The defeatist attitude of an (ex) artist

This will be a melancholic post with a dressing of reminiscence of the past. Usually, I adhere to the philosophy that whatever lies in the past cannot have any effect on the future whatsoever and I generally refrain from indulging in ‘good ole days’thoughts. However, now more than ever the past is coming back on a worldwide scale. Reasons behind Trump’s election and Brexit referendum success are witness to this. Why is that?

Historically speaking, the past often offers a glimpse into a ‘golden age’. At any time in the last 3 millennia, lots of authors have looked back and thought “well it was awesome back then, wasn’t it”, with many scholars even re-elaborating whole periods of history to fit their contemporary thinking and their bias. In some cases, some golden ages have included mass genocides, famine, Black Death, never mind that a few centuries later we found a way to justify or gloss over these little, inconvenient details.

It’s the same with us, in our little inconsequential lives… we look back and romanticise some events. And here I’ve fallen victim to the same trend.
There is a part of me I never fully accepted and that is why the past often came back to haunt me or to be seen as ‘golden’ in some regards. First of all, I was born in a Tuscan village in 1972; local mentality only allowed us girls a couple of things: 1) getting married and breed (I use this verb fully knowing the connotations!); 2) until (or if) number 1 was available, it was necessary to find a job, no matter if it was something we liked, any will do if it provided ‘cash’ (nobody was ever bothered about pay slips and such bureaucracy in those days, we kept count of our worked hours on a paper sheet hung in the factory).

‘Little me’ started working in such capacity at 12. Perfect (right?), I was on schedule! Apart from being illegal, never mind again… But then, everybody knows that teenage years wreck havoc in our lives and that is what exactly happened to me too. Around the age of 16, I fancied to get a higher education, I wanted to learn languages because travelling for work was my dream. Heresy! ‘Girls don’t need an education!!!‘, my father yelled. He yelled so loudly I can still remember it. It was not just ‘heretic’ to get an education though; the worst part was that instead of using my savings to prepare for my wedding, *gasp* I was using them to put myself in the condition of finding a job that required me to stay out of the house! In the end, I did get married but I was 40 already, needless to say my savings would have not lasted that long!

At 17, a far worse event happened, total total heresy! I wanted to use more of my savings to attend a drama school. My mum was an ex opera singer, whose aspirations and ambition had been shattered by ‘real life’. Or so she recounts the whole thing nowadays. But not all lives need to end up the same way, right? Her father, still alive at the time, supported the idea. My father was yelling all the time as you can imagine, even threatening to kick me out of the house, which didn’t happen… although I wasn’t actually allowed to rent a piano until I was 18 (damn father!). I was enrolled in a proper music school, learnt to play piano/singing/read music; unfortunately, I did not attend any drama course but found a way to appear in a movie anyway (I hope it got burnt, it was a weird indie thing!).

As you can imagine, given that you have never heard of me, nothing came to fruition. Since I stopped studying in 1995, I did many jobs until I definitely left Italy 8 years ago. I also found a way to migrate nearly everywhere since I was 24 but… the artistic thing never took off. As I am reminiscing about it these days, I wonder if my chronic defeatist attitude played a part in it and to what degree. I have the same attitude to my studies, “oh no, I’m not going to make it, I will get a fail, etc etc.”. As of today, I’ve only had a C in my degree course and it was in Level 1, so it’s not going to count for my final mark.

So, would my artistic career have taken off if I wasn’t so down-beaten by my own attitude to it? Possibly. I even scored auditions I never went to, auditions I was ill-prepared to face but sabotaged them on purpose (God knows why!), and even offers for one of my scripts that I never bothered to pay attention to!!
At this point you would think I am an idiot…. Why would anyone be threatened by success to the point that once you get the chance you don’t go through with it? Well, here I am, call me idiot if you like, but I was overwhelmed by the idea. Every. Single. Time.

You would also think I regretted that. Actually, I do but surely my number 1 reason is not what you are thinking about. I never really cared about being famous, having fans or making a crapload of money. Many of these chances might have not led to any of the above anyway. However, it led to something I have regretted: I gave up on the opportunity of doing a job I would have liked. The mindset of my upbringing “do any job because you need money”, drilled into me since a young age, has kept ruining my life over and over again, even when I didn’t actually need any money. It still does because I’m getting a degree in archaeology and history but if you asked me which job I will likely do after I graduate, I wouldn’t probably answer “archaeologist or historian”. I would fall on the old mindset ‘I need a job, whatever that is’.

