Blogs are like Tequila. They should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lucy's Last Minute Gift Ideas.

Holy Mother of Christ (not blasphemy, she deserves a mention at this time of year), it is Christmas Day tomorrow. Are you ready for it? Are you prepared for a midnight visit from the man who sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake (don’t get me started on how creepy THAT is)? Have you stretched your stomach in preparation? Have you decorated a dead tree? Have you made sure someone is bringing the cranberry sauce?


I’m pretty lucky this year, because I have somewhat managed to talk my way out of buying most Christmas presents. This is how the phone conversation went with my sister last week:

Me: Have you got me a present yet?
Laura: Nup. Have you got me a present yet?
Me: Nup….. Wanna just go out for lunch?
Laura: Yep.

So that was easy. And thank the Mother of Christ (she’d have been in labour right about now) for my big sis, she pretty much organised the presents for Mum and Dad. My extended family do a Christmas Draw so that we all get one good quality present on the big day (as opposed to a bunch of small crap), and I finally got my gift for Uncle Ken organised yesterday (does anyone else find Uncles in general to be just about IMPOSSIBLE to buy for??). However, chances of me waking up tomorrow morning and remembering at least one relative that I’ve forgotten to buy for are high. So I have a back-up plan.

Lucy’s last minute gift ideas.

(And by last minute, I mean last minute. The final desperate sixty seconds before the allocated gift-giving time.)

1. A rap song.
Who doesn’t love a good bit of white-girl-improvised -rap? Take the relative’s name and drop a beat. Go with the flow and start rhyming, yo (see how easy it is?) and if all else fails, just use the lyrics of a Christmas Carol with a few swear words. “Dashing through the motherf*ckin’ snow, ___(insert relative’s name here)____ is a HO HO HO” (don’t be afraid to be offensive, it’s what Eminem would do).*

2. An interpretive dance. 
While we are on the improvised-art bandwagon, why not do a contemporary movement piece based on the recipient’s life? From foetus ** to teenager to adult, all explained through the magic of spontaneous dance. You don’t need music, just hum a bit. And always end on your knees, reaching up to the sky, and then curling into a ball (so the audience knows the majesty has come to a conclusion).

3. Batteries.
Always a handy gift, and always something that you’d already have on hand in a gift-giving emergency (i.e. in the back of the remote). Write a gift-tag that says ‘present not included’.

4. A block of wood.
My clever Uncle gave this as a present to my Mum one year, with the ominous promise ‘I will carve this into ANYTHING you want it to be’ (I do believe that block of wood remains as a block of wood somewhere in the shed, but perhaps one day it’ll reach its’ full potential…). You surely will be able to find a block of wood somewhere. If an emergency, cut off an unimportant table leg or cupboard door.

5. A list of self-improvement tips.
Someone I know – and for the life of me I can’t remember which of my fabulous friends it is (do speak up!) – received this gift once. A housemate gave him a list of ‘Things You Could Improve About Yourself’. It included something like ‘you tend to sweat a lot on your forehead… perhaps you could work on that’. This could be a brilliant idea for a relative, and at the very least, will make for a fun family argument.

And a final tip: If you have forgotten to buy wrapping paper, just grab some paper that says ‘Happy Birthday’ on it, and add in ‘…Jesus’.

Demetri Martin and Jesus. Both excellent thinkers.

So there is no need for you to panic tomorrow, I’ve got you covered. Just sit back, relax, don’t choke on the penny in the Christmas Pudding, and enjoy the moment of gift-giving. If you end up with the worst gift of all, think of it as the gift that keeps on giving… Give it to someone else next year. And remember that the gifts aren’t even the best part. After all, Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and celebrating the birth of the man who gave us so much.


Merry Christmas everyone!

*In case you were wondering why I seem to be so brilliant at the rap stuff, I was actually kind of a big deal when I was fourteen. I was a rap singer in a girl band. We performed strictly covers at Junior School socials around Adelaide, and I channelled Lil Kim and Missy Elliot. Boom.

**I have actually been involved in a friend’s contemporary dance piece where I danced the part of a foetus. Or more specifically, an abortion. So if you need any foetal choreography tips, I’m your gal.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably writing a rap song for her Uncle Ken.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How the f**k is it December?

I woke up this morning in the same fashion that I have been waking up for the last two weeks. Not by sneezing straight up into the air, fortunately (though the colder months do sometimes lead me to wake myself up in this charming sneeze-shower fashion). This morning, just as I have every day since December 1, I woke up with a shocking question echoing through my empty (and often hungover, thanks to the Silly Season) brain.

How the fuck is it December?

Does anyone else feel like they blinked and this year went past? Some of the weeks got ripped off the calendar, surely. Yesterday it was August, when I was whinging about the cold weather (and sneeze-shower wake-up calls). The day before that was April, when I was ‘preparing’ for the coming winter by eating twice as much, in the manner of a bear preparing to hibernate (note that I will use absolutely any excuse to eat extra food, including ‘phantom pregnancy’, ‘acting exercise’, ‘starving children in Africa’, ‘because I felt like it’ and ‘it looked delicious’). Two weeks ago, I woke up, looked at my diary, and suddenly realised it was December, with Christmas shit everywhere and social drinking events increasing by 200%.

I love Christmas, I’m just not ready for it to be here yet. Not least because I now fear that I will go to sleep on Christmas night and when I wake up it will already be the middle of 2014. I’m not done with this year yet – I haven’t even made my New Year’s resolutions for 2013. I definitely haven’t done my Christmas shopping, and I am shocked by the people who had that sorted months ago (really, stop showing the rest of us up, would ya?).

I remember saying to Mum once, “By golly gosh mumsy, I can’t believe how fast Year Seven has gone!” (In my memories, I like to pretend my youth was like an episode of The Brady Bunch and I was Cindy... but really I was more like Milhouse from The Simpsons). Mum’s response was one of the scariest things I’ve ever heard – scary because it’s turned out to be so damn true. She looked into my twelve-year-old eyes (magnified by thick Milhouse-style frames) and said, “it only gets faster from here, Luce”. And holy frigging hell, was she right.

I apparently slept through Years Nine to Eleven, because I don’t remember them much. Uni was done and dusted before I’d bought the right text books (although I did a degree in Music Theatre, so by ‘text books’, I mean ‘glitter-covered spankies’). Everything since has disappeared in a matter of naps and TV dinners. My friends keep getting engaged and mortgaged. Some of them are even having kids. I’m so behind my responsibility bell curve, I’m still yet to figure out that ‘tax deductible’ does not mean ‘free’. I’m still trying to understand that Mars Bars are not a breakfast food. I still get excited to find myself out on a school night, which should not be surprising to myself after so many years of funemployment*. I still get excited that I’m allowed to decide if I want McDonalds for dinner. Being a ‘grown-up’ is awesome... but how the hell did it happen so fast?

