The processor that runs my head and heart is due for a service and probably an overtime pay out. I sure do know the full length and breadth of the word "transitional". My life is like an airport terminal with the strange and shapely comings and goings of positive and negative thoughts and my mind is the aggressive lady at customs who is keeping the illegal bad thoughts at bay. Yet as with most terminals there are more than a handful of unwanteds that manage to slip through the borders. A few weeks ago I auditioned for a big role in a major soapy and even though the audition went well and I have been keeping a very posistive mindset, I found out today that the casting offices will be closed until next year and that only female actresses have been offered contracts for roles next year. Frustration mounts because I am desperate for some kind of steady income and my efforts to keep the bank and my other debtors at bay is becoming increasingly more difficult. I'm broke and I'm basically unemployed until the ednd of the month until I start rehearsals for Spongebob squarepants the musical which will atleast keep me going until mid January. I have been auditioning for so many different things and although it's always been done in a nice way I've heard the same thing: "Lovely, but no thanks." I believe to a certain degree that you should "fake it 'til you make it." So I've been donning a very happy and contented air and meeting every rejection and red lettered bank warning with a smile and a motivated attitude. But some days its tough to play along and pretend that everything is hunky dory. I'm finding it hard to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to this blockbuster called THE RECESSION that everyone is talking about. I feel like I'm swimming in a gala with poverty consciousness and although I've been winning, it's catching up to me heels and every now and then I choke on a mouthful of water. Okay so that's the bitching and whining part done (gimme a break I am a Cancerian). But there is also some amazing stuff going on which is adding to my confusion. I'm 'relaxing' with my folks on the Vaal due to lack of money and work but also because I am writing a new draft of a one man show which I have finally committed to doing in February next year. Everything has fallen into place, I have found a beautiful venue (Zietsies in Brixton owned and run by Elzabe Zietsman) and I have secured funding (from my beloved brother) and even a musical director
and piano accompanist (my gifted and adored friend Catherine Hopkins). I will finally be doing my own thing in February of next year and its one of the most exciting things I have embarked upon in ages. Also I have met someone wonderful (barely a week ago) and although things are still premature there are few things in life as stimulating as watching sparks igniting a fire. I'm really in a very good place, all things considered, but I'm scared of dissappointment and I guess in some ways also terrified that some things may actually take off and thrive. Am I ready for success? Will I open the door for it and let it in? Failure is something we've all dealt with on occasion, but just how good are we at taking centre stage when it's our time to shine? I hope I'm man enough to face up to my own happiness. In fact I pray I am. Amen.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I just listened to the last crack and fizzle of a Highveld thunderstorm. I remember sitting in my hostel room in Braamfontein just over ten years ago swatting for my matric finals and enjoying the sound of the rain on the corrugated roofs outside as I took a moment to phase out and chew on my highlighter. I’m sure this rain can clean a scuffed heart, but mine doesn’t feel scuffed at all tonight, in fact it’s been licked all shiny clean by some interesting new acquaintances.
Today my best friend Sonia (the Guava Panty princess) and I visited a domestic animal sanctuary in Roodepoort named FORA. Hundreds of dogs and cats desperate for Love and affection crammed into a relatively small space, but clearly cared for as best as possible under the circumstances. All the more emotive because the land on which the sanctuary stands has been sold to developers and the people who run the place are now trying to raise funds to be able to prevent all these furry creatures from becoming homeless and abandoned AGAIN.
Off the bat the place reminded me of a gay club. The same hunger for affection and acceptance and the same happy-go-lucky ‘jollers’ who didn’t give a shit and just wanted to shag. (Quite a few of the dogs tried to hump each other and they didn’t care if their “stuk” was male or female.) I saw myself in the puppies, the old scruffy Labrador with a hoarse bark and the one eyed smoky cat that shared its living space with another few hundred cats in a space no bigger than a garage. The constant barking and the occasional scuffle ending with a high pitched “tchank!” got to me a little initially, until I decided to try and see if there was another way to look at the situation. We played with some adorable puppies who somehow managed to splatter us with their poo through the fence and afterwards we walked through different gated sections that housed many types of dogs of all sizes, ages, breed and personality. Each section lead on to another and the place seemed to go on and on with an endless variety of abandoned dogs yapping with gay abandon. Right at the back were these old granpa dogs in one section together wheeze barking at us, all arthritic and one even had a moony white cataract. Finally I ended up in the cat “cage” on a deck chair with at least four cats on my lap at a time; one would disembark only for another to quickly take its place. I love both cats and dogs but I really connect with cats because they are more intelligent and complex (just like me!). They’re aloof and then affectionate and I love that they keep me guessing.
The place in its entirety also reminded me of a squatter camp. In the townships I’ve performed in I’ve seen humans living in worse conditions than the animals I saw today. At least the animal had food, shelter and people caring for them. I can see you thinking “SHEESH DUDE! Where’s the friggin silver lining already!” Well, I did notice that almost all the animals like the people I encountered in the poorest of areas seemed for the most part happy and friendly. I know that sounds weird but beside their visible need for affection most of the animals seemed quite content in their set of circumstances and I realized that any form of dissatisfaction or self-pity I could conjure would not stand up against what these animals are purring and wagging their tails through every day. I left the place energised by all the Love they showered on me without me having to qualify myself to them in anyway. They just gave it to me. No holds barred. It was inspiring this Gung-Ho no fear Love that they freely and easily extended to me. Many have probably known great pain from the human hand and yet they didn’t hesitate to lick mine.
