Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Go placidly amid the noise and haste...

Because it's been on my mind lately, and because it's always worth sharing...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Hilary Swank, and counting my blessings...

I just watched The Black Dahlia, and was impressed with Hilary Swank. I remembered being impressed with her in Million Dollar Baby too. So I looked her up and found this quote from her:

"You need to study and work on your craft. If you're not prepared when that dream audition comes, you are not going to get that opportunity. To me, the definition of success is when opportunity meets preparation. So I really recommend that actors always work on their craft and their skills. Obviously you can't make a living doing that, but you can get a lot of joy from it and learn and be inspired by the people you're working with and by your teachers and by the material. As long as you're still being inspired by it, you're going to find joy. Then hopefully the role will come along. I just want every actor to know to keep chipping away at it." - On giving advice to beginning actors.

(Now I just need to find ways to learn and be taught and work on my craft without having any money for classes... How I would LOVE to be attending regular classes and workshopping with other actors and playing around with skills.)

Anyway, it was a little moment of joy for me to watch her performance tonight in Dahlia, because I was just thinking today about my list of actors that I admire the most. The three I always think of are men (Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Alan Rickman), and I was bemoaning the lack of any female acting inspiration in my life. So there you go, now I have one. Hilary Swank.


I realised that yesterday was Winter Solstice. Perhaps that's why I was in such a cranky mood... or perhaps that's why I got so much bad news, which put me in a cranky mood... either way, the universe is probably out to get me, don't you think?


I said yesterday that I would count my blessings sometime... so here are some I managed to scrape up from the deepest recesses of my tired cranky brain...
* My beautiful daughters are awesome and amazing and healthy and, the most brilliant part of all, they love me (me! really! people love me!).
* My darling Noel who also loves me, and provides a roof over my head and all that good husbandly stuff.
* I'm wealthier than probably at least 95% of the world's population. I have a life and opportunities that millions of people could never dream of having.
* I have some wonderful online friends who make my days a little bit more shiny.
* The gorgeous darling J who I met recently and is one of the best friends I've ever had.

Five'll do, right? Life's okay, after all. ;-)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Cranky post

I'm always so positive on this blog, what's with that?

Today, I'm not. Consider yourself warned.

In the mail today I got:
1. a letter from the manager at Luna Park, saying that "because of the high calibre of applicants, I am unable to offer you a position". Jeez, thanks. I know that's just a standard thing to say on rejection letters, but I don't like it. I don't like being reminded so deliberately that everyone else there was way better than me.
2. A letter from my bank (credit union actually, banks are EVIL!) saying my account is overdrawn and I need to rectify the situation ASAP. And that perhaps I ought to consider applying for a VISA Overdraft. Yeah, cos I'm sure they'd offer me stacks of credit while I have NO JOB and my name on a MORTGAGE. That looks wonderful on paper to credit people. "Oh, your only income is Family Allowance from the government, and you're half responsible for a $300 000 home loan? Excellent!"

I'm so cranky! Don't know who I am cranky at, but that's not the point. I've been trying really really hard, as hard as I can while staying committed to my kids, for over a year now and I'm getting NOWHERE. I still haven't had ANY paying acting work and the only agents who will take any notice of me are the ones with 6 million desperate hopefuls on their book who all paid exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege. I HAD money saved up to get professional headshots and then had to spend part of it when the car battery died for the THIRD TIME in as many years. I still haven't heard back from the lady about the darn teaching job at the rehabilitation centres. I missed out on the cafe job because of that stupid worthless sale job.

Okay, listen, I know my life is pretty darn good really. But I shall count my blessings or something NEXT post, today I'm just cranky and miserable and frustrated.

I just want to act. Please?????

Sunday, 17 June 2007

I am disinclined to formulate an encapsulating title

As of right now, I am still processing and replaying At World's End. It's really stuck with me after the 2nd viewing, and I am desperate to see it again (who wants to shout me a hot date at the movies???). I'm giving up on writing any kind of detailed and analytical review, though, because of the way it's still floating around inside my head. When I get the DVD I will sit and take notes and write a REALLY good one!

Some friends were around last night. We played Charades (fun fun!) and then watched Once Upon a Time In Mexico - chosen, I must add, by one of the blokes, NOT by one of the three Johnny Depp fangirls in the room! I'd never really realised how funny that film is. Agent Sands is really quite hilarious!


