I had been dreading going into fifth year purely down to Dirk coming to stay with me. The German students were due back for two weeks at the start of October for their portion of student exchange. At least we got two weeks off class at the start of the year to go do more work experience.
Despite the fact I was now sixteen, meant to be more mature and entering an important year of school, dossing off class was always a highly attractive incentive. Still, the thought of hanging around with Dirk and having him in my house was depressing. If only I had a secret indoor pool and gym area to keep hidden from him. Alas, I didn’t. The gods did smile down on me though.
Two weeks before they were due to arrive our German teacher Ms. O’ Golden informed me that Dirk had failed his summer exams and his repeats. This would mean Dirk had to repeat the entire year. He wouldn’t be able to come stay with me in Ireland.
“What? Seriously? No way!”
Did a victory lap of the classroom in celebration. Couldn’t believe my luck. The Mirk and Dirk Show had been canceled!
Ms. O’ Golden waited until I calmed down before telling me another boy had asked to take his place, Marcus.
“Oh yeah, I remember him. He got us tickets to the soccer game.”
Marcus reminded me a bit of Barney, the purple dinosaur children’s character. Tall and goofy, with a big fluffy head of light brown hair that just bobbed around as he spoke with a smile. Good laugh when I met him that time at the soccer game before. Still though, do I want him staying with me?
“So would you mind if he stayed with you instead? It’s up to you entirely, you’re not obliged.”
“In that case I would mind. I prefer to have no one stay with me.”
Confession time: For far too long a period growing up I used to wear turtlenecks. As in, all the time. Pre denim jacket phase. Post oversized sports jacket. Turtlenecks were my item of choice. Anywhere. Everywhere. All the time. Must’ve thought I was French. Or Sean Connery. Not sure if they were actually in fashion according to the herd, but I assume I thought they were the greatest thing of all time. Every significant memory I have from the ages 15-18 involve me wearing a turtleneck. Maybe even push that up to 20. Clearly remember my first turtleneck. Saw it in a wardrobe at home one day. Wondered who owned it. Looks like my kind of top. Looks kind of cool. Let’s see what it looks like on… Oh Betsy! My distorted image of myself in the mirror telling me I was looking good! Very cool! Mum? Muuuuuuuuuummmmmmm! MMMMUUUUUUUMMMM!!!! MUMM!? Mum? Mum?!! MUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM… Oh, hi Mum. Who owns this top? Pardon? You!? Who? No way! Can I have it? Pardon me? Shoulder pads? Oh yeah, wasn’t sure what they were. Pretty cool though, aren’t they!? Right? No? Guys don’t wear shoulder pads? Says who, Mum? What do they know!?! I look cool Mum, don’t I? Sure I do, Mum? Mum? MUU… Continue Reading »
Rollin’ & Scatchin’ (Chilly Gonzales Rework) – Daft Punk
While Ireland is being battered by all angles at home, it seems, I too have some important news to start off with: Got a hair cut this week. As opposed to a haircut. Hairdressers truly do baffle me. Ask for one thing, forced to deal with the some thing they give back. Tried to be as specific as possible. Almost as if I was asking them to do me this one favour, just one time. Please? Even had photos to help me describe what it was that I wanted. Hairdresser just looked at me. Down at me. Disgust. Contempt. Perplexed. Nonplussed?! All of the above. Eyes to heaven. And then went off and did her own thing. Cut one hair here. Cut half a hair there. Chat with her buddies. Slipped off to the bathroom. Still not finished. Please wait. Chilling and twirling in the chair while she disappeared. Returned. Did not cut one more hair. Decided, actually, she was finished. My hair was exactly as I had described. Twirled me around in the seat to show me the back of my head in the handheld mirror as if this was some sort of fool-proof proof that she did exactly as she was asked. Fooled me. Couldn’t see myself properly with their flattering light. Went to the bathroom to see if that was any better. Even worse. Made me look better. False light and smoke mirrors everywhere. Continue Reading »
I’ll start with an idea which I had this morning. I think, that, like the way restaurants have the Michelin star rating, and hotels also have a star rating, surely, surely hairdressers/salons should have something similar. Some kind of rating system, to help out the poor, defenseless customer. Then, apes will not be fooled into thinking that a place might be good on appearance or price alone. It would also provide concrete proof that a hairdresser might actually be qualified to cut hair. Rather than it seemingly being purely based on the fact he/she is wearing black, and his/her hair is an extreme shade of colour, be it blonde, red or purple/black. I’m kind of surprised this system hasn’t been implemented already. Has this mini rant any connection to the 2 haircuts I got last week? The ones that have made me now sport a nice afro shrub kind of look? Perhaps.
