Archive for November, 2004

Leaf out of Brian’s Book

Monday, November 29th, 2004

So I actually thought about what Brain said to me a post or two ago. When I say actually I mean that he had a point and I needed to really look at it, so I did. Then later that week I was asked if I would be interested in doing some teaching for a ballroom dance studio. My immediate thought was no, but I checked myself and said that I would be interested. A meeting with the dance school owners was arranged – I had a chat over the phone with them they sounded great and keen and I thought it was certainly worth a try. They offered to train me up and then I would be out there doing some lessons, having fun and earning three times more than at the bottle shop.
I went to the meeting the other day, we sat around the tableand had a chat. The first thing they said was ” so you dont want to act anymore and you want to teach dancing!?”
The meeting was good but (to cut a long and boring story short) they were looking for a full time commitment over a period of time that started at the one year mark and went on for a fair while. And to be fair that is what their students expect from their teacher. That their teacher is there to guide them over an extensive training partnership over an extensive period of time.
Meeting finished. They were looking for some one who is wanting a full time career out of teaching ballroom dancing. I was looking for some casual work while I am between acting gigs (read as full time – ha that is an oxymoran if ever there was one – career)
So I can say I honestly gave it a go. But I also realised that it is not me. I as a person am not a ballroom dance teacher and never could be. I dont have the x factor nor the passion needed to do that sort of work. To try and do it would wilt my spirit and I realised it that day at the meeting and looking in at the studio. I hate to say it but I would rather work at the bottle shop…..ACTUALLY I would rather work in Film, Television, Theatre and do what I am good at by way of nurturing the human spirit through my words, my movement, my actions and most of all by being honest to who I am.
So thank you Brian for making me think about. And I thank my fellow judges on Dancing with the Stars who helped set the opportunity up. In fact I may be doing a one off type coaching class on performance at Mark’s Dance school – that is something that excites me.
I wonder what will happen next?

Merc’s Rising He has given

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Merc’s Rising
He has given stunning performances in the mini-series The Day of the Roses and the new Lindy Chamberlain drama Through My Eyes and has shone as a dancer, stage performer (The Full Monty) and choreographer.
Along with the career highs have been disappointments including Exit to Eden and Welcome to Woop Woop.
Talented though he may be, Mercurio has dug trenches and sold computers to make a buck. At one point he had only $200 in the bank.
Real tragedy, however, struck in 2000, when brother Michael committed suicide. I ask about the legacy of Michael’s passing.
“It’s a determination to enjoy the moment, to make the most of every day,” a pensive Mercurio says.
He sought solace in writing poetry on life’s ups and downs. Some of the poems have been put on a website and prompted heart-felt replies from people affected by his work.
“I had a letter from a woman whose son had committed suicide and she just hadn’t been able to deal with it.
“She felt what I’d written allowed her to move ahead in her life. I have had letters from people who were going to kill themselves, but decided not to.
“Personally, I’ve gained so much from being honest about my experiences.”
There was a time in the 1990s when Mercurio was under pressure to move to the United States to further his career, but he refused because of the likely effect on his wife, Andrea, and their three daughters. The cost: extended periods of unemployment.
“It almost does your head in sometimes, but you just have to go out and do whatever you can to support your family. I’m not alone. A lot of actors here are in the same boat.
“There have been times I’ve wanted to give it all away, but the fact is you can’t give up something you’re not doing.
“There are the issues involving career and ego that make you think you should have gone (to the US). But in the end I made my decision based on what my family means to me.”
–Nov 17, Darren Devlyn, Herald Sun

Beer Mania Bears Fruit PAUL

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Beer Mania Bears Fruit
PAUL Mercurio has long had a love affair with beer.
On December 2, the passionate brewer will host a dinner at the Half Moon (Church St, Brighton) to launch his beer, Merc’s Own, a peach ale.
Apart from hosting the dinner, Mercurio will do some of the cooking.
“Making beer is a real creative outlet for me; a whole lot of fun,” Mercurio says.
–Nov 17, Herald Sun


Thursday, November 18th, 2004

if you could talk what would you say now? I am sorry, I miss you, I wish things had been different. but you cant say anything because you are gone. and we are left behind to remember. we are witness constantly to the space that you once filled. what if’s and maybe’s fill that space now and are poor cousins to the truth of of you.
the candle I light for your birth day burns as I type. and memories of you burn bright within my minds eye – and my heart. laughter as boys playing in the back yard, the shared smirks at sea scouts, the saddness at the fights we had, the good and the bad burn down like the wick and I hope I dont lose any of those memeories, that I dont lose any more of you than i already have.
already my childrens memory of you is dimmed. sometimes that hurts the most because I want to say look kids here is your uncle isnt he great! he is my brother. Proudness burns in me as deeply as loss. and yet again I shed a tear because I dont have you to share me with, or my life with or my achievements, i just dont have you. it is not my pain that hurts but the aloneness of the shadow that follows me – especially today – on your birth day.
I often think that you could have been so much more but then it hits me again, i could have been so much more with you. i am not alone in that thought. the world, your friends, your family all could have been so much more thanks to your light, your love, your smile.
if only
happy birthday Michael

