My Comedy Short, ‘The Litter Mermaid’ is the story of the plastic crisis in our seas, and the impact it is having on the mermaid community and their King. You can watch the trailer here.
Thank you to everyone that helped make this – From the old friend I’d known since I was 21 who literally IS a mermaid, the beautiful Lisa, to the new friends that stepped straight off of Ramsay Street to produce and crew the thing up thanks to Brendan… to my genius housemate Michelle who dressed the set and the entire mythological population on nothing but a fin-string and made ‘spoofy condoms’ out of mayo.
I was blown away the next day when I was out walking with my adorable nephew in Brighton Beach, just a few shores down from Elwood where we’d wrapped 12 hours before…and we were playing the ‘hunt the lost flip-flop’ game that I often play as someone with ADHD who sunbathes on boardwalks – when we both looked down and saw this freakish message, carved into the rocks. ‘I AM A MERMAID. HELP.’ Of all the rocks in all the world… it really did seem like someone out there was ‘winking’ at us. or that the seas really have reached peak Plastic and they’re sending us a message… in a plastic bottle.
What’s it about? It’s about some mythical creatures who very much DO NOT want to be where the people are…
King Neptune and his team have been glorified maids of the sea for long enough, they’ve got zero job satisfaction and they are over it. Soon there’ll be more plastic than fish… but do the Human Resources department give a cr*p? Find out in The Litter Mermaid – a comedy about plastic, a tragedy about our world, and the melancholy fact that there’s now an island of plastic the size of France in our oceans. Shot on location in Elwood Beach, Melbourne it’s the next film under fledgling channel Melon Comedy.
It features shocking new footage of polluted oceans in Indonesia, from Rich Horner The Rubbish Diver, and with a cast & crew from Melbourne, London & Bali’s Comedy scene, and a cameo from my aquatic alter ego, mermaid Loreley.
Dave Callan as Neptune Lisa Fineberg as Alana Pam Rana as Human Resources 1 Jonathan Schuster as Human Resources 2 Urvi Majumder as Ariel Lorelei Mathias as Loreley and introducing Monty The Manta-ray, and the Balinese Jellyfish
Executive Producer Brendan Geaney Associate Producer Emmy McMorrow Editor Claire McGonagil Sound Design Brendan Geaney Director of Photography Oscar Beltran Cuba First Assistant Director Julian Breheny Assistant Producers Brendan Geany Production Manager Andrew Keane Art Direction & Wardrobe Michelle Harrington Camera Assistant/B-Cam Samuel Wong Sound Kristian Pilsko Boom Operator/Runner Terry Shepherd Post – Kyra Hendrix, Significant Other New York Hair & Make-up Hannah Williams First Assistant Director Julian Breany Production Manager Andrew Keane Driver Jeremy Densley Catering Palmer & Pot
Written & Directed by Lorelei Mathias. Additional dialogue by the cast, Anthony Noack, and John Campbell. Composer, musician & vocalist & original score ‘This Time That Is Mine – Alana’s Lament’ by Camilla Mathias.
What’s that you say? You couldn’t reach your front door yesterday for all the cards and presents clogging up the hallway? And you couldn’t get any work done because you kept pricking yourself on all the red red roses on your desk? I know, it was tough day for us all, wasn’t it.
If however, like most of the population that wasn’t your yesterday, then don’t worry, I have just the antidote! If you’re single and you’d rather not be…or if you’ve just finished reading Break-Up Club (ta very much!) and don’t know what to do with yourself, then I present to you the perfect follow-up: sign up to this brilliant new course called Project Love. The only possible hazard I can think of is that you may find yourself with a Wet Wet Wet song stuck in your head for about twelve weeks. I kept singing ‘Love is All Around you’ as it was written on a good few of the lesson notes. But if you can handle a bit of vintage Marti Pellow humming to you then read on…
You can’t hurry love. But you can do a 30 day course in it.
In the words of its lovely founders, Selina & Vicki, “Get Ready for Love is an online course that contains the 30 essential lessons that we’ve found to be the most effective and powerful to get you ready for love and on your way to a happy and healthy relationship.” How it works is, you get emailed 30 interactive lessons to do at your own pace, with homework to do when it suits you. I was lucky enough to try out the course, and I heartily recommend it to anyone – even if you’re already in a relationship! One of the reasons I was drawn to it is that the aims of the course are a little like those of Break-Up Club: to become happy single, because only then can you become part of a happy union with someone else. Cripes, if only Holly or any of my other characters had been on the course, the book wouldn’t have been half as long. Sorry! Anyway – once you’re done processing your break-up via the 12 essential rules, I cannot recommend Project Love enough. It makes for the perfect epilogue. Here’s a bit more about why I liked it…
You’ve got the love. Yeah, You do!