Anyways, I have decided that the main objective for the coming week, or two, is to re-write my sitcom script. I need this as my calling card so to speak, so it must be improved, until it is perfect. Only one person really to blame for it not being done already. Yes, that person is you. When I last went to San Francisco, I purely went to write the first draft of the script. Literally, thats all I did besides sleep, eat and gym. I had no other distractions. Another handy thing, which coincided with the trip, was that I had creativity spilling out of me, from incidents and events going on every day around me in L.A. I had a pool to draw from. Although looking back, and comparing it to my current situation, I had an ocean to draw from. I need to reignite that spark, to get my brain flowing again.
With that in mind, I have decided to self educate myself some more until I feel the flow returning. My writing knowledge and foundations are unknown as it is, so any help I can give myself will be worthwhile. Yesterday I copped on to why my laptop’s memory is full to the brim. Not really with all the music I have, like I had thought. It was all the writing podcasts I had signed up to before, and then completely forgot about. These are actually turning out to be gems. You can get a load of free podcasts related to writing, screenplays, film making, sitcom tips etc on iTunes. Whatever about the books I am reading, which are helpful, parts of these podcasts are brilliant, as they answer questions I have had for a while. Ones which the books weren’t really answering. I would highly recommend checking them out if you are ever trying to write something. Especially if you don’t really having a formal background in the field. And are pretty clueless. So you are relying on good old fashioned home education.
Some of the podcasts are fairly long, up to an hour, so I have been trying to weed out the key info I need. Some of the best points I got today were:
– Don’t have too much information in the script. Don’t be too descriptive.
– Remember it is a visual medium that you are writing for, not a literary one (Sounds obvious, but it can turn into a book at times for me).
– All about the arcs. Ensure your story outline is good before you start.
– What’s your point? Say it, make it funny, get out.
– Have a collection of work. Do as much as you can, to show a range. T.V scripts, short movie scripts, feature scripts, the more the better.
– Write spec scripts for other shows!
The first and third will help me re-focus for the script re-write. Cut out the flowery details, kind of thing, which I think I may have an abundance of, re de de. Such as, re de de. The last two are ones which I badly need to cop on to. Without spec scripts, to accompany my original pilot, it will be harder to get a break. Apparently. I should really have copped on to this point already. Seeing as I am at the stage now where I need to optimize all my chances, I need to get these things done.
While I was going through other notes as well today, in my day of home school, I saw something I wrote down from one of the acting classes. That is you probably need to sacrifice relationships to pursue a career in this line of work. I am beginning to see this more and more. It is not that I am avoiding people, it is just having to prioritize what I want. I just don’t want to get into a rut of familiar ways or old habits seeping in. Self discipline and self motivation are the toughest two areas to maintain at times. Have to plough on though, no-one else to hound me into doing any of it.
Just by writing all of the above, I think it has rekindled some of the motivation and creative spark again, wuu huu! Along with the help of Sigur Ros’ fine music, I can feel a flow coming back. Self medicate through the struggle!
To finish on a good note, for me, a step in the right direction was made towards a visa today. C’mon the dream, shine on! One final thing which was in some acting notes I read through earlier, was how it is always good to change your daily routine, in some way. This then will stop you just going through the motions, and make you more aware of your surroundings. Which is meant to be useful for acting out daily events. Loosely, and I mean loosely based on that, I might try a vlog soon. Ha, I’ll wait until something exciting or fun happens first though!