When I was a young girl I dreamed of being a famous actress. Every year the inter-school drama festival rolled by on the Gold Coast and I body-surfed my way to a Best Actress trophy or at the very worst a Highly Commended Performance certificate. In Year 12 I got my first standing ovation. It was a heady time when I thought I was the next Meryl Streep.
At seventeen I ran away from home with stars in my eyes, all the way to Sydney, the capital of the Australian film industry. Confidence is key and I managed to land myself a small role in a futuristic film called 'Dead End Drive-In'. This was my first professional gig and I was sure it was the first step toward fame and fortune. Being on a film set was exciting, particularly one that was decked out as a punk/apocalyptic Drive-In. It was like landing on another planet. The cast and crew were vibrant and friendly and I soon made some great friends. The catering was always sumptuous (starving actors love a good free feed). The film was a macho dream come true with fiery stunts and car chases. At the time I thought it was all a bit silly and cringed when I saw myself acting on a huge cinema screen. My performance was forgettably bad. I'd made a film but it didn't feel like I thought Hollywood should.
Years later this film has become something of a cult classic and I now appreciate its charm and blatant, bold, innocence and decadence at the same time. My children have watched it and think it's somewhat glorious. It was featured in the documentary 'Not Quite Hollywood,' which explored the Australian films back in the day (70's, early 80's) known as ozploitation films. Films with lots of blood, guts, violence, fire, gratuitous sex and lots of tits and beer. These films have become a national cultural phenomenon. Only now have my husband and I become fans of these old films. Films like Turkey Shoot, Razorback, Alvin Purple, Road Games etc.
I followed my film debut with a string of embarrassing television commercials - which were more about making a goose of yourself than real acting. I dressed in a leotard and ate warm yoghurt for a Yoplait commercial, did a Telstra ad and came home to find my phone had been disconnected, talked about condoms in an AIDS awareness campaign and Nibbled Nobby's nuts!!!
Then came a great tele-mini-series, The Clean Machine, where I had a nude scene while still lactating after the birth of my first son. I had milk geysers squirting between takes. Nice! Then there was the ABC series Stringer where I mimed playing bass guitar and played the tough chick in an all-girl band. The single 'Young Love' actually won an ARIA award and appeared on MTV. Whooohoooo.
Then theatre 'Tony 'n Tina's Wedding'. That was a hoot. A three month run of fun and mayhem. Friendships. Laughter.
A guest appearance on 'Police Rescue' was a highlight (not only because of the onset tempestuous affair).
And then..................nothing. Nada.
I had more children and focused on family. All the while though, I still harboured a desire to return to the thespian life. I spent years and years rehearsing, becoming a spectacular drama queen in my everyday life. Despite no professional acting work, I've played some interesting roles over the years - the single mum, the medical receptionist, the gangster moll, the maid, the drama teacher, the other woman, the wife, mother earth, the deranged depressed mad woman, the alcoholic, the fitness fanatic, the foster parent, the uni student, the legal counsellor and now...................
But the actress in me is preparing for a comeback......I just need to write myself the perfect part!