2015: An Apology.

scruffy onion

Dear Friends,

This is an open letter of apology to everyone who has dealt with me this year. 2015 has been a horrible year for me. If you’ve had anything to do with me, it’s definitely been apparent.  Even if you haven’t had direct contact, you’ve probably either been told or it’s been noticeable. If you had no clue, you know now.  I have behaved like an ass and I’m sorry.

I have owed apologies and debts since arriving home from America late last year. I have been a drain on people’s resources, financially and emotionally. I have abused friendship and goodwill to the point where, at times, every waking moment has been filled with such self-hatred I have been consumed with the thought of killing myself and ridding you all of my presence.

For what it’s worth, the foundation lies not in the complexity of supposedly being bi-polar, but the simplicity of being deeply, utterly sad. A sadness created by failure, a failure that lies solely on my shoulders. Despite feeble attempts to appear as if things were slowly improving, I have hated just about every moment of my existence since returning home.  I cannot think of a period in my life when I felt so sad, so totally guilty, so utterly ashamed of my behaviour.

It’s so hard to communicate these feelings. I’ve come to realise that the little cries for help on Facebook are pointless, meaningless. Social media deals with sadness in the abstract. It’s fine to add to the dozens of ‘likes’ when someone mentions mental health as a cause or charity, but when you tell people you are crestfallen and bereft of hope, it honestly feels like most people are too discomfited to do anything but look away.

That said, as often as I have felt the need to reach out to people for comfort, I feel completely undeserving of same. Worse, I perpetuate that feeling. Plus, when people have offered their friendship and love and support and space, I’ve abused it.

When I came back to limbo, I figured I’d move to Melbourne. If you reduce yourself to a period of limbo, pick a cool limbo. Melbourne is as cool as fuckery. And in all truthfulness, I did not rest on my laurels with regard to seeking professional help, thanks to coaxing from certain friends and a bit of self-motivation. But in the time I was down there, I was over-therapied, under-therapied, un-therapied, overmedicated, weirdly-medicated and of course, self-medicated…you name it. All of it down to me. And through all of it I could sense myself gently but palpably slipping away, but never explicitly letting on that I was losing my grip. I just let my terrible behaviour do the talking.

After nine months of skating along on other people’s hospitality, literally messing up their lives & further damaging their already frayed nerves, I came home to…more of the same. A couch surf here, unsettlements there. I gave no fanfare of my arrival and quite honestly expected no fanfare of welcome.

I feel as if all my friends, especially my theatre friends, are gone. I feel as if I left the tribe and through my own actions or inaction they won’t have me back. Even though I know and feel love from certain quarters, I have never in my life felt so alone. I feel so alone.

Still, alone and/or lonely, gravely accepting that I may have burned a war’s worth of bridges or that many of my friends are too me-fatigued to have anything to do with me now, I am trying to maintain my ‘default to life’ position. That has been helped in no small part by looking after my baby niece, making her smile or even freak with laughter as I changed her poopy nappy (a first, and I hope, last), but most of all, nursing her gently to sleep. God, it makes me wish there were a god.

So those small experiences have given me a hope that was hitherto missing and the courage, finally, to tell you all that I have been very sad, so very very sad this last year or so…and to say that I am indescribably sorry for letting that affect how I have behaved towards so many of you.

I love you, really. I thank you and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & New Year. Maybe we will have the chance to raise a glass.

Nxx

PS I’m hoping to reach more people than I would currently given my lack of recent Facebook activity. With that in mind, I would be extremely grateful, if you feel like it, please to share this on FB so I’m not spamming everyone with it. Nxx

 

 

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Facebook Theatre Musings – Omnibus Edition.

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(Photo by Craig Wilkinson)

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac

Social media has made it easy to share thoughts with brevity, simplicity & often, stupidity. My recent Facebook musings on theatre & its practitioners were neither brief or simple…so I include them here in ‘omnibus’ form for the reader to decide if they are the latter. Continue reading Facebook Theatre Musings – Omnibus Edition.

From a Nation to a Cloud.

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Yesterday I started moving all my uploaded ReverbNation songs to SoundCloud. I will finalise the process later today, as well as record a new Nx Doyle song & hopefully finish a collaboration with my friend Mirko, a new recording under the moniker of Vampigs, our very silly punk band from the early 1990’s. If you missed the bits & spits as I shared to Facebook, please feel free to check out a song or two at my new SoundCloud home. You’ll find my two latest tunes, Pockets Full of Sighs and There Ain’t No Way, plus offerings from the 2001 ‘..in Glistening Mono’ sessions and even a one-minute rapid fire punker called PGR.. If you like anything you hear, I’d love for you to share it around.

Nx – Live in the Bathroom

Have you ever started a blog and wondered how to increase traffic right from the start? You look at the top 10 ways to improve traffic to your blog. You consider outlandish stunts like pulling your pants down on camera in public. You turn roadkill into oven mitts and then bake a cake. Or you’re already famous and who gives a shit.

