Things Liam Neeson Taught Me

Liam NeesonI’ve always hoped that, should I find myself in imminent danger, I would naturally evolve into Liam Neeson.

He has become my spirit-totem-guide-human.

Having adopted my WWLND mindset I’ve learned things.

1. A phone call can be a game-changer.

Communicating with people is all about perception. Your control (or lack thereof) lies largely in the tone you take and the way that is decoded. The problem with text based communiqué is that the tone applied to your words is a product of the reader’s assumptions.

Neeson lesson? If you want to take back your full stake in the situation, pick up the phone and take proper control of your tone.

2. Trust a specialist. Ask for help.

“My father was fond of saying you need three things in life – a good doctor, a forgiving priest, and a clever accountant.” – Schindler’s List (1993)

Sometimes you need to ask the guy who’s done it a million times, regardless of what your ego tells you. I’m all for confidence in one’s own abilities, but if you never ask the experts you can never become one of them. You need to learn the rules before you can break or bend them.

3. Strategy and innovation go hand in hand.

“I believe that no matter how random things may appear, there’s still a plan.” – The A Team (2010)

First step – there needs to be a plan. Seriously, there needs to be a plan. Not kidding. Do not wing things you care about. Stepping stones, intentions, goals – anything. You need a target. Find it. You need a path. Go make one.

Second step – you need to be flexible with aforementioned plan. Master these things concurrently and any situation will be your b*tch… or as my mother would prefer I say, “much easier”.

4. Good people know things. Bad people know things.

Captain Neeson trained Batman and Darth Vader. That makes two of his areas of expertise Ninja-Vigilantism… and The Dark Side of The Force.

Good character traits? Bad character traits? Debatable. The point is for you to learn.

Learn it all. Learn the best approach, learn what not to do.

And here’s the really hard lesson…

Sometimes the best way to ensure you don’t perform badly is to have somebody treat you or someone near you poorly. You will vehemently swear never to become like them and you will mean it. It’s a hard road, but it pays off if you make the most of your experience in a way that grows you.

Teachers really do come from anywhere.

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Five Things To Do (possibly more)

  • Seek out playlist glory via La Casa Artist Residency Sessions, which is (gloriously) based in Byron Bay. The whole project is backed by Corona, and yes, everybody looks like they’re hanging out where you’d rather be.
  • Ready to shake things up with the way things are? Tuck your confidence firmly into your front pocket with these tips on Pitching Your Case For Change.
  • Pause and let your brilliance steep, then introduce yourself to Alabama Shakes.
  • Search for lines from Cat on A Hot Tin Roof because Tennessee Williams was a boss. (“Maggie, we’re through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door.”)
  • Watch Sound City, then watch as much of Sonic Highways as you can get your hands on, then getting Dave Grohl’s face tattooed on both your forearms.
  • Check out this little dude: the desert rain frog. He sounds like a squeak-toy and is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, so the more people know about him, the better.
  • Survey your victorious handling of the day whilst listening to…

Life Lust #5

Life

And to brighten your life in general, and stoke the fires of motivation – A Pep Talk From Kid President via Soulpancake.

Not Cool Robert Frost.

Theatre from a Non-theatre Perspective

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I am a live gig girl. I have been for a very long time. Theatre scares me.

Why? Because I don’t think I get it.

This is my disclaimer for the hesitations you are about to witness.

As part of a new series of articles I am attempting to write I am going to take a (reasonably) proactive approach toward trying sh*t.

It shan’t just be any old sh*t either… it will be the sh*t I never thought I’d be interested in.

Call it boredom taking it’s toll, but I’m looking to create some fresh neural pathways.

Of recent times I have been lucky enough to work side-by-side with a lovely young lady who happens to be a drama major as well as a certified theatre fiend.

She is also a marketing genius, but that’s another story.

We bond over all kinds of things that wouldn’t be obvious to the observer, and that’s one of the reasons why I love our friendship. It doesn’t really make sense. But then again, it does.

