“Women have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead, and reach as high as humanly possible. That’s what I’m going to do, that’s my philosophy.”
- Beyoncé in her documentary ‘Life is but a dream’.
I was really taken by the above quote as I was watching a BBC documentary about Beyoncé. She was talking about her performance on the Billboard chart show in the US, and said the above.
I was fascinated by her during the documentary, and I thought she was an amazing person, but also an amazing character. There was definitely some strong points of views there, so I wrote them down as I watched it again on BBC iplayer, and I began to think. What does that stuff even mean?
How does someone like that live their life? In particular the sentence: “We have to step up as women and take the lead, and reach as high as humanly possible".
I don’t know what 'reach as high as humanly possible' even means. I can’t relate to that, I thought, because I’m disabled. Because I’ve had long term mental health problems and have to deal with them, so… You know.
As I watched the documentary it became clear to me that she often lives in her own world, and documents almost everything, talking to her webcam expressing her thoughts about what’s going on at whatever moment, especially when she couldn't sleep.
I was reminded about a youtube clip I saw of Katherine Hepburn who read out a letter she wrote to Spencer Tracy long after he died. In it she explained how much trouble he had sleeping. I’m coming to the conclusion that you have to be a bit mad to deal with that kind of business. Or have the personality to deal with it.
Then I began thinking of a friend I’ve seen, Gary Turner, a professional fighter who’s been World Champion 13 times. I’ve seen him a couple of times for training and once for hypnotherapy, which was pretty good. This was one of my few steps into personal responsibility (there are so few steps I’ve taken in this I had to look that phrase up…) Is it time I explored a totally different mindset? The mindset that can 'reach as high as humanly possible'? I mean ANY human?
Then I went on to Facebook and saw that Mat Fraser is doing his Beauty And The Freak show in Las Vegas for the next two weeks, following the shows in New York. And now, seriously, Las Vegas.
I looked at the image for this a number of times, kept clicking on it again to see it. Yep, there they are… doing a show in Vegas. And my head started to say things.
In particular it said:
Seriously, why can’t I? I’ve always had this raging battle in my head with all the stuff that I want to do and the stuff I can 'realistically cope with’ (my term for it). Now, this isn’t going to make me an actor or a stage performer. But a director working on a show in Vegas, where I have a crew around me? Where someone else is selling the tickets and doing all the other stuff?
I’ve always felt for a long time that I know quite a few physically disabled people who get out way more than me. I sit in my room working, or just not wanting to go out on a weekend, which is fine, because I do go out and see stuff, I do network, I do have friends. But I also sit here in my bedroom doing absolutely fuck all with my life. I'm in my PJs by the time a ton of people are setting out for a weekend of clubbing.
The contradiction is when I got my arts council funding for new writing, I wanted more. I got an email to say I was selected on a course and that was exciting. And I still wanted more because it wasn't enough. I want the next opportunity to come, I want the BBC to call me in for a meeting, I want the police to visit (don’t ask - actually do ask if you have connections), I want a film festival to call and ask me to be on a panel, I want to be invited to have a gallery show (and I don’t mean just ‘submit your stuff’).
I want something major and exciting to happen.
And I want it yesterday.
So, who’s got those connections?