None of the above appeal to me so later today I’m going to record live in both my bedroom and bathroom a number of old and new songs to be given as gifts to those who subscribe to my new WordPress blog. My first attempt at drawing attention to this event met with the usual response: 0. Nil desperandum! I’m trying again. Over the years the number of people who commented on how much they like my music number in probably the dozens. Good start. So off we go again.

Photo Spheres

The much-needed purchase of a new phone (Nexus 5) has meant it’s been absolutely critical I play with the Google Photo Sphere function. As usual,  I’ve jumped in, head crackin’ the concrete,  without reading too much about how to maximise quality. The unprocessed goopy ones will be on FB in dribs and splibs. But here’s how they look once on Google +.

Peter Cook (Nov 17, 1937 – Jan 9, 1995)

Peter

The other day my brother sent me a link to a Rik Mayall tribute doc. I shared it on Facebook & made comment of my teenage desire not simply to emulate Rik, but to be him. But I suffered no illusion that anyone but Peter Cook could be Peter Cook. I’m lucky enough to have been born at a time and in a place where as a young kid I had access to a world of comedy that straddled generations: The Goons plus Sellers & Milligan solo, Python & their constituent elements, Dave Allen…and that doesn’t even cover the older style, more music hall/vaudevillean types like Morecambe & Wise, Tommy Cooper etc. On the other side of the Atlantic, I was slave to Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, Jerry & Deano. The Python-inspired (& by extension, Goons-inspired SNL) provided dozens of brilliant actors and comedians, but I also loved their old stagers like George Burns & hugely overlooked Sid Caesar. I was child enough to love Don Knotts & at 12 I thought I was old enough to get Robin Williams. I can’t count the number of comedians I love, from silent movies to now: Cosby, Hicks, Keaton,Newhart, Mitchell, Fry, Ayoade, Gervais, Chaplin, Tati, Humphries, Tomlin, Bamford, CK, Burr, Winters, Rivers, Atkinson, Louis-Dreyfus, Bernie Mac, Burr, Stewart Lee (my current obsession), Morris, Coogan, Sim, Wallace, Newhart…well, I think I’ve kinda made my point, even though I want to keep writing names – Connolly!

No matter how singularly brilliant, freakishly talented & burst innards funny these people are or were, none of them could be Peter Cook. Like a Beethoven or Tesla or Van Gogh, he somehow tapped the source.

He’s 20 years gone today. & I very much wish he were still here. Happily, through the visual medium of film & video recording technology, we can pretend for a few minutes.

Enter the Scruff.

A lot has happened since knocking the old Bigmouthery blog on the head, most of it in Texas. The one in America, not the one west of Stanthorpe. You’ll be hearing a lot about the many differences between my home & adopted home as the volume of Nx vomit begins to fill buckets, then barrels and if all goes well, massive vats of vomitus will liberally splash on these pages – note to some Americans, in this case ‘liberally’ means ‘generously’, not  ‘commie fag’. For those who read the old blog, it’s reasonable to assume you’ll be getting the same kind of long-winded, florid, toilet break avoiding rants that you’ve come to know & tolerate. But more than that, I hope to scratch a little deeper into the process of making art, whether it be writing, acting & musicry. I only have two New Year’s resolutions: engage more with my fellow artists on a more personal level in an effort to expand and improve the quality & volume of my own work and…I forgot the other one. I have set goals to write material with a view to record and/or perform. I have a renewed determination to obliterate what I believe to be jaded, one-dimensional, pigeon-holed perceptions of my work, as blogger, musician, voice over artist & especially as actor. I’ve not done myself any favours in this department in the past, so I’ll be going all ‘Wire’ and getting up in people’s shit cos that’s how they do, y’feel me? I’m not satisfied with being 45 years old and settling into the false notion others have that I can do certain things & not others…or that it’s okay to be comfortable with the fact that some of the talents I have which I believe to be verging on unparalleled in this city should be hidden under a bushel. Be ready, people who’ve judged & forgotten – expectations are soon to be confounded. When I was a kid I was forced to bashfully hand over literally dozens of report cards outlining the fact that I stubbornly refuse to live up to ,my potential. This is a monkey on my back, a monkey that will soon be released back into the wild to be ripped to shreds by its so-called buddies.

I have much to say about America in coming posts. I may also address the elephant in the room  – what the hell happened that I’m back in Aus in the first place? That stuff needs some consideration – I’ve been too preoccupied with catching up with family & friends, adjusting to the rampant expense of life here. And getting my breath back. Americans, Texans, H-towners, I have specific things to say to some of you & will likely address you individually as the tenor & thrust of what needs saying is seriously considered. For now, let me wish for you love and flowing, honest, happy souls. Happy 2015.  I’ll leave you with a tune I posted a couple times on the FB  to celebrate NYE.

Mañana.