Right to a life

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

For some reason the government here in Australia has decided to make abortion a big issue – again!! Now I don

right path

Monday, November 8th, 2004

My wife asked me tonight if I thought we were on the right path. I said yes.
I thought about it for a while and it occured to me that I wouldnt really know what the right path was supposed to be, what it looked like or which direction it travelled. To me the right path is the one you are on right now. It twists and turns and meets up with myriad junctions going in all metaphysical and physical directions. The journey consists of many paths and when the one your on doesnt seem right you take a left or a right when you can and when it feels right.
I also thought about how you can travel many paths but still experience the same unanswered questions, still face the same challenges. Perhaps I am walking in a circle or perhaps I just havent got it yet. Buggered if I know what the “it” is, if it exsists and if indeed “it” is important.
My wife asked the question, as many people do because if you are on the right path then everything should be well in your world. Life is good, you are happy, you have no problems, no concerns, no fears, no struggles etc. And when you have those fears and concerns and problems you must be on the wrong path. You must be doing something wrong. So the question really is are we doing something wrong in our lives, are we indeed on the wrong path? Hey if we are I dont actually know that either, I dont really know what the wrong path would look like.
There is only the path you are on. The way to “know” that path is in seeing the gifts it brings as you traverse it. Accepting those gifts, being open to them, embracing them and growing from them is what the journey is about. You dont have to actually like the gifts, nor enjoy them – we prefer to only get gifts we like but how often have you been given something and your fisrt thought was Yuk but some time later, a day, a week, a month a year did you actually realise you used the gift and it had become part of your heart and life in some way, some how?
When the path gets scary you want to jump off and find an easier route but you know deep inside that you will find yourself back at this very spot again.
Am I on the right path? I believe so. If the wrong path can never feel right then the right path can never feel wrong. And there we have the ying and the yang of it….
And so I am reminded of the last words of the Desiderata…
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.
Sounds about right to me.

Just for the record I dont hate “Love is in the Air”

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

When I hear it I have so many memories all with their own little piece of baggage. I remember shooting that final scene at the end of a long day or night. Tara and I had to dance a little and then kiss and then hold the kiss for ages whilst people danced around us and the camera pulled back revealing the whole party. I think we both felt a little silly kissinglike that in front of every one. It was a little bit of a dorky moment I think – but works for the film. I remember shooting the film clip and how at that time everything was on such a high with the film and my own stardom rising. I remember going in to pubs to have a quiet drink and when the band saw me walk in they would play their rendition of Love is in the Air. I cant tell you how many pubs I walked out of before I got a drink. I remember goin to 100’s of radio stations over the last 12 years to talk about this or that and as I sat there before I was introduced on air what song did they ALL play? Yep you know which one. In some ways the song represents every thing good and bad about my Strictly Ballroom experience. People hear the song and connect me with the movie – usually me the dancer not the actor, me the rich movie star, me who was so lucky to have the opportunity of staring in such a great film.
Let me state right now that yes I was lucky to star in that film and it has bought me many great things – this site and the people here, more film and TV work, the opportunity through more work to be able to buy a house for my family. I am grateful for that and the many other experiences that I have had thanks to my being in that film.
I dont resent the movie or every thing Strictly Ballroom. What I find really really difficult is the image that most people hold on to and the differecne between that and the reality that is my life. That is one reason Paul’s Corner came about. Cat gave me an opportunity to express who I am. I do resent that people seem to define me by that film and my role in it. You people (friends I should say) here know me a lot better than that but many people do not and still they cant be bothered – and perhaps they dont need to be – to understand that I am who I am and not who they think they know me to be as defined by their viewing of Strictly Ballroom. Or by any of my films for that matter. If people wish to define me by by my role in Joseph they are doing me the same disservice as those that define me by SB or Exit to Eden or Joseph or any of my performances. Yes there are real chunks of me in those people I have played and chunks of me in them but that is only the tip of iceburg of who I am and what I am capable of.
When on Dancing with the Stars I said that I hated the song I immediately regreted it. It is a great song and John Paul Young had a deserved and great hit. I am certainly tired of hearing it played in conjuction with me. The song does not belong to me it belongs to JPY and possibly to a lesser extent to the film. It would seem sometimes that people think the song is me. That all things Strictly are me. I guess to be really honest I resent that I have had to live with a lot of the burden of that idea with out having the benefit of enjoying the financial success that others have had through the movie. Certainly being rewarded finacially would have helped me along the way to carry the baggage of the film. It has not helped that at times I am constantly identified with the film and at the same time facing fairly severe financial hardship. Yes that is the life of an actor and yes that is my choice and yes there are plenty of other actors I know in Australia that face similar difficulties to me but that doesnt make it any easier or help in any way.
And sadly and frustratingly I find myself yet again at this precipice. I have three more Dancing with the Stars shows left and then it will be back to scraping the barrel again. Work here is non exsistent. I am lucky to have had this gig, although the pay doesnt actually cover my family living costs per week – like the proverbial smell of an oily rag it has kept us going. Sadly there is no other work out there so it looks like I will be going back to the bottle shop (liquor store) and also applying for a job at the pub I hold the beer dinners at. I try to stay positive but I am a bit scared Xmas is going to be fairly tough this year but I guess that is just part of the journey, the journey of being a house hold name in Australia and an internationally recognised actor.
I guess that is what I resent.