“Joker” Madness the only antidote to modern society.

Last night, I was privileged to see “Joker.” at the local Event Cinema. I must admit, I was treated to what I would see as a masterclass of cinema. When I was studying film it was always described as “Art in the purest sense.”
With this film we are treated to a side of the Batman universe we have never seen before; in the past a live action take of the worlds most famous villain would have been scuffed at by audiences.
Don’t assume this film hasn’t been met with a level of backlash as movie theatres in the USA had put on extra security during screenings to ensure that no unruly behaviour would take place… And to give my opinion I can see why considering what happened when the Dark Knight was released.

Before you read anymore, I will be writing spoilers in this so if you read further you have either seen the film, or am okay with having plot points spoilt.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

okay. So jumping straight into it; This movie revolves around a one Arthur Fleck, A man struggling to find his own peace in a Chaotic world; the film opens with Arthur laughing to himself, quickly transitioning to him getting ready to work as a clown for a small entertainment company. In this scene, we see two things: 1) Arthur is clearly not fearing very well, with the opening shot showing us he is battling demons. 2) He is struggling to make ends meat in a world that doesn’t care.
Arthur is working on the street, twirling a sign and dancing to try and get the attention of people talking bye; He is then attacked by a group of teenagers on the street who wanted nothing more then to ruin someones day.
This scene straight away told me where this movie would be heading, and this moment is illustrated later on in the film; Through out this production Arthur himself constantly makes statements like “Is it just me or is the world just getting crazier?” There is a moment shortly after the scene featuring the teenagers where he is talking with his social worker, this is the first time he really opens up about it all, asking the social worker to request the doctor to increase his medication. The Social worker requests to see Arthur’s notebook, reminding him that he had been asked before to bring it to their sessions. He pulls the notebook out of his bag and she opens the book, its this moment we see how much work Arthur has really put into trying to find mental stability. It is also shown in that moment that Arthur has had serious thoughts of his own death with the camera focusing on a line in the text “I hope my death is more memorable then my life.” It is this moment (and very early, about 15 minutes into this film) that we see how much this man in struggling to find his place in the world.

I don’t intend on telling the entire story of this film, but the points I want to express is how all of us are representative of the joker, each and everyone of us is trying to find our place in the chaos that is the modern world. Though from my perspective its the world it self that is insane Arthur only later matches the madness later in the film.
I felt watching this film that all of us, be it mentally ill or A-Typical still find the world to be a chaotic place. At times we are all overwhelmed, it does at times feel like the world is watching us, making fun of us. The biggest difference here is that the Joker himself lives out the phantasm we all keep deep in side, where we deny life to such impulses he lets it live and breath. Claiming that killing the people on the train (its a big turning point in this film.) was horrible but it didn’t bother him at all.

I feel this film does a fantastic job telling/showing us a side of humanity that we don’t see all that often. Where we are told and taught to focus on the good of the world, we will often deny the bad from existing until faced with it head on. In this film we are forced to pay attention, made to feel his pain and encouraged to feel the liberation he experiences when he murders the man who cost him his job, his career and his ability to support his disabled mother.
Do not go and see this film expecting a cheap laugh you will get from the avengers franchise, you will be emotionally effected by this film, and it will stay with you for days after seeing it.

Anyway, Hope you are doing well.

Rick

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Trials and Tribulations: I’d rather be sailing.

You are special!

Days like today are the test we face for future challenges.
you are capable of so much more, so be kind to yourself; be generous with your time and love those around you.

These are words that are said to me on the daily… I must admit it, I like it. The idea that we can/should be kind to each other.
You see, much of my life is a struggle to survive, I fight to get roles in productions, I fight to put food on my table and I fight to keep people I love in my life (though I fail more often then not.) Nothing in life is easy, and this leads me to this realisation.

You can only control certain of life, you can control your weight, your work output the effort you put in for others; but you can not control what others do, you can’t control what they think, what they believe or what they think of you. To be really frank, it isn’t your business to try and control what people think; this is something that I have been struggling with in a bad way.
You see, this new diagnosis has me reflecting on so much of my life; the failing of my marriage, the way I see the children, the way I easily fall in love with people around around me, and why I crash and burn so badly when I am rejected.