According to my personal numerology for October I am having an 8 month in a 7 year. An 8 month is supposed to be a month in which hard work and dividends begin to pay off. 8 is about intelligent work, motivation and reaping the harvest of all the seeds planted in days gone by. So far this month has been just that. Clearing the clutter, deciding what I want and then getting down and dirty to make it happen. I realise more and more everyday that life is not so much about what is presented to me but more about how I choose to see it and what I then decide to do with it. I must choose every day what day I want to have and then, like an order from Mr. Delivery, it arrives, even though it does sometimes come a bit late. So my strategy for success is to think cunningly like a cat, work hard and loyally like a dog and Love unabashedly like a puppy. Thank you FORA I’m going to find a way to help you.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
All of us live with our own little clutch bags of emotion. Some of us have clutch bags, others have tiny purses of emotion they can easily put away into their pockets out of the public eye and then there are those of us with huge duffle bags that we lug around wherever we go, hoping to check in our baggage somewhere en route to our various destinations. Eckart Tolle in his book 'The Power of Now' suggests that emotion is what keeps us living in the past or the future and robs us of the skill of living fully in the moment. In a casting or an audition for something that I really want my emotions will go from a manageable moonbag size to an industrial sized tin trunk in ten seconds flat if I don't manage to calm myself down. I often wrestle with my emotion but I am determined not to lose my sensitivity and ability to truly feel things in my life. Men (and nowadays even a lot of women) are encouraged to show no emotion. To be ruthless. Its cool to be cold. We try and numb ourselves with painkillers, cigarettes alcohol and other drugs but sure as the sun rises those raw nerve ending around our hearts appear in the morninglight throbbing and more demanding of our attention like ear ache in our hearts. Emotion is like Pepe LePhew the animated skunk. Pepe is besotted with a black female cat who due to a brush up with some white paint, he mistakes to be a female skunk and therefore his potential perfect match. We are like this cat he has mistaken for a possible mate. Wherever the cat runs and however far it gets or how many doors it locks behind it, Pepe is always right there behind her waiting to plant an opportunistic kiss on the unfortunate creature. She cannot escape him and his skunky stench and like the kitty we wake up after a night of numbing to the alarming odour of all of last nights left over and now off emotions. Emotion must be faced. Better to do it when its still relatively fresh. I suppose in this regard its a lot like taking out the trash. But your own more importantly than that of others. Emotionally I have been apprehensive about the same basic stuff: money, career, romance and relationships in general. I notice how prevailent it is in everyone around me. I go for dinner with two good friend who are a couple, after a few glasses of red wine they start squablling with each other and their fears and insecurities become layed bare on the restaurant table, but they're both tipsy and each so immersed in their own sea of emotion that they hardly notice one another as they plot their arguments. On a dancefloor the music is so loud and the lighting so erratic we are all forced into our own little worlds despite dancing within inches from one another. We all allow the music to dictate the rise and fall of our emotions as we search the smear of faces for love and recognition. Sometimes I'll sit in a dark movie house with mates and allow myself to be immersed in the story and give my tearducts a good flushing. Rarely in everyday life do I come in contact with those kinds of emotions and feelings within my interactions with other people in my life. Most of my emotion is kept in bags under my bed, only to be sorted in absolute privacy. When others parade or expose their emotions in front of me I am often left feeling alienated or angry. I have studied acting most of my life and nothing gets me more ruffled than crocodile tears. But even authentic raw emotion from someone that I don't know very well can make me want to hitchhike to the Himalayas. I withdraw in outbursts and drama and I wish others didn't rely on them so much for catharsis and stimulation. I trust my emotion to guide me towards the things that are right for me and away from the things that will harm me. But otherwise I see them as large boisterous dogs that need to be contained or else they will do damage to me and other peoples property. Often things said from emotion can be more troublesome than things said from careful thought. So when you see me and my clutch bag on the street don't ask me whats inside unless you're standing firmly on your feet cos heaven knows I probably wont want to know whats in yours.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sugar Fat Caffeine
Projections on a green screen
Supersize and lean
Enamel smiles of saccharine
Out the box obscene
Second-hand and gone green
The venue to be seen
Botox leather teen dream
But through the numb I know you feel
Under the plastic pure and real
It’s spring and there’s a lot of magic around. I’ve been working my ‘noombies’ off and doing wonderful things in artificial environments. Late nights in mock casino’s and long days under white rehearsal lights. It’s been amazing. I’ve worked with people I only dreamed of meeting and have been a part of a performance that I truly believe brought the rain. Magic.
Successive graveyard trips home with only petrol stations as supply depot detours and yet I have paced up and down those narrow aisles of ghost pops, nuts and fizzydrinks expecting to find something new. I never do.
At “Old Ed’s” Virgin active men’s locker room, there is an electric hand dryer between the basins and two of the toilet cubicles. Almost every time I walk past it the sensor detects me and it goes off like a jet engine, and every time I get the fright of my life. It’s only because I am completely in another world whenever I walk that way through to the showers. Yet I never seem able to remind myself to avoid it or not to be startled by it if it starts blowing.
I’m still not rich and famous and God knows I’m not enamoured with anybody in particular (more like a handful of people) but I feel good. Not in a manic kind of grinning cartoon sort of way. I’m still trading stock in frustration and getting ‘A’ grades for effort, but, I just seem to be enjoying my moments more.
I’m beginning to make peace with my apparent decision to follow what I Love in favour of what I may want (Blackberryboyfriendpicketfences).
I don’t really know what’s coming next but I’m very stimulated and my life is brimming with Love and affection. Everything else just seems unimportant all of a sudden. (Maybe that’s just because I’m about to get paid) Well, whatever this is I pray it lasts and that the magic that seems to have settled over my mind has staying power because I am filled with gratitude.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Now that I have become a man, what is to become of me? I feel as though my boyhood is like an abandoned snake skin just, just behind me and I’ve been handed a new role to play. Now that I’m a man I must do manly things mustn’t I? I must be a brave, a big, strong protector. I must provide. Or can I just continue to cast my creative nets into the seemingly unyielding ocean that is this industry and hope to sustain myself ten, twenty or sixty years from now ? In other words: Is it time I got a ‘real’ job and stopped ‘mucking about.’
I started Speech and Drama as a child because my little (Little) brother had a lisp (now gone) and my mother asked if I wanted to join. I was the proverbial duck to water and when I turn around and wipe the Kryolan make-up out of my eyes I realise that despite the “sukkel” and the uncertainty, I have adored every projected utterance. I love to entertain. Strange that I have recently been feeling such pressure, having turned thirty, to suddenly produce the real estate with the white picket fence and the Toyota RAV in the garage. Do I really have to cash in my chips now? Have I been playing for long enough? God knows that I don’t want to but I feel bogged down by guilt and obligation. I’m not getting any younger and I don’t have any real assets to my name, whilst people I know and watched grow up are sitting pretty, high on top of gilded nest eggs. I’m also tired of being snubbed because my clothes are not new or expensive or feeling bad because some of the men I have dated can afford the finer things in life while I choke on my half of the dinner bill. Then there is also the ‘where to from here?’ As an actor or entertainer in South Africa, are the greatest aspirations and long term goals I can have, to be a feature on a soapy or the lead in consecutive musicals? There must be more to my life. There must be more for all of us. What though I don’t know. One thing this lifestyle does afford is time to think (when you’re in-between gigs) so I have been doing a lot of it because it passes the time and is free. There are a few corporate type jobs that may be on offer, if I play my cards right, but I can’t help wonder if it would just be giving up the ‘goose’. Or would a steady income and responsibilities provide me with a ‘golden goose’? I am sure though, that if my income continues to be so erratic then my ‘goose’ is ‘cooked’. I’m unsure about just about everything else.
Also, now that I am a man, I am finally getting attention from other men (I’ve always liked guys in their thirties who’ve only recently returned the favour) and though they now seem attracted and give me the eye brow shuffle, they seem to shy away or disappear once they realise how inconsistent my finances are. To be honest I don’t blame them. Dating any artist in a recession mean that you are either stupid, besotted or he looks like an Abercrombie model. Fun, but not necessarily a good idea. Since my last blog I have been reminded of two friends of mine who have been in a loving monogamous, that’s right, I repeat: MONOGOMOUS, gay relationship for eleven years. One is corporate and the other creative and so I am starting to believe that there are no hard and fast rules. Things are generally a less flattering shade of grey. There are people who need to constantly upgrade their lovers like cell phones, there are people that are committed. There are artists that make plenty money and there are loads of poor people doing kak jobs they hate. Some people can and some people can’t. Some people will and others won’t, but I just need to figure out which of those people I want to be (Even if it changes from time to time.)
Monday, August 3, 2009
Quite a few people that I know believe that you give a part of yourself to every person that you sleep with. Now I’m not just talking about the usual saliva and skin cell exchange, they believe that you leave a part of your “spiritual essence” with every person that you are physically intimate with. Well, if that is the case then many of us are scattered far and wide like rainbow coloured shards of glass at the bottom of a very vast kaleidoscope (It makes sense if you consider all the mirrors and mirror-balls in gay clubs). I am probably the last person to advocate abstinence. With regards to most things I consider life to be like a “buffet” and I have queued with the best of them to sample a taste of everything on offer. It’s been fabulous. Until about nine months ago. I haven’t lost my appetite I just haven’t found a decent meal and I’m tired of junk food.
