The universe keeps coming through for me at the right time.
There have been times my friends have called me Even Steven – referring to this classic Seinfeld episode http://youtu.be/prvm5ZFPIrE (they’re all classic, really)
It’s not really that accurate, but it’s still funny. I mean I’ve lost 18 basketball Grand Finals and never won one… That was been the cause of much heart ache that I’ve never truly recovered from.
I won’t bother chronicaling every devine moment I’ve experienced, and, that I’ve maybe read too much in to, but I will talk about this particular time.
Three nights ago I got up on stage at a story telling event run by The Moth
I followed my whimsies and signed up last minute (coincidentally, ‘Last Minute’ was their topic for the evening). I was arguably the least prepared as I’d approached the event without even the knowledge you could sign up to tell your own story. My friend Michael and I, I assume, were the only two in that position. He also told a super story. If you’d like to hear my story – I’ve attached it here, it’s an extremely abridged version of rather lengthy ordeal. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDhDyKtVoWQ
The results were wonderful, I was in the lead for the entire event after the judges voted me 27.1 out of 30. I lost to a guy named James who spoke last and scored 27.7 while I was in the toilet getting rid of some hot wings I’d eaten earlier (sorry about that visual). So I don’t even know his story, but I was okay with losing, as the winner would have to re-tell their story on the 2nd of December and I was not going to be in America at that time.
The next day I flew from Chicago and the high of that evening to Austin and the vast expansive lands it offers.
I’d not realised their were no trains here. Nor did I realise that things were spaced out.
Luckily for me, my friends Kaci and Roy are so damn wonderful and seem pretty willing to just drop me off at things and pick me up from them when I’m ready. They are beautiful people. So I went to an Improv jam
Now, I haven’t written in my blog for a damn long time – and that’s probably a result of what I’m about to talk about. So my friends in the interwebs might not even be entirely aware that in the past 18 months I’ve been consumed by Improv. Consumed by it so completely that I worked my way up to teaching it in Melbourne… Which – wows me. I love it. Opening up people’s mind to life’s virtues through improv comedy is one of the greatest whimsies I ever chased. But I’d need to have been blogging consistently for the last 18 months to make it clear how I’ve started having to juggle improv and music in my life
At this time I’m splitting my time on my annual visit to the U.S. between improv and music.
Anyway, the jam, here it is – it was all over the shop, and for one of the first times in my life chasing my creative whimsies I felt like I shouldn’t get up on stage with them, I had no idea why. I started to question if I wanted it bad enough.
A couple of weeks ago I was with my friend Kenny before a show in San Diego, and we were discussing a couple of my tours before this one and he said ‘you were really hustling back then’ (one year I came to San Diego and played 27 times in 23 days.) – that quote from him has stuck with my for the last 3 weeks. Am I not hustling anymore?
I’ve questioned this each time I’ve sat alone at a bar in New York, Chicago, and now Austin. Where in the past I feel I may have tried to spark up conversations and meet new friends.
I used to push and push until people became friends and I found extra stage time… And do I just not want it anymore? Enough? Do I feel less worthy? I haven’t written a song I LOVE in a while…have I lost it?
Then I listed to Amy Poehlers audio book YES PLEASE, and in chapter 25, Amy starts talking about ambivalence being the key to success, and that you should chase your creativity but try to care less about your career.
Oh man – I mean, listen to it… Because I won’t explain its profound impact on me well enough. All I’ll say is, I believe the rate at which I was listening to this audiobook (letting other podcasts interrupt it as I wandered the streets of Chicago etc) was meant to be. I was SUPPOSED to listen to that chapter today, the day I was extra worrying that I don’t hustle enough anymore.
Thank you Amy, thank you Universe.
Trust the path you are on, everyone. Take it easy. Chase your whimsies and live your dreams
When I was 16 I joined a band full of guys in their mid twenties – they’d already had some success, with play on triple M and triple J and in my eyes, these guys were music gods. Somehow I lucked into the situation. Right place, right time. Right place being my brother’s bedroom (he was the lead singer) right time being the day their bass player quit.
