Throw out your tweezers!Celia PacquolaNormal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text sizeDear younger Celia,Throw out your tweezers immediately. Mum was right, you can pluck your eyebrows too much. And you will.When you are 35 years old your favourite things are: Stephen King books, cheese,...
Throw out your tweezers!
Dear younger Celia,
Throw out your tweezers immediately. Mum was right, you can pluck your eyebrows too much. And you will.
When you are 35 years old your favourite things are: Stephen King books, cheese, shiraz, online time-management cooking games, naps and running a pen out of ink.
I know sometimes you feel so much like a fraud that you look through the peephole in case it’s someone coming to take you to your “real life” when it’s usually Mum or the pizza guy.
Sometimes you laugh so hard you cry, real hard sobbing, which reminds you of the extremes of your emotions and their power to overwhelm you.
Sometimes you listen to the Britney Spears song Sometimes because dammit you like it. And I know you’re scared of the future but also desperate to find out what’s going to happen.
Well I’m writing to you from the future to tell you that … None of that changes! What fun! I’m sorry. You’re the same. In a lot of ways. But I think you’re getting better at being you.
Please keep doing what you did to get us here, but have some more fun if you can, don’t be so hard on yourself and get your midriff out (because it’s never coming out again).
See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya, (again)
P.S Bitcoin. Look into it.
Celia Pacquola’s All Talk is at the Comedy Theatre, March 28-April 8 (not Monday or Tuesday).
Run for the hills and never look back.
You’re 23 years old, size 8 with long blond hair and D cup breasts, so for god’s sake, love yourself NOW because trust me you’re only going to get fatter, have bad facial hair, develop chronic arthritis and look, I don’t want to make you feel suicidal, but you’re also going to have age-related warts all over your forehead and decolletage. As the doctor said: “Denise all you can do is wear a roll-necked jumper and grow a fringe.”
Moving right along, a word of warning that you really must heed: there are arseholes in this world – your current boyfriend being one of them. I know he’s charming and funny and you’re totally smitten but fact is, behind closed doors, he makes you cry and feel like a piece of shit on a daily basis. So in order to save your sanity you need to RUN SCOTTY RUN! Run for the hills and never look back.
And while you’re at it, you may as well quit teaching because, let’s face it, you know that fantasy you have – the one where Stephen Spielberg just happens to be walking past the portable classroom when you’re teaching 9F drama at Maribyrnong High School, and Stephen sees you and says: “Oh my God, that’s her! That’s the actress I need to play Harrison Ford’s love interest in Raiders of the Lost Ark“? Well I hate to break it to you kid but that ain’t gonna happen.
Fact is Scotty you are desperately unhappy. So do something about it. Take action. Quit wasting time whining about your looks, quit your job and quit your relationship and go fulfill some dreams.
(Although having said that, re becoming an actress, don’t hold your breath. It will take you until you’re 56.)
Your older warty self,
Never forget how essential friends are.
I realise that these sorts of letters are generally written to a much younger self but that would imply that I’m so much wiser now and, frankly, I still don’t know my arse from my elbow. However, my relationship ended spectacularly badly about seven months ago and I’ve learnt a couple of things since then so this is the letter I wish I’d sent myself on July 30, 2017.
Don’t waste money on self-help books. Don’t buy a book called We, A Manifesto for Women Everywhere, which supposedly has principles for leading a more meaningful life. Buying a book co-written by Gillian Anderson, yes that Gillian Anderson, Scully from The X-Files, is not the answer. The truth might be out there, but it’s not in this book and affirmations like, “This is who I am and I’m happy to be me” will simply make you want to take your own life or Gillian Anderson’s.
Don’t be disheartened by your romantic track record with men, just simply give up. Seriously, if your encounters with guys were some sort of hobby, a friend would have taken you aside by now and said, “Jude, all the heartache, the sadness, the financial loss, the rejection and misdirected energy … maybe you’re just not meant to play the tuba?” So just put the tuba down for a while.
Never forget how essential friends are. You will go up to Sydney at one point, stay with some buddies, have some MDMA for the first time in years and dance to break-up songs on YouTube in their living room and that really will make you feel better – and that’s something else you’ll learn, you don’t stop taking drugs when you get older … you just don’t leave the house any more.
And you’ll wind up concluding, in between some particularly violent bouts of vomiting one morning, that nothing is certain but you still wouldn’t be dead for quids.
PS For someone who’s about to turn 50, you look AMAZING.