Originally I wanted to write a blog celebrating all the “singular sensations” that I know. I have become aware of how many gorgeous, creative, intelligent and sexy single people there are out there and I wanted to write something acknowledging them, thereby comforting and acknowledging myself. I was going to gush but, something about the content didn’t seem to sit authentically with me because I kept putting it off. There are loads of hot, clever, single people and there are also loads of scary, “Hildegard”, stupid people that have been happily involved with a significant other for years. There are also single “ugly stupids” and involved “pretty clevers” of course. It appears to be random, like being born with a tongue that can fold into a tube, or one that, despite working well in the tasting and blowing “raspberries” department, cannot. Being single does not equate being a failure or an inability to be attractive. It is merely what it is: being single.
Sex is something that involves both ‘single’ and ‘involved’ people and is in my experience something to be enjoyed most frequently by some of the ‘single’ people I know. I’m not exactly sure that I have left a part of my “being” with every person that I have had sex with like one would a sock, a cap or a pair of sunglasses, but, I do feel that there is no such thing as “no strings attached” sex, not for me anyway. It always means something in some way and every action has a repercussion. On one occasion it may leave you feeling sexy confident and grinning as you “mince” through a mall with your newly reinforced ego. On another it may leave you feeling inadequate, isolated and yoked with regret. It is no longer something that I feel that I can take lightly and although I have been charitable, has never been something that I have been able to dispense too generously. I realise now that, to me, sex is too important an expression for that.
I am by no means a monk; I am far too promiscuous with religion for that! (Buffet again) it’s just; I am beginning to think that (for the umpteenth time) Madonna had a point. “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.” this from a woman who had previously marketed herself as a sexual ‘libertine’. From “the whore of Babylon” she repackaged herself as “the Virgin”. I think she did this for the purity and the clarity that this title would afford. Going around smearing yourself off on people must get a little emotionally untidy after a while.
A laser beam is potent because it is concentrated light focused on a specific spot. Diffused and general light does not have the same efficacy although it is very illuminating. If I try to shed light on everything I encounter I will become more aware of my surroundings as my light bounces off everything, but I will never have the potency to be able to truly penetrate anything. I think sex is a bit like that, and not just when it comes to the ‘penetrate’ part.
Sex is easy and available yet, I hope it has the potential to be more than just a mutual body function. I have never been of the opinion that it is overrated. Sex has killed and conquered thousands of brave and wise souls. There must be more to it than procreation or in our case recreation. I wonder if it is perhaps something worthwhile waiting for after the initial discovery and experimentation has ended. Do we ever stop experimenting and discovering? Two of the longest and most successful gay relationships I have encountered have been ‘open’ relationships. But why does that fact leave me with a dull ache in my gut? Maybe my massive actors’ ego doesn’t like the idea of someone I love getting sexual satisfaction from another soul. Am I deluded by thinking I can be the sole source of all that special man may want or need, sexually? Maybe I just don’t know enough monogamous and happy long term gay couples. I’m not sure.
I know that life is short, but I’d really like the next person to be someone I have a meaningful connection with. Not just someone who has the right look or ‘bad boy’ quality. Delayed gratification seems to be a recipe for many types of achievement, perhaps in this matter too. But then again the loins can roar like lions. I wonder if I can make them tame.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
After three or so months of getting up at 4h15 am to perform in township schools across Gauteng life has conspired to give me a few weeks to recollect myself and have a bit of a break with my folks. They have a lovely house in Deneysville on the Vaal dam which I adore and it is doing me the world of good. My friend Sarah told me that she would help me edit a book if I would take the time to write it, so I have come here to start throwing down the foundations. It’s scary and all grown up to be trying to write a book and so far I’ve only written about twelve pages, but I’m really enjoying it. I get up drink my green tea write my morning pages and then, in between helping my mom lift the odd suitcase or drive her to the shops or hair salon (she’s still recovering from a big operation) I am pretty much indulging in taking a good look at myself, one of my favourite hobbies. Next month I turn thirty and it’s an important benchmark in my life. Numerous psychics, Astrologers and Sangoma’s have told me in the past that my life would come together just before my thirtieth birthday and here I am a few weeks away still waiting for that to happen.
I’ve joined the local gym in Deneysville and for R15 a day I can pump iron with a very sexy 20 year old who is a barman at one of the local bars. I find him there when I go around 4pm and he plays Eminem from his cell phone as he does his bench presses and I try not to look too gay as I do my second set of leg raisers. Most of the equipment looks like stuff you would get from Verimark and I suspect that 20 year old and I may be one of just a handful of members most of which I presume must come in the mornings when 20 year old and I are sleeping. Deneysville is quiet and villagey. The people are down to earth and quite friendly but I’m not here to socialise. My dad wakes early every morning to run his Laundromat on the main road and mom and I keep busy during the day on various projects. Other than recovering she’s currently making an inventory of all the stamps we found in old suitcases that my grandfather collected during his life. Mom does her thing and I do mine and occasionally we meet up for tea (which I keep flowing) or meals which my mother expertly prepares. It’s easy to manifest love-handles in Deneysville.
Since I’ve been here I’ve missed auditions for Grease the next big Pieter Toerien musical planned for next year and for the first time in ages I felt nothing but relief that I wasn’t able to go. I Love musicals but I don’t think I’ll be able to keep doing them and make enough money to sustain a real living. I’ve loved every moment of being a musical theatre queen but I’ve put a fork in myself and begun to realise that I’m done. There are just so many talented young actor/singer/dancers spewing forth from the universities and Colleges and it’s not really ever where I saw myself in the long run.
