That last workshop was intense.
When we first got the provocation to write a letter to someone about something we had never said - I mentioned that I truly did balk at the notion.
UGH, I tell everyone everything. I don't leave anything unsaid. We could all die tomorrow so it's the only ethical thing to do.
But it turned out I did have a lot to say.
And when I was on the phone with Sam the other day, I do this all the freaking time.
SAM: Heyyyyy, I found out we have something in common….
SAM: We were both shortlisted for the APRA AMCOS award!
JULES: Oh! Yeah! … I knew that.
SAM: OMG AS IF DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU SHADY *****!
JULES: *dies in embarrassment*
It happens more than I'd like to admit.
And I figure it's common. Human.
A combination of things, including some neurodivergent traits.
JULES: Oh yeah, I saw that show. Twice.
FRIEND OF THREE YEARS: You saw my show. In which I was the sole performer, writer, and director. In which I expose the depths of my soul. Twice. Which was on 2 years before we met. And you never told me.
JULES: *dies in embarrassment*
1. As a person with undiagnosed neurodivergency, socialised as a girl, you get told very early that things you say and the way you say them are inappropriate.
3 YEAR OLD JULES: Santa, you say? Interesting. Well, Santa doesn’t exist so maybe you need to rethink where you got that Barbie from, Sarah.
SARAH'S MUM: *glares*
2. Your brain runs a million miles a minute, so you're told to curate your speech.
THEM: What's your favourite boy band?
13 YEAR OLD JULES: Well the first album I ever bought was Backstreets Back, so the Backstreet Boys was my first fave, but then I also really loved Westlife and Boyzone to the point where I'm kind of a little into Irish pop music at the moment - do you know The Cranberries? I kind of really love the Cranberries right now. But then I can't be disloyal to Human Nature or CBD. OH but OH. I tell you who I've never admitted to anyone that I like?
THEM: *walks away*
JULES: 5ive... I was gonna say ... 5ive...
Get on up *sniffles*
When you're down...
Baby, take a good look around.
I know it's not much
But it's okay :( :( :(
Keep on moving on anyway....
click the volume button
3. But you're also an alien who lives in an alternate universe in which all that speech that ends up on the cutting room floor of your conversations now lives happily in your alternate reality in which you definitely did say those things BUT the rules of this world end up biting you so bad in the a** you end up with rejection sensitivity.
THEM: So girl groups, then… who's your favourite.
Oh this is hard. I wonder what I should say.....
Because Little Mix are on my mind at the moment and I don't know if that's because I'm just so impressed with where the girls have gotten vocally (without Jesy #controversial) but I don't know if they're my favourite because I mean *scoff* who is Little Mix without the Spice Girls. I could go on about the Spice Girls. That movie is just *chefs kiss* the most beautiful dramaturgical nightmare. And *gasp* SWV? En Vogue? TLC? Or HANG ON I saw this awesome doco about Richard X and the Sugababes. CRAP what about the Australian girl groups - Bardot? Sister 2 Sister? JACKSON MENDOZA?
JULES: B*Witched. My favourite girl group is B*Witched.
Oh no, where did that come from?
*dies in embarrassment*
And on reflection. After an hour chat with each of you. There’s a tonne of stuff that I either curated out of our conversations or didn’t find the time or opportunity to tell you.
Cheyenne, I didn't say in the call but you have single-handedly made me want to learn how to code. Even in trying to set up <whatever this is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯> I felt the impulsion I felt as an adolescent customising Xanga pages. The language of the internet is hectic and I'm appreciating it again thanks to you.
Jill, your home is TOO BEAUTIFUL. I love that we've gotten to see you over Zoom with your device perched in different locations. I haven't really started to appreciate home architecture until very recently. The way it opens out into nature and the natural life you've brought indoors is so life-affirming. I'd like a tour, please. (One day. Only if you're keen).
Petrina, this is a work email that I never got around to sending because I don't know you very well and I got overwhelmed and scared. But I'm in a collective of Asian women and non-binary artists. We like to organise mentorship sessions/introductions with practitioners as a kind of capacity building thing but also to remind ourselves we're part of a long chain of practitioners and we're in no way alone.
In our Sydney bubble, there's a reeeeall paucity of experienced set designers and lighting designers of this demographic to introduce our set designer and lighting designer to. They are legends. And so are you. Would you be keen to meet them one day?
Isabella, chatting to you whilst you were in London made me miss the place so much. Since our chat, though, I worried that I said too much in relation to the people we knew in common. It made me wonder how I went about processing my time in the UK and what the distance of years and miles does to memories and impressions. I forgot for a moment that whatever you leave behind still continues to live, breathe, hurt, grow, change. Hope your journey has been the best. I am (ashamedly) quite envious.
Sam! I've already said one thing I hadn't said. But let me hit you with another. Thank you for sharing the letter you shared in the workshop. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself - your journey, your pain, your growth. I wanted to tell you that my heart heard you that day - in a way that bypassed my mind, my ego, my worries and inconsistencies. I'm grateful for your presence here ... in this room, but also - let's be real - on this planet.
Carly - I've never told this to anyone but UOW theatremakers uniformly intimidate the shiiiiit out of me. 100x more than NIDA, VCA, or WAAPA grads. I haven't met a UOW grad whose artistic ingenuity, instincts, freedom with expression didn't completely floor me. I also love how your cohorts walk through the world with such a sense of community and solidarity. It's very moving and cool. Super looking forward to getting amongst more of your work :D
Am I the only person in the group who didn't study theatre? Or any creative art?
Lucas - I didn't say this on our call but whenever I meet a Hiatus Kaiyote person, I immediately feel like I've met a friend. So when you sneakily (and chaotically) claimed my favourite song in Sam's exercise, part of me was like 'CRAP, I'm gonna have to lie at some point now' but another part was like 'YAY FRIEND!' And whenever I hear 'Nakamarra' in the wild I'm like 'okay, the universe has got me'. Actually the last time I was in Hobart, I heard it in an Italian restaurant and took a video:
Now we’re here I may as well tell you things I’ve never told anyone. Not a living soul.
1. I haven’t sent that song I wrote about the pie shop to my friend. I’m terrified about what kind of a gesture that represents. They’re one of my closest humans with whom I share pretty much everything but sending them a song feels vulnerable af.
2. I don’t love that my Dad is now the patriarch of a giant diaspora family. I know there’s really nothing to worry about but just the idea of a patriarch bugs me. Which might be why I wasn’t as close to my grandfather as a lot of my cousins were.
3. I don’t like Double Coat Tim Tams. I know they’re ‘the best’ and ‘why would you buy regular Tim Tams’ but they’re too smooth on the top. No folds or bumps or ridges. It’s strange to me.
Don’t make a swollen penis joke. This is not your area of expertise, Jules.
And I think that’s all. Except one thing.
The last time I was in Hobart was…
I went down to Snug for a quiet cabin stay (it was great).
But we ended up going to Hobart for dinner on a foodie friend's recommendation.
And I made a sneaky visit.
This photo is from my phone. I don't know how to prove this. Hmm. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So I think that's it from me for now. Thanks for the patience.
I'm sure there's more stuff I haven't said but...