Today someone pointed out this article by Roseanne Barr in New York Magazine.
I found it very pertinent. Since I have a project that I'm trying to get up. And finding it almost impossible to get any sort of back up. As usual I am being ignored out of the picture. But this time I'm taking notes. I'm testing the invisible bars of my cage to see which bars will stretch or open. And which bars are jammed tight and break my finger nails. And I'm documenting the entire thing and all the characters. I'm sorting out the sheep from the allies. I'm telling the brutal truth straight up to see who I draw in and who I scare off. I'm making a list. And I'm feeding it all in to my big delicious soup.
So Yesterday I ring this woman that Roseanne would call a 'bitch in heels' But she works for the ABC so she probably wears Flatties or sling backs. Nevertheless her attitude is total 'Follow me home and fuck me pumps.' Because she's the Queen Bee of Radio Drama. And she's got a house and a pay packet and a scrounging boyfriend last time I looked but Libby always leaves me in the lobby.
I liked her in the beginning. It was all sweet and friendly. But that was fifteen years ago and now I don't need sweet. I just need work. As the gap between those who can't afford to buy bread and those who make home made cup cakes, widens into a chasm, so does the Anger of Hungry bitches and Disaster Divas! She's been comfortable for so long that she's barely breathing on a heart level. Whereas my ticker threatens to explode at least once a week. That's because I've been on the edge for as long as she's been in the comfortable middle. She secured her position in the ABC and shmoozed her way to the top and now she throws crumbs to real artists. LIKE ME. At irregular intervals. Artists who have actually put their heads on the line for their body of work. Artists who are on the tightrope not on Tenure or permanent gravy train. Artists who don't get to choose but who still get international reviews. Let me remind you 'Off Off Broadway Review. 'It girl for the New Century!' Now show me the money honey! You're the public servant and I am who you're supposed to be serving. Lets just turn around this table and re-set the cutlery shall we?
There are shades of white in Australia and the bitches who get gigs are the shade of Cate Blanchett. They're not always Anglo. From time to time they might even be Asian or Aboriginal. But stick your finger in their creme centre and they taste of artificial Vanilla. They make me smell like double chocolate with raisons dipped in metho! They're reasonable, relaxed and polite and oh so positive. They're grateful. It comes with the perks and the pay packet. It's the hungry who get ANGRY and then blow it. The Vanilla bitches won't hold a knife to your neck. They're not that obvious. Until they've called in the Lawyers.
They keep their hands under the table while they slash you to bits. And you won't see a drop of sweat on their brow while they're doing it. No malice on their tongue, no veins on their neck. Their breath smells like air conditioning. They know how to cool down passion in a sentence. They don't need prozac because there' no fire to put out. They're made out of teflon. They only go red in the centre when they're being used. And they use true creatives like they're filling up at a petrol station. They resent Authentic Creativity. Passionate Spirits. Original voices. They want to keep them as far away from the centre of the action as possible. Because our very presence will expose their pasty hues.
But here I am. And there she is.
And there she will stay until she drops dead. If she was going to give me a decent gig she would have done it fifteen years ago. She ignores my email pitches. And calls me in for the occasional Voice Over like I'm a hand model or something. She calls me sweet as she throws me a crumb. Which is why I totally get while Roseanne pulled out the knife on her writers. Because it's these Thwarters who kill the true creative spirits. They pretend to be feminists but they're the enemy of women. They pretend to enable you while they're turning off all your buttons. They thwart you to death and they do it for years on end and by the time you can name it, it's too late.
And who will listen to you anyway. You're the reason they invented prozac before they put women in the work force. I scream when I'm angry. I laugh out loud when I'm horny. I leave little snail trails of tears everywhere I go. Today I wept and I recorded it. I was thinking about the radio feature I wanted to pitch to Ms Vanilla Cup Cakes. My tears were the soundtrack. I was thinking at the time 'This is what hunger sounds like'. This is how hunger expresses herself. She has no words. She wails like a Siouxie with no banchees. Like a Single Mum fighting a DOCS worker.
And all the time I'm winding myself up for the pitch. I'm thinking 'Ok..here we go.. I'm going to pitch her a Radio Feature about trying to get Disaster Diva up and back to America. It will be a magical realist drama. A story about HUNGER. About running in quicksand. About slashing your way through the obstacles that stop you from grabbing that dream and hauling it home. So I ring but she's in a meeting and she says she'll ring me back. But she doesn't. And I'm determined to get my pitch in before I go to the Dentist. So I wait three hours and before I leave the house I ring her phone and leave a message. She rings me back just as I get on the train. I'd pre-empted the pitch on her answering machine so she knew what I was talking about. So I launch into my pitch like I've only got a New York minute and by the time we get to Stanmore I'm winding it up. But there's silence at the other end and she says 'I didn't hear a word you said.'You're breaking up'. Breaking up, Breaking down, Anything but baking bread. And here's the beautiful Irony. After I finish my broken up pitch about HUNGER. She says 'The reason why I rang you is that I'm doing a series about 'Taste For Food'. And I'd like to use your voice to read 'other people's poetry'.
I would have liked to use her head to smash against a wall but I'm the Queen of holding back so we'll finish the story there.