Ep12 – Naomi Mourra

NaomiMourra_1600x800_2

Ep12.

Naomi Mourra is a comedian, improvisor and co-producer of a regular comedy night on the Sydney scene.

There’s a well developed sense of irreverance to her comedy – she’s not afraid to speak comedy truth to power. In her upcoming show for the Sydney Comedy Festival she tackles a little book called The Bible.

Naomi’s performing her show, An Open Book @ The Enmore Theatre on 26, 27 & 28 April. Get your tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/237656840454622/ or here http://www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au/single-event?show_id=2200

The release of this podcast also coincides with the 1-year anniversary of What She Said Comedy, Sydney’s only all-female comedy night. Congratulations to co-producers Naomi, Sophie Long and Alex Potter for pioneering this weekly night @ the Chippo Hotel – you can find them plus some of Australia’s best and up&coming women of comedy on the stage each Sunday from 6.30pm.

Stay up to date with Naomi and the What She Said Comedy crew’s goings on here:

 

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

Just Enough

just enough
https://unsplash.com/@helloimnik

Will that be my epitaph?

Have I lived my life thus far doing just enough?

It feels like that at times.

When have I gone out on a limb? When have I really tried to turn the odds in my favour, taken a risk, or a series of risks to make more possible something I want?

Fence-sitter.

Hedge-better.

Diplomat.

Player of both sides.

Tight holder to the middle of the road.

I want to say these ring true when I say them about myself, but am I forcing it?

There was once this little mantra I used to repeat:

I have enough

I do enough

I am enough

I’m not sure where it came from. I’m not sure if that’s the right order of phrases. I’m not sure any of that matters.

Anyway, it’s a mantra and as they go it was helpful for a time because I spent so much of my time feeling quite the opposite

I’m lacking

I’m wasting

I’m falling short

I’m the horse who’s been brought to water but doesn’t drink.

There is no Granter-of-Wishes Fairy about to appear to bestow upon me all it is I want, or even think I want.

The direction I walk in has to be set by me. I have to generate the forces for that big burst of combustion energy.

But just enough doesn’t fuel a great fire. I should be a bonfire. An ever-burning inferno of flame and fire and heat and energy.

Instead I’m by the camp fire with two pieces of flint in my hand and I’m afraid I might burn or scratch my fingers.

I’m afraid.

Of change.

Of risk.

Of failure.

Of looking foolish.

Of trying and not succeeding.

Of doing something irrevocable, something I can’t come back from.

It is my eternal struggle.

I want to know what more there is to this, to me, yet I’m terrified of what may happen if I try some that scares me to the very core of my existence.

And so I’m left with the just enough to get by refrain coming and going whenever I feel opportunity, will, is or has passed me by.

Wrong Way. Go Back.

wrong way
https://unsplash.com/@alexiby

Most people who know or have known me have never seen me angry. Have never seen me lose the rag, curse at someone with real venom or thump my fist against the desk in uncontrollable fury.

They’ve seen me roll my eyes, blow out a big exasperated breath or make a face that’s expressing a can you believe this? look.

My wife’s about the only person who’s seen me lose it.

My son will get nipped by my anger after eight or eight-thirty in the evening if he’s dragging his heels about going to or staying in bed.

I don’t or haven’t yelled or screamed at extended family, at friends, at people in work or clients or guests.

To some, I may seem a study in patience, temperance and composure.

It may seem like I have this Zen Buddhist cloak that keeps me even-keel.

The truth is not so evolved.

I just don’t know how to be angry. I don’t know how to express frustration.

And because I don’t have any non-threatening or socially acceptable ways to manifest my inner turmoil at unfolding events, I bury it.

I’m afraid of getting angry in a place I’ve never been angry before. It’s like there are these fragile glass walls around me that keep up the image of who I believe myself to be in certain places and to get angry would create a sonic boom effect and shattered the whole shebang.

Imagine if this persona I’d built up over all these years – my reputation, my brand, all that I do to show through my words and actions what I stand for – was blown apart in a moment of unedited rage?

Pain, anger, disappointment, dismay are things I am often incapable or expressing.

I ask myself in moments of constrained rationalism, What’s the purpose of getting angry here and now? What will it achieve? And mostly, What might I do or say that will be impossible to take back?

If you don’t know already, I have an issue around irrevocability.

To do something I can’t take back, that changes everything, forever.

I’m a fence sitter. A diplomat. I need to leave enough of me on the table so that I can come back and face up tomorrow to do this all again.

Anger.

Getting angry.

Being angry.

Having people around me see me angry and the uncertainty that would produce in them about what I will do and or say.

