Saturday, 8 December 2012

Luck Be A Lady

Have you noticed that jobs, buses and lovers arrive all at once or none at all?

That’s not to say you take each… but that you have the opportunity to… that you feel flush with fortune, interest or attention… in contrast to the periods where, try as you might, you can’t even get arrested. 

Fortune or Luck is perverse in this sense - the timing of her arrival and departure as fickle as an Italian man who still lives at home with his mother.  I’m sure there are better similes but impressed on my memory is a comment the father of an ex-Italian boyfriend said to me when we were breaking up: Lui è molto volubile. Ha bisogno di sua Mamma. Si può fare meglio. 

Clearly by that point the father admired me more than the guy or his mother.  But anyway, molto volubile, very fickle, is the character of Lady Luck.  She’s hard to pin down.

And when you are waiting for the tides of fortune to change, the tension is a powerful mix of hope and need, desperation and optimism... like Sky Masterton sings in Guys ‘n Dolls, as he holds the craps in his hand waiting to roll...   
They call you Lady Luck.
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very unladylike way of running out
You have this date with me
The pickings have been lush
And yet before this evening is over you might give me the brush
You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay and
So the best that I can do is pray.

Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you've ever been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight.

When things are personified as women it frequently means they are considered the best or most important of their kind: "Paris is the queen of cities"; "the queen of ocean liners".  So perhaps when our luck isn’t good we should invert it and say “luck is a man tonight”? 

Related to the phenomena of luck, is timing.  For sometimes it’s the timing of events which make them good or bad, lucky or unlucky: like horses at the racetrack, balls rolling around a billiard table, traffic jams, bus connections, invitations, meetings, offers, proposals… they can all be helped or hurt by timing and, therefore, luck.  No wonder for so many thousands of years people have blamed or thanked the Gods for unexplainable outcomes, because it’s the seeming lack of control which unnerves and excites us.

On the other hand, when things are going well and those buses, jobs, opportunities and (potential) lovers all start lining up, it’s hard to complain...

I’m feeling like that just now.  I have the distinct impression that after months of Luck being a Man, lately in several areas of my life, my goals and hopes are advancing, my Luck is becoming a Lady again.  It’s too early to say exactly how, so I’ll save it perhaps for another blog, but years in showbiz has taught me that when the phone doesn’t ring there is not a damn thing you can do about it, but when it starts ringing again you better be ready for it.  So I am.  I’m on it.  Out and about with leads and connections starting to flourish.  I’m not ‘in the pocket’ yet, as some say when musicians jam and everything locks together perfectly, but I’m back on the table and the bets are on.

Funnily enough that reminds me of a silly anecdote.  It seems with me there really is “always a story”...   

Several years ago I was alone in Mt Cook, a remote town at the top of Queensland – with a harbour into which Captain Cook famously limped, when his ship, the Endeavour, tore her hull to shreds on the great coral reef.  I’d struck up a rapport with a sexy stranger called Matt (as you do) and in pretty much the only pub in this isolated outback town, the Mt Cook Hotel, we were playing pool together. 

I had been playing badly and was running out of excuses, when I remembered the advice of my good friend, Felice.  On occasions when he was beating me at tennis or bowling, or pretty much anything except long-distance running, he would give me the kind of encouragement which makes sense to a performer: “Julie, just act like a tennis player… believe you are good at it”.  And sure enough my serves started to go over the net and into the right square. 

Well, leaning over the billiard table, cue in hand, big strong handsome man watching, I adopted Felice’s attitude and acted like a pool pro.  I imagined I was playing in a serious tournament and knew what I was doing.  I suspended my disbelief, as actors are trained to do, and voila… that night in Mt Cook I sunk THREE BALLS in a row.  The only time in my life, I might add, that I’ve done it! 

Matt was almost as delighted as I was.  He came around the table with a huge smile on his face, just the right amount of sweat glistening on his incredibly appealing upper arms and shoulders, shown off to maximum advantage in the typical northern garb of a Bonds singlet, and he grabbed me in a hug so huge it lifted me off the ground.  My head was light.  I felt a million dollars.  And when he put me down, this time he kept his arm around me. 

Mmmm, a very nice memory when Luck was a Lady… with a little bit of help from her subject who needs to respond when the call comes.  And we didn’t just have those days together in Mt Cook and Port Douglas (my favourite spot in north Queensland), my very own Hugh-Jackman-look-alike even took me to lunch when he passed through Sydney some months later.    

My only regret was that my brothers and sister, Rebecca, who is an excellent pool player, weren’t there to witness it.  They’d put my THREE BALLS story down to dehydration or heat mirage.  And yeah, it really was hot up there in Mt Cook… ooh, very hot… but I guess it was one of those moments you just had to be there for!

So Ms Luck, can you hang around a while please in London?  ‘Cause when you’re a real Lady, Luck flows in multiple directions.