My first show was an EP launch to a sold out Espy Gershwin room. Goodness me, was I terrified… As if this is a logical first show for a 16 year old! I exclaim with textually sarcastic intonation – You might as well have called me Gabriella Cilmi.
I had butterflies in my stomach as my brother drove us there, he was doing vocal warm ups and I was trying to keep my dinner inside myself.
I took all my queues from the guys in the band and from that day and for another couple of years those three guys taught me everything I needed to know to tackle the stage on my own for years to come.
For years now, I’ve stepped on stages with only a small trace of the nerves I had that first year. Sure, some shows are very important and I sweat attendance numbers or whether or not the hero of mine I’m opening for is going to like me.
But most shows – I show up, we all plug in, we count to 4 and we all have the best time ever. I know all the words, I know who I am, I know what comes next, and I always know what to say. I feel at home on stage. No concerns. No thinking. Just strumming, and singing, and laughing.
Until… I decided to do improv.
My origin story in terms of improvised comedy is not a romantic one. I was sitting on the toilet with my iPhone in my hand. A very funny friend of mine from the states, a comedian by the name of Rajan DharnI posted something about an improv class he took. He’s posted similar things the entire time I’ve known him, so I don’t know if it’s because I was being particularly reflective on the toilet that day, or if I find farts so funny that I was open to the idea of being a comedian. But whatever it was, on a whim, I asked Lord Google for guidance…
God bless Adam Kangas and his SEO skills, because the Improv Conspiracy drew me in immediately. “Chicago Style” that’s the bit that grabbed me.
Because we all wish we were famous Americans right? Plus, I’m a Bulls fan, so the word Chicago just makes me think of wearing second hand Air Jordans in primary school and comparing the price of them with the shoes Marcus CarattI was wearing.
Thanks to The Improv Conspiracy I’ve spent 6 months now welcoming back those butterflies to my stomach. Realizing that I’m SO far from the fearless performer I thought I was and being so completely challenged each and every week by the over-powering and inspiring beast that is Improv.
All of a sudden I DON’T know all of the words, I DON’T know who I am (on Wednesday night I was a reluctant Unicorn Hunter named Charles or Clarence or something I can’t even remember). I DON’T know what comes next, and I am not sure what I’m going to say until I’m saying it. Just reacting, in the moment. Good or bad, it’s just me, my scene partner and that blissful terrifying moment.
I use ‘terrifying’ in about the most positive way one can. It’s an exhilarating scare.
Staring into the eyes of your scene partner having NO clue what they are about to say.
I’ve realised I wasn’t as at home on stage as I thought I was. Now I consider my music career to be where I built my house and laid the floor, only now am I properly getting acquainted with all that lies inside that house. It’s a super fun discovery.
Thanks to those who have watched or helped or joined me in doing it up to this point.
I’m looking forward to learning for a long time yet.
See you at a Harold night.
I'm currently on a train from Holland to Bruges. The train is fast. Like me in my grade three running race the moment my legionnaires hat blew off my head.
On Sunday I played my first European Living Room Concert.
LRCs are so cool. The attendees are 100% there to share in a musical experience and this makes them the best audiences you can find.
My thanks to Marieke, Rudi, Emma, and all the wonderful people who shared in the day.
It was crazy to find out that one of the girls attending, was playing my last single at her desk at work last week and one of her colleagues said 'is that Broni?' Crazy that someone else at her work knew me as well. The Internet is the best… This is why I find it strange my friends still waste cash on print media in Melbourne, with such small reach that never converts into ticket sales. But that's a discussion for another time.