Nope. Not gonna happen.

So, in it all goes, all inside, burying it down with a prayer hoping it never surfaces.

Maybe it’s Bill Bixby’s fault – he played Bruce Banner in the TV series, The Hulk. Maybe there’s a Hulk in all of us. I’ve never come to terms with mine and so down it does, despite the signs directing to avoid oncoming danger.

Maybe I should start saying that line when I feel the anger build: Don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.

Thanks, Bill.

Ep10 – Douglas Spafford

Douglas Spafford
@emylou_creative

Ep10.

My guest today on What I Don’t Talk About @ BBQs is professional actor, Douglas Spafford.

He’s had a long and winding journey from Birmingham in the UK through Scotland, the NT, Wagga and now to Sydney and this very day you can find him treading the boards, plying his craft.

During my conversation with Douglas I was reminded of the motto of my high school, St. Clair High in Western Sydney. It was three overlapping C’s, and you know what, I’m not sure if I’d ever committed them to memory then but I certainly can’t remember them now.

Talking to Douglas this logo reappeared in my mind and I found 3 ‘C’ words that really connected to who he is and reflect his own journey.

They are Courage, Confidence, Commitment.

Douglas is in this thing and giving it all he has, and that’s something to be respected and admired.

He’s currently performing as Clotten in The Acting Factory @ Emu Plain’s production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline which is on until April-7. Entry is by gold coin donation. Find the details here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Acting-Factory-149933181758227/

Without much further ado, let’s raise the curtain on this chat.

Enjoy!

Stay in touch with Douglas, here:

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

 

Ep9 – Trish Morosin

Producers
Thirty, The Series, Producers (L-R) Madeline MacRae, Tricia-Lyn Morosin and Sarah de Possesse

Ep9.

My guest today is, simply put, capital A, amazing.

Trish Morosin is an actor, writer and producer among other things.

What I admire most about Trish is all she has overcome to bring her creative vision to life.

Thirty, season 1, premiered in May 2017 as a 6-part web series. While season 2 has been filmed, Trish along with her fellow producers Madeline MacRae (who stars as Jess) and Sarah de Possesse (who stars as Bianca) still need to raise funds in order to have the show released.

Their goal is reach $20K in crowd-sourced funding and they have less than 20 days to do it!

You can help #teamthirty by making a pledge via their Pozible page here.

Here’s your chance to make a different. It’s all or nothing for Trish – you have to admire such creative bravery.

I certainly do.

If you haven’t already watched Thirty season 1 you can get yourself all caught up here:

You can also find about all about Trish and the rest of the cast and crew here:

Get involved. Make a difference.

Pozible header w logo high
L-R: Alison McGirr as Charlie, Sarah de Possesse as Bianca, Trish Morosin as Dahlia, and, Prudence Holloway as Anna

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

Come Together

come together
https://unsplash.com/@harold

I never wanted to be a famous tennis player.

Sure, I liked Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier and Roger and Rafa but I can’t remember a time where I wanted to emulate their feats or even be them.

Likewise, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, or Prince.

I’ve never wanted for it to just be about me on my own.

I’ve always gravitated to groups, to teams, to bands.

Sure, you could say there’s safety in numbers. I get that. It’s not that though.

There’s a magic spark when a gaggle of people come together to do something in unison.

There’s the thrill of gallivanting down the left wing when I play football. I’ve nipped in, read the play and intercepted an under-hit pass by the opposition. I’ve fed the ball infield to my mate in midfield and then I put on the afterburners as I create an outlet option down the flank.

Without me even having to call or signal my intent, the ball is being played ahead for me to get onto as my teammates cascade forward into the box in anticipation of the cross I’ll deliver.

Synchronicity with other human beings is an electric feeling.

To be in tune and on the same wavelength with other people in a shared venture.

To be in a music studio with a singer, bass player and drummer. One of them is putting together this great little chord combination. There’s a bridge too. It’s got guts. It holds weight. The bass player plugs in and adds a layer of concrete to the structure. The drummer comes in on the two and four beat, riding the hi hat. The singer’s humming a melody. It’s rising, rising and unexpectedly finding a direction I didn’t predict. I pick up my guitar and go from where the melody departed. I find the counterpoint melody – it’s come from somewhere deep within me that’s so utterly me I don’t even have to think about it. Five parts now looking for common ground, note by note, bar by bar coming together until there’s this moment, this feeling. I’ve got tingles. I’m beaming a smile and wiping sweat off my forehead with the back of my hand. I catch the drummer looking at the singer and I see that he feels it to. The pace solidifies and we hit a groove. A beat or two later we strike another moment and then another.