In my busier months (when I have MORE THAN ONE THING TO ACCOMPLISH PER DAY - it’s a frightening feeling to lushes like me), I have to turn down various opportunities with the phrase “I don’t have time”. In my slower months (aka now), I get to stop and think about that phrase. “I don’t have time”. Have time. Time is never something we have. We can’t own it. We can’t speed it up or slow it down. If you want to get really existential, you can blow your mind out by thinking about the fact that time is a man-made concept and therefore only exists if we choose to obey it**. There are only two things we can do with time – use it wisely, or watch it go past. I reckon a little bit of both is just right. Have the time of your life one day, and then let time pass you by the next. Go out for a good time, and then take time off. Take some time away from home, spend some time on yourself. Time flies, but you’ve got all the time in the world. Time is never enough. Timing is everything. Time after time after time.

However you spend it, time is the present, and the present is a gift.  A Christmas gift that comes faster every bloody year.

Alright, gotta go. Time for dinner.

*Funemployment – the name we actors have given to our daily activities. I do work very hard to chase my dreams and scrape together savings, but I also have a looooot of time for wandering through $2 shops, napping on park benches in the sun and attending any/every social event as an excuse to peel myself from the ass-dent in my couch.

** This thought is so heavy (and possibly stupid/untrue) that  it hurts my brain, but I didn’t come up with it – a student once used it as an excuse for his lateness to a class I was teaching. I retaliated with “I know you are but what am I?” because I didn’t get it.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's probably got time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear Homophobic Stranger.

Dear Homophobic Stranger,

I need to confess something to you. When I was nineteen, I French-kissed a chubby Colombian boy in a doorway of an alleyway. It was quite funny, really. He said to me, in a heavy Hispanic accent, "in ten seconds, you weell get zee best keess of your life. One... Two... I can’t wait to keess these lips... Three... Four... Your eyes shine like zee moon on zee water”. He finally got to ten (and I somehow managed to hold back my laughter and vomit), and we proceeded to have a fairly average and brief makeout session.

Why am I telling you this horrible piece of over-information? Because you seem to think other people’s sex lives directly affect you.

One of my favourite things about this incredibly lucky country that we live in is that everyone, even hate-filled weirdos like you, is entitled to their own opinion. You are allowed to fear whatever you want, just as I am allowed to call you a hate-filled weirdo. In the interest of free speech, I’d like to try and explain to you why there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of gay people, and how stupid it is to want to stop them from getting married.

When I was about twelve, I was telling my Mum about one of the many boys from my dancing school, and how I wanted him to marry one of the girls because they’d make a cute couple. Mum pointed out that she thought he’d grow up to be gay* (she was right, as mothers so often are). I denied Mum’s predictions, mortified at the idea. I didn’t know any gay people. How was I supposed to act around him? How was I supposed to feel? How did this affect ME? It only took five minutes of the next dance class with him for me to realise the truth – it didn’t affect me. Not even slightly. His sexuality had as much impact on me as his chosen brand of toothpaste.

Toothpaste. Sexuality. What you put in your mouth is your business.

You know what you need to realise, homophobic stranger? A homosexual person will not try to convince you to become homosexual too. It is not contagious, nor is it a conscious decision. Let me compare your irrational, unjustified fear to my own – spiders. I am absolutely fucking terrified of spiders. I still have nightmares about them a few times a week, in which groups of them try to attack me. When I walk into a room and spot one (and I have my very own Spidey Sense that allows me to feel their presence before I spot them), I will often cry, scream, vomit, or faint, or do all four at once. But here’s the thing. In all the times that they have been in the same room as me, even on the occasions they have TOUCHED me, not once has a spider ever, ever, EVER tried to talk me into becoming a spider too. Honestly, they have never done anything to warrant my fear, except be a spider. I do believe you will find similar patterns in the subject of your own unwarranted phobia.

Continuing with comparing your fear with mine, never has a spider tried to attack me either. Is this something you’re afraid of? That a gay man might try to bite you? I have encountered a lot of gay men and I have encountered a lot of spiders, and I have only been bitten by each of these species once. On the occasion that my gay friend bit me, it was because he was instructed to by a director as part of an acting scene. This had nothing to with his sexual preferences, and everything to do with him being an actor following directions, and even then, he was gentle, kind, and apologetic. Perhaps you should be scared of bizarre directors instead? 

The time that the spider bit me was not because he was trying to attack me. Despite my lifelong struggles with arachnophobia, no spider has ever run towards me with his front legs clenched into fists, ready to bash me and then suck my blood (just like they do in my dreams). In reality, the time I got bitten was because a spider was in my bed, and I lay down on top of it. He got confused and scared, and he lashed out in protection of his own life. I forgave him, because it was my fault for scaring him. If you were to lie down on top of a gay man in your bed, he might get confused and scared too. Homosexual people, like most decent human beings, will not attack you if you do not provoke them. The sad truth is, some gay people have had to deal with provocation their whole lives, and yet they end up attacking themselves, because people like you make them feel unnecessarily ashamed.

On Saturday, the first same-sex marriages took place in Australia. Those couples, after a lifetime of waiting to be allowed to get this far, still have to wait to find out if their marriages are considered legally binding. I just cannot fathom WHY THE FUCK anyone is against it. I’m happy for spiders to go and live their own happy lives, because it does NOT AFFECT ME. Two people getting married does not affect you anymore than two tipsy nineteen year-olds making out in a darkened doorway. It does not affect your marriage (unless your partner believes in supporting same-sex marriage and it’s a point of contention between you – in which case, they are way too good for you, and you should hold on to them as best as you can). It does not affect your sex life. You are welcome to explain to me in what ways it DOES affect you, because I just do not understand it.

Is it a religious thing? If so, it is not something I am equipped to speak much about, given that I am not really a religious person. However, I would’ve thought that the Big Guy upstairs would be about as happy for you to hate a group of people for their sexual preferences as he was about Hitler not liking brunettes**. Is it because you worry about a child having two parents of the same sex? Children have been successfully raised by same-sex couples for many years, just as well as they have been raised by single parents. The only people we should worry about starting a family are the ones who will encourage hatred and bullying in their own children. Teach your child to love people for their souls, not their sexual preferences. While you’re at it, teach yourself about it too. Your child might bring home a partner of the same sex one day, and it would be a bit awkward for everyone if you were to scream, vomit, cry and faint in one go.

There is no need for you to be afraid, nor is there a need for you to hurt the people you are afraid of by not supporting their right to be happy. I don’t ever hurt spiders, even the one that bit me. I set them free and encourage them to live their happy lives, and stay out of my bed. You should do the same for the lovely gay people you’re so afraid of. Although, I can’t imagine any lovely gay people would want to be in bed with a homophobic stranger. They generally save their love for other lovely gay people. Which they will keep on doing, whether you allow them to get married or not. That’s the truth. Men and women will continue to sleep with each other in various patterns, positions and places, as will you. How do you like to do it? Actually, never mind. I don’t want to know.

