Over my long and illustrious-less career I have come to terms with the fact that I am not much good at many things, ok at a few and hopeless at a vast number.
Often people ask me: How does a bloke like you make a living?
And I reply: None of your bloody business.
Then, after I pick myself up off the floor, I answer truthfully: Essentially I make a living out of writing, speaking and acting.
All right, I know the next question? Acting? Do you know Russell Crowe? Or Hugh Jackman? What about Cate Blanchett?
No, but I have worked with people who have worked with people who have worked with them.
And I have worked with Jack Thompson. All right, not with him, but I once said “gidday” to him and ate breakfast on the same table during the shooting of one of the worst Australian movies ever made, Under the Lighthouse Dancing.
It all started in South Africa in the early 1970s when I was plucked out of obscurity by a German TV crew to star in a soft drink commercial.
I was chosen, of course, because of my serious good looks and my shock of Aryan blond hair.
I starred as a champion cyclist who rode his bike into a throng of seriously blond German models who threw themselves at me with soft drink in their hands, kissed my entire face and, once the shoot was over, dumped me like a sack of onions.
Then I was called on for an Afrikaans language movie, which entailed sitting next to the two stars at a rugby match and screaming “Achten tachta yoghurt asteblift”, or something that sounded a lot like that.
All this convinced me I had a big future in the movies and back home I scored major bit-parts in a number of Aussie films. Here is a short list: Justice, Thunderstruck and Needle. (It’s short because, well, it’s short.)
But, and this was my real Big Break, I have starred in many TV commercials. Oh, yes, everything from selling shoes, to lotto, healthy living, garage doors, and air-conditioning.
For the most part, people get that you are acting, but every so often someone misses the point.
I once took a phone call from a woman who was convinced I was a non-existent man called Doctor Coolbreeze.
I explained, with increasing agitation, that I was not a doctor, not an air-conditioning mechanic and, no, I was not coming to her house to fix her air-conditioning.
She was mortified. She would have been horrified if I had attempted the job, because no doubt I would have taken her house out with the entire ducted system.
So, in case you were wondering, given I’m on your screen sometime soon, no, I do not break into houses, I am not a cleaner of display homes, and I certainly don’t live in one with a much younger male friend.
And, finally, no, I am not a postman, I cannot fly a plane and I don’t work in a bookshop.