I had an audition last week at Luna Park in Sydney, for street theatre and kids' entertainment work. Has to have been the most fun job interview I've had! There was a group of 9 auditionees; we played theatresports games, did some improvs, learned a dance (I haven't danced properly since I was about 12! But I managed fairly well, I thought) and each had to perform a one-minute piece. I did an excerpt from Winnie-the-Pooh, with a cute Liverpool little-boy accent for Pooh. They laughed at the right places, so I guess it was alright. I felt good about the whole thing, anyway. I should hear from them sometime this week.

I'm still waiting to hear back about the rehabilitation centres job. Originally it sounded to me that they were offering me the job, but now it seems they're considering me, and the manager of the person calling/emailing me keeps wanting to know more information about me. So that's still up in the air.


Noel and I are challenging each other in a "biggest loser" challenge. Which basically means we're nagging each other about eating less and being more healthy. I have had to do far more nagging than Noel has, so far. He even ate McDonalds this week. McDonalds! And then he lost more than I did! How rude is that.
Anyway, I lost more than him the first week so I'm winning overall! I've lost 2.8kg in two weeks, and am under 80kg for the first time in almost 5 years! Barely - I'm 79.9 as of this morning, but still, that's less than 80! That is a very nice feeling. My goal is 70kg, which is how much I weighed before I fell pregnant with T. When I got married I was 67kg, but I don't think I can or need to be that skinny again.
I'm 5'10", by the way, for those of you thinking that only gigantic beasts could weigh 70-something kilos!
Anyway, the point of this far-too-informative ramble is - yay! I'm getting thin again! Perhaps in a week or two I will post some before and after photos to encourage myself.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Not quite a proper post about Pirates yet.

I saw At World's End again this morning, by myself, and just now is the first chance I've had to sit down at the computer. But alas, it is late and I am sick and so I shall again be brief, but come back again soon with a much more better post.

I LOVED it. I'm SO glad I saw it again by myself. I have quite a thing about other people's opinion of things which makes it nigh impossible for me to absorb something alongside someone else. I am too concerned with what *they* are thinking of it so just take it in for myself. Ergo, it is always better for me to see films on my own.

I LOVED the wedding scene and was awestruck and impressed by *part of* the Calypso transformation, both of which surprised me. I think Merlin's ideas about both those things in his comment helped. :-)

I'm still not entirely convinced by the locker scene, I guess I just have a hunch that it could have gone further in exploring just *why* Jack so hates the idea of spending eternity with only himself for company. Oh and I think I've reversed my opinion on the body-double issue. The body in question (the Jack that gets stabbed) didn't look terribly un-Johnny-like at all this time. I think I was wrong about that.

Keira impressed me more than annoyed me. I still noticed plenty of issues with the tension in her face, but there were quite a few moments when I really believed her and liked the choices she'd made. The scene with her father, for example. I cried.

Oh let me just point out that I cried about fifty times. Beginning from that young boy's first steps onto the [what's the word for the platform they use to hang people? - EDIT - GALLOWS!] at the beginning.

Some WONDERFUL acting from Johnny. One moment I noticed in particular was when he and Barbossa are on the beach next to the dead Kraken. Jack is contemplating whether to join the fight or avoid it, and he thinks on what the world's coming to. There is some delicious uncertainty and fear and sadness in Johnny's eyes in those moments, especially as he says "The world's the same; there's just less in it." (cue another teary moment for Sumara!)
And again when he has Jones' heart, about to stab it, when Will is stabbed, and Jack hesitates with the heart. Just a small moment but reveals so much about Captain Jack's character.

I totally love Jack and Elizabeth's relationship. We see them as really great friends who trust one another despite so many apparent reasons not to, who depend on one another and , literally, cling to one another when they need to.

Ok that'll have to do for today. I can't remember any of the other things I so urgently wanted to mention... I'll remember them at about 2.30am, no doubt.

*Ooh, remembered one thing - I'm loving the score. Gorgeous music! Somebosy buy me that soundtrack!!!

Merlin, thanks for your awesome comment. I promise I will address more of what you mentioned, in the next few days.

Connor - I'm hanging out to hear more of what you thought, too. :-)

Monday, 4 June 2007

Holidays, Pirates, Jobs...

We had a fabulous holiday. Yay for holidays!

We did manage to go all the way up to the Sunshine Coast to meet my most darling-est online friend... you may know her as either jkr2 or mrsramjet3kids... we spent a couple of days with her and her hubby and 3 kids, and we all got along so beautifully and it was just awesome. My girls LOVED the kids and they all played like old buddies. Yay for friends!