So, what next? I’m not really sure... I start a gig on the 29th singing opera in Melrose Arch to promote Bingo (you can’t make that shit up) and I am even considering doing the schools again afterwards if it continues to pay me enough to keep writing. Sometimes I lie in bed at night crushed by at least one of our five chubby cats and I fantasize about what I want for my life. I see my own imaginary home with comfy couches and cosy nooks that invite you to drink tea, read a book or write a wish list. I have my own cat or two roaming and occasionally gracing me with their presence as only a cat can do. Purring and sharing a spot of sunshine with me. I see myself singing to an appreciative audience, songs that I have written and in my fantasy they know the words as well as I do. I imagine spooning with a man that is a mystery but at once deeply familiar, a man with my hearts stamp of approval whose heart has stamped an approval of me, masculine and sexy, to share laughter and warm, delicious meals with. In this home I am drawing with my mind, I have a big wooden table and chairs and I enjoy food and consoling conversation over candlelight with my beloved friends. They bring their warmth across my threshold. Everything in life that is manifest must have at one point in time have been unmanifest, I entertain these pictures and hopes in my head and pray that they will all, someday soon, come into being.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
"He's in his own little world." I've heard that sentence many times in my life. "Uh oh!", I hear you thinking. "Not one of THOSE blog entries!" But I assure you I'll try to keep the nostalgia and self-indulgence to a mild roar. I will make every effort to keep this amusing to the reader, but I admit that this is my therapy. Often I haven't got a clue about how I'm feeling until I've written something about it so keep a barf bag handy. Lately I've been losing at the dating game again. I hate reruns and remakes of old classics so I'll spare you the details, but basically hounded after someone who just couldn't be "sure" how he felt about me. Our last conversation felt like the final dress rehearsal for an episode of Santa Barbra. Cliched and predictable but like any dedicated actor I made like it was all happening for the first time. I'm disappointed but I'm not devistated. It's really not his fault. I think I only chose to fall for him in the first place because I could never really have him. Another excuse for drama, another reason to stay up late staring glassy eyed at the moon stretching my imagination with his image. Poor man, it's hard to imagine that we inhabit the same planet never mind the same wavelength. I think I just imagined that we could communicate through the impenetrable glass of our different space ships in the vastness of Gay outerspace. Sigh!A lot of what I wanted to say to him seems lost in translation. Through my tainted spectacles now everybody seems isolated and unable to communicate with others. I notice those alone. I see people desperate to have their stories heard. I watch hundreds of knuckles knocking on thousands of doors and like me not recieving a much longed for reply or opening. Working long hours immersed in the desperation of the townships is also not exactly doing wonders for my outlook. But if you ask me I will swear on my life that I am an optimist. However, I am not blind. Watching small children fight over a small handful of soggy fried potato chips puts things into perspective and then I notice how song and laughter permeates and soothes even the most dire of circumstances. The poor and abandoned I have encountered laugh and smile so freely. I see so much dissatisfaction amongst adults but I think it's merely my own that the world is reflecting back at me. This would make sense because I have been looking for myself out there. I understand why alchohol and drugs play such a major role in society because I find myself longing for something to numb the intensity of the thoughts that climb into bed with me at night. But instead of watching TV, I face them and its not unbearable. I am,for the most part happy in my own world. I make good company and am blessed in so many ways by so many people but it does feel at times like we are all in our own bubbles packed up against each others as tightly as foam. All together yet, each in his own little shiny rainbowed orb ocassionally popping one another as we squirm for our own space. I live on faith and I survive on a positive mindset and I can do this because I recognise the breadth and depth of the potholes in the road ahead and go around them rather than try to convince myself that they are not there. My current potholes are bad habits carried over from the past and the illusion that I need fame or a meaningful relationhip to be a succesful individual. This is not true, what I do need (I'd like to believe) is Love and laughter and already my accounts are brimming with both. Perhaps I'm not meant to come out of my own little world, and if so it wont be that bad because in here I am safe and Loved and maybe the "real" world can learn a lesson or two from me,even if its how NOT to do things. I think that if I just keep planting a Little Love and Laughter everyday of my life that eventually I will find myself the beneficiary of a very rich harvest. One can only hope, but even if I don't it will be a noble occupation nonetheless that should make the world a better place. Mine and everyone elses.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
One of the many things that make my relationship with my one and only sibling remarkable is that we were both born on the 7th of July. Yet we are two years apart. My brother Tigue (hereafter referred to by my nickname for him, Tigger) was born on my second birthday, an event that our dad has always slyly referred to being as a result of “precision grinding”, but enough said about that! Although we share quite a chunk of astrology and numerology we have been described by those nearest to us as being like “chalk and cheese” because we are so different. Although I am the older of the two of us, Tigger towers above me and has a much beefier build to my rather more delicate frame. I am the all dancing all acting, writing, singing artiste with a BA to boot and he’s a qualified electro mechanical engineer who now works as a top end business consultant. In other words he is sorted and I am choice assorted. Well so I’ve always believed. He is a thoroughbred hetero and I am known to be a celebrated fruit. We are different but I would prefer to compare us to “wine and cheese” rather than the “chalk” because we are both gaining value in maturity and we share a sense of humour that would make a block of cheddar feel inadequate. I have always followed my passion for music and acting but have rarely known any security or sense of financial stability, having to be rescued by my family on some desperate occasions, whereas my boetie has diligently slogged for many hours crunching numbers and squinting at computer screens to afford what I deem to be the luxury of self-sufficiency and independence, yet at the cost of not enjoying himself for large parts of his day. Clearly we have a lot to learn from one another. We are both at a crossroads and what better to do at a crossroads than head off together on a road trip into the bush!
I want more stability and he wants more freedom and each is an expert on the opposite subject matter and so I knew in my gut I had to go when my brother unexpectedly asked me a few months ago to join him on what was supposed to be his solo trip on a motorbike through Botswana. He had bought and dismantled the bike and was in the process of preparing to restore it when out of the blue he asked me to come with. So he dumped the bike and we borrowed my dads Ford Ranger 4X4 and off we went, two boetie’s to the bush showered by much parental blessings.
I had no clue where we were headed other than the fact that it involved Botswana and Namibia, and on many of the mornings I would wake up with very little idea of where we were going that day. It was an adventure!
On the first night we camped on the banks of the Limpopo at Kwa Nokeng Lodge at Martin’s drift very close to the Botswana border. It was the only night we each constructed our own tents, thereafter we shared one that was roomy enough for both of us. It claimed to be a four man tent but I think that is only if you and your three friends, like the tent, were made in Taiwan. Next we went to the Khama Rhino sanctuary were we narrowly missed interrupting an excavating rhino not even 50 metres from our campsite and met some very enterprising Tswana women at the gate. The one lady loved telling us how much “Poo Lah!” every exorbitant item in her shop cost and the other lady offered us a business card with the words “Botsogo massage” neck/foot/back 80 Pula full body 160 Pula. Don’t “Pula” my leg! In the middle of the bush in Botswana it seemed you could find yourself a happy ending. What tickled me even more was that this masseuse (calling herself Larona) had like so many other strange women in the “beauty” industry deemed it necessary to remove her natural eyebrows and draw in her own. I wonder what she would do if caught in the rain? Demonstrate a washed-out frown I can only imagine.
One of the highlights was a strange place in the middle of the Makgadikgadi pans named Kubu island. It is an island in the middle of a huge dry white salt pan and although it was very windy, I was enchanted by the strange and interesting baobabs that littered the place. If hugging a tree is supposed to be energetically healing I assumed that hugging a baobab is like super duper amazingly wonderfully good for you, so I went around throwing my arms around the more interesting ones (I didn’t want to appear too desperate.) Tigger had a whale of a time driving maniacally all over the vast white terrain and even managed to get us stuck briefly in the swampy muck that lies only an inch under the crusty surface of the pans. Thankfully he let down the tyres and got us out before we had to slink sheepishly to a campsite to find someone to help us out. We went to Nxai Pan national park the next night where I saw an elephant that danced briefly through a veil of trees before slinking away as my brother returned from fetching firewood. The only elephant sighting we had the entire trip. Botswana is hot dry and vast as is Namibia and if you are looking for a perspective of your life and a place to stretch out your soul and breathe we were definitely in the right places. Every morning we would get up make coffee, eat, pack up the campsite and head off to our next fabulous destination. Our last night in Botswana was spent at a campsite close to Baines’s baobabs at the foot of another huge and mystical tree of the same species. In the afternoons we would nap on stretchers in the shade of a tree and at night we would lie in our tent reading by the white glow of these nifty little lights we wore as head bands looking like two casualties of a mining accident on our respective blown up mattresses. Life slowed down tremendously. We could take our time doing just about everything and that was mind blowing. That night we sat on the pan watching the sunset which was a techni-colour spectacle Hollywood will never be able to simulate. Then we took silly mid-flight photos of one another with the Wicks bubblegum pinks and fanta oranges of the sky as our backdrop.