Denise Scott and Judith Lucy’s Disappointments is at the Comedy Theatre, April 7-8 and 20-22.
Definitely keep in the bit about the Spice Girls lyrics.
Dear drunk-looking Geraldine at senior Drama Camp,
Look at you being sun-smart with your hat and long-sleeve shirt! Also a little reminder to check the SPF factor on your sunscreen because in about 20 years you will use a crappy sunscreen when you go snorkelling in Vietnam and you will end up so sunburnt your back could fry an egg. Actually it couldn’t so don’t try that again. It’s very messy and a waste of an egg.
Next year, not long after you turn 18, you are going to do stand-up in a pub in front of a proper audience and you are going to suck so bad and that’s fine, but if you could not threaten the audience with a baseball bat you’ll feel much better about it. Definitely keep in the bit about the Spice Girls lyrics, although I’m not sure it’s enough to recite the lyrics of Wannabe and after each line say “What the f— does that mean?” Then again maybe it is.
When you do start doing comedy on a more regular basis you are going to be average, not average as in “This no-name chocolate drinking powder is a bit average” but average like a glass of Milo with two spoons of Milo instead of five. It’s going to take years and years before you’re a five-spoon glass of Milo. I know you hate it when you don’t know how long something will take. Don’t get frustrated and don’t waste time and energy worrying about what others are doing. You’ve got this mate, just keep going. On a side note you will one day go and see an amateur theatre production of a play about a gay bashing. It goes for three hours, so get two beers and a double whiskey and strap yourself in.
Love from the older you with a better haircut.
PS You are gaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! Just accept it and go out and have a really good time.
Geraldine Hickey’s Plucky is at the Imperial Hotel, city, March 28-April 20.
It’s OK not to like grunge music.
Dear 16-year-old Anne,
It’s OK to not like grunge music. Smells Like Teen Spirit and Jeremy by Pearl Jam are OK but the rest of the songs sound like a man with a goatee trapped in a barrel screaming. Everyone else likes it and so you’re about to spend the next five years pretending you do. (By the way, this kind of approval seeking never goes away and you end up as a comedian. Suck it.)
One day you go to the Big Day Out, and after telling everyone that Hole is your favourite band (you know one song), you make your way to the front of the stage.
You don’t know what a mosh pit is though, do you? When the music starts your body is lifted up and down by the sheer force of the people around you. You start screaming “help”. You try and stay upright but slip onto the ground with all the thonged feet and muck and start crawling. Both your shoes are thrown in the air gleefully by a boy. You grab onto a man’s leg and say “Up. Please.” but he misinterprets.
You are now on a stranger’s shoulders screaming “help”.
Finally, you are body surfed across the crowd crying.
You like country music. Cop it sweet.
Anne Edmonds’ No Offence, None Taken is at Melbourne Town Hall, April 2, 9 and 16.
Please moisturise and, most importantly, buy bitcoin.
Zoe Coombs Marr
Hi. I’m you, 20 years from now. And no, this isn’t a bank ad. Confused? Don’t worry – you’ll get that reference in a couple of years when that bank ad actually comes out, and you’ll write your own joke about it. I can’t remember what the punchline is now, but from memory it wasn’t very good.
Don’t worry, when you do the joke at the school variety night (along with some classic gold about the “it’s French for mmm yum” yoghurt ad) the audience will be so busy laughing at your observations about the school hall and Mr Wilsmore in PE that you’ll get a free pass. That’s your first stand-up set. You’ll be 15, and it’ll go well. Good on you. Don’t get too cocky though, because after that, once you move to Sydney and start doing gigs in pubs, things will get a little tougher. You’ll find yourself performing for drunks who have no time for the quaint observations of a 19-year-old lesbian. (You’re gay, by the way. But you know that.)
In these grubby open mics, you’ll be surrounded by blokes, some of whom are total legends, but some of whom … well, let’s just say you’ll have to follow some pretty rough jokes. But I don’t want to scare you off, you’re only 13, and most of the material is at least MA15+. Don’t worry too much about it. After a while those guys will start to seem like the same guy doing the same act, and eventually, you’ll start doing their act too.
Right when you reach the end of your tether and you think you’re going to combust, you’ll glue hair clippings to your neck and stick a sock down your pants and become Dave – a parody of all the worst of those guys. It sounds dumb, but trust me, it’ll go well. Good on you. But don’t get too cocky, because after that … well, who knows what’ll happen? Not me, because I, unlike you, haven’t received a letter from my future self. I’m fine though. And so are you.