We did the whole beachy thing (Noosa Beach, mingling with the Beautiful People), and the Waterslidey thing (Wet 'n' Wild, on a rainy day!), and then some plain old relaxing (at some friends' holiday house in Diamond Beach). Yay for relaxing!


Yes, I have seen Pirates 3... I saw it on the 25th, the day before we went away. I shall write more about it after I've seen it again, but my initial reaction (I shall avoid plot spoilers for now in case you haven't seen it);

I loved all of Captain Jack. I think Johnny did some really excellent acting work in this one and took Captain Jack to new places we haven't seen him before. I was surprised and a bit disappointed by the "locker" scene - I was expecting that to be alittle different and a bit deeper perhaps, but I suspect I will understand and like it more upon a 2nd viewing. Plus, the film was out of focus up until that point (until I sent Noel to tell a staffmember and it was corrected), so perhaps watching that scene properly focussed will help.

I loved Will Turner too, which I haven't much in the first two. I think Orlando did awesome work in this one. And, (fangirl moment!) he looked incredibly hot at the end in that bandana. :-)

Elizabeth kinda annoyed me. I think her acting had some great moments, but mostly, Keira's inability to use her face or body very much is frustrating and annoying to watch. She needs to losen up a bit and get more comfortable in her own skin. Her mouth, in particular, seems really tense and frozen all the time, and I really don't think that's all due to character.

Geoffery Rush was amazing. He had quite a few pretty stupid moments, but he has this amazing ability to go from deadly serious to ridiculously funny without any loss of character or believability. Bit like Johnny really. No wonder those two top my list of favourite actors. :-)

Keith Richards was fabulous. It was a bit of a geeky silly scene, but hey, it's Keef. That last little moment between Jack and Teague was beautiful. (oh and incidentally, dricing up the coast last week we crossed a bridge over Teague's Creek. That gave me a great giggle.)

The transformation of Calypso was ridiculous. Blow-up doll, anyone? Surely they could have come up with a better way of transforming such a beautiful, powerful goddess.

I was frustrated with the maelstrom scene. It felt like it was about to be the big climax but then wasn't really. The "will you marry me?" etc was completely ridiculous. It would have been funny if it had lasted maybe 2 or 3 lines... but not the whole ceremony. There were quite a few little silly bits that I thought it could do without.

And then we hear that there were some lines cut that would have made the whole Davy Jones/Calypso/Dutchman/Curse thing clearer - they had to be cut for time (and now we're left with a confusing and questionable "curse" resolution) but the really silly groanworthy moments didn't? *sigh*

Anyway, so I left the cinema feeling a big disappointed and deflated, mainly due to the anti-climactic nature of the last few scenes, but maybe that's my fault for having such high expectations. I will see it again and I bet I understadn things better and therefore like it more.

(golly, that was a big ramble for "initial thoughts", wasn't it?)


I've been offered a job teaching drama classes to developmentally disabled adults at two rehabilitation centres. I've worked at one of them before, a couple of years ago, and I didn't think I'd done all that well for them, but they must have liked me because they want me back. It'll only be two hours a week, but I can charge $65/hour so that's just fine. :-) It'll be challenging work and I'm SO glad to have been offered something that'll be meaningful. The groups range from fairly high-functioning to very low-functioning people, so it'll be harder than last time, when most students were high-functioning. So if anyone knows any info about rehabilitation/education/anything for developmentally disabled people, I'm keen to learn all I can!

I didn't get a part in that play from a couple of weeks ago. Eh. Life goes on.

I'm applying this week for work at Luna Park - character "hosting" and street theatre. That'd be a fun job if nothing else.

Oh and that retail job I was doing? Boy oh boy. I only ended up getting 5 days work (out of the 14 I was offered), the manager just stopped contacting me and when I finally got a hold of someone it turned out the sale had gone caput. It took them 3 weeks to pay me despite endless promises of being paid "in a few days". I called the company's office in Melbourne and found out that it was that manager's first sale, and it kinda sounded like she was already in trouble - before they started getting all the phone calls from all of us annoyed casuals. Sheesh. THAT was an ordeal. Never again. But, it did pay this term's preschool fees. So that's something. :-)


Ok, it's very late. I shall try to catch up a bit with my "online life" in the next few days, but I am avoiding spending too much time here, in favoiur of getting my "real life" a bit more organised.