Wednesday, 17 February 2016

On Motivation


Motivation is to doing what the fluffer is to the pornstar: the middle man

  'Your motivation is your pay packet at the end of the week.' Noel Coward.
  Take my mate Rob. Rob is now doing well, with west end and TV leads on his CV. I met him when he was the tech on my first gig at the Lawrence Batley theatre. He was twenty-one. Tall, gorgeous, clever, funny, he'd been in musicals at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, in adverts, and had done bits and pieces in Heatbeat and Coronation Street. He also had one of the most beautiful singing voices I had ever heard. Yet he would cry because he couldn't motivate himself to chase more work. He would motivate himself. When the time was right. One fine day.
  'When the time is right,' he said. 'When I get more than one day off a week from teching the pantomime. When my sister’s back from her gap year in Africa and I don’t have to worry any more about her getting malaria or being Simba sushi. When I’ve done the round of auditions for drama colleges and one of them has said yes. Though even if they all say no I’d probably have the mindless arrogance to think they’re wrong and I was right.  But all this crying doesn't quite go to waste, either. I sometimes do it in the mirror. Then I can verify what we really look like in hysterics mode and recreate it onstage. Except I'm not ever onstage at the moment. But I will be when I can get myself motivated.'
  I told him not to motivate himself.
  'How can you not motivate yourself?' he asked.
  'Like you’re not, for example. Miss out motivation. It’s the middle man. Get on with the things you have to.  Ermintrude the Cow in The Magic Roundabout didn't need to be motivated. She just did.'
  'Did what?'
  'Stole a mechanical digger to rehearse being a number twelve bus going via the Haymarket.'

  The excuses for not getting on with things are often: a messy desk, not enough time, and waiting for certain people to die before that potentially explosive memoir can be written. 
 Re the messy desk: Beethoven composed with his chamber pot on his harpsichord.  
 Re not having enough time: Charlotte Bronte stopped writing in the middle of Jane Eyre’s flight from Thornfield to cut out the green bits her half-blind housekeeper was leaving in the potatoes.
  Re waiting for certain people to die: libel cases will be good for sales.

  So, just get on with it. 
  The time is never right - ask the Mad Hatter.    
  Nor will it will ever be One Fine Day - ask Madame Butterfly. 

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