So, in closing, hang in there, don’t worry too much, please moisturise, and most importantly, buy bitcoin.
Zoe Coombs Marr’s Bossy Bottom is at Melbourne Town Hall, March 29-April 22.
Making salamis with dad in the backyard is now cool.
Hey little Fastuca.
You’re 11 and already have braces. Rough. Don’t worry, last Saturday night your sister made you drop the Dolly magazine to watch a show on ABC called The Late Show. This show will change your life and will be your escape from your awkward, frizzy-Italian-hair reality, for many years, although Christian Slater will help too! You’ll draw a picture of “Duffle coat supreme”, (using the good Derwents and everything) for show and tell in grade 6, a joke no one gets except your 35-year-old teacher.
I know you want to be a singer but you’ll never be as cool as Belinda Carlisle. You’re a goofball, a comedy nerd who makes people laugh, so just keep doing that.
One day, goofballness will get you on a podcast with Jane Kennedy and yes, she’s as awesome as you’d imagine, but you act cool ’cause it would be so uncool to say THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING MY GOD HOW AWESOME ARE CHICKS. What’s a podcast? It’s on the Internet. What’s the Internet? Never mind, just go finish your Judy Blume.
PS: Making salamis with dad in the backyard is now cool.
PPS: There’re no hover boards in 2015 BUT the cubs did win a world series and Biff is president.
Kelly Fastuca’s Smokin’ is at the Imperial Hotel, city, April 9-21.
Your mum is about to walk into your room, see you on Facebook and ask … What’s that?
The year is 2008 and you are well and truly addicted to Facebook. You’re probably having a bit of a scroll right now, maybe even posting an incredibly lame status update (song lyrics if I’m correct? you massive loser) – but what you don’t realise is that this is all about to be ruined. You see, in a few minutes, your mum is about to walk into your room, see you on Facebook and ask … What’s that? You will absent-mindedly explain the concept of Facebook to her, to which she will respond “ooooh, that sounds fun, do I have one?”
In the moment you will laugh at her naivety and explain that no, you have to sign up for it. DO NOT DO THIS, I repeat, DO NOT LET HER SIGN UP FOR FACEBOOK. If you do, you are in for years of embarrassment, her crimes will include but are not limited to: adding your friends that she’s never met, commenting on every single picture that you upload and perhaps the worst of all, perusing your ex-boyfriend’s Facebook.
This happens almost right after she signs up and when it does, the ‘m’ key on her keyboard malfunctions and she ends up leaving eight comments’ worth of ‘mmmmmmmmmmmm’s on the picture of him and his new girlfriend. She then apologises to you in the comments on HIS Facebook page. So when she comes into your room and asks what you’re doing on your computer, please just close your laptop and give her a big hug, because you do love her, even though she’s an absolute menace.
Becky Lucas’ Cute Funny Smart Sexy Beautiful is at Melbourne Town Hall, March 29-April 22.
World-weariness is unbecoming in the young. Save it for your 40s when you need it.
Wow, that op-shop men’s vest … those jeans. Truly, the ’90s were unkind.
That grin, though … 14 years old, cast in a youth cabaret (which sounds more ghastly than it was) at iconic Melbourne comedy venue The Last Laugh. To think in Grade 3 you devised plays at lunchtime, then organised tours of the sweltering Henschke Primary School (Wagga Wagga) classrooms. LOOK AT YOU NOW! So much hope in your flash-reddened eyes!
How do I break it to you…?
You won’t sing onstage again for years after this photo. You’ll write your first song within two years, but not write with dedication until 2005. Meanwhile you’ll fry yourself working day jobs, studying at night, because you’re told to be “safe” (aka “terrified”).
There’s no big break, dear Saturday’s child. You’ll find your stride aged 30, maybe take another decade to hit it – it takes ages. Seriously, you’ll have a cancer scare before you turn a profit on a festival season (you’re fine, don’t panic). Still – world-weariness is unbecoming in the young. Save it for your 40s when you need it.
You have friends – try to be a better friend to them. And stop worrying so much, that’s the fear wasting your time. You’ll work with and meet great people, you’ll do great gigs. You’ll make so much work you’re proud of. And you’ll do rubbish gigs. So? If you don’t fail, you don’t learn.
What’s 2018 like? Well …. you’re still afraid, but you know this is what you wanted to do. You can do it. Do it sooner.
Also – although you’re sure already that you never want children, people will ask you about it for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Write songs about that, then sell that award-winning independent album via the website you’ll eventually have on the internet that will eventually exist. Godspeed, awkward ginger teen! Godspeed!
