BRUTAL WAKE-UP CALL FOR MY EGO
Updated: May 10
Two things you need to know about me:
1: I don't think I'm the centre of the universe
2: Unfortunately, l only realised I'm not the centre of the universe last night
Meet Grace, 23, food fan, former Karate champion, worries a lot:
Last night, what started as a beautiful Insta chat between us, quickly descended into a troubling reality check.
It was 7pm, when Instagram notified me that I'd been tagged in someone's story. That someone was Grace. To my delight, Grace tagged me in a photo of her watching my YouTube videos on her TV. Alas, my glee was short lived, thanks to some unnecessary questioning:
"um, which video is that, am I saying anything interesting?" I asked.
"Yes, as always!" she replied. What happened next is where my perception of reality and actual reality parted company. Grace continued:
".. just watched your new documentary, and now I'm watching '61 HUGS'. It's amazing!!" What. The. Actual. Fuck. I couldn't have been more shocked, not even if she said Boris Johnson is on her 'People I'd Hump if I Knew No One Would Ever Know' list.
How in the blue hell is she only getting round to watching 61 HUGS (my debut short film) now? As of this September, it will be two years since its release. This news rocked me for two reasons. Firstly, let's be honest, I've hardly been shy about marketing 61 HUGS, Christ, I'm sick of hearing myself talk about it, to be honest. Secondly, I've often considered appointing Grace as my official Publicist, because she's always so generous and kind about me on instagram. begging the question "HOW HASN'T THIS FRAUD-OF-A-WOMAN SEEN MY FILM YET?" Let me explain my incredulity further. I'll never forget one afternoon when me, Grace and her boyfriend were hanging out. As we chatted, Grace announced that she's considering getting my slogan 'BE YOURSELF, BETTER' tattooed on her arm. I tell you this not to brag, but purely to contextualise our relationship. You see, Grace and I get on, she doesn't want me to drown in a bath or anything. Furthermore, not only does she not want me to die, BUT SHE'S THE ACTUAL FACE OF MY MERCH, FFS.
This is Grace modelling my hoodies during one of our many shoots:
Once my ego stopped hyperventilating, I dug deep into my common sense, as I sought a plausible explanation. In the 17 hours since our insta chat, only two explanations make any sense two me. Let's begin with the least depressing:
EXPLANATION 1: I've fallen victim to the ever-changing social media algorithms, and Grace simply hasn't seen any of my endless posts about 61 HUGS
or more likely,
EXPLANATION 2: I've fallen victim to Grace not giving a steaming shit about 61 HUGS
For obvious reasons, I haven't asked Grace which of these explanations applies, because my ego is still on antibiotics from last night.
There is a valuable lesson to be learned here, though. In my latest documentary, 'OUT THERE', I explore the difficulties us creative folk have with self-promotion. Most of us feel deeply uncomfortable putting ourselves out there. My belief, however, is that if we're to achieve any kind of traction or visibility for our art, we need to be more fearless in the peddling of it.
As recently as last week, for example, when I started blogging for the first time in years, I made a commitment to myself - promising that I'd tweet about each new post not just once, but five, six, eight, twelve times. Why? Because Twitter is enormous, and while to me it feels unsavoury to tweet about the same thing eight times in one week, statistically, my followers will only ever see one of those tweets, if any at all. Grace presents the most credible evidence in support of this theory, right? I mean, it's taken 18 months for her to see anything relating to 61 HUGS.
Of course, I speculate that she's missed all my posts purely to protect my already bruised ego. It's more likely that she's seen all 61 HUGS-related posts, but couldn't give two shits about my film, because in her world, her new kitten is much, much better.