First Impressions – A Rant

acting

Last night I did something that scared me. I went to an acting studio, got given a theme and had just under 2 hours to write a monologue, which I then performed. The writers in residence advised us to go with our gut and get out whatever needed to come out before editing, and apparently what I needed to get out was a rant:

First impressions are funny things. According to scientific research, we form a first impression in seconds, but it can take hours, days and even years to undo a negative first impression, whether accurate or not. And then there are complications, like your current mood, thoughts at the time, who that person reminds you of; I once felt physically revolted at the sight of a complete stranger just because they had the same approximate face shape and hairstyle as my abusive ex. And this was from seeing them at a distance, let alone interacting with them!

Maybe that person was working on a cure for cancer or helping to resettle asylum seekers. What if they were a nobel prize winner or the kindest, most devoted parent? What a jerk I am, to recoil because of a passing resemblance to a man I once knew. In an instant I had already unconsciously decided that I wanted nothing more than to get away from this stranger, with the full potential of the very best of humanity within them…of course, they might also have been a dick, in which case I wouldn’t have felt so bad.

But aren’t they funny, first impressions? Quite often they’re bang on, too. I have close friends now whom I instantly adored the second I met them. I’ve felt unnerved at the presence of a stranger only to find out later that, true to my spidey senses tingling, they’re a total arsehole. But it’s the in-betweeners that are difficult. You know, those people who are quite alright and even commendable on the surface, but have something a bit off about them, like a banana that looks only very slightly green, but when you bite into it the floury taste of betrayal soils your tastebuds. So too these people can often confuse our first impression radar and later prove to be disappointingly starchy and flavourless.

And then there’s the fact that human beings by nature are always growing and changing, and those poor sods who give you a bad first impression and then change for the better have to spend all their time overcoming your own instantly internalised false bias. So many beautiful humans are overlooked in this way, especially if they don’t automatically fit the cookie cutter of social ideals perpetuated by the media and society in general. In fact, could I just say that when it comes to judging people our society is absolute shit. And I mean the worst kind of stinking, festering, slightly liquid shit. Not the dried up fairly odourless shit that isn’t too complicated to clean up.

Take me, for instance. I’m non-binary and every single day I am compelled to combat peoples’ incorrect first (and second and third) impressions of me due to their own engrained bullshit. And even though I know my own identity- and this is technically independent of any external validation – it still fucking hurts when people treat me like a fragile little girl because that is what they have decided I am based on my size, my shape, my voice…it especially hurts because to our society there is no other option: you’re either a boy or a girl and to be anything else in-between, to want anything other that what the gender they have assigned you should want is declared to be mental illness. So, I have to make the decision whether to fight that assumption and adapt myself to exist and be ‘read’ the way I want and need to be read, or not to bother and try to simply brush it all off and survive, because it is so much harder to challenge the system than to suppress who you are. Having said that, I’m a stubborn little human and I am prepared to fight for my happiness.

Funnily enough, despite the inevitable suffering and hardship, I am actually finding that when I’m true to myself and my identity, people can usually see that and it even affects their impression of me, to the point of sometimes overriding that programmed crap I was ranting about just now. So, at the end of the day, yes first impressions are funny things, but being absolutely and authentically true to who you are tends to mean things will work out okay.

 

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Romeo & Juliet: Given the Sly Rat Theatre Treatment

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A very kind review of our little Shakespeare show. Thanks, Max!

It isn’t that unusual to be a-wanderin’ around Queens Park, in Moonee Ponds, just north of Melbourne, and see a setup for what appears to be a wedding. Unless, of course, that setup is occupied by an aged, withered Juliet of Capulet, forlornly cooing “Come night, come Romeo.” But that is what happened to a whole lot of innocent bystanders one a balmy February afternoon, and they were quick to abandon their walk, to take in the spectacle that was taking place before them. Guess they didn’t know Sly Rat Theatre was in town.

Hang on, you say…Juliet of Capulet? Aged and withered? But what was all that about drinking poison, plunging daggers into breasts, dying but a teenager, becoming a martyr of innocence and love amidst the hatred and fury of houses Capulet and Montague? It’s worth repeating; Sly Rat Theatre is in town.

This isn’t just Shakespeare outdoors…

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Meeting X, a person who doesn’t fit the normative binary boxes

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This

Anger is Justified.

A cis guy I know told me this story to illustrate how accepting he is of gender non-conformity. It’s paraphrased, because there were a lot of interruptions from me.

Hell, I know a chick who I thought was a dude! Hung around her for years, I just thought she was a dude – dressed like a dude, acted like a dude, everything. Then one time she took her shirt off and… yeah.

My instant question – Did this person ever say they were a girl?

