"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Facing Your Fears and Bonehead Bloghop


This week I've seen two things from other bloggers that have been really exciting.

Have you ever seen something inspiring and decided "I want to do that", but never got around to it? It happens to me all the time - probably once a week. But Sherry Ellis doesn't do that. The popular author of Mama Diaries watched my skydiving video from January 16th and said:

"Thanks for sharing what it was like. I'm definitely going to try that!"

It took almost seven months, but Sherry was true to her word. She got into the same cramped plane as what I had and got herself hurled out at 14000 feet. Click the link above to read about her experience.

While you're at it, check out Tamara Narayan, Author. Back in July, she answered our Question of the Month, which was "What are three things you'd do tomorrow if fear wasn't stopping you?" Tamara mentioned that she'd chickened out of a rollercoaster at Darien Lake. Describing it, it did sound pretty scary. But she still felt bad about it. So later in the month, she went back and she tackled her fear. It was every bit as scary as she thought and she hated it. But she still rode it and now she has the permanent privilege of saying she beat it.

Like I said, it's really exciting seeing people conquer their circumstances like that... And I want to see it more. Have a think about something grand you'd like to do. Something you'd like to do but are scared or something you just haven't gotten around to doing. It doesn't necessarily have to be something you've never done before - I donated blood once, but my phobia of needles has stopped me from doing it again. It just has to be something big but achievable. Write it in the comments section below, because putting it in writing makes it real. Try and achieve that thing by the end of August.

This applies to me too. By the end of August, I vow to give blood again. I've been putting it off for literally years while watching friends compete over how many donations they've given. I thought about doing it while I was in Canberra, and even grabbed a business card with the booking number. But I never got around to making the call. This month it's going to happen.

Don't force me to make my grand gesture alone. Join me and make this a month of self discovery and growth*

*If you can think of a name for the month too, that would be swell ;)




Cherdo from Cherdo On the Flipside hosts this delightful monthly bloghop. Tell us about a time you were a real bonehead. Share your pain.

I eventually came to the Twitter party in 2012. Unsure of how it's usually used, one of my first acts was to Tweet a bunch of celebrities and see if I could get a response. One of those celebrities was Wil Anderson, by far Australia's most popular and successful comedian.

Anderson at the time had a podcast with an actor friend of his and one of its biggest themes was their mutual love of Batman. Leading up to the release of The Dark Knight Rises, they spent a lot of time talking about what the film could be like and what Christopher Nolan had planned. So the day before its Australian release, I decided to tweet him about it.
'Hey Wil, I'm about to see a Nolan Batman triple-feature ending with the DKR midnight release. It'll be a 9-hour love-in. Jealous?'
I then went to see said triple-feature and kind of forgot about the Tweet.

The next day I was with my friend Rusty and he brought it up.
'I saw you got a response from Wil Anderson,' he said.
'Really?' I replied. I hadn't gotten a notification and it wasn't appearing in my interactions list. 'I can't find it...' I said.
'Maybe he deleted it. It was something about having already seen it.'
I didn't give up. I did manage to find it in the end, I think by clicking on my own Tweet and bringing up the resulting conversation. It said:
'I saw it last week in iMax. Jealous?' Aw man, he'd topped me. Stupid celebrities...
'You've already seen it? Before everyone else?' I tweeted back at him.
'Yep,' came the reply.
This was very cool. I was having a conversation with one of my artistic idols. I had to keep it going.
'Did you notice you and Charlie were nearly spot-on with your prediction for a back-story for Robin?' It was a reference to a recent podcast episode where they attempted to make Robin's origin story "cool". Their musings happened to be eerily similar to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's story arc in the movie.
'Look, I don't want to give out any spoilers,' came the reply from Wil. 'We'll talk about it on the next podcast'
And here's where I made my big mistake - I tried to be funny.
'Go on, tell them how he kills Alfred!' I said. I got no reply and when I checked back, the entire conversation had been deleted.

That's one of the many situations in which I've done something stupid in front of a celebrity. It's also one of the many situations from which I haven't learned a thing. He came into my radio station for an interview sometime later and I still tried to be funny.
'Hi, my name's Wil, I'm here for an interview.'
'Oh really?' I said sarcastically, implying that I knew perfectly well who he was. He kind of laughed awkwardly and I could see I'd made him uncomfortable. I bet the next time we come into contact I'll still act like an idiot.