I almost want to cry.

It’s about as good a feeling as I have had and I was only able to feel his good because I was connected with other people who have all turned their dial to the same frequency I have.

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar in your life?

Lord, I hope so. Time and time again.

I don’t get this on my own, when I’m by myself.

Even when writing.

Writing often makes me feel very whole and very centred. Writing helps me put things together, make a certain level of sense out of my thoughts.

But I have never felt this sense of unbridled elation while scribbling observations in a notebook or hammering away at the keyboard. No matter how good I believe what I’ve just gotten down is.

Real joy, for me, is achieved when in harmony with others in a creative endeavour.

All I do is in pursuit of these moments. They are hard earned and often with great stretches of time between them.

It’s all there is.

Ep8 – Frances Chapman

Frances

Ep8.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce my guest this week to you, 2018’s Ampersand Prize winner, Frances Chapman.
I’ve had the pleasure to have known Frances for a few years since we first met at a creative writing course @ The Australian Writers Centre in Sydney,
What I admire most about Frances is her work ethic, and make no mistake, she approaches writing like it is a job.
She turns up everyday.
She does the work.
And as a result she’s become an amazing writer of both fiction and non-fiction. All her efforts have culminated in her being awarded The Hardie Grant Egmont Award Ampersand Prize last year for her ‘vibrant’ (their word) debut YA novel, What it Takes.
In our chat today we get stuck right into her journey and her process.
Frances is honest and thoughtful and has all the grit and persistence of someone who’s worked out what it takes to bring her goals and dreams to life.
I can’t express enough how excited I was to get to sit down with Frances to learn more about how she’s become the writer she is.
You’ll love this one.
Check all all that Frances is up to here:

 

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

The Agency of Rules

All I had was No.
And I knew it.
I was a kid and I didn’t know how else to express my anger or frustration or resistance.
As a result, I acted out when it suited.
It usually suited me when it came to food.
Meal time became my Waterloo.
I exerted my No.
I could be put under pressure to eat but no food was going in my mouth that I didn’t want to.
If I hadn’t heard of the meal before, No.
If I didn’t like the look of anything to do with the preparation or presentation, No.
If the dish included anything I considered weird, No.
If the smell made me wary, No.
Sometimes it was No because there was something else that had upset me earlier. I was, and sometimes still am, a contrary little bollocks.
It wasn’t fair on those around me, especially my parents, who did all they could for me, gave me every advantage in life. What did they get in return?
An ungrateful, obstinate little prick.
That may seem harsh to say about myself. It is. I didn’t make it easy.
What was wrong with me?
Why did I dig in so hard on this?
I began installing rules around my life as a form of infrastructure. This was Ikea-style, self-assembly for the soul. I’d built a traffic grid around myself resembling the Champs d’Elysee roundabout with No being a hard stop, red light.
I made so many things unnecessarily hard in my life.
I see it now in a way I never could because I viewed everything through the prism of No.
No was the only agency I believed I had.
I was scared, of newness, of the unknown, of having to give up control. The voice inside me screamed fear is a weakness – don’t show you’re scared.
So, I showed, instead, my utter and unrelenting ability to be unwilling.
I created rules for protection. These rules were my very own Jersey Crew. And, boy, were they tough. Soon they’d expanded their area of operation away from the dinner table to the music I would listen to, the clothes I would wear, the people I would want to hang out with, the games and sports I would play.
Every Yes I ever gave had to overcome a street-hardened, made-guy packing a Glock and a baseball bat, whose stock position was No.
I’d unwittingly brought in Tony Soprano to handle my security and in the unspoken agreement between us I’d unknowingly signed over my agency to him and his people.
I thought No gave me back power and control.
I thought No made me strong.
I thought No showed I could think for myself.
What I understand now is that No was a corrosive toxin.
I invested so much into these rules and systems of protection that they in turn held me prisoner.
Now, I’m all about dismantling. I’m into deconstruction, me and this here practice of writing that’s sometimes a sledge hammer, other times a scalpel, others still a screw driver.
Saying Yes is a daily, conscious effort, to fight back my reflexive No.
No is easy but easy isn’t always fun.
Yes is scary, yet therein lies the foundation for adventure and discovery.
In my heart, when I strip back all the layers inside me, my life is driven by curiosity and the search for meaning.
So, deep breath. One moment at a time. No big leaps here.
In 2018 I set myself the challenge to meet more strangers and fail more.
This year, it’s about living slower and creating quicker.
I’m back in this thing now, taking down one slicked suited corner hood at a time and I’ve no plans to back off.