A good example of this was when my ex broke up with me earlier this year; you see we hadn’t been together very long, two/three months at most; my emotional state had become so dependent on her being my girlfriend that the very thought of her leaving me would cause me massive amounts of anxiety, fear and emotional distress. I would be overbearing for her to deal with, I would send her text messages maybe 5-10 times a day while she was working saying things like “Hi babe, I hope you are having a nice day. Love you xoxo.” “I miss you”  and I would ask her to come over daily. This ultimately became way too much for her to handle, and to be fair I can see that now (if you read this, I am sorry; I didn’t realise I was doing that and I hope you can forgive me.) You see… Borderline personality disorder (which is what I have, not Bipolar which is what I had originally been diagnosed with.) is in some respect more extreme then many cases of bipolar, its a biological mental illness made worse through traumatic events in your life.
This leads to people with BPD to cling onto others in an extreme way, becoming emotionally invested intensely and eventually becoming disinterested. This diagnosis also explains the rapid nature that my mood will change and why I sit most of my time really depressed…

I do find that being mindful does help my mood, and help promote a positive state of being, I in fact had a long period where I stopped believing that I really am a bad guy (honestly haven’t felt like a villain in over four months now.) I find myself thinking things like ‘I can do this.’ & ‘I will be successful and my business will grow.’ I don’t find myself thinking that life is too hard (its still a thought that goes through my head but I don’t linger on it too much anymore.) What I do get more then ever was lethargy, I find that I just don’t have the energy to do anything;   I think I need a holiday… But then again, who doesn’t.
Despite the fact we may be feeling drained, the world doesn’t stop for us, we need to keep getting up, moving forward and try to do our best.

It doesn’t matter what condition we all live with, its our actions and heart that define us, so if you are like me and have a borderline personality disorder, bipolar, depression or any other mental illness, you are not alone, you are worth it, and there is help out there for you. It is worth the struggle, and things like therapy and medication (for most, medication can be ineffective to some people.) does help, but nothing is achieved over night, it takes years of therapy to learn the skills required to really take charge of your condition; I am not a therapist, I am hardly an actor (I say that as I am in a quite place at the moment…) but I do know struggles, and I do know how hard it is to get up each day and continue to perform.
I am one flawed person, and hardly an inspiration, but if I can do it I have full faith that you can too, and you will even out perform my efforts by standing tall.

Remember you HAVE a mental illness, you are NOT the mental illness.

keep faith in yourself, you are worth it.

Rick.

 

The other side of the coin: Our decisions, our actions.

I am sitting here, heavily reflecting on the world….

As you can imagine its often to my own detriment that I think at all… So this weekend, I saw my new Psychiatrist, so he is my third.
He advised me that I do in fact not have bipolar disorder, but a Borderline personality Disorder.
Not that they are too dissimilar, one is a chemical malfunction and the other is a learned social response… So in short I feel like I am an emotional retard; not that it makes that big of a difference to who I am… I have been like this since I was 14 years old, and at least now I can seek suitable treatment.
So this explains a lot about me… How quickly I fall into deep depression, how low I see my own self worth and why I latch on and hold onto people that are toxic for me.

I have met someone, and we agreed that we will take it super slow; this is to ensure that I can regulate my own emotional state correctly so I don’t burn out of this new relationship, and so she can deal with the things she has going on as well… Now, as per my regular mandate, I will not be naming or giving any info out of this new person in my life, what I will say is that it looks promising.
I should point out there is no way I am running into a new relationship as I am not sure I am really ready, the last one I was in still plays on me and I don’t want that to roll over to this one.

So slow and steady will win this race, and I am excited to see and learn more about my own cues and new methods on how to control them.

as for you, well… I can’t speak to your own problems, nor would I pretend too; what I can say is that we all face hard times in life, we all carry a demon on our shoulders; we all feel that life is too hard at times. What we can do and decide is how we respond to said situation, when we are feeling blue in bed we are faced with a choice, do we stay home, or do we get up and face the world.
When your manager is yelling at you, do you cower, fight back or take it on board. These are choices we can make, yes our instinct will influence the way we lean, but we can ultimately make that final decision.

I say lets not be a slave to our own subconscious, lets own our actions and be better for it.

you be safe,

Rick.

Racing, Chasing and always lost for words

Howdy, how are we doing today?