Between Baines’s and Ghanzi I accidentally drove over a huge green and white cobra and felt really shit about it for ages thereafter. Watching it writhing in the rear view mirror as I drove away will haunt me for a long time. It took up most of the road it was so long and I wish I had managed to avoid it.
I had never been to Namibia before and I was keen to get there because a week before Tigger and I left I met this really hot guy in Risque who said he was originally from there. I had this lame hope that his Namib brethren would be equally gorgeous and strewn all over the streets of Windhoek, but alas I was mistaken but, Joe’s beerhall with my brother will forever be a night to remember. Good Eisbein. Ja.
We climbed a big red dune numbered 45 and burnt the shit out of the souls of our feet because an evil little “tannie” at the foot of the dune told us it was better to climb it barefoot. We ate many cans of sweetcorn and fire roasted onions and discovered the deliciousness of Robert’s “Shisanyama” spice on just about anything. We baked beer laden “potbrood” on the coals and sang to the Beatles and the Rolling stones on the open road through the desert, my feet on the dashboard his hands on the wheel. My brother and me. Swakopmund, Sossusvlei and Sesriem so much fun. It didn’t really matter where we were because we were free. Often the cab of the 4x4 was crammed with laughter, foldaway map books and a handful of mosquitoes that managed to stow away with us the whole trip. We squashed “koringkrieks” (Parktown prawns on steroids) and then watched three others come to the funeral and enjoy a cannibalistic buffet. We overheard a Frenchman being bliksemed by his passionate girlfriend and then promptly reverse his rented bakkie into a thorn tree as she locked herself in the ablution block. We swam in Namaqua hot springs and made spooky echoes of our own voices through the incredible expanse of the Fish River canyon sharing a box of “Eet sum more’s” as the sun set. And of course we talked. I am still flattered and amazed that someone who has known me his entire life would so willingly invite me to share such an amazing and intimate experience in his life. I am forced to see myself in a very positive light because he is intelligent, “insightful”, generous and an absolute gentleman and I am honoured to have shared this time with him. We didn’t solve all our issues or create solutions to one another’s problems but sometimes in life it is enough, like I said, to have an adventure!
Coldplay Talk lyrics
Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I've been trying hard to reach you, cause I don't know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I'm so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you
You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me
So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or a write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
Do something that's never been done
Thursday, April 16, 2009
“Where do I begin?”
What a fantastic last few weeks I’ve been having! I firmly believe that there is truth in the rumour that if you want something from life you should “put it out there” because that is what I did and it now seems to be paying dividends. It was about two weeks ago and I was on a dance floor in a gay club in Pretoria (Legends to be exact) and I was behaving like I had just graduated from Madame Sassy’s school of Extremely sexy dance. I was shaking my hips like they were confetti at a wedding and I was enjoying one dance anthem after another, Robin S. , Snap, David Guetta, Britney and of course the new cheeky popsicle, Lady Gaga! Then “POP!” I had a thought. “I wanna do that!” “I wanna be the person who gets to make the song that makes all the funky people wanna dance like hungry monkeys at a banana-bread raffle.” So that’s how it started. I went home and started throwing ideas around, the next thing I knew I was behind the soundproof glass wailing into a microphone and trying not to distort my voice too much with my swaying hips. I LOVE MAKING MUSIC! And so my first electro-house track “Put it out there!” (listen to it on my facebook profile), was born with the production skills of the amazing Helio aka Monotone, and although the lyrics are not going to win me a Pulitzer, I am very proud of it. It makes me want to dance and that makes me feel good! That aside I have met and been spending time with some of the most gorgeous and generous people imaginable. The face-lickable cast of Killer Queen + JC, (The vocal boy band Overtone, all of them, yum yum!), Chris, Ben, Andrew (the three lovely misters), Chet and Freda (Patrons of Perfection and Protectors of the Fabulous!), and of course scintillating Sam, Joan of Obz (Now of Norwood), Lerato the luscious, Guava princess, Punkris, Catharsis and every other “nca!” and “sharp sharp!” person I have seen over these weeks whose names just wouldn’t sound as good in this sentence despite being equally adored. So now the song is done and already all grown up and leading its own little independent life out there in cyberspace. Soon it will even be available to download on mtnxploaded.co.za so it hardly even needs me anymore. But I’m already working on two more songs. Hell, if I can’t be a breeder I may as well riddle the world with my lyrical offspring and hopefully cause hundreds of people in the world to get my songs stuck in their heads the way Kylie Minogue and Britney have been plaguing me my whole life. “Na na na… na na na na na… can’t get you outta my head…” Aaargh!
But I interrupt this broadcast to announce to everyone that I am about to launch into my newest and most exciting adventure yet. This Sunday I am heading off into the “bundu’s” of Botswana and Namibia for two weeks in a big butch 4x4. I kid you not! I am going on safari with my beloved younger boetie Tigue and will be unreachable until we return to civilisation on the 3rd of May. This is not to be confused with camping which I was doing earlier on at Legends in Pretoria. This is full tilt bushwacking and I am so excited, but also ever so slightly “kakking” myself. No cell phone network, no facebook, no agents, no castings, no Sandton! I’ll just have to cope (not the political party.) So, chow for now and catch up with all of you Love-blossoms of desire on the other side of deepest darkest Africa and watch this space for a “Little” Bush trip update. BIG LOVE!!!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Okay so what the hell is romantic Love any way? Its everywhere! Every movie, book, song and even scrawled on some bridges on random highways and the back of public toilet doors. But I'm just not getting any! Everything else is rocking but that! I feel like I'm eating a gourmet burger and the chef left out the patty. I'm in a phenomenal city that is bursting with newness opportunity and mortal danger. I'm back in studio recording music that makes the hairs on the back of my neck feel like an Arthur Murray routine. I am spending time with people that I respect and enjoy like you do a mouthfull of cake after a month of celery, but no fluttering heart and batting eyelids. Same old scenarios over again like the series channel I like him but he doesn't like me or he likes me but I don't return the flavour. Its like a sick joke all these chains of unrequited 'like'. Then as if to mock me I'm surrounded by all these gorgeous couples that are equally infatuated with one another. All this cuddling and kissing and soft speaking to one another. Shit I get so jealous I could spit. But then I remember that every dog has its day and that one day there will be someone that will make me go all mush brained and thick tongued and for once he will feel the same. Its not that I think I'm a wolfpig or anything, I know I'm not a growler and that I'm reasonably attractive but I'm not talking about mere attraction! I'm talking about Kapow! Chikka chikka boom! The real makoya! You know? Am I asking too much? I know I'm a bit eccentric and stuff but there are so many strange people that I know who have managed to find Love so why the hell not me? Maybe my gut is getting temperamental like the GPS on my cell phone and losing my desired destination cos its lost the satellite signal. Maybe I've lost the Love signal. Thats funny. Lame but funny. If you want something cheap and easy life produces it in abundance at your disposal but something of value and with any depth at all seems so scarce, and I'm just talking about the gay clubs now. Well... I've placed my order and I'm a patient man and I suppose the universe thinks it best to provide me with fewer distractions as my career finally begins to set up shop. But let it be known I'm not going to let this go without a fight. I'm not going to settle either. No small bumps and thuds, its the big KABLOOEE! or nothing. Fabulous friendship and fame will just have to suffice.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Although I constantly make a valid effort to remain consistently upbeat and jovial, I must admit that there are times when that skanky bitch meloncholy jumps out and wrestles me to the ground. Then once she has me pinned down she torments me by dribbling long trails of syrupy spit until they dangle inches from my face before shlucking it back up into her twisted mouth at the last minute. I hate that bitch. I suspect that she hides under my bed in wait for me, pouncing when I'm most vulnerable. I know I shouldn't expect to be all happiness and joy all the time but she seems to really relish giving me a hard time when I find myself at her mercy. Luckily I usually manage to wriggle away rather quickly. She always manages to post such disturbing ideas into my head once she has me in her grip. "Noone really gets you." she'll hiss. "You're not meant to share your life with anyone cos you're too strange." She sits with an entire panel of my issue buttons and gingerly goes about pushing each one in as deep as they go until they begin to strain. She tuts tsk tsks into my ear as I lay in the dark trying to sleep. She knows all the kak I wish nobody knew. So tonight she is sitting at the foot of my bed with her tongue out and her eyes like slits even though she has no business being here right now. I am beginning to thrive in an amazing city that is beginning to Love me and she's trying to poke holes in my pretty new paisley patterns. Maybe its a good thing she's trying so hard to get to me tonight. Maybe its an indication that I'm on to something new and wonderful, something that'll work and now she's threatened cos she fears her days are numbered. Meloncholy finds herself being scheduled fewer shifts and she fears she may have to find herself a new gig. Well, regardless, she's here now and she's barking like a dog to get my attention. I could take half a sleeping pill and slip away from her tight little fists but I wont. I'll curl up and lie here until I doze off naturally cos although she's no good atleast she knows how to stick around. And if she can manage to want to do that and put in such a slog then I must be worth the effort. Mel. Your days are numbered cos I'm due for an upgrade and Patience is offering a killer deal on the new contentment package. Also the self-pity price has gone through the roof and my budget can only afford the odd disappointment on special occasions so its time I knuckled down on some good times they're going at a great wrate these days.