Your sex life is absolutely none of my business.

Lots of  love (gay, straight, bi-sexual and otherwise),

*This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he took dance lessons. As a performing artist, I do meet many gay people in the industry, but there are also many straight men, just as there are gay men in every industry in the world. You can bet your bottom dollar that my boys will be doing ballet lessons from age three. If they do grow up to be gay, I’ll know it’s because I’m a lucky parent, not because they have a nice arabesque. 

**Okay, no one is as bad as Hitler, but my point is to be accepting and full of love. If I can do it for hairy, venomous spiders, you can do it for beautiful humans with hearts of gold and sexual preferences that are none of your business. 

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's probably brushing her teeth... but that's none of your business.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What I’ve Learned From Four-Year-Olds.

After an overwhelming response to last week’s blog, I was panicking to find a topic this week. A whole week of panicking. My Nutella levels went through the roof. Then I had one of the best conversations of my life with a four-year-old boy, and things made better sense. Things always make better sense when you spend a few minutes with a four-year-old.

I’m an actor, which means I am a nanny and a children’s entertainer (because most actors don’t work as actors). Working with children was a natural choice for me. Children get me, and I get them. It doesn’t say much for my maturity levels, but I don’t care. The other day, I chatted with a kid about what animal Grug might be for a good hour and a half (seriously, what the fuck is that thing?) and it became a existential chat about what defines a creature. Four-year-olds don’t worry about asking big questions. They don’t edit their imagination, or filter their statements. Four-year-olds just say it. And sometimes, their wisdom just about knocks me out.

What I’ve learned from four-year-olds.

Have faith in yourself and your work.
I watched a little girl, four years old, scribbling on a piece of paper as if her life depended on it. I asked her what she was doing. “I’m writing a really good story!” she responded, arm moving frantically. “What’s it about?” I asked. “I don’t know! I can’t read!” she said, shrugging her shoulders incredulously at my stupid question.  I asked her how she knew the story was good if she couldn’t read it. She looked up at me, thought for one second, and saidI feel it in my tummy”. Then went back to scribbling. If only we could all have that much faith in our own intuition.

Everything has a silver lining.
I get a major kick out of reading bedtime stories. Lying next to the kids in bed, I go into ‘actor’ mode, inventing voices for the characters and pretending I’m on Play School, meanwhile defeating the purpose of trying to calm the children down before sleep time. One time, I got right into a book about zoo animals. Rhythmic rhyming structure, characters with accents – this book was brilliant. After one of the greatest performances of my career, I finished with gusto, closed the book and said, “That was a GREAT book! Did you like that book, Lachy?” to which he replied “I hated it. But it did have a monkey”. If that’s not finding a silver lining, I don’t know what is.
If you have everything you already want, just spread the love.
At a fairy party, there is always a special moment where I teach the kids how to make a Special Fairy Wish. To make a Special Fairy Wish, you blow a kiss in the air, catch it, and then whisper your wish to it. Once you have whispered, you rub your hands together until the wish gets warm with magic (or friction...) and then throw it into the air. One time, there was a gorgeous little chubby-cheeked girl, concentrating so hard that she had her eyes screwed up and tongue out, and I just HAD to lean in and listen to her wish. To my astonishment, she whispered “I wish... I wish... I LOVE PRINCESS DIANA”, and then, looking extremely satisfied with her choice, rubbed her wish between her hot little hands and threw it in the air. It was 2009, 12 years post-Diana*... but if you have nothing to wish for, why not throw some love in the air?

Technology is nothing to be scared of.
I was at the playground (nannying, not hanging out) and a little boy runs up to me.
Boy: “Hi. I’m Ned. I’m four. My favourite TV show is SuperTed.”
Me: “What? That was my favourite show when I was little, how have you seen that?”
Boy: “Duh. I just YouTubed it on my iPad.”
(This kid was wearing Velcro-ed sneakers, so he was still unable to tie shoelaces, and yet he was capable of using a YouTube search engine. I’m not sure if this is a good priority system or a bad one, but it was intimidatingly awesome, and made me want to learn how to properly use the new version of iTunes. I did... and then they bloody changed it again. I need Ned.)

Keep your feet on the ground.
A four-year-old girl asked me "what did you want to be when you growed up?”. I said "I still want to be an actor!" She looked me up and down, seeing me in the colourful outfit I wear as a party entertainer, and said, "Oh... It's not really working out for you, is it?". Then she sort of patted me on the hand and went off to play with some cushions. Humbling to say the least.

All you need is love.
At the end of a party, we often will do a little dance concert for the parents. Right before the parents walk in, I say to the kids “Okay! What do we have to remember when we show our Mummies and Daddies our dance?” aiming for the essentials of remembering to smile, to have fun, to shake our pom poms (LITERAL pom poms, not euphemistic pom poms, before you call Child Services), and so on. This year, I got a golden response from one little girl, who simply said, “that they love us”. I almost burst into tears. She was right – their performance quality didn’t matter, or whether they remembered to smile or shake their pom-poms (again, literal). The parents love it every time. As long as your parents love you, you can’t put a foot wrong.


Never worry about trivial pursuits such as what to write on a little blog page, because some people have far more important shit to deal with.
At work, a spider dropped down from the ceiling and landed in front of a little boys’ face. I was alerted to this fact by an almighty blood-curdling scream (pretty sure the spider will need hearing aids forever more), I turned around as the white-faced, wide-eyed little tacker threw himself off his chair and into his mum’s loving arms. A couple of minutes later, after his mum had performed some grade-A soothing cuddles and I had removed the spider**, he returned to his chair, still hiccupping and with wet eyelashes. I knelt down next to him, apologised, and told him that when I had taken the little spider outside, the spider had turned around and told me he didn’t mean to scare the little boy, he just wanted to be friends. I asked the little fella, somewhat jokingly, if maybe he thought he might be Spiderman. He took this very seriously, and slowly responded “I might be. I do really like my Spiderman costume. Maybe I’m just too little to know yet.” He asked if I thought it likely that the spider had looked through his roof and seen him in his Spiderman costume, then followed him to the party. By this point, I was on a high from imagination excitement and being close to so much cuteness. I agreed with him that yes, the spider probably had seen him in his costume and known that this boy was the future Spiderman, so they better be friends now. My little man looked off into the distance, with a furrowed brow and dreamy wide eyes, and said “Wow.... I have a lot to think about”.

I thought I had a lot to live up to. 

The biggest lesson from the small stuff: Don't sweat the small stuff.

Thanks for the beautiful response to the Adelaide post last week.

To the negative responders - hang out with a four-year-old ASAP.

