitude, they have to demand time with their partner, they have very little rights when it comes to discipline, they don’t get ‘sorry’ and ‘I love you’ cuddles but they usually cop as much aggression and lash back as anyone else in the house. It seems to be that their role is to be present for their partner, a pit-stop team kind of support that may hopefully get the chance to get some love back at some stage.

Through my choices I have facilitated the creation of THREE different step-parents in my life… My husband is a step-parent to my two older children, my eldest son has step-mother and and my middle son not only has a step-mum but he also has a step-brother 3 months older than his youngest brother so he became a big brother 2 times over in two separate houses almost simultaneously…

Confusing much?

This is not a blog about judgement or any kind of statement or comment on how confusing our family roles have become. I’m also not a psychologist or counsellor so I won’t be recommending that anyone do anything differently. My life has been mad and wonderful and honestly completely 100% considered consciously at every turn (for the most part) but I have still ended up here with 3 gorgeous kids that have 3 wonderfully beautifully different dads. I didn’t plan things that way but that’s how it’s gone.

Let’s get to that love letter:

For all the times you’ve tried
For all the distraction that you’ve planned
For all the meals that have failed

thank you

For every time you’ve winked
For every time you kicked a ball that wasn’t returned
For every light switched off

thank you

For each reminder of homework
For those lunchbox treats
For every hard and awkward but necessary talk

thank you

But from me (and others like me):

Thank you for staying and remembering in each moment that I am not a ‘me’

I am a ‘we’

and until they can function on their own we don’t really get ‘our’ time.

If you are here for the right reasons,

YOU are special.

You have patience and tolerance and kindness that I will never be able to completely understand

Thank you xx


Filed under Uncategorized