Me? I am having my daily dose of anxiety; this has me asking the question “What do we suffer from anxiety?”

well…. Despite it being a neurological condition, it is often caused by things that we feel are out of our control.
Which does aptly describe why people who suffer from anxiety strive to achieve order in their daily lives; for me however what triggered it was a dream I had last night, I’ve been having this reoccurring dream where people I love are having sexual encounters with people outside of our relationship (keep in mind, I am not in a relationship and anyone who I would have felt that way about is long gone.)

This does cause an ache in my heart, one that I really have no idea how to remedy. I am fully aware that life doesn’t stop for the needs of one person, and my anxiety and nightmares are an irrational facet of my psyche.
What I do know is that I have people in my life that genuinely mean me well, I have amazing children that love and adore me (even my oldest son who loves to tell me otherwise. lol)

I do need to clear something up however, if you remember my (now deleted.) fathers day post, where I said that my ex and I had a disagreement resulting in me not seeing the children… This wasn’t exactly true, truth is; it was my off weekend to see the kids, my ex tried to push for me to take them for the fathers day weekend, I declined for multiple reasons; all of which where terrible… So I wanted to make that clear that she did in fact try, as she has someone around her that constantly points out the negative things I write about her, so lets make this clear, she is an amazing mother, and I want her to find happiness; happiness that I could never bring her…

back to anxiety, we live in a chaotic world, and by nature things only get faster; we need to find the time for us to be us, to slow down and take note of all the good things you have achieved in your life. This can be done multiple ways, either by meditation, reading a book, pursuing a passion, going for a get away anything. We need to take time for us, as life passes by so fast, before you know it we will be old and our opportunities to be happy and live fulfilled lives will have passed.

So if you are reading this, tell someone the thing you have wanted to tell them for a long time; kiss the person you want to kiss, take that job you always wanted, write that book, sing that song we are not here for a long time so just do it.

Now is your chance to be better, do more and most of all to grow.

I hope you are doing good.

Take care

Rick.

Floating in a tin can

Good Morning,

This last week has had me thinking a lot. I’ve been emotionally in a really good place, and under an immense amount of stress; be financially, my work load is massive and I haven’t really been able to work out. At the moment I am working 6am-6pm, yesterday however I finished at 7pm; I am left thinking to myself, am I really healing mentally, or is my stability just chemically driven…
I find myself expecting myself to crash almost all the time, and when I feel myself starting to slip, rather then the common despair I have been met with an emptiness, almost like I am in a void; this leads me to think and question what is going to come, it was said to me that being in that emotional state is fairly common, and others sit there quite frequently, apparently is a healthy place to be in; your emotional state is then dictated to intellectually rather then reactionary, and its a great place to work from.

For me it’s uncomfortable, I have (at least not in my adult life.) never sat in a neutral state, so I am trying to treat it like I am floating on water, not really going anywhere but going with the tide.

I have a question for you;

When you are sitting in that state of mind, what do you do to fill in that space? I am genuinely curious, as I am a little clueless.

 

only a short one today, I don’t really know what to talk about.

Rick.

The Spring Awakening

Spring is here and I love it!!!!!

Something about spring leaves me with a sense of joy… It’s not that I am nearly another year older, but the world is vibrant; everything is starting to come back to life, the birds are singing with the new song, kids can play outside with out fear of catching a cold. Plus it means the best time of year to go to the water, sit by the ocean and just listen to the waves come crashing in.
Seriously nothing really matches it, now don’t get me wrong I love winter, I love the fashion, the warm hugs, the relaxing nights watching tv. It’s also got its perks, but spring just brings a bounce to my step.
I should give you all a update with my mental health, after all it’s what I do this for hahahaha!.

At the moment I am doing very well, the darkness seems to have subsided for a while and I can get to work on some projects I had been putting off for way too long. Life is good, and it’s only getting better.

 

I really hope that you are having a good time, remember that where there is darkness light is sure to follow, and it always does; keep your faith in yourself.

 

Rick.

A breath of fresh air

 

Good Morning everyone,

I wanted to catch you up on some things that happened over the last week…

Firstly, my beautiful little boy was put into the ICU with pneumonia; he was there for 5 days, you wouldn’t know he was sick however, the stunning boy is running around like a crazy two year old. haha

As for me, I had been struggling with my mental health really badly; when at the hospital the doctors noticed I wasn’t coping very well and got me to talk to a psychiatrist, lucky for me she decided to increase my mediation, so now I actually feel good.