Well, at least I'll get good stories out of it.

28 comments:

  1. I must congratulate Sherry on facing fear, I would be terrified to do what she did.
    An excellent post and most interesting to read.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah sitting on the edge of that plane is such a scary moment :P

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  2. I went skydiving one Halloween in college. I had an interesting experience because my helmet wasn't fitted properly and the wind actually went into my helmet, forcing it up and causing the strap to choke me. Luckily, I had the jump filmed and the woman filming noticed I couldn't breathe. She motioned for the instructor jumping tandem with me to pull the cord and release the chute early. I was okay after that.

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    Replies
    1. Aw man, how did you feel once you hit the ground? Did you feel like you hadn't gotten the full experience or were you just happy you'd survived?

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  3. Underneath everyone is a solid layer of awkward - doesn't it kill you when it comes out right when you are feeling on top? It's like a ride in a falling elevator.

    Thanks, Michael!! Loved your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could make something out of it by turning it into blog content :P

      Delete
  4. It would be nice to have a 'rewind' button for those awkward conversations, written or spoken. And congratulations on your resolve to give blood. I don't laugh at any kind of phobia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I'm glad. That would just make me feel worse :P

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  5. All that facing the fear is great. I'm doing a recording for a book promotion this Friday. I very, very nervous. Good for you for giving blood. I do so on a regular basis and it's a real, feel-good thing.
    Susan Says

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  6. Congrats to both of them for tackling their fears. It looks like they may have you to thank! And, how is Rusty!!!

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    Replies
    1. Rusty's travelling along nicely. For a while he was working in Brisbane on a big project there (he's an engineer). Now he's back and we've recorded a bit of a serious podcast which will go on the blog eventually.

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    2. I am glad to hear he's doing well. But...Does he say the word "delicious" on the podcast????!!!

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    3. Hahaha I don't think he did. But don't worry, anything he says sounds sexy as ;)

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  7. Yeah! I saw about Tamara tackling that roller coaster. Really brave of her and congrats to Sherry for the skydiving (which I want to do, but dunno haha) I think I need to try and do this! Our funds are a little low, but I may be able to think of something to do for the month tackling fears. :) (also, I've NEVER donated blood in my life - way too terrified of needles, so I feel ya)

    hahaha to your boneheaded moment! I've never tried to talk to celebrities because I know I'd make a fool of myself, but once Neil Gaiman favorited one of my tweets and I about died. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha good job! Had you tweeted directly to him?

      There's plenty of stuff you could do that doesn't cost money. The donating blood is one. You could also volunteer at a homeless shelter or hike to the top of a mountain (if that's not something you normally do) :)

      Delete
  8. One step too far... Don't you hate that?
    Not sure what I would do. Not jumping out of a plane though.

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't have know where the line was until I stepped over it :P

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  9. If you had given blood in Canberra, one of my brothers might have picked you up in the blood bus.
    I am very sorry that they slapped a life-time ban on me and I can no longer play.
    Bone-headedness is one of my middle names.
    Not certain what I can challenge myself with - will give it some thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, who gave you a lifetime ban?

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    2. The blood bank. MS means that my blood is not acceptable. Mostly because while as far as they know it isn't transmitted that way, they are taking no chances.

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    3. Oh yeah I guess that's fair enough, sad as it is :(

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  10. I think it's important to do things that you really want to do. I'm so glad I did the sky diving thing. It was an unforgettable experience! Thanks for mentioning it here!

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  11. We have a bring a buddy blood drive. That's how I got started donating. But, I went once on my own and nearly passed out, so if I ever go again, I need to bring a buddy.

    I don't know what fear I need to conquer. I'll keep an open mind throughout this month.
    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't have to be a fear, it just has to be a big deal.

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  12. That's cool so many people are inspired to conquer their fears this month. I actually beat mine in June when I hopped on a roller coaster that scares the shit out of me just looking at it. I finally said, "My 10 year old did it last year. I can't be the only wuss in the family." So, when we went this year, I held my breath, got on, and then had an amazing ride. Overcoming the fear was the worst of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! Did you actually enjoy it or was it more just being able to say you beat it?

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