And this brings a lot of dissatisfaction, a sense of ‘impossible achievement’ as regards anything I ever endeavoured to study or pursue. And given that in two days I will be 45, these thoughts heavily weigh on me. The ‘artist-that-will-never-be’ sounds now ominous and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth any time my mind wanders there.

Merlin, The Big Loser

P.S.: Silver lining: Considering the entertainment field’s obsession with youth and artists who are required to botox themselves to death, at least I’m not paraded around in retarded selfies like the one below where I need to keep my mouth open all the time (“I’m too sexy for this selfie, too sexy for this selfie” ahahaha)

20170324_153939

Advertisements

Still alive, just studying

I’ve been off for a while from the blog. First the Brexit disentanglement, second the university books were requiring my presence so…. well, no time to write or even check the drafts I had written!

Well not many news anyway. So from September 1st, expect 1) pictures 2) some rants 3) a book.

And don’t forget to check what my kitties are up on Instagram too 🙂

https://www.instagram.com/smerlinchesters/?hl=en

Exciting times ahead!! 🙂

‘Eppure, me l’avevano detto!’, finalmente l’ho letto! #bookreview

Alla fine ce l’ho fatta a ricavarmi del tempo per leggere questo interessantissimo ebook! Se è vero che all’inizio mi aspettavo qualcosa di diverso, allo stesso tempo è stata  una piacevole sorpresa (all’inizio mi sono scaricata il sample e poi ho comprato il tutto).

Non leggevo un libro in italiano da vent’anni, avevo cominciato a trovarli noiosi, troppo ‘letterari’ e complicati e soprattutto vuoti a livello emotivo. Non mi emozionavo più, e così smisi. Da allora ho sempre e soltanto letto in inglese (e 4-5 libri in francese). Quindi per me è stato un ritorno al passato e un immergermi nelle ‘origini’.

Roberta, l’autrice del libro, racconta il viaggio-vita dai suoi primi anni e l’infanzia in Sicilia, agli anni a Milano e poi fino al presente dove è in procinto di emigrare di nuovo, il tutto con una sana dose di autocritica ed umorismo. Si ride, si piange e si riflette. Se non avete avuto una vita proprio ‘liscia’ non vi sarà difficile riconoscervi in ciò che Roberta scrive e identificarvi nelle sue lotte e nelle sue preoccupazioni. E quanti di noi hanno avuto ‘Iscarioti’ e ‘Iscariote’ nella vita, ‘una’ l’ho scoperta solo un paio di settimane fa 😉

Ho trovato i capitoli ben sviluppati e bilanciati tra di loro, il libro si legge bene anche tutto di un fiato (l’ho letto in tre giorni) e scorre fluido, senza particolari refusi. Ho letto altrove una review del libro che menzionava il bisogno di un editor, io personalmente non lo vedo. Anche perchè sono convinta che un editor avrebbe anche modificato il senso di alcune frasi, una cosa che sarebbe andata a discapito anche del libro in toto, modificando parti che sono magari troppo crude o realiste per un pubblico più vasto. Magari ciò restringe il campo di diffusione del libro, vero, ma penso che l’autrice abbia fatto una scelta al riguardo al momento di scriverlo. Per me va bene così, opinione personale, ovviamente!!

Il libro è disponibile in formato ebook sia su Amazon; su amazon.co.uk la spesa è di circa 5£. E’ solo in italiano al momento, ma sono sicura che alcune cose rimarrebbero intraducibili o se ne perderebbe l’effetto dopo eventuale traduzione.

Merlin

 

Source: Eppure, me l’avevano detto!

Eppure, me l’avevano detto!

Dedico il primo articolo del 2016 alla blogger Roberta Castelli, del blog “Se anche il ragionier Ugo espatria! (http://asaperloprima.altervista.org/) che alla fine del 2015 ha pubblicato l’ebook “Eppure, me l’avevano detto!”, la sua prima prova letteraria e già molto ben recensita al momento 🙂

Al momento il libro è disponibile per l’acquisto solo in formato kindle:

http://www.amazon.it/Eppure-lavevano-detto-Roberta-Castelli-ebook/dp/B01910YSPM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1452357818&sr=1-1

Enjoy it!!

Merlin