Firstly, apologies to Hannah Gadsby for using the word “slut” in reference to her name. I’m sure this is not a combination that is commonly typed into search engines. But, hey, I thought if I use the word in the title, my blog might get a few more hits.
So, yes, what do comedienne extraordinaire Hannah Gadsby, girl-cat ordinaire Domino and me, journalist and wannabe everything have in common?
The answer is, we are all introverted extroverts.
I have occasionally described myself as an inhibited exhibitionist. There are tons of wild and crazy things I’d love to do, if only I had the chutzpah, the bravery, or the super-hot bod. Sometimes I do them. Having a shower naked outside in the rain, for example. Standing on stage telling jokes. Eating dinner in a restaurant with my shirt off. (If you define Pizza Hut as restaurant.) What I wouldn’t do if I didn’t have the bounds of propriety or insecurity to hold me back. That person you saw streaking through the park the other day, that may or may not have been me. But oftentimes people describe me as “quiet” and I think, noooo, you just don’t understand.
I’m not the only one. Recently I met a lovely guy who described himself as an introverted extrovert, or a shy slut (and hooray for the non-gender-specific use of that word). I understood immediately. Not only am I something similar, so is my cat. She is skittish, jumps at everything and her meows and purrs are so tiny you can barely hear them. But touch her fur and she’ll be rolling on her back with a coquettish “give me more”, looking up at you with big vortex eyes. She likes attention so much she even lifts her tail for the vet when he is taking her temperature (up the ass) and she struts the streets most evenings advertising her wares with her tiny bell-like meow. When I was overseas one time, my flatmate and her boyfriend had taken to calling Domino (Dom Dom for short, or sometimes Sub Sub) a little kitty slut. They said to each other, “We better stop calling her that. Sally’s coming home soon, she might get upset.” But as soon as I walked in the door, I bent down to greet my kitten with a “Domino, how are you doing my pretty little kitty slut!” They were surprised and relieved. (Don’t worry, she doesn’t get offended. She can’t understand human.) But the fact that she had these two opposing sides to her personality just made her interesting and unique.
The other day I met a really cool guy at a workshop. Let’s call him Ken, because his name is actually Ken. There were maybe 50 people at this workshop and Ken was the quietest guy in the room. The facilitator said to him, “Do you know that by being the quietest guy in the room you actually stand out? By being invisible you’re actually very visible.” Ken had no idea. But when he grabbed the mic, all our impressions of him exploded. He was articulate, voluble and funny. We didn’t want him to stop talking. He made us laugh so hard.
I said to him later, “So are you the guy who is quiet in a room full of regular folk but get yourself in a small group of your friends and you can be the loudest, funniest one there?”. “Exactly!” he said. The two personalities were so “contradictory” it was hard to believe they existed in the same person. But a few beers at the pub and an exuberant, animated, rolling conversation with Ken later proved that they can.
So many of my friends are like this. Quiet geeks who may not fit in to the rest of society, but get them in front of a group of their own “tribe” and they can’t shut up. They’re the life of the party, the centre of attention and some of the wittiest, most entertaining people you’ll meet.
Which brings me in a roundabout way to Hannah Gadsby. I interviewed the deliciously dry comedienne for U on Sunday magazine, ahead of her shows at the Brisbane Comedy Festival this week (March 11-18).
Her new show is called Exhibitionist. In it, she talks about our fascination with the selfie and looks at selfies through time (self-portraits, that is). The award-winning comedienne seems like she was born to this. But before she stumbled into this comedy caper, stood on stage and discovered she had an uncanny ability to make people laugh, she was shy, introverted and sometimes didn’t want to leave the house. Being on stage today, however, she feels perfectly comfortable, chilled even. So relaxed she says her heart might stop beating. And comedy has come a long way to improving her confidence. She may not be the centre of attention at a party, but she’s no wallflower either. She’s brave and badass in a quiet, self-effacing way.
