Man, I can already see this post going south and I have barely written a word. I will warn you in advance this is going to get pretty bleak. Just because the subject matter is bittersweet. So, if you don’t want to dive into your weekend with a rain cloud I suggest finding some other worthwhile reading material. It certainly isn’t here.
I had debated on what song to use for this topic. Originally, the one included, was what brought up the discussion, but when I started to outline ideas in my head there was another that was more topical. My back-up song was “Dying in LA.” That one seemed to embody more of the overall tone of the post, but the song is a real downer. Which is probably why I love it so much. I do love to bum myself out. While I will not include it in the post, I do recommend giving it a listen. The symmetry of the lyrics is so well done. It’s truly a masterpiece in song writing.
Robbie’s songs, written with Guy Chambers, always hit a nerve with me. In a good way. Their collaborations are always top of my list, and rarely, if ever, do I dislike a single track. I was bummed when they stopped working together. Robbie’s hits got few and far between for me. They lacked something extra. They were missing the Guy sound that I thoroughly enjoy. Even now, the albums he completed with Guy I listen to from beginning to end, no skips. Later releases don’t come with that level of dedication.
I was ecstatic to learn that the two wrote a musical together based on the book of the same name “The Boy in the Dress.” Unfortunately it debuted right before Covid and I’m afraid that may have destroyed it’s chances of being notable. I still haven’t given the soundtrack a listen, but that is because I have this weird hang-up with listening to musicals without the context of the story or scenes to attach the musical numbers to. It’s dumb, I know, but I can’t enjoy the songs without some perspective. And unlike an old friend of mine, I don’t seek out the source material and research the shit out of it to put everything together. I have other unimportant bullshit to waste my time on.
It’s funny to me that the two wrote a musical together, because I actually had written my own “musical” (in the vein of Mamma Mia) using Robbie Williams songs. This song was the opening number. I had an outline of the track list in my head, but it has been years and the one I had jotted down has gotten lost in the shuffle. Plus, I had a problem with the final act and how I wanted it to end. The primary issue with using pop songs for musical numbers/narrative is that not every point of the story is available in a pop stars catalog. Which is why Mamma Mia works and doesn’t. Some songs involve a real heavy-duty “suspension of disbelief” to have the songs make sense in the content of the story.
At one point I wanted to talk and Hollywood listen. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be an actor. I would put on my own little plays, and even now I entertain myself (and my polycule) doing little skits about random things. Some of my spur of the moment characters are memorable enough to be inside jokes.
I use to do a lot of community theatre and at one point I did a few shows in Hollywood. I even made an effort to do “actor platforms” and have my headshots taken. All of this in an effort to win myself an agent. But the cruel fact of the “fame chase” crashed upon me: I was just another face in a sea of 20-something white males trying to make it. What made me so special? I may have had the actual skill, but like my husband likes to point out, “anyone can act.” And I wasn’t the most attractive person trying to accomplish the same goal.
After a very brief stint trying to “make it” I decided to do other things. Unless I was willing to move to LA, the possibility of chasing that dream was pointless. So, as with most “heart desires” I had to let it go.
An unavoidable part of growing up is letting go of our fantasies. As time goes on, it becomes apparent that we only have so much time to dedicate any focus for it to be worthwhile. Unless you want to be shit at a lot of different things, I wouldn’t suggest that. But maybe you are a unicorn who can actually dedicate all their energy into everything. I’d rather strive for excellence with a few things than mediocrity in a number of unrelated efforts.
Maybe some day I will return to get back into acting, but it is not likely. Especially with how things in the world are going. By the time I can dedicate any kind of attention, the world will look like a very different place.