Monday, March 23, 2009
You say you want to pray for me. Then if you must please pray for my peace of mind. Pray that I may know and share Love in my life and that I show courage in the face of adversity. If you feel the need to discuss me with God then thank him for his creation and his blessings on my behalf. You would be doing me a service and I would thank you. But should you wish to pray that I be not what I am, that I change for your judgement and that I challenge your ignorance less, then I ask that you keep your prayers, because I fear that you will need them more than me. Amen.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Its 7am and I'm in a panel van covered in stickers that make it look like a space ship. I've been up since 4h30am and now that all of us ( 3 actors and crew) have assembled we are off to Alexandra to perform in an energy efficiency campaign for school kids. Despite the early start its a sweet gig and it has rekindled my love of Kwaito and Afro house music which our driver plays religiously en route to the schools to help us all bop ourselves awake in the morning. Playing an energy efficiency super hero in informal settlements seems a natural progression from my previous role as a Greek God in a circus. Many would be suprised to know how much happier I am now in comparison to how I felt then. I am well and truly a child of Africa and although I had a blast in the UK, this is were I come into my own. I'm still really keen on one day breaking into the kwaito and house music industry and have already started following some leads. If I am truly a closet black woman as was suggested by one of my lecturers at Varsity then its time I let her out for some fresh air. I can actually hear a communal sigh of resignation from some of my friends and family. You knew this was coming because I have always modelled myself on Brenda Fassie. You know mos! So here I am approaching 30 in the city of Gold and still dreaming of being a pop star, but it feels good and this is after all a country that is "alive with possibilities". I only really feel lost when I have nothing to work towards. I have worked tirelessly on the pursuit of Love and romance and have tasted quite a lot of success but am beginning to lose enthusiasm and so I want to leave that up to fate now for a while because I've done enough and sometimes you can overpaint a master piece. That lilly is not only gilded but also covered in Swarovski crystals so I'm going to step away from the Love flower for a while and focus on other projects. Having crushes on people and playing the wooing game monopolises so much of my creative energy that I would rather try and rechannel all that energy into something more constructive like being a Kwaito star and affording medical aid. So here goes! If you start hearing me on the radio in a collaboration with Mendoza or Tamara Dey in the near future you'll know I accomplished my mission, and remember you heard it here first. And why the hell not?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Newly back in the country and I've already been witness to a a violent crime in the leafy suburbs. Or perhaps not. The worst thing about it is that I can't be sure what I saw because I was driving and only caught a glimpse as I was turning off Weltevreden into Berario. I saw a man in a 90's style white BMW stop on the side of the road and run towards a man standing next to the open car door of his big luxury 4x4 and begin beating him violenty over the head with some indefinable blunt object which may have been a gun or even a half brick. It all happened too fast because next thing I knew I was driving down another green avenue looking deceptively tranquil unsure of my own sense of reality. My mind raced. Was he a policeman apprehending a criminal? Was I just witness to a highjacking or just another drastic case of road rage? What the Hell! I still have no idea what went on there. Then as Life the dualistic minx would have it I went on to have an amazing evening watching a great show (Rocky Horror at Broadacres) and catching up with supernificent friends some of which I haven't seen in Yonks. No wonder schitzophrenia is rife! Life slaps you, plucks your eyebrows and then cuddles into your kneck to give you a butterfly kiss. (And I thought the men in my life were giving me mixed messages!) Otherwise life is good. I still have not started working and have just returned from a haze of food sunshine and familial bliss on the Vaal Dam. All I have been doing is reading, eating, sleeping and swatting mammoth mosquitos, and now I know for a fact that the body fat percentage measurer thingy at the gym is stuffed, because today it reckons I have dropped 2% body fat since I last measured four months ago at my fittest. Life has a stellar sense of humour too.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I have been back in South Africa for almost a month now. My head has been like a DSTV decoder and I can’t begin to describe the different “programmes” that have come and gone since I have landed. (Never mind the endless repeats!)Travel channel (London to Joburg), seeing my family and friends again (Hallmark) and restarting my career (cartoon network) I must begin by saying how happy I am to be back in this country and how this whole experience has just deepened my patriotism for our crazy chip of Africa. But I will come clean with the fact that it took a lot to get my head around all the events that have taken place. I left in November last year completely convinced that I would not return for a year (if ever) and it took a lot of journaling and quiet time to accept this. Saying good bye to everyone was one of the most traumatising experiences of my life (This being despite being in boarding school from a young age and having a very full mental file of moving goodbyes.) I had signed a contract to be in the UK and Ireland for 12 months with a possibility of an Australian tour looming. So, when I came back around three weeks ago I felt a bit like a dupe. I literally could not believe that I was back and seeing everybody that I was longingly dreaming about seeing again in my tiny room in London. It’s a dream come true yet, I felt a little embarrassed and even a measure of anger at having put myself through a painful process that wasn’t necessary. On top of that I have wanted to keep everyone at arm’s length since coming home for fear that I may have to leave again although I cannot see any rational cause for this behaviour. As far as I know I am back and I am here to stay. So here I am. Well, in body anyway. Maybe my heart is still stuck at customs. I have attended a few awesome auditions and have already landed myself a great job starting the 10th of March. I have also not stopped talking about myself since I got here and appreciate all the understanding ears I’ve had the privilege of bending. I have an amazing house to stay in Johannesburg and everyone has been INCREDIBLE since I got back. Once again my family have been the great big soft place for me to land when the big bad world has burnt my fingers and I know that I am loved and appreciated. In a few weeks I have gone from being broke, single, unemployed and homeless to just plain single. And at this point it doesn’t seem like such a dirty word. I honestly find myself so deeply wrapped up in my own world of self exploration and analysis that I just don’t see the space for someone else right now. I’m feeling too sensitive and selfish to exercise the necessary wild abandon and my stomach doesn’t feel flat enough. Then again, when does it ever! I’ve been on some dates and met some fantastic guys but my gut has just turned around and told me “no, not now, maybe later, if you behave.” I haven’t even been on an internet dating site for weeks and that is quite an accomplishment for me. Romantic Love is after all my favourite subject matter. If I were to classify my life as an ideal movie genre I would probably aim for “Spiritual adventure romantic comedy” (if that even exists). I suppose the shop clerk would just shove me in the plain old “Adventure” section but at this stage I would even be happy in the “Action” section because it’s better than the “Kiddies” section and God knows I have no business in the “Adult” section other than a warning for some strong language. Well wherever I end up on the shelf I hope that (when the time is right) the appropriate person takes me home for a quiet night in to enjoy the story of me. Until then I’ll just work on improving my DVD and getting rid of the smudges and scratches on its rainbow surface. I’m home now so everything else is going to work out just fine and if I wait patiently I know I’ll see my bedraggled yet customs approved heart coming to meet me over the horizon.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Finally the dam wall burst. After the makeshift meeting in the Tons’s dressing room (voluptuous ladies with even bigger voices.), my ears were burning with what I had just heard. I was furious.