*In case you are curious why a four-year-old could have such an interest in Princess Diana 12 years A.D (After Di), I asked her mum at the end of the party, and she sheepishly admitted to having a lot of Diana paraphernalia including a wall of collectable china plates. Like mother, like daughter.

**I am absolutely terrified of spiders, to the point where I still have nightmares around once a week. But this spider was smaller than a 5c coin, looked mildly friendly, and had had a pretty bad day, so I was sympathetic to his condition.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's probably Googling 'what the fuck is Grug?'.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Adelaide Doesn’t Need Your Approval.

This is going to be a rant, but I’ll try and make it funny and I’ll include the word ‘asshat’. Bear with me.

I’m from Adelaide. I’ve lived in Melbourne for seven years – not because I don’t want to live in Adelaide, but because I wanted to challenge myself by moving away – and I find myself having to defend my city’s honour on a daily basis. That much, I can deal with (since I took up kickboxing). But then, this happened.

A douchebag who shall remain nameless (alright, his name is Anthony Sharwood) recently wrote a sarcastic article* about Adelaide’s recent accolade as one of Lonely Planet’s Top Cities in the World. I read his article a couple of weeks ago, and I put my anger on simmer. And then today I stumbled across a photo I’d forgotten about that I took earlier this year of a man on a tram in Melbourne wearing an Anti-SA t-shirt. And my blood went from simmer to boil. But you know what I realised about these two dickwads who couldn’t tell their ass from their elbow? You know what I would say to these wankers if ever I felt like starting a conversation with two men who, put together, have less personality than a box of hair?

Adelaide doesn’t need your approval. If you don’t want to live here... bugger off. Shut up about it. We are doing fine without you.

You know what, dirty tram-man? You are wearing a leopard print hat, three old Sexpo wrist tags and a Hustler bag.
Adelaide didn't want you anyway.

Sharwood referred to Adelaide, among other things, as ‘dysfunctional’ (as well as calling us ‘bitchy’. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw catty articles across the internet, ASSHAT). Our city is fucking brilliant. Everything is easy to find because good ol’ Colonel William Light planned it properly, on a grid. We have a beautiful, syringe-less beach only a tram ride away. Our CBD is surrounded by parklands that harbour far less sexual activity than yours by a buttload (pun intended). Yes, Elizabeth may be our ghetto suburb, but you can bet your ass we’d fiercely protect it against the slumlords that might travel over from Sydney’s bogan areas. At least our ghetto doesn’t cause riots that make the WORLD FUCKING NEWS (way to make Australia look good, Redfern. I mean, Maroubra. Cronulla? Shit, I don’t remember, there’s been too bloody many of them).

And as for referring to the Fringe festival as “an excuse to get really drunk in the park while watching B-Grade acts because no decent act ever makes it to Adelaide”. Come a little closer and say that. Our Fringe is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, second only in the world to Edinburgh, with over 4000 performers and 1.5 million audience members. Yours is three years old and the biggest in New South Wales between Woy Woy and Wollongong. Accept defeat and don’t be a bitch, Sharwood. Your city is also notoriously bad at nurturing the Arts and new acts. You may have NIDA and the Sydney Theatre Company, but when it comes to the Arts, we are more supportive than a DD-cup push-up bra. You also used a forty-year-old photograph to criticise our fashion sense, and made fun of a lagoon ecosystem. Were you running out of ideas, much?

I frigging loved growing up in Adelaide. I love that the three most magical places of my youth had magical names – The Lost Forest, Dazzleland, and Magic Mountain. What’s even more magical is that they no longer exist, except perfectly in my memory. I love that getting stuck in peak hour traffic means only having to slow down to 30kph for twenty minutes of the day. I love that you have a good chance of bumping into people you went to school with, most likely out at a pub that has been around for years but a recent revamp has made it become cool again. I love that there are a million great restaurants and bars, and that you people from interstate seem to have no idea where to find them (what are you, idiots? Ask locals, get on Google - the good places in any city are easy to find if you have half a brain). I love that I have no knowledge of wine, but I feel safe that it will be good enough when I read ‘made in SA’ on the label. I love that we speak with a slight English accent. I love that, on my 21st birthday, I got to dance with a local celebrity – Johnny Haysman**. I love that we reportedly live longer than Melbournites and Sydney-Siders (maybe from being kinder humans, dicknose). I love that we have special terms like ‘heaps good’ and ‘fritz’ and ‘yiros’, like our own little language. I love that I once saw some door graffiti that said "Look at yourself. Go on, look. You are beautiful." (And a week later in Sydney saw door graffiti that said "You are a c*nt-fucker"...). I love that Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee outsells Coca-cola by almost three-to-one, the only city in the world where a milk drink is more popular than Coke. I love Adelaide.
I casually snapped this myself (and then instagrammed it in a never ending attempt to be cool), of one of my many favourite Adelaide spots.
And you know what the absolute best thing about Adelaide is? We laugh at ourselves. We admit we aren’t perfect. We admit we have a stupid expressway, and a few shark attacks. We admit we own the heritage of Snowtown as proudly as you admit you own that of Ivan Milat (a.k.a. not proudly at all). But at least we have never required a season of Underbelly. We don’t feel the need to be arrogant about which is the best city or put others down (unless they piss us off with stupid sarcastic articles). We are also happy to openly love other cities. I love Melbourne. Despite my rant, I actually love Sydney (so thanks a lot for forcing me to play dirty and say mean things, Sharwood). And maybe it’s that lack of arrogance and bitchiness that keeps getting us voted as one of the BEST AND MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN THE WORLD. And we are more thick-skinned than any of the other cities because we get so much crap from Melbourne and Sydney (except probably Hobart, those two-headed Tassy freaks get a lot of flak). Adelaide is the harmless little kid at school who got picked on by the self-important bullies. She stayed quiet and kept true to herself, and slowly started to get recognised for being beautiful and kind. Unlike the coke-snorting, king-hitting, street-walking bullies, who will wake up one day and realise they have no friends left, no money for rent, and a bad reputation for being a bitch.

I once heard that Adelaide and Los Angeles are the only two cities with lights that twinkle from outer space – something to do with the shape of the hills that surround the city, trapping in twinklifying gasses. Whether the outer space thing is true, I don’t know – I’ll get back to you once I’ve been up there. But I know that I can see them twinkling and blinking from the hill behind my parent’s house. Like the million good things we have to offer, our twinkly lights are only appreciated by those who have the perceptiveness to notice them. So, Anthony Shart-wood and dirty tram-man, come on back to Adelaide. Let me show you around properly (and I promise not to push you in the Torrens... more than once). And if you end up hating it, that’s fine. Thanks for giving it a real go, and have a safe onward journey. Adelaide will be okay without you. In fact, it will be more than okay. Adelaide will still be awesome, quietly rocking out behind your back as you drive away, its’ lights twinkling in your rear-view mirror.

