ACTION!

the promotional video for my dog when she stars in a film about her life. it would be 100x more interesting than mine
the promotional image for my dog when she stars in a film about her life. it would be 100x more interesting than mine

If today was the first scene in a movie about you, which parts would stay and which would only make the directors cut? I started a mental list of my own screenplay in my head as I was walking my dog across the field next to my house. I got about 2/3 of the way round before I realised that my dog had actually gotten bored of walking quite a while before and had made her way back alone, then apparently decided to try her luck at granny’s in case there were some tasty dinner leftovers. Initially I panicked a bit when I thought I’d somehow lost a large gun dog in a square of grass, but when I got back and found out where she was and that I’d been ditched by a dog (I thought they LOVED walks??) to apparently walk myself about the field like a fool, I decided quickly to omit this particular scene from the film of my day. Other outtakes include the bit when I forgot the word ‘conditions’ whilst speaking to a customer at work (so many alternative C words popped into my head in its place… many of them great words in their own right but no synonyms and it was all quite unhelpful) to saying ‘it’s okay, I can’t cook either’ to my mother at dinner which she, for some reason, took as an insult rather than a mum-daughter bonding thing. Anyway, this has been on my mind for a few reasons: firstly because I have spent the week mentally praising the inventor of the walkman (once again – thank you good sirs). I appreciate that I probably need to say a bit more here to clarify, so here goes: one of the single best things that I can think of to make me feel happy from day to day is to do something regular like walk the dog (or just pretend to while she lounges at granny’s house), sit on the bus, go to the supermarket, whilst listening to a great tune with headphones. I can’t imagine a life where I could never listen to music like that again. Sometimes I like to take it one step further; to listen to music and imagine it’s the backing track to a film that I am starring in, and therefore something awesome is about to happen. It never actually happens, not even at Tesco Elgin, the great, well-known epicentre of all drama ever, but fortunately I have quite an overactive imagination so doing this often spices up the banality of everyday things. Sometimes I even sing along in public without realising. The next building block to this idea is a quote from the utterly fabulous Lauren Bacall, who sadly passed away last week. She left a legacy of golden age films and a golden attitude to life, as amidst the news and tributes, a particular quote has stuck with me since I read it: ‘You can’t always be a leading lady’. This is a crucial lesson for everyone to learn and the sooner you accept it, the better, but it’s not the lesson I learnt this week. The combination of these events got me to thinking that living happy can be treated as an art form, just like film and music. You can’t always have the lead role on the world stage, but let’s be honest, the lead is the generally one that has to get their heart broken at least 6 times, upset their best friend/mother by doing something scandalous and have consistently perfect eyebrows in order to keep up viewers’ attention. It just sounds tiring. So pick up the lead role when it suits you and the rest of the time can be spent proudly and confidently doing all the in-between things that normally get cut from the blockbuster. It might seem ridiculous, but every so often I can’t see the harm in thinking ‘What would (___insert favourite actor here____’ do?’ when shopping in Home Bargains. Pop a banging soundtrack on the iPod and for one bus ride only (doing this too often might make you forget that you aren’t actually Beyoncé… you have been warned), make yourself appreciate the beauty in every banal moment as if you were watching a scene from the best film of the year. To do this successfully, and with a bit of style, sounds like a challenge worthy of a true Oscar winner.

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