I grabbed my cell phone and stormed out into the freezing car park that surrounds the tent and glared at the huge and useless Battersea power station (a symbol of redundancy if ever there was one) that loomed over us. My nostrils were blowing hot steam and I felt like I could catch on fire if it wasn’t so cold. I called my mom. I was going to bitch. I was going to rant and rave and give a huge speech about stupidity, incompetence and irresponsibility, but instead once I heard her voice mine broke and all I could do was cry like a child who’s had a bad fall.“The tent is closing down.” I said.
It has been an uphill slog since the day we landed in this recession rocked country. With no cheap labour available we literally shovelled gravel and worked our fingers to the bone to erect the 100 year old Belgian mirror and velvet palace, and have worked tirelessly to keep the tent afloat ever since. We’ve had more ups and downs than Wendy and Christine’s trapeze act and I think new levels of substance abuse were reached by certain members of our motley troupe in a rather futile attempt to cope with the impossible demands of compensating for a completely lacking advertising campaign. Going out flyering at the crack of dawn and then working until late at night catering to a tent full of people who were mostly comped. To be honest I stopped joining them after a week because it was exhausting, embarrassing and simply a little too late. Funders pulled out before we even left Cape Town and our leader has been like our salaries, erratic and often falling short. Yet I still admire his determination to fulfil his dream. I’m extremely optimistic about most things in life but on this particular day only half an hour before the show is about to begin I am feeling very upset, and for a few reasons. This is not the first show I’ve been in that has ended prematurely (Fangs, Rent, Rocky Horror.) And this is not the first time I am left feeling shafted financially after being made an endless list of promises. But enough of the “woe is me.” If I really want to bitch there is only one person to blame and that is me. I chose every one of these jobs and I have allowed other people to take the reins and dictate what happens in my life and for that I have sacrificed my right to complain. I’ve been letting other dodgy people drive the bus and what I should really have done is take the wheel. If I really think I could’ve done things better then I should’ve done them in the first place. I should have been marketing and fighting for my own dream and not desperately trying to save someone else’s. I want to be a singer and a valued performer and actor and not a pretty yet goat-like two bit stilt walker. When I traded those dreams in for a ticket to London I also handed in my backbone. At least I’ve got it back now even though I’ve had to see my ass first. It was and still is an amazing show but I didn’t ever feel amazing in it and I guess I just wanted a regular salary and a chance to see the world. Someone once said that if you trade freedom in for stability you will eventually lose both. I think I get that now.
A few weeks ago my gut told me it saw an express freight of high grade shite heading for the proverbial fan and so I spruced up my CV and to my gut-wrestling terror began secretly auditioning for shows and different companies up against London’s finest singers, dancers and bonafide “triple threats” (Actors who can really sing and dance.) I won’t lie I saw my ass at more than one audition. Chose sheet music for a song that was WAY too high for me and squeaked myself into new realms of humiliation with an army of young Christina’s, Britney’s and Justin’s all standing within earshot watching my cock up and waiting for their turns to do a much better job at that audition. But I also aced another one and got a special mention for my voice and realised how badly I need to sing and be told that I can and should. Now I have a final call back for a singing gig on a cruise liner on Sunday in Yorkshire and other than that a long flight back to sunny Africa to look forward to. Once again, a future imperfect but I’m enthusiastic at least with a new found interest in Buddhism and meditation. I have also crumbled under craving and have started eating meat again because I was getting so sick of cheese and soya! But this decision will be up for review again as soon as I can afford to live on a more varied vegetarian diet. Or maybe I’ll just give myself a bit of a break for a while. Its bad enough I don’t drink, drug, and smoke and haven’t even so much as smooched anyone in four months. Let me at least have my chicken wings! What I am unbelievably grateful for from this experience is the amazing time I have had in London. Art! I have been to the Tate modern and I have also seen dodgy Asian drag queens singing arias in The Two Brewers (Love you long time Lloyd!) I’ve run along the Thames, felt snow on my face and I’ve seen bearded old ladies on the bus. I’ve gone through a kg of glitter playing Pan and spent a fortune on tea at Starbucks. I have had a jol and I have reconnected with old friends (Carla, Helen, Heinrich, Jennifer and Nathalie) and made so many new ones (Chris, Craig, Kara, Belinda to name a few). I value the friendships I have made and continue to make as I go about my journey. I learn something from every single person like how to fly on a bar but stand on the ground from Wendy and how “Ubuntu” is alive and well far beyond the borders of Africa from Benny and Marta. I cannot deny that I am not exactly where I want to be but I am so grateful to know that where I am now, I am Loved. Aluta Continua (The struggle continues.) Thanks London. Love you long time.