*If you want to read that article, I hope you read it with a sneer on your face and a snarl in your throat. Feel free to leave him a rude comment, or pee in his fuel tank.

**For those readers who are not familiar with Johnny Haysman, he is a local who can often be found wandering around Rundle Mall in gumboots, briefs, and a fluoro vest. Like New York’s Naked Cowboy, but with crazier hair and an incredible outlook on life. We danced to a Spice Girls song at Flashdance HQ, and I was giddy with happiness.

Me and Johnny Haysman - An extremely happy moment.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's in Melbourne... ironically.

Monday, November 11, 2013

How To: Not Be A Shitty Flight Passenger

Air travel. Be it known that I am not the perfect flight passenger. I once fell asleep and drooled on the shoulder of the lady next to me. She was very polite and did not say anything, but I woke up from a deep sleep leaning over her shoulder with a little wet patch near the lapel. Neither of us looked each other in the eye all the way to the baggage carousel and beyond. I also once fell asleep (sensing a pattern?!) so heavily that I didn’t hear any of the soon-to-be-landing announcements, and when the plane touched down and jolted me awake, I screamed because I thought we were crashing. Although my fellow passengers were highly entertained, I couldn’t look ANYONE in the eye to the baggage carousel and beyond.

Regardless of my (usually sleep-induced) flaws, my recent international flights have tipped me over the edge on how much other passengers can piss me off. If we all just followed a few simple guidelines (ignoring the obvious rule that I have already broken, do NOT dribble on your fellow passengers), then perhaps some of the angst would be taken out of travelling on the steel birds, and our only concern would be how much Jetstar is charging for a shit cardboard sandwhich, and why the pilot sounds stoned*. So here ’tis.

How To: Not Be A Shitty Flight Passenger (or, How To: Give a Flying F*ck)

I have both hated and been all of these passengers.
  1. Calm the fuck down, we all WILL get on and off the plane. There is no need for you to stand in a huge queue to get on board. There is no need for you to push in the line. There is no need for you to stand up the moment the aeroplane wheels connect with the tarmac, with your head bent at an uncomfortable angle under the seatbelt sign, in a bid to be the first to de-board. The flight attendants will stand there calmly until the plane is full/empty, and whether you are the first or last one on/off the plane, you are still going to have to wait for another fifteen minutes until the flight taxis out or the baggage hits the carousel. So Calm. The fuck. Down.
  2. Get your shit out of your bag BEFORE you board. The reason we end up standing in line on the plane for so long is because some wanker sat in the gate lounge for twenty minutes, got up, swiped his boarding pass, got to his seat, and THEN decided to remove his jacket, change into his jumper, get out his laptop, locate his iphone in his wanker briefcase, put his briefcase in the overhead locker, go back to it to get his wanky book out, and then FINALLY sit down while we all aged twelve years in the line. Dear wanker, think about what you need before you get on the plane, and we can avoid all the stupid hold-ups.
  3. Keep your elbows to yourself. We are sharing that arm rest between us, so SHARE. And stop poking me in the ribs.
  4. When you put your seat back, do it gently. (And preferably, if you are in front of me, don’t put it back at all...)  More than once the dickhead in front of me has slammed his chair back at a random point in the flight, and I have spilt coffee all over my lap. Gentle.
  5. If the seatbelt sign is on, put your frigging seatbelt on. You are not special, even if you are in a rush to get off the plane (see point one, moron). Sit down, get over yourself, and put your frigging seatbelt on.
  6. If you have a naughty child, at least pretend to look guilty. I was once sat next to a kid who made Dennis the Menace look like an angel. He would not sit still or put his seatbelt on, he kept aiming his little Army tanker at me and pretending to shoot me in the boob, he sang “the song that never ends” for a solid half hour, and he burped and blew it in my direction at least three times. We were both lucky to survive that flight – I could’ve died from annoyance, and he could’ve died from strangling. But the thing that pissed me off the most was that his mum just pretended nothing was happening. Didn’t even TRY to shut him up. If she had at least pretended to care, I would’ve smiled sympathetically and politely blown his burp back away. But instead, I fantasised about opening the Emergency Exit and either jumping, or throwing him out of it.
  7. Don’t be annoying. If you are playing games on your phone or some other device, turn the bloody sound off. Or risk me hitting you over the head with said device.
  8. Politely say hello to your neighbour at the beginning of the flight. Chances are, you will be touching intimately at some point or other, so if your neighbour says hello to you, say hello back and don’t be rude. You might even get to eat their dessert if they don’t want it (providing you are on a fancy free-food flight like Qantas).
  9. Extra wide seats. This is not a rule, but it is an interesting concept. Apparently Airbus is considering offering wider, 20-inch aisle seats to obese passengers, while the other two remaining seats in the aisle will be decreased from the standard 18-inch seat to a slightly squishier 17-inch seat. Given that I spent my recent 10-hour flight back from USA with only 75% of my seat, as an obese 12-year-old boy’s rear end** claimed one quarter of it, I could make do with a 17-inch seat... BUT only if it meant I got to pay 3 inches less than the extra wide seat passengers. I’m happy for people to enjoy their doughnuts, but I’m not happy when it means I’m caught between a butt cheek and a hard place. 
  10. And lastly, but possibly most importantly: No gaschambers. Just because the engine is loud, doesn’t mean we all lose our sense of smell. Even if your fart is silent, it still smells deadly. And there is nowhere for us to run.

Most passengers are excellent and abide by these rules subconsciously, because they are polite and functioning human beings. But if any of these have surprised you, then perhaps you should take them on board (pun intended). Whether you’re a seasoned flying professional or a nervous rookie, follow these guidelines, and at the very least, you will avoid getting thrown out of the Emergency Exit by a disgruntled fellow passenger. Me.

I can’t promise I won’t dribble on you, though...

*This was drawn to my attention recently and now I can’t stop noticing it. Pilots have a very specific.... uhhhh, laidback.... way. Of speaking. In short.... uhhhhh, broken.... sentences. Almost as if they are not quite concentrating, or too relaxed to form a whole sentence. They also sometimes give way more information than necessary – “we are currently flying at 66,000 feet.... uh... with a ground speed of  blah blah... uhhhhhh.... the temperature is currently... uhhhhhhhhhhh. We have a tail wind, the humidity is peaking, and my Grandma’s name is Hilda.”

**Please let it be known that I felt sorry for this chubby little fella, and a little judgey of his mum who fed him four doughnuts during the flight. And also, jealous of the four doughnuts he got during the flight.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably dribbling on a stranger.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I'm currently doing an acting course in LA. That's not something to brag about, anyone can do an acting course in LA. If you throw a stone here, you will hit a sign advertising an acting course. As well as a hobo with a sign saying "need $$ for weed" and a rapper giving out 'free' demo CDs in exchange for cash (which, I like to point out and then run away, IS NOT FREE). There is a shit tonne of acting courses in LA - some dodgy, some exclusive, some in between. I have done two courses on this trip, both terrifying and incredible, and combined with my wealth of knowledge from my brilliant teachers at home, I am full to the brim with acting inspiration.