Well, she was [hand gestures] and – [interrupted by me. Ten minutes later, after a bit of wriggling…] She didn’t say it…

Then, my friend, how do you know? If this person truly identified as a girl, I’m not sure it’s likely you would have hung around with this person for that long without someone correcting you on pronouns, for a start. You…

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What #metoo tells us about ourselves…

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I would also add that intersectionality is needed – a woman of colour started the metoo movement ten years ago and has been left unacknowledged

onefootintheclay

Social media has been inundated with #metoo over the last few days. Many women (and some men) who are expressing, often for the first time, how they have experienced unwanted touch and unwanted words in the most cherished parts of who they are. I have sat with tears dripping down my face reading through these.

But what shocks me is that so many people reading these statements have then expressed shock at the magnitude of this reality. I think to myself, surely we know this as truth, that nearly every female in our society has experienced this kind of evil against them in some way. Hence the whole point of this hashtag. To show the magnitude.

That we are shocked at the over-arching presence of #metoo is perhaps one of the great evils about all of this. The denial of reality. Rape culture under the guise of #boyswillbeboys. A media/advertising…

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Space Fall – Part Ten

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A cool story!

Sophisticated Nonsense

spacefall-lowresThis is the last part of this story! Want to read the whole story from the beginning? Click here!


When the calamity struck Proxima Minor the Ferren guild feared their livelihoods would be the most affected. The Ferren were the miners and refiners of gases, metals, and liquids extracted from the crust of the planet. Their guild motto was, “Everything we have either comes from a plant or a hole in the ground; and we know how to dig.” When the waters approached their mines they moved their homes, refineries, and machinery under ground. Then they sealed themselves in deep underneath the surface. The water from the new ocean above them seeped in, but they pumped that out and built oxygen factories to supply themselves with breatheable air. Safe underground they had access to all the metals, minerals, other chemicals the Comptoni needed to build their machines and with…

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Boulevard of Broken Dreams

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I while ago now, I arranged Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” for two cellos. It was only the other day when I rediscovered it and decided to record it so that I could hear how it was supposed to sound…and then I got a bit carried away and added some drums and guitar. Two days later, I was in an article! And here it is:

We spoke to the woman behind this cello cover of Green Day’s Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

 

the fragrance of humility

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Beautiful words from a beautiful friend

aharvestofthoughts

wash-jesus-washing-apostles-feet-christian-art_290281018067

Through this whole whirlwind of baby life i have had constant support. It has been an amazing experience to be cared for – from people doing the pile of dishes, folding my laundry, back rubs, holding my screaming child, just spending time with me when i need company and many other things. Through allowing people to help me i have realised my need to relinquish control, admit i need support and be humble in allowing people to fill my needs. This has been difficult for me because i am often the one doing the serving and supporting of others. I have learnt much letting go and being vulnerable in this time, but most of all i have learnt to be humble.

I have been reminded of a story in the bible, where a woman washes Jesus feet  (if you are unfamiliar with this story you can check it out here

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It Might Take Me A Thousand Years…

acting, doctor who, Music

I’ve been thinking about dreams lately and the power of goals. With the beginning of a new year comes a sense of refreshing and a clean slate. Of course, in reality every second is a clean slate, but it does help to have an exact date to put another year behind me.

You may know my particular dream goal by now, but I’ll reiterate:

I want to play a female Doctor in the BBC Doctor Who series, possibly the first ever if I’m clever about it.

I was expecting a chorus of negativity and disbelief when I first swallowed my fears and began telling the world what my dream was, but the result was quite surprising. People were encouraging. The most common response I receive is “that’s a fantastic goal, you’d make a great female Doctor!” In fact, people tend to believe passionately in my dream more than I do!

And the great thing about now having my crazy ambitions in the open and actively following them, is that I feel so at peace with myself. The challenges are still challenges, but they feel more like opportunities to step closer to my dream and strengthen my resolve, whereas before there was that uncomfortable burning feeling in my gut that I wasn’t being true to my deepest passion and putting myself through hell regardless.

Now, I know precisely how ambitious a goal this is. For one thing, I’ve read the mass of uproar against the possibility of a female Doctor. People were furious that there was even, most recently, a female regeneration of a previously male Time Lord, leaving the possibility for the shows title character to do the same. I’m also only too aware that, living in Australia, it is far more difficult for me to infiltrate the UK television industry and the BBC. But that won’t stop me. I’m in this for the long haul, and the beginning of every new year is another chance for me to look back and see how far I’ve come, regardless of whether I’m shaking hands with Steven Moffat or not.

Speaking of years, here’s another cello loop pedal cover I’ve been playing with:

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri