Inspired by the recent and lovely wrap-ups by Sarah Walker and Fleur Kilpatrick, and by the strange feeling that rises up in my guts and my heart every time I look at my #BestNineof2015 Instagram photo collection and realise, actually, it’s been a fucking big year.
Places I’ve lived: 3.
States I’ve visited: 3.
Blogs I’ve blogged: 25; this one included.
Plays I’ve written: 5.
Plays of that 5 I’m actually pleased with: 3.
Plays of that 5 written on commission or for someone else: 2.
Number of times I made money from writing: 6 – ranging from a one-off payment of 20 dollars to a half-year’s worth of regular income.
Drafts of “Sneakyville” it took to get the play finished: 3, bringing the total drafts up to 8.
Anxiety attacks I’ve had: 10.
Therapy sessions I’ve had: 46.
Number of therapy sessions I had while in Sydney: 0.
Number of times I sat on my bed in Sydney with the number of my therapist on my phone and my thumb hovering over the "call" button while willing myself not to call: 1.
Number of times I've cried: 6.
Not counting over a book, music, film or tv: 3.
Number of times I've cried in a supermarket: 1.
Number of times I cried because of legitimate emotions and not the deafening and screaming voice from the heart of my anxiety telling me that I'm going to die: 1.
Times I asked someone further along the road than I for support, help or just to get a coffee and talk about how fucked the arts world is: 5.
Times I regretted it: 0.
Times people were worse than I expected: 1.
Times I’ve pushed past an all-encompassing sense of fear and anxiety to do the thing anyway: 3.
Times I regretted it: 1.
Friendships that shot up in my respect and turned out to be worth so much more than I’d originally thought they were: 3.
Friendships that died a slow death: 2.
Times I regretted said death: 2.
Number of friendships that died an instantaneous death: 1.
Number of times I regretted killing said friendship: 0.
Times I stood up for myself when usually I wouldn’t have done: 4.
Number of new tattoos I’ve gotten: 1.
Number of times I drank: 0.
Number of times I wanted to drink: 2.
Friends from the internet I finally met in person: 2.
Number of public theatre performances I had a large hand in that I was actually proud of: 2.
Number of those performances that were torn apart by blog reviewers: 1.
Number of times I realised it didn’t actually matter: 1.
Favourites: between three and five each because I’m indecisive. Not all of these came out this year, but I discovered them this year.
Books: “LION ATTACK!” by Oliver Mol, “Not that Kind of Girl” by Lena Dunham, “The Tell-Tale Brain” by V. S. Ramachandran.
TV shows: “Please Like Me”, “Transparent”, “BoJack Horseman”, "Ash vs. Evil Dead".
Films: “Tom at the Farm” by Xavier Dolan, “Suspiria” by Dario Argento, “Trainwreck” by Amy Schumer, “Goodnight Mommy” by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala.
Albums: “Art Angels” by Grimes, “Run Fast” by The Julie Ruin, “It’s You” by Gold Class, “Rub” by Peaches, “No Cities to Love” by Sleater-Kinney.
Theatre pieces: “The Bleeding Tree” by Angus Cerini, “Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster” by Nicola Gunn, “Reagan Kelly” by Lewis Treston, “La Traviata” by Sisters Grimm.
RuPaul’s Drag Race drag queen: Katya; a kooky anxious ex-alcoholic.
Number of times a piece of theatre made my brain open itself to the world of possibilities live performance offers: 3. 1: the last five minutes of “I Am a Miracle”. 2. the last five minutes of “La Traviata”. 3. Nicola Gunn’s bizarre and amazing avian transformation in “Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster”.
Number of things I genuinely regret: 2.
Number of obsessions: 1.
Moments I felt so happy I could burst:
Crossing the threshold into the third year designers’ studio in early March; seeing and hugging a bunch of friends I’d not seen since leaving for Edinburgh in August of 2014.
Helping Jonathan move from his old apartment with Laura, talking shit as a quiet sense of normalcy slowly crept back into my life.
The round-table read of “Intoxication” with Trelawney, Kristina and Nathan: realising how much of myself this play revealed; how much of it still hurt, and how much that was okay.
The opening night of “Home Invasion” – chatting around an open fire and pistachio biscotti from Brunetti’s.
The fifteen minutes after two important phone calls as what’d been said sank in.
Numerous, endless coffees and cronuts with Ali - deep and wondrous friendship love and the knowledge that when it comes down to it, there'll always be someone else in the world who knows the shit you're going through.
Abandoning all pretense of adulthood at the Griffin launch with Jess & diving in to the insane amount of free cheese before us.
Lying in the grass with Laura and Jeremy attempting to not slip into a coma after a famed ‘doughnut milkshake’ and realising, somehow, that it felt like all the best moments of 2014 rolled into one.
The first “Sneakyville” rehearsal: the realisation I’d managed to snag a group of actors I loved and respected (and one I would grow to love and respect as I got to know him) and that I was finally, finally pleased with the script.
My first day back at NIDA; realising that actually nobody wanted to kill me and that actually, everyone in my class was lovely.
Interval at “Reagan Kelly”: realising that my face hurt from the fact I’d been grinning for the past 70 minutes or so.
Bursting out into the night with my family after the final reading of “Sneakyville” with the realisation that my time at NIDA was basically done.
Dancing at Gold Class with Emma and Jess and Jeremy.
Realising I’m about to start making a piece of theatre with two artists I love and respect; that this is something I'd only wished for back at the start of NIDA in 2014 and something I'd never felt would happen. Realising, too, that it feels right.
Last year’s new year resolutions:
- get out of rehabilitation.
- get my life back to something resembling normal.
This year’s new year resolutions:
- let go of the anxiety that seems to have fuelled me the past year while still keeping the fuel it's given me.
- spend this year actually making theatre, not just writing it.
Things that gave me goosebumps:
A moment halfway through the first run of “Home Invasion” when I realised that everything was going as I’d imagined it would; that there was nothing I’d change.
2am insomniac walks around Potts Point listening to “Tennis Court” by Lorde; the acute awareness that no matter how hard I tried to conjure up moments from 2014 by recreating them, the past would stay in the past and maybe that was for the best.
The horrible knowledge as I sat in wait to see my neurologist – “there but for the grace of God go I” – as fellow car-crash victims, much less lucky than I, drove past me in wheelchairs and walkers.
Jack Colwell – “Far From View”. In fact, the whole EP – “Only When Flooded Could I Let Go”.
Talking bluntly with Julia about our respective wounds.
The soundtrack to “Reagan Kelly”; each scene capped off with a track that somehow tied everything together and made scene changes – those dastardly seconds of theatre ‘dead air’ – incredibly enjoyable.
Reading “Intoxication” aloud to my adopted NIDA class within a week of me being there; opening up parts of myself to them that some people in Melbourne still don’t know exist.
Talking with Laura about how much things have changed since last year; realising I've got something I didn't have in 2014: self-respect.
Perfume Genius – “Learning.”
Respective conversations with Stephen Carleton, Ash Flanders, Declan Greene and Nicola Gunn about art, the nature of criticism and above all self belief.
This email from Stephen Sewell about using your anger in your writing: “Badiou says that change comes from the evental space; that part of a society that is not accepted by society. In the first years of gay liberation - Stonewall etc - there was a radical understanding of how society worked and the function of gender and sexuality in oppression, and so writing about being gay was both political, emancipatory and revelatory about the whole society. What I'm suggesting you do is find a similar space… every time you start thinking - ooh, that's dangerous - you're getting closer to the gold.”
Falling asleep on the carpet of my parents’ living room with Jeremy after a funeral; feeling the dull and quiet ache of the death of someone I didn’t know but whose death obviously affected those I care about.
Lying on my newly-made bed in Potts Point as the sun streamed through my open window; wondering what the next two months of life in Sydney held for me.
Positive responses from two of my favourite actresses – Xanthe and Alex – after they read the first draft of a script I’ve written for them.
The realisation I have the ability and the privilege to be able to up and leave this country whenever I want to.
Beach House - "Lazuli."