So don’t judge a book by its cover, or a song by its volume. As Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” And I’m assuming he wasn’t talking about all the microscopic bugs living in his body. (Which reminds me of the Valentine’s Day Scabies Incident, but that’s another story I’ll spare you here.) So yes, Myers-Briggs types be dashed, it’s perfectly possible to be a little bit of everything.
You can be an introverted extrovert or an inhibited exhibitionist or a shy slut (or a sly shut if you’ve had a few). Hell yeah is the answer! And long live them all too.
This blog is brought to you by Ugees cafe, West End, where I wrote it.
PS I wrote this blog feeling bold. Then I edited feeling unbold and wondering why I’m drawing attention to myself? But screw it.
PPS I’d love to know how you contradict yourself too!
This week I interviewed the charming Margot Robbie, the Gold Coast girl and star of the much talked about film The Wolf of Wall Street.
She was absolutely lovely and told me in the course of our chat she is actually a big zombie fan. So, of course, I told her about LUV Comics.
Here’s what she said about zombies below. For the full interview, pick up today’s U on Sunday magazine in The Sunday Mail.
“The book I’m reading at the moment, my sister gave it to me for Christmas, it’s a zombie survival guide. I have this bizarre fascination, more so a conviction that there’s a pending zombie apocalypse around the corner. I stay up at night, planning how I’m going to (deal with it), a short term plan, a long term plan, feasible options. When she gave me that book, I was like brilliant, there’s a plethora of information I can use. I’ve been reading that quite closely at the moment.
“I’m the girl to talk to. When I worked with Will (Smith) on Focus, I sat him down and interrogated him on I Am Legend. I’m like, ‘Give me all the information you’ve got!’ And he’s like, ‘Margot, this is a made-up thing’ and I’m like, ‘Will, tell me everything you know.’ And it was fine because he said Jayden, his son, also has the same irrational fear about the impending zombie apocalypse.”
Go Margot! Hmn, wonder what advice we can give her on the impending apocalypse…?
So I was kicking around the internet when I came across a video of Daniel Radcliffe being interviewed during a photoshoot to promote his new movie Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
The interviewer from the UK Guardian asks Daniel what’s on his iTunes. The ever cheerful Daniel opens up his laptop and rattles off a list of some pretty cool indie rock acts… The Black Keys, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Pixies… Ball Park Music.
Wait a minute, isn’t that the Brisbane band that no one outside of our fair country has heard of (yet)?
I rang Ball Park Music frontman Sam Cromack to ask him what it was like to have such a hallowed fan as Harry Potter and this is what he said:
“I was on my way to the markets and our bandmate Paul sent me a text and he massively underplayed how big a deal it was. He said, check out this video I think it’s pretty cool. I thought it was going to be one of his housemates doing something stupid. And I had a look and there it was Daniel Radcliffe going through his iTunes, and picking us out amongst, like you say, a whole bunch of high pedigree indie rock acts.
“I honestly have no idea how he heard about us. We just toured the UK and Europe and did a short stint in the US as well. but our radio coverage in the UK is next to zero. There are some Aussie expats there but I doubt they’re friends with Daniel Radcliffe! Someone did tell me he has been spending time in US and we’ve had more airplay there so that’s a possibility. But honestly, who knows, but it’s exciting nevertheless.”
The band’s Facebook page went wild with the news, and hopefully it will mean some new fans for the band too, if Harry spreads the word.
“It would be cool to reach out to him and say g’day and send him some new music when it’s done,” says Sam.
Ball Park Music are now in the studio finishing up their third album, a follow up to Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs and Musuem. If you’re not familiar with the band, here’s a couple of reasons why Dan is such fan, and you should be too: Surrender … It’s Nice to be Alive
Pass it on!
LUV Comics had an awesome time at its first ever convention, Supanova, in Brisbane, this weekend. We SOLD OUT of our debut book A Geeks’ Guide to Girls. And after that we even took orders for more copies… so if you think you missed out, you haven’t. Get your requests in now.
Lots of cool colourful people came to visit our stall, including Spider-Man, Loki, Pikachu and Edward Scissorhands.