Teachers often ask the same ice-breaking question in the first few minutes of class. 'Why are you here?' is not necessarily designed to be a philosophical, soul-searching question, but us painfully-sensitive-observers-of-life actors might take it so. At least, when it was asked two weeks ago, I did*.  It was only the first moment of my first class, and I was already all philosophical and distracted. I don't mean I went off on a spiritual quest for meaning, searching my letterbox for answers and having a Native American woman blow them into my head (in case that image confused you, it was a reference to two great sources of philosophical reasoning... 'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaardner, and The Simpsons Movie). But I did briefly wonder why I was here in LA, with very little money, doing scary classes to try and be a part of an industry that is notoriously soul-destroying. Spending a few weeks walking the streets of Hollywood - streets that are paved with gold and covered with filth, that are lined with commemorative Stars and  littered with cigarette butts, that have been walked by huge movie celebrities and worked by huge transvestite prostitutes - I thought I'd feel lost in a sea of unknown, out-of-work actors who are more jaded than Nephrite**. But, to my great surprise, living in LA for a month has not scared me into working harder or giving up on acting. It has inspired me (to work harder... not give up). To all my Aussie actor buddies who sometimes, like me, feel a bit overwhelmed by the distance between our fingertips and the stars we're reaching for, this is the number one thing I have grasped - there is room for us in Hollywood. There may even be need for us.

Everyone knows this business is a bitch. One time, I was specifically asked to audition for a part I was 'perfect' for in a short film. I was so flattered... until I read my character description. It began, "Fiona. 24. Dumpy, plain, lots of cellulite...." and I was so depressed that I stopped reading and ate six kilos of chocolate instead (that'll show them!! Oh...). We constantly get our flaws pointed out - it's not usually malicious, just matter-of-fact. Here are some things I have heard in the past year, "We might do your close-up on Thursday instead and hope your skin clears up", "You look bigger than the measurements you put on here", "Can you laugh again, but be pretty", "Wow... you have no eyebrows", “We’ll airbrush your ears smaller”, and “You must be the plus-size model”. You wanna have thick skin as an actor. But that thick skin better be tanned and flawless.

Yes, showbusiness can be, to quote Bart Simpson, “a hideous bitch-goddess”. (Cheers, Bart. Nailed it.) But it can also be wonderful and creative and fulfilling, and most of the actors I know are in it for the right reasons - for the love of acting. There's just a lot of bullshit that goes with it, a lot of sucking up and sleazing off, and the time spent doing actual acting is very minimal compared to the time spent dealing with bullshit. But it's all part and parcel, and the teachers I've had have filled me with faith. Not only have they given me incredible acting lessons (thank God, I paid them a shit tonne), but they have proved how do-able an acting career is, and that there is actually a shortage of the right type of actors. Ones who have more drive than a... car? (It's late and I have done hours of classes today - I'm out of analogies). Most importantly, I learned this month to not let the bullshit discourage me, and to remember a few essential things.

Hard work pays off. A lot of people who call themselves 'actors' are not actually putting in any work. This concept was given to me by one of my teachers. You're acting career is a business. Now, imagine if you were running another business. As the boss, if you woke up at ten, went to the gym, met a friend for lunch, maybe made a phone call in the afternoon, took a nap, and then called it a day, would the business be very successful? No. Your acting career is the same. Every hour of the day where you are not doing some kind of work towards your goal, someone else is working harder than you. (This concept particularly struck a chord with me... because even though I consider myself a hard-working actor, she basically described my usual 'business' lifestyle... UNTIL NOW!) It is especially important in an industry with so many people vying for so little work. Work hard, and you will be a step above 95% of the actors in the world who are sitting around waiting for opportunities to fall in their lap.

You don't have to be famous to be a working actor. This one has been ringing true to me for a couple of years now. I get so much joy out of being on stage that I feel that I have the best job in the world already. Even if being an extra in a Coles ad is the most 'recognisable' thing I ever do, I plan to be finding and creating work on any scale for the rest of my life. There is actually a lot of work in LA for actors, obviously because most TV shows and films are made here. If acting is what you love, then keep acting. Work towards your goal of stardom, but treat every job as an opportunity to work on your skills and do the thing you love.

You are not on a time limit. Everything worth doing takes time, so if you want to be a great actor, study your ass off and keep acting from now until forever. Also, there is no age bracket that isn't represented in films, so you don't have to peak before you're thirty to be an actor. I did one Musical Improvisation class, and a woman in her late seventies came in after about ten minutes. I expected her to sit and watch, maybe knitting whilst rocking back and forth (she looked like the Granny who owns Tweety Bird, so I thought she'd behave as such). We were doing exercises of Musical Improv, which is the scariest concept on the planet - loudly singing songs you are making up off the top of your head while trying to be funny, rhyme, and find a melodic structure. She got up, was expected to improv a song with a partner in the setting of a Home Depot (Aussies, I think it's like Bunnings). She was hilarious. She was brilliant. She totally fucking nailed it. She made me happy for two reasons - firstly, because I was crying with laughter at her song about love and lightbulbs, and secondly, because I realised I have fifty years to get as good as she is at her age. 

Be kind to yourself. Enough people are going to beat the crap out of you in this industry, so don't be one of them. Know your strengths, work on your weaknesses, know how to sell yourself and when to be humble (by the way, Aussie actors - it's okay to sell yourself sometimes.... American actors - it's okay to be humble sometimes!), but always be kind to yourself. If you didn't succeed in a scene, or a class, or an audition, or a job, shake it off, get over it, and don't beat yourself up.

So, actor friends who feel overwhelmed by the millions of actors trying to 'make it' all over the world, remember that there is room for us. I mean it. This is what I do when I’m overwhelmed – and this will only work for the really hungry actors like me (I use that figuratively AND literally. I’m hungry for success and pizza, in any order):
Hold your hands as far apart as you can, imagining that it stretches a mile. Pretend that’s all the people in the world who have some kind of desire to be an actor.
Now halve that to about shoulder-width. That’s all the ones who are actually entertaining the idea and doing something about it – classes, reading scripts, etc.
Now halve it again. That’s the ones who are actually talented (hopefully you are still in! You’re great! Be kind to yourself!).
Now halve it again. That’s the ones who are willing to work their asses off.
Now halve it again (if you are doing this right, it should be pretty small now...) That’s the ones who would be willing to risk being flat broke for life for it.
Now hold your hands as close together as you can, so they are barely a millimetre apart. That’s you. You are not one of a bajillion actors trying to make it. You are more than that. You are not competing against the millions of people in the mile-long group, you are in the millimetre group of the diehards, and in that little group, there is plenty about you that is unique.
Anyone can be in the mile-length line of actors, anyone can go the extra mile. But you will go the extra millimetre.
I've walked down Hollywood Boulevard every day for my acting class, and I've seen all the empty stars on the Walk of Fame, and all the spare cement yet to be handprinted in front of the Chinese Theatre. You see? There is plenty of room for us.


*Few people know (because I always forget) that I was invited to Camp Aurora (a camp for 'gifted children', or as I recall, a nerd camp where nerdy kids can be full nerds) because, at ten years old, I showed promise in the subject of Philosophy (how, I don't know, as I hadn't known it existed and then kept calling it 'filoffosee'). Camp Aurora was okay but I didn't learn much... I was jealous of the Drama students, Philosophy was shit. Our Camp teacher spent three days asking really big questions, like "Where are we?" and "What is it all about?", and I spent three days asking really big questions like "Where is the food?" and "Can I go home yet?".

**Nephrite is one of the two minerals referred to as Jade. I know that from my rock-collecting days... okay maybe I did belong at nerd camp.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably chasing an acting career or the pizza guy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Humans Are The Shit.

I flew to Hawaii today. I’m not (just) telling you that to make you jealous, promise. I have a point. You had to know it was a flight to Hawaii so that you could understand it was a long distance flight (to Hawaii... did I mention that part?). Anyway, it was a 9.5 hour flight from Sydney, and it was with Jetstar, so it felt like it lasted for four days (for those who are not familiar with Jetstar, it is one of Australia’s budget airlines, so you pretty much BYO chair). And unlike most Jetstar flights, where I am entertaining myself by counting the OHS flaws, something INTERESTING happened on Jetstar Airbus JQ3 (to Hawaii...). Something so interesting, it created a bit of drama and left me grinning ear to ear about us two-legged creatures who speak words and eat plane food. Humans.

Humans are the shit.
It was nighttime (is that even relevant on an international flight? Nighttime sems to be man-made in a Jetstar Airbus) and most people were sleeping. (Except for those people I was jealous of who had forked out $18 for an iPad... I may have deemed it overpriced and unnecessary, but I was still jealous of the guy across the aisle watching The Hangover 3). It's a nice time on the plane when everyone is sleeping. I always get a sense of joyful togetherness, like I want to call out "'Night guys!! Sweet dreams!" when the lights go out, as if we were all at a slumber party and would be having homemade pancakes in the morning*. I am lucky to be a ninja napper, so I can sleep anywhere (if you think that's an understatement, you should know that if I'm tired, I will often nap on a park bench or under a tree. It's amazing I haven't been picked up by the police or the Salvation Army). But although I can sleep easily, I am a very light sleeper, and I was woken during the aeroplane-version-of-night by a commotion behind me. I turned with a few other people to see that, in the aisle on the other side, someone had fainted right near me. I couldn't actually see the Fainter, but I could hear others calling for help, and I determined from their cries that she was a girl of about ten. And then came the beautiful moment - all the humans in earshot leaped into action.
When someone faints, it's human nature at its most beautiful. Whether you're a person who loves drama or hates it, whether you're a leader who rushes forward or an observer who hangs back (and all types are important), "is there anything I can do to help?" is most likely going through your mind. As someone with a lot of experience in fainting (just ask any of my Uni friends), I can pretty much let you know that no, there is very little you can do to help. (What I can tell you, though, is that you should NOT try and stand them up. It’s okay to catch the Fainter – romantic, even... where the fuck where you when I kept fainting? – but their body is doing its’ best to force itself to lie down. Go with the flow and let it!)
On Jetstar Airbus JQ3, Everyone rushed to help. One man soaked tissues in water to put on our little Fainter’s forehead, another lady ran off to get a cup of water from the weird aeroplane tap thingy, and a few women starting calling out, asking  if anyone had a spare bottle of water. Two men knelt down either end of her - as it turns out they were paramedics, coincidentally sitting nearby (good work, little Fainter, excellent choice of location). It was dark on the plane so everyone switched on their overhead lights so they could help the two men see. They were handling things in the calm, reassuring manner that paramedics** do, holding her hand and casually checking her heart rate. The Jetstar hosties finally came and joined the action. It would've been less than two minutes before they showed up, but it felt like forever. I was starting to worry the staff had left the plane, or at the very least stepped outside for a smoke, and us lowly passengers would be left to fend for ourselves (in which case I'd go straight for the $18 iPads).  
If a hostie or a paramedic had told me to open a window, I would have tried. My obedience to authority is an instinct that runs deep and questions nothing. There is often a very clear order of authority in my mind, and a Jetstar Airbus JQ3 fainting incident is no exception. It goes:
  1. Pilot (he's probably my fav person on the plane every time. Unless we are doing that insanely annoying thing where the plane sits at the top of the runway for 15 minutes before taking off - I know he's probably waiting for air traffic or something important, but in my mind he's pulled over for a power nap).
  2. Co-Pilot (I keep him handy in case Pilot dies or needs a power nap).
  3. Paramedics or anyone who can save lives calmly and sexily.
  4. Hosties (because morbidly, I reckon they are the only ones who would know where to put the body if a passenger dies, and also they have the food).
  5. Plebs like me (business class and economy class have no separation on JQ3 in my mind. It's a Jetstar flight, so the business class passengers are still probably poorer than Qantas economy passengers).
So anyway, despite the clear authority order in my mind - and probably instinctively in everyone's mind - absolutely every person watching the action was trying to think of something they could do to help, from pleb to Pilot (no wait, he was busy fiddling with the joystick... That's not even a euphemism). My experience in fainting helped me to know that there was very little to be done, and little Fainter would most likely be fine. But I still was racking my brains trying to think of how I could help. Why? Partly, because fainting on a plane is far more panic-worthy – there is no way to get little Fainter some fresh air or an ambulance. But mainly because it was instinct. I wanted desperately to help, even though I have a track record of accidentally pissing people off when I try. Along with every person watching the drama on the Jetstar Airbus JQ3, I was instinctively wanting to help. Because human nature is beautiful.
No one was offering help out of egotism, or arrogance, or a selfish need to be the hero of the Jetstar Airbus. No one was shutting down ideas or pointing out the authority order. Everyone was just helping, and co-operating, and doing all those other words we try to teach five-year-olds to do. Everyone was just genuinely concerned about their fellow mini-human. It was beautiful.
Once the drama had died down, and little Fainter was back in her seat with five cups of water from her surrounding passengers, and everyone had switched their lights back off and put their inflatable pillows back around their necks, I couldn't help but look around for a while, beaming at all the sleeping faces and post-traumatic-stress dreamers. Just watching my fellow humans in their cramped little seats, and smiling proudly at their nature.
Our little Fainter made a full recovery, by the way. Go Team Jetstar Airbus JQ3.