In one of our late night post Marketing Meeting chats, she (sensing the danger my non-theatre-attending artistic soul was in) invited me to come and see a play – her play. She co-directed this thing from the ground up – script, stage directions, lighting, sound, the whole shebang.

No pressure.

Thus, I found myself standing next to the Box Office at La Boite Theatre Company – lovely place, you should go – staring down the barrel of a fully loaded theatre gun.

I had some stern words for myself.

I said, ‘Caitlin, get it together – you need to work with this girl for another three months’.

A young man’s voice echoed down the stairwell. He was performing a dramatic monologue (in a very professional manner, as if this happens all the time) from within said stairwell. He introduced us to the content of the show. We were told that Crave: A Takeaway Show was an original work utilizing traditional narrative, abstract text and physical theatre to create an immersive audience experience.

My reaction went something along the lines of ‘I hope they don’t touch me’.

Now, student theatre does its own thing in the very best of ways. Crave created a world in that space. The theme of the work was ‘what feeds the mouth, doesn’t always feed the soul’. It posed uncomfortable questions about consumerism and consumption of media. It pushed the audience to question themselves, but it made them laugh as the did it. The actors timed lines to perfection, bouncing off one another as if merely chatting. They cracked a joke and doled out moralistic guidance in the same sentence. It brings you right into the moment. It’s provocative, you know?

I walked away with a cacophony of thoughts bouncing around my brain.

Student theatre, survived. Strike that from the list of things that are not my thing.

And the twenty dollar question… would I go again?

Honestly? Try and stop me.

Crave: A Takeaway Show (Opiate Productions) was performed as part of FAST Festival of Australian Student Theatre at La Boite Theatre on September 8th 2012.

Life Lust #4

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2high Festival 2013

I worked on the 2012 Festival for a very large part of last year, and it was one of the highlights of my entire year.

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It involves countless up-and-coming aspiring Brisbane artists and creative locals. This time around they have a new team and a new home as part of the line up of amazingness that is Bleach Festival (22 Feb – 3 Mar).

They’re scouting for new talent, and will no doubt showcase it spectacularly in their sunny new spot on the Gold Coast. They have a bandwagon and you should get on it.

  • Also, it’s Triple J Hottest 100 time again. Here’s my early tip for #1.
  • Would you like some cute for your Friday? Mmkay.

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  • More? Here please – Extra Ordinary Comics
  • And just ’cause I like these dudes and they are Fueled By Ramen newbies… and also they are popping up on multiple To Watch in 2013 Lists. Including mine.

Life Lust #3

  • Dollar store squirt guns. Terrorise workmates/housemates/fellow morning commuters. Endless fun.
  • Killer Mango & red wine combinations. Make a Sangria iceblock, you won’t regret it.
  • Conversations without walls. Rare and amazing.
  • Baking chewy choc-chip cookies in rainy weather. Wear this Spock apron because you can.
  • Insider knowledge. Because it’s nice to feel special.
  • The Fun Committee. Appoint one. Once it’s official there’s no turning back.
  • Tropfest – wit, intellect, vision, humour. Not much patience required.
  • And last but not least… My small adoptive Asian mum from downstairs. STORY TIME. She rescued myself and work friend from lunchtime indecision. After five minutes of kicking the pavement trying to figure out what we wanted, looking lost and forlorn, she came over, all smiles and Mother Hen vibes, took us inside and made us a chicken wrap. Three Cheers for Tiny Asian Mum.

Also… Australian Politics finally becoming interesting.

I don’t mean to court the drama but gosh, it’s better than the usual slanging matches isn’t it?

Kevin Rudd, former PM, now also former Foreign Minister resigned his post in order to (we can only assume as he is on a plane not telling people anything right now) make a play for PM again.

He was taken out by his own party, led at the time and to this day by Julia Gillard.

She looks nervous.

He looks self-satisfied.

People say he doesn’t have the numbers. I think men that clever don’t smile that much on TV unless they have a good reason to.

I hope they make a movie out of it in which Harrison Ford finally plays one of our politicians. Or Denzel Washington.