And LUV’s main characters Claudia and Maynard got out and about amongst the crowd too, taking photos with some keen cosplayers. Maynard is a big nerd after all. Have you spotted the number of geeky T-shirts he has in our comic? And Claudia wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to pose with a hunky guy.
Myself and artist Dan Gilmore were on hand to give FREE DATING ADVICE to passers-by. And that was kind of fun – dishing out words of wisdom gained from years of experience. So glad relationships mistakes could be poured into something useful – advice and a comic.
We were trying to figure out our audience, which ranged from teenage girls to 30-something guys. A surprising number of dads bought copies for their sons.
“Are you a geek?” I asked one sharply dressed young man who was there with his dad. “No, but I’d like to be,” he said.
Isn’t that awesome? To be a geek is now something to be desired.
And our first review is in! “I like Maynard, but I don’t like Claudia. She’s too rude.” – Sally’s Mum
So, stay tuned for more episodes of LUV online. In the meantime, you can catch up on what you missed out on by placing your order with us… as soon as we figure out this online ordery thingy.
Even Batman has to queue sometimes. The MCM Comic Con in London, which takes place twice a year, is absolutely epic. More than 50,000 people pass through its doors dressed as superheroes, anime characters and computer game stars.
But it’s a slow process. While tons of fantasy characters are running around outside taking pictures of each other, inside, herded through a vast room divided by a maze of gates, is the biggest queue I’ve ever seen. I’d been debating whether to go to the Comic Con in London, or a zombie walk in Brighton, but queuing for the Comic Con was much the same thing. After a couple of hours of shuffling, my limbs slowly willing themselves to fall off, finally we were set free.
Inside, there was much to see. Spider-Man hugging Pikachu, beautiful Bronies, anime princesses with flowing wigs of pink and blue and green, and possibly a few too many “free hugs” signs. There are the usual industry booths and stalls, but most people are there to look at the other cosplayers. It’s an event where the patrons are the show.
I stopped a few cosplayers for chats, many who’d come from miles around. “It takes a quarter of the day to get here, another quarter to get in,” said one.
Some were pros, others newbies. “This is my first time dressing up,” said a Team Rocket member. “It helps if you have a girlfriend who does it.”
But there would be none of this without the artists and writers who dream it all up. And so to the Comics Village I went to meet lots of great local creators hoping to gain attention for their talent. Here are a few to check out:
One artist even said he saw someone dressed as his creation, Killer Bunny. It’s a comic creator’s dream come true.
Next month in Australia, it’s time for Supanova, and that means artist Dan Gilmore and myself will be hosting our own FIRST EVER COMIC STAND! Please come and check us out. We’ve been rushing towards creating our first book for LUV Comics – our geek meets girl tale of love, social awkwardness, music and zombies. If you’re not in Australia, you can check the comics out online. We’d love to know what you think!
So, comic conventions – a place where fantasy does not quite meet reality. And now, here, compiled for you, are some funny things I overheard at the MCM Comic Con London.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen or heard at a comics convention?
Overheard at MCM Comic Con London:
“I said, ‘This is not a phase, Mum, this is who I am.’” (Naruto girl)
“I’m dressing up as Hikemon, from an ancient Japanese cartoon about people who go hiking.” (A dad in normal clothes)
“You know what this reminds me of? A school trip.” (walking to the event)
“Follow the Pikachu.”
“I’ve just seen a fez. That means Dr. Who.”
“Someone’s dropped a banana. That means there’s a Donkey Kong somewhere.”
“409, 410, 411, 412 fist bumps!” (A girl in the epic queue)
“Stop swinging your sword about, you’re going to hit someone on the head!” (Elf to orc)
“Not a good look. Do you want a nice warm bowl of ‘no’.” (Guys commenting on a girl’s skimpy outfit)
“That big foam mallet means there’s a Harley Quinn.”
“I just saw a giraffe!”
“…… le costume” (in French)
“I’m not quite normal.”
“If you die can I have your leet password?”
“If you die can I have your manga collection?”
“What does your wallet have on it? Probably a picture of a dick.”