Monday, January 19, 2009
So on the fourth day of my newly found vegetarian lifestyle I felt an insufferable craving for meat. I was waiting at a bus stop in Clapham Junction at 2 am sober as a judge, ravenous and staring through the glass and golden arches of the Mcdonald’s across the street. It looked so colourful, warm and welcoming and the bus would still be an eternal 15 minutes of nose dislocating cold. So I reared my lip in a rebellious smirk, marched in and ordered a ¼ pounder with cheese which I wolfed down before even getting back across the street to wait for the bus. It was strange. Afterwards I felt no guilt or remorse but I didn’t feel any satisfaction either. It didn’t taste as good as I imagined it would and I realised that it was the rebellious act that I craved more than the flame grilled patty. I want to kick against the conformity of my life. I have resumed my vegetarianism for the time being until I can honestly believe that it is best for me to be otherwise. But I am focussing on what this “takeaway” incident has brought to my attention. I feel stifled. I feel like I’m in a hole gripped by rules and the whims of other people pulling me under like quicksand. All because I have shushed myself saying: “Bite your tongue! Do you know how lucky you are to have a job? Do you know how many people there are out there who are down and out, have nothing and you have loads PLUS you get to travel! Don’t be an ingrate.” This is no fault but my own. My attitude has been: “I will pretty much do anything or endure anything however humiliating and shitty as long as you keep paying me and I don’t have to make any decisions. I’m just so grateful to have this opportunity. “
The other morning I woke up with the words: “Think bigger Bruce Little!” repeating over and over again in my head. Think bigger Bruce Little? Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am prone to getting random songs and sound bites spontaneously spouting forth from my subconscious mind, so much so that I have been dubbed the human jukebox in more than one dressing room. But this particular “morning mantra” was different. Could it be that I could dare to want more from my life than what I already have? That I could dare to dream bigger, to wish to play a bigger role in the world and travel much further than I have deemed possible? Or am I just falling into the trap of seeking what the Buddhists call the five harmful cravings? (Money, Sex, Fame, overeating and oversleeping.) Do I really just want to be rich and famous so I can OD on ¼ pounders with cheese and sleep all day? No I don’t think so. I want to be of use to other people, I want to bring joy and empathy into their lives by singing and performing. I want to be a Loving, respectable and responsible individual in a Loving, respectable and responsible environment. At times I wish my life was a novel so that I could skip forward a little and see what going to happen to me. I’ve never been very good at handling anticipation which is why I cannot sit through a horror movie. The suspense almost renders me unconscious with anxiety because I literally stop breathing as the poor hapless victim finds themselves somewhere dark and alone with a dagger yielding madman hiding somewhere in the shadows. I always want to scream: “Don’t go in there you stupid bitch!” But she never listens and the stupid woman gets stabbed and for some reason once the killer is out and shredding her I no longer feel the need to bury my head in the blanket and can watch undisturbed because the suspense is gone. That is how I manage with most things in my life. The suspense of waiting outside “the office” to see the headmaster for bad behaviour was always much worse than getting smacked on the palm with a ruler once you were in the thick of it. My imagination seems to create a much worse situation than what reality ends up producing.
So what should I do? I can hardly sleep at night wondering what I can do to beef up my dreams and perhaps make them a reality. There are so many options. London is literally a free- for-all buffet of careers, religions, societies, courses and places to “find yourself.” I’m not sure where to start, but I know I must begin soon because I currently “find myself” tirelessly pursuing someone else’s dream and other people’s dreams can only really lead to other people’s happiness.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I am reading The Art of Happiness written by Howard C. Cutler and HH Dalai Lama and boy oh boy is it blowing my hair back! (Just got a really short hair cut so this is not an easy feat.) I’m halfway through the book and this Cutler guy and the Dalai Lama are discussing the issue of intimate relationships (my favourite topic.) Being that the Dalai Lama was nearly 60 at the time the book was written and having been a celibate Buddhist monk that entire time Mr Cutler was naturally curious about what his holiness the DL had to say on the issue of romance and intimacy. First of all when asked by Cutler if he had ever been lonely DL replied without hesitation “no.” This blew me away. Is he serious? How could a man be a celibate monk treated almost as a deity for sixty years not ever have felt lonely? When asked what he attributed this lack of loneliness to he said: “I think one factor is that I look at any human being from a more positive angle; I try to look for their positive aspects. This aspect immediately creates a feeling of affinity, a kind of connectedness.” In other words every single relationship that HH Dalai Lama has is a meaningful and intimate one and he does not try and put all his eggs in one basket, so to speak, by having only one meaningful intimate relationship as we all try and do in modern society. After reading this I realised how many wonderful “intimate” relationships I have and how lucky I am. There is my fabulous family, those that are immediate and those extended. My crazy Porra guava princess Sonia, JC and the "boys",Chrissy Dudgeon, Cath Hopkins and Cath Daymond, Gox, Fanny, so many other “best” friends, the UCT drama crew and every amazing person I have worked with on every show. I have been blessed to have an “intimate” connection with so many phenomenal people. On the other side of the coin, I have also snogged and got frisky with others who will never have the faintest idea who I am. Strange. The Dalai Lama believes in Love and intimacy but he is not a fan of our notion of romance in western society. He believes it will lead to “frustration” as it is based in “fantasy” and I think I agree with that despite having dedicated so much time, money and effort to finding the “Love” of my life. Funnily enough I think I may have stumbled on the true great Love of my life and now understand that it is supposed to be me, myself, and not a six foot six newly retired rugby player that I would hope to meet in an ashram. Then I took a look at myself and thought, “mmm do I really want to fall in Love with that?” And to be honest there are a few things I am struggling to Love but it’s good to know that for any relationship to work you need time and compromise, even if it is with yourself.
I hope to be the change I wish to see in the world as inspired by the words of the great Mahatma Ghandi. I want a world with more joy and laughter so I should entertain myself and strive to laugh and help others to do so too. Yet there are still mornings, in which the frown on my forehead is so deep that it threatens to chew on the nearest person that bumps into me on the tube. There are a number of practises that I am adopting in order to create this change such as meditation and I have become a vegetarian despite my enjoyment of meat because after extensive research over the last four years I do believe it is more beneficial to the earth and everything on it. I have waited long enough and read enough and it feels right to me but I don’t plan on being a self righteous vegetarian activist just yet as I think choice is a precious commodity. So if it doesn’t bug you then chow that biltong stick with my blessings. I would still love to share my life with an amazing man who would function as an intimate companion as well as a lover. But I also can’t keep living in this fantasy world that dictates that I can only really be happy once I am sharing my bed with an Adonis. I can be and am going to be happy right now with what I’ve got to work with. Or at least I’m going to try! I guess we are all perfectly suited to our imperfections. It amazes me that I got on a plane and flew thousands of miles to another continent and the same person with the same baggage is still with me. Even in Harrods in London the chubby little moffie from Mafikeng is still alive and well inside, struggling to “walk the dog” on his coca cola yoyo. I want to put my arms around him and kiss his cheeks and tell him how delightful he is. Looking at him now it seems an easier task to Love him than I’ve been making it out to be. Especially when so many wonderful people have done it effortlessly over the years. The only true change I can affect is change from within. I cannot make someone Love me for who I am. I must first begin this task and then someone else may decide to join me. That would be fabulous. Two days ago I woke up and it was snowing outside. I had never seen it snow before that very moment and I am almost thirty. I had seen evidence that it had snowed in the Highlands of Scotland as a teenager and I had seen images of it in films and on television but I had never actually seen the magic of snowflakes before that very morning. It felt like a miracle. Part of me had begun to fear that I may never get to see it snow in person but lo and behold there it was on my face after years of hearing it happen only for other people. New things can come into being for me just like the snow. I could master the Art of happiness and know authentic Love in my life independent of money, fame, sex or status. It could just fall into being like a flake of ice from the sky. Anyone who knows me knows that I drink enough green tea that it’s a wonder I don’t share the same complexion as the incredible hulk. Sometimes in the morning happiness doesn’t have to be toned pectorals and a call back for a feature film opposite Hugh Jackman (mmm but wouldn’t that be nice!) Sometimes I can allow myself total contentment in the simple act of a well made cup of tea. As Wendy (one of my “intimates”) says as she eats a biscuit, it’s the little things that can really make you happy.