I’ve still be sad, but they are more moments of sadness that passes by rather then the gut wrenching pain I was suffering before.
In case you don’t know, I currently live in a 1960’s old house, its got an old rusty fence stretching the length of the front lawn, probably needs a paint job to be honest. There is an old oak tree just outside of the fence, in the morning when I get up for work (about 5am) I make a coffee and sit looking outside of the window as my little cat munches her breakfast down. Recently as the weather begins to warm up, I have been struck with how beautiful it all is, the tree in the lawn catches the morning light and the multi coloured leaves illuminate in the morning sun. It’s like I am looking through a portal to the past, a time back when things where “Easier” (by perspective.) This morning I had Sinatra playing in my lounge room, drinking my morning java, and eating some toast, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the day. There was still moisture on my glass door from the cold night air, which helped reflect the sun right through the room. Honestly, this place is starting to feel like home.

So my day started really nice, it made me wonder what others are doing to regulate their mood, I know for me the medication has helped a lot. I have a friend who was sent a drop sheet that is a work guide to dealing and moving on from negative emotion; I am interested to see if that will work.

My best friend in the whole world is going home to see her family today, I wont lie, a whole month without her is going to be hard; she had a habit of helping me see the light when I am surrounded by darkness and I am fully in her debt for being there for me during this hard time.

But now its time to work on growth, and be better then I have ever been. Looking to film a short film in a few weeks, just need to get approval for the material.

I hope you are all doing well… I am feeling good.

Talk to you later.

Trees, Flowers and lowered expectations

I am a little over it, I refuse to sit by any longer and watch my piers succeed and me just sit around waiting for my chance to come…

This week whilst battling my want to die, I decided that I will work on my technique in regards to working on camera. You see, I have worked almost my entire career on stage, feeling the interaction of the audience, the pain and joy they experience whilst going through the journey of the live production they are watching… However I find now, although the intimacy is high in the theatre; audiences don’t necessarily let their entire guard down as it is a public encounter.
I want my work going forward to reach more people, to help someone who’s laying in bed with nothing else happening, I want to distract that person from the emotional turmoil they are going through and give them a small reprieve; I know that compared to being a nurse, doctor, police officer the way I can help is probably on the bottom of that list, but the skill set I have gives me the ability help capture a persons imagination, to help them think about something other then the world they are living in. If I can make one single person laugh, then it is all worth it.

So, this week I recorded two self tapes, attended a short film audition and pulled up three monologues that I will be learning and doing tapes of.

My Agent, a wonderful man told me that he enjoys the work I am doing and wants me to continue putting in the work now so that when that time comes (and it will.) that I am ready to grab it with both hands.
After all “Thor love and thunder” is filming in my city, and I would love to just audition for it, if I get the part, fantastic; though I don’t expect more then that.

As for me emotionally this morning, I am still not doing very well… I am at work, doing my best to hold myself together; though the constant anxiety attacks are making it hard to focus and get more done then answer the phone when it rings.
My confidence here is really shot to shit at the moment, and I feel most things I touch here falls apart.
But it has been expressed to me that it’s all in my head, that’s not the reality; you see I am inclined to agree with them as my condition makes me believe the negative thoughts that goes through me head.
I may not be around for a very long time as I often feel my journey will come to an end earlier then most will expect; but before I go I want to at least try and do something good for people.

Announced earlier today on Blue Harbour’s Facebook I have been named as the Musical Director for a joint show between Blue Harbour productions and Ruby Productions. In September 2020 We will be opening a production of “High School Musical.” So this is exciting.

So lets go make the best of this shit situation

Rick.

Today is another day

This Morning I woke up with feelings of inadequacy, I keep have a reoccurring dream; normally I can brush them off, but for some reason this one stays with me.

So, after a conversation with the lady of my affection, we both decided that we will stay in touch and see what happens in a year. The year I believe is necessary, as I need time to heal from my marriage, I kind of jump from relationship to relationship; and she wants to focus on her internship… So I figure its a good opportunity for me to focus on me for a little while, and develop into the kind of man that I can be happy being.  I have to admit that this does bring me a level of anxiety; you see in the past good things don’t happen for me, where ever I go through something positive it is stripped away leaving me bare and helpless.
I am keeping my faith that it will work out between us as “When you know you just know.” : her.
My own angst however tells me that once the year is over we won’t get to come back together… This causes me the anxiety and nightmares, I keep dreaming that I will be forgotten and when the time comes to try again she won’t remember who I am, and be in the arms of another; I honestly wake up with a heavy heart when I have those dreams, in fact my eyes well up as I write this.