Saying ‘you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else’ has become something of a cliché these days. But the difference is, Project Love really gets you doing it, through easy, practical methods that slowly seep into your daily rituals ’til they’re habitual. The world can be a cold and lonely place sometimes if you’re not a smug married. And that loneliness goes out the window when you realise you’ve got someone there standing by you the whole time. You!
Any fool can fall in love. But Project Love gets you falling in love the right way… into a relationship that’s built to last. And if you don’t know what the frig any of that means – do the course!
Lucy Sheridan on ‘Comparison Coaching’ – There’s a really interesting section on how we all sometimes sabotage our own happiness by comparing ourselves to others. No thanks to Mr Zuckerberg!
The Dating is shit, or is it? podcast has an interesting discussion on how more often than not, heartbreak is just grief for the stories we’ve told ourselves. Without knowing it, we sometimes invent narratives about the person we’re falling for. When we break-up, we have to disconnect with that reality, and let go of ‘that individual who didn’t play to the rules of the game they didn’t even know they were playing’ – the poor little mites.
Visualisations – The course explores lots of ways to get you ready for the relationship you want. Imagining what it looks like is one part of that. One exercise I found particularly powerful was when they get you to imagine it playing on a screen. It reminded me of what Holly does in ‘Break Up Club’, only she does it in a really destructive way. She plays constant re-runs of The Holly & Lawrence Show before they broke up. Numpty that she is, she’s unable to let go of the past and ‘delete the tapes’. Of course, the thing to do to help yourself after a break-up instead is this: press play on the positive images of what you’d like to see in your future, and the things that make you happy – rather than poking at the burning embers of your broken dreams. And that’s where Project Love is so helpful.
The Tips on dating are brilliant. I loved happiness coach Gail Schock’s guided meditation for your pre-date-jitters. That said, I must confess I still haven’t ever joined a proper dating site before because a) I just seem to always meet people IRL (what can I say, I’m chatty!) and b) every time I’ve ever briefly tried an app in the past it always seems to end up with me watching jpegs buffering of men holding dogs, and me feeling like it’s all too much ‘ladmin’ – but that’s probably just mostly down to me having a shit data package.
Lessons in ‘Self-Care’ – This might sound slightly wanky. But all it means is, it’s good to talk to yourself everyday in the kind of tone you would to a good friend – as opposed to a naggy-Mrs-Mangle-on-crack, which I sometimes do. Self-care also means taking yourself for a date once in a while, and nurturing yourself with daily-acts of love. Just the other day I read a really good article in Red Magazine about why we should date ourselves more. To celebrate this, for Valentine’s Day, Project Love are asking people to write themselves a Love Letter:
‘Instead of making this day of love all about romantic love and focusing your attention on others that you love or lust after, we want you to turn all that love right around and in on yourself, starting with the way that you speak to yourself. It is a life changer and key to your happiness and success.’ Check out how to write the letter, here. Of course, once again these ladies are bang on. Only last week I was listening to a Guilty Feminist podcast where Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge did an exercise in counting how many times she judged herself in a day. And this is a writer/actor at the top of her game. See, we all do it! We all need to exercise a little more self-care. The more you do that, the more you actually get a sense that there is someone there, catching you. And that’s the breakthrough moment – suddenly you realise you’re become the controller of your thoughts and your feelings – no one else is. That’s well worth remembering, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
All the Single Ladies
Lastly, another incentive to joining Project Love is that you get free membership to the warm, friendly community that is the Secret Facebook group ‘The Love Zone’. Take it from me – if you’re going dating (on or offline), then you need these girls in your corner.
And while we’re at it, you also REALLY need this girl! A frigging hilarious stand-up comedian I’ve met recently in Melbourne, she’s co-host of a sassy-as-shit podcast about sex and online dating – SwipeNight. I bring you the hysterical and lovely Rose Callaghan. If you happen to be in Melbs for the comedy festival, go see!
So there you have it. Between SwipeNight and Project Love, and your old chums the BUC, you’ve got the best possible support group you could ask for as you ride roughshod through The Jungle Of Single on this, the week of Valentine’s. And who knows, with all that going on, maybe it won’t be long before you’re the proud recipient of one of these puppies:
More Inspiration! An excellent card from an achingly cool shop in Melbourne called ‘Quirk of Fate.’ I bought one as soon as I saw it, to give to my next friend that graduates…