Side note: you may or may not recall, but I had to move out of the house that I shared with my favourite little bulldog George Bruce, but I was making a point to visit him as often as I could, and taking him to work with me when I could etc, however yesterday I got the very very sad news that he is moving to a new home. He's going where there are 3 young boys who will pamper him and wrestle him like I used to be able to on a regular basis, so I'm very happy for him. But I'm also extremely sad that I won't get to spend any more time with him. I'll admit, I cried for a moment about it. He truly was a best friend, and the family he is going to are extremely lucky. Peace and carrots Georgie Porgie korgie lorgie dorgie.
If you haven't noticed yet, I have just started to check in a little more often on my youtube channel with a new weekly video called 'this is Broni' I swear i'ma try to keep up with is one.
My thanks to Pat McKenna for once again going above and beyond the call of friendship and making the cool animation for the series.
You the man Paddy.
In a few weeks I'll be releasing my new music video for 'I care more than you do' I'm excited, I think we did a good job on the clip. We basically recreated the situation in which I wrote the song, when I was in a cafe, and privy to a very awkward conversation in which I knew the girl was going to break up with the guy, way before he realised it was happening. The clip makes me well up about half way through, and that's due to the great performance by our leading Actors Carina Waye and Jonathan Christopher MacMillan so I can't wait for you to see it.
Whilst in the Netherlands we stopped off in Utrecht on the way to the house show. My mum was born in Utrecht, so we walked for half an hour to find my mums old street. It was a little surreal, she left there 56 years ago, I was just imagining my Nanna wandering those streets back in the day. It was awesome. And a great way to pass the time, as it was a Sunday and Utrecht was pretty closed. Starbucks was open though, so I got my crappy coffee on, and I paid to poop… That was fun…. Gotta get the most out of my 50 cents 😉
Nearly in Belgium, friends, so time for me to sign off for now.
Hope you're smiling.
Catching up on the challenge.
The holiday season always gets the best of me. I always start off thinking I’m going to get heaps done while the world is standing still. But then I end up standing still, too.
The gang took a couple weeks off from the challenge because without a little order it was hard to sit down and write the weeks song. And we all would have owed a lot of beer had we tried to continue. Props to Kenny and Isaac, they still managed to get one in.
Then we kicked back into gear a couple of weeks go, but i forgot to blog about them and today another one is due.
So here they are.
Last weeks topic: Wishing you were somewhere else
My song: Charlie and Simone (we would live in LA)
Charlie and Simone were best friends in high school. Both of them, big time musical theatre nerds.
Charlie was the competent musician, Simone the seemingly seasoned veteran of acting.
They would help each other with their weaknesses, and would encourage each other to use their strengths. Simone would sign Charlie up for acting auditions and force him to go. Charlie would write show tunes for Simone and gather audiences for her.
They both drove each other, and dreamed of a day after graduation they would move to LA and sink their teeth into acting and music. Classically waiting tables and just scraping by. This was their dream, and with the drive they instilled in each other, this would soon become their reality.
One night after a party Charlie suggested Simone come home with him, rather than one of her less responsible friends.
Sadly, that night, Simone passed away in a car accident.
Charlie was lost. His extraverted and ambitious nature had flipped.
Without the pushing from Simone, Charlie felt no urge to follow through with their plan.
A couple of years later Charlie wrote this song for Simone.
Here it is – Charlie and Simone (we would live in LA)
This weeks topic: Rob Deez eloquently put it “not having enough time to do shit”
My song: Show someone some love
This is a bit of a re-work of a song I’ve had in the pipeline for about 18 months. I’ve just never really known where to take it. This weeks topic sort of allowed me to make an old half song new.
Life gets busy…
Here it is – Show someone some love
Hope you guys enjoy. Please feel free to leave feedback.
And enjoy the entries from the other guys
The challenge is explained here – http://bit.ly/SongAWeek
This weeks topic was HOLIDAY
When I’m at work, I often catch myself daydreaming of what i could be doing instead of being there. I conjure up this fantastic day where i could fit in a million activities and have all the fun in the world. But you know how it goes, you actually get the day off and you don’t have nearly enough time for all that you were thinking about.
This song is about the idea that it would be possible to take the day off work, and have the best date ever.