Geraldine Quinn’s Queen Bitch is at The Malthouse, April 10-22.
It’s gonna get better, I promise.
Dear Little Weirdo dressed as a wizard sitting in the gumtree, I just wanted to let you know that you’re pretty great. I know you’re feeling pretty antsy right now and good on you for pouring into your poetry, creativity is a great outlet. It’s gonna get better, I promise.
Mate, you’ve got a lot going on, it’s OK … yes Sean didn’t want to kiss you in the corrugated tin cubby house … but it wasn’t you … it was because he got bitten on the bum by a bull ant … I know those sports day culottes don’t fit properly and make you feel ugly, it’s OK … it’s not just you … no one looks good in knee-length poo-green culottes, it’s a whole thing … and I know you’re feeling a bit self-conscious as Mrs Cow told you off yesterday for having bad BO … yeah it was a weird conversation to have to a 12-year-old, you’re right, it could have been handled better, trust your gut with that one … don’t worry it does get better.
And no it’s not weird what you felt in your pants when you rubbed up against that pillow last night, that’s your sex magic awakening girl, don’t hold back! Get right in there and figure out how it all works.
I want you to know that you’re a really cool person now, nah shut up it’s OK to say that, I know Grandpa says “don’t get tickets on yourself”… but mate, people literally buy tickets to see you now! You’re gonna travel the world, see loads of cool shit, become a comedian, a feminist, and a massive babe like you’ve always wanted AND you’re gonna get to pash loads of boys and girls (yeah bisexuality it’s a whole thing. just you wait!!) Oh my god I’m so excited for you!!!!
Love you, dickhead xx
Tessa Waters’ Volcano is at the Greek Centre, city, March 29-April 22.
Fail early, fail often and get better at what you do.
You are going to fail. It’s a good thing. You’ll develop a taste for it. I know that sounds like a bad thing, especially to you right now when you’re being told that you can do anything you set your mind to. School and uni teach you that life is about getting points and always climbing upwards. Failure seems like a terrible thing.
One of the reasons I’ve heard that fewer girls become entrepreneurs, comedians, inventors, is that we have less of an appetite for risk. Whether that’s socialised or biological, it’s worth trying to get on top of.
We don’t like to fail. Run at it. Get good at failing. Fail early, fail often and get better at what you do. Don’t just do what you’re “naturally” good at. Find something interesting that you’re bad at, and get better by failing. It makes every success really satisfying. Comedy is great for this. You have to be bad to get good at it, and I promise you’ll get better.
Nobody’s Going to Die/We’re All Going to Die.
This will become your motto, so it’s a good one to start with. Fear of failure is crippling, and it’s good to remember that we’re very lucky. We live in a country where if we screw up, nobody’s coming round to fix it with a gun. No matter how important that thing you’re worried about seems, almost all of the time nobody’s going to die if you mess it up.
On the other hand, we’re all going to die, one way or another. So just get on with it.
Lots of love,
Alice Fraser’s Ethos is at the Chinese Museum, March 29-April 22.
Always double-check the recipients of your SMS…
Aurelia St Claire
Don’t worry too much about getting your life together at 18; despite what you think, nobody is expecting you to be perfect. Always double-check the recipients of your SMS because texting your boss about hating your job makes for an awkward conversation on Monday.
You won’t always work minimum wage jobs or get free drinks as payment, but enjoy not getting a hangover or having responsibility. Your mother was right when she told you that you’ll have to work twice as hard because you are a woman. Be prepared to be disappointed, rejected and looked over. Keep your head up and ask for what you want – eventually you’ll receive it.
Aurelia St Claire appears in The Breast of the Fest, Imperial Hotel, March 28-April 9, and Neopolitan, Tasma Terrace, city, April 9-22.
Never lose faith and always trust your gut.
Dear Young Me,
Remember that time when I was 16 and the last bus had gone and this middle-aged white man pulled up, extremely randomly, in Currie Street, it was 11:30 on a Sunday night and he dropped me home. He was literally an angel who I didn’t even flag down and he dropped me home … like, huh?! There was no funny business and I made him drop me one street away from my Aunty’s place because I was worried he would come back. Like, dude, you randomly got in a car with an absolute stranger who, luckily for me now, turned out to be a good guy.
Never lose faith and always trust your gut. There’s at least another three stories like that from my childhood.
Someone has looked over me for most of my life.
Young Me, you knew I’d be here now…..didn’t you?
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs March 28-April 22. comedyfestival.com.au