*As is the nature of Jetstar, all food in-flight must be purchased, so I did not have homemade pancakes for breakfast... I had water and half a fluffy chocolate I found in my handbag. 

**Paramedics have the same effect on me as Codeine - an overwhelming sense of calm and gratefully relinquished control. I'd gladly marry a paramedic. Or a Codeine tablet.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is in Hawaii,                        drinking from a coconut and stroking a monkey (also not a euphemism).

Monday, September 16, 2013

Slut Up And Dumb Down.

I am SO excited about something I heard on the radio. Not the same kind of excited I get when Cadbury brings out a new Marvellous Creation, but mentally stimulated. I heard a news report about a new trend that has emerged among young women called ‘Vocal Fry’ or ‘Creaking’. Girls are actually damaging their larynxes by making that creaky noise with their voice when talking, so that their voice kind of trails off into thin dumb air. Theories abound as to why – perhaps women are trying to speak lower than their natural vocal range in an effort to sound more masculine and dominant, or perhaps it’s part of an obsession young people have with appearing laidback (just think of hipster fashions, bed-hair, etc). Or perhaps, it’s because there is something in the media/water/air that convinces some young girls, just as I’m sure it has for many generations before, that they need to do two things to be liked.

Slut up and dumb down.

As I said, I’m really excited about the Vocal Fry phenomenon, because I find it intensely interesting. I don’t know why young girls – not to mention some older women and celebrities like Katy Perry and Kim KarTrashian – think that weird creaky noise is attractive. It reminds me of being a kid and trying to annoy your sibling by seeing how long and slow you could draw out a creaky note. And of one time when I sat across from a drunk guy on a train and he held it for about twenty-five minutes, and then passed out. It’s not an attractive noise. But a bit of creaking does go nicely hand-in-hand with intelligent phrases such as ‘like, I was totally, like, oh my Gawwwwd’. And I hear these phrases come out of the mouths of some women who are probably a lot smarter than they let on – like the girls on Big Brother or The Bachelor. I get SO fascinated when I do watch reality television (though I am a TV junkie, I generally avoid reality TV because it's not so good for us actor people trying to have a career) by the women who dumb themselves down by changing their voice, vocabulary and IQ. They’ll say something to a camera, or to a boy, or to a flock of girls, like “Oh my gawwwd, I’m like, totally, whateverrrr”, and then a subtitle will say ‘Tara, 29. Speech Pathologist.’ Tara, Tara, Tara*. You must be smart. Why do you seem so dumb?

And while I’m on the rhetorical questions, Tara, why d’ya gotta act so skanky too? I’m not one for name-calling (except affectionately. You know you’re my friend when I give you a rude nickname), so I’m not saying these girls ARE skanks. But the faux-lesbian-dancing**, the bend-and-snapping, the explicit stories that make you sound like the village bicycle – whatever happened to a bit of class? Now, I am all for girls being as sexy/sexual/sexed-up as they want to be – just because I can be a bit prudish, doesn’t mean I don’t have a saucy red dress or two in my wardrobe (although, I do like to primly quote an amazing thing my boss said once about the girls at Melbourne Cup... “Jeez girls, throw your ankles a party and invite your hemline down!!!" BRILLIANT). But it worries and fascinates me that some girls – the same girls who are getting treated for frying their vocal chords – think that they have to compromise their true identity, voice, intelligence and integrity to be more accepted/respected/noticed.

Miley Cyrus. Oh, Miley. Don’t you hate it when you think you’re dancing like Beyonce, and then you  see yourself on video and you actually look like a perverted Mr Bean? Well, it’s never happened to me (I definitely look like Beyonce.... but won’t ever risk watching video just in case)... but it must’ve sucked for little Miley when she came down from the high induced by whatever she smoked before she put on those chicken-ass hotpants. I bet she feels really sheepish (as sheepish as a chicken-ass can feel) now that she has seen footage of her insanely unco dancing and foam finger antics. Miley’s not a dumb girl, surely. I don’t know her personally – she never returns my calls – but up until she flirted with shaved-head-emotional-meltdown territory (of which Britters Spears shall always be Queen), she seemed to have her head screwed on pretty tight. Okay, I honestly hardly paid any attention to her, so I have no idea how tightly her head was screwed on (such a weird term when you think about it too long). Until I was corrected, I thought Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana were sisters. I actually said to my friend “Poor Miley, she’ll never be as famous as her sister”... and then had the truth explained to me through fits of pitying laughter. But Miley has seemed entirely inoffensive and smart until now. So either she has gone off the rails a bit – understandable, when you are caught up in the world of Hollywood, Disney and Famous-Mulleted-Fathers – or she is trying to create a new image for herself. A new ‘sexy’ image, that has started with her slutting herself up, dumbing herself down.... and disguising her ass as a chicken.

Sandy from Grease was a bad role model too. She went from being sweet and innocent (albeit, annoyingly so.... I always wanted to throw a bit of dirt on her), to wearing hooker high heels, a leather jacket, and pants she was actually SEWN INTO (FACT). And smoking, licking her lips and saying ‘Tell me about it... stud’, so she can win the attention of a high school boy who treated her like crap in front of his friends (by the way, I’m a HUGE fan of Grease, I’m just making a point....). Slutted herself up. Dumbed herself down. Probably started speaking in an affected voice. Probably changed into some chicken-ass hotpants later.

Fortunately, most girls in this country seem to be full of integrity, veracity and open intelligence. I feel happy that I can generalise that most girls I have met in my life (certainly all the ones I’m friends with) are made of the good stuff. There is just always a handful of girls – the same handful who are being treated for Vocal Fry, and are often lining up outside of clubs on Bourke St on Saturday night wearing dresses that show the shape of their bikini wax – who get a little bit lost, and forget that Sandy probably would have ended up with Danny even if she didn’t slut up, because he liked her for her (when he stopped being a dumb jock... the guys' version of dumb slut). A handful of girls who have forgotten that classiness can be sexy, and so can intelligence. So if you know any young girls who look to be heading in the wrong direction, following the wrong kind of role model, imitating the wrong kind of reality TV contestant – just give them a little nudge and remind them to be themselves, and wear their intelligence and dignity on the outside. Because deep down... no one likes a chicken-ass with a creaky voice.

*Tara is fictitious. If you said that to fictitious Tara, she’d probably croak “Oh my gawwwwd, what does that, like, mean?”.

**The faux-lesbian-dance has become our generation's version of The Bustop or The Nutbush. Grind up against female friends and turn all the males on with the occasional slut drop. If you don’t know what a slut drop is, YouTube it because I’ve run out of footer space.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably trying to hold a creaky note for as long and slow as possible.