Madonna - my mentor
In my memoir I talk about the power and sheer awe that the arrival of Madonna on the music scene gave to me. She was everything I wanted to be. Sexy. Bold. Funny. Shocking. She even had the gap in her teeth that I had, only she made it look good.
For the entire span of her career I've grown up with her. I used to say that we were sides of the same coin - she was the successful disciplined side and I was the unnoticed, undisciplined side. I have read tales of her childhood and youth and find certain parallels. She lost her mother physically and whether through my own selfishness or some other force, I felt disconnected from my own mother at a similar age and grew up with 'mother' issues which might be why I became a compulsive baby-making machine. Five kids later and I still haven't mastered motherhood!
Madonna and I were both little Catholic narcissists.
Now she and I are middle aged. It's a tough time of life. Hormonal. Tiring. But still she soldiers on while I am just finding my career feet for the first time as a writer. She has been more inspirational than any other celebrity in my life. I dreamed of having a foursome with her and Sean Penn once (and my boyfriend of the time). That was quite a few years ago now! She is reportedly a control freak. I am a control freak and freakin' proud of it! Isn't that better than being an out of control freak? I am always wary of people who use 'control freak' as a term of abuse. I think it's a compliment.
My story of running away to the big smoke, chasing my dream of fame and fortune, canoodling about with rock-stars, mirrors her own youth. We both lived on popcorn for a while and I collected rosary beads (still do). But her determination was stronger than mine and I fell into the trap of partying instead of promoting myself. I had talent. I had ambition but I lacked discipline. She became addicted to health and fitness and I discovered champagne and cocaine. She took the smarter path there.
Our society views the word 'discipline' with a severe caution. It sounds hard and sharp. But discipline does not restrict, it gives you freedom. It's taken me until 46 to truly understand that. It was my persistence at writing, the belief that I would get there in the end that won out, but it started with the discipline to sit at a computer and write the thing. That was the first step to my creeping success. I am just starting to be lured into a military 'make-over', a personal boot-camp if you will and suddenly find the word 'discipline' awfully sexy.
Today I woke at 2 a.m. and lay awake for hours wondering why I feel so out of sorts these days and it is because I am consumed by abject sloth. I'm tired. Depressed. Morose and unable to pull myself up out of it. It's become a quicksand, a quagmire of laziness. But it's not easy to get out of bed on cold mornings....blablabla. I remember reading that Madonna once said - 'easy doesn't make you grow' or something like that and it was those words of hers that got me up this morning, more motivated than I've been for ages.
She's a few years older than me, a mother, a career girl and she looks amazing. None of that comes easy. I'm going to go and find a pic of the Lady Madonna and stick it above my desk. I'm going to haul my sorry sack of flesh up and onto the treadmill. I'm going to give up booze and Tim-Tams and eat like the legend. The poor woman cops flak for being too muscly, too fit, too brazen with her middle-aged sexuality. Sounds like jealousy to me. I want her arms. I want her butt. I want her Madonna-ness.
Some journalist asked me the other day who I would like to play me if the movie version of my memoir was ever made - and I have had a sudden brainstorm. Madame M can buy the film rights to the book and produce and direct and her daughter can play the teenage me! Of course, in a weird and disturbing twist - I will play my own mother!!! It's a brilliant idea. But how to get my book in front of Madonna.........
Lights. Camera. Action. So mode it be.