As horrible as it is, I need to remember that this is just a dream; it isn’t real, we didn’t have a terrible fight and break up, we broke up still very much in love. When we speak I still feel that love, and I strongly believe that she does too…
We just need time to help develop ourselves a bit.
To be honest, in the event that does come to pass, and my anxiety was right; it doesn’t really change anything, life will go on and i’ll continue working on myself, striving for a good future. I will hurt however, but that’s apart of loving someone.

The way I see it, things that are worth fighting for are well and truly worth the wait.

In terms of my mental health, today is a low day for me… Not so low that I am seeing doom everywhere I look, but low in the sense of carrying a weight on my shoulders; I am fortunate to work with some amazing people… One of whom reads this blog, and I want her to know that I value her, you are my friend and it is a pleasure to know you.

To my best friend (lady Norway) Kristine from the Winter Warm Project, you are a god send; I have only had tears of joy a few times in my life, * when each of my kids were born, and I think about the amount of care and love you have shown me over the last year. Watching you step closer and closer to achieving your dreams fills me with a sense of pride; pride that I have been able to be apart of your journey.
It’s because of you that I work so hard to become a better actor, I feel that you set the benchmark for growth and I raise myself in an attempt to emulate that.

Now, for you readers that I haven’t mentioned, I know who you are and I love the interactions we have on here.
I have been fortunate enough to connect with thousands of people all around the world, not only from a creative perspective but also from the journey we all undergo to battle our demons and strive to become better people, better us everyday. You all make me so proud, I hope that I leave your with a positive feeling when we talk, as you are totally worth it.

Thank you again for reading the junk I put here.

Be safe and be kind to yourself.

Rick.

Running from Shadows

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are doing well….

I’ve been okay, trying to get my life in order; I find myself just drifting through each day, I’ve had a couple of exciting auditions come up recently (three films and a theatre production.) So I’ve been keeping busy… feels like something is missing though. There’s an emptiness that I am not used too…
I have also found myself having flashes of anger recently; not really sure why… I know I am not overly happy with my personal life, but nothing should really make me angry for no reason.
Professionally, I have been moving from stride to stride, making my dream of supporting myself purely from the arts a stronger reality.
I’ve been meditating a lot recently, and this has helped with my chronic anxiety; on a bright side I haven’t taken a day off work since the death of my grandfather (so nearly a month ago…) That’s pretty good, in the past I was having one day off a fortnight due to my anxiety and depression. So that’s a huge improvement…

I find myself thinking about someone almost all the time, I often wonder if she thinks about me; if she checks in on this blog these days, if she misses me. what I do know is that I haven’t heard from her in quite sometime so… I am just not confident. Not that it matters, it doesn’t change anything, though I would love for her to reach out.

I keep reminding myself that life will get better, I need to keep faith; as faith in moving forward will continue to drive me.
For now I am just focusing on my auditions, working at developing my skills on camera (traditionally I am quite poor on screen,) So I am looking to develop further that side of my craft…

I must express something that bothers me… The arts community is filled with self centred ass kissing fools…
The Sydney fringe has started and there is some amazing shows on at the moment, however there is a heaps of shit on as well…. Now you may disagree with me but for me shows focused totally on smut are boring, and unimaginative. Certain theatre companies in Sydney push smut trash shows on a regular basis. Over the past two years since I was eligible to join they have posted one show of any interest to my personal tastes, and aspects of it was terrible.
One last thing on the arts… graduate companies… shouldn’t you only cast people who only actually graduated from certain institution, not dropouts or people from outside that circle… otherwise maybe the graduate company should just become a normal company (a name change may be needed.)

yeah… I am just ranting I am feeling lost and need some positive direction. For now, just work work work.
I heard a quote the other day “What other people think of your is neither your business or your problem.” I believe it was Rachel Hollis that said this.

anyway if you made it here, I hope you are well.

Go, be amazing make yourself proud.

Rick.