I Believe in Me ©
By Michael Casey
I read on the BBC site about confidence levels among new students in USA, Freshmen as they are called over there. There confidence is king, but ability does give them a kick up the backside. Confidence is great, it is important, without it nothing can be done, or almost nothing can be done.
Over confidence becomes conceit, we can watch any reality tv show to understand this. Some say Eton educated politicians are conceited and out of touch with the real world, their ability is not equal to their conceit or should I say confidence. On the other hand coming from a poor working class inner city background doesn’t make you qualified to run the country either, especially when both ends of the swingometer haven’t had a real job, or as my dad used to say they’ve never sweated. They have read a few tomes on politics while at Uni, but actual getting up and going to work, or working night shifts for years, no, none of them or not enough of them has any exposure to the real world. Yet both sides are confident they know what they are doing.
Confidence means sex, the boy is cheeky enough to ask the girl out, and to seduce her, before she realises he’s a total arse. We’ve seen enough films to see this scenario over and over again. Wealth and Privilege breeds confidence, but practice makes perfect, the sportsmen we all may love have had to spend hour after hour after hour practising so they can chip that ball into the hole, or bend it like Beckham. Rooney last time I looked had improved at heading the ball, why, because he practised. Which means when Rooney is in the area he’ll have a try with his head, Jackie Charlton used to be a great head player, but they all practiced. I’m sure Sir Alex tells them what he wants and they do that little bit extra, if they don’t then they’ll be sitting on the bench. This could be Sir Alex’s last season and he will probably be called the best manager ever, but even he has to practice and rehearse his art, and I don’t mean by looking in a mirror holding a hairdryer.
Americans are confident and they can be because they have all the resources of the world at their finger-tips. In today’s world pop stars seem to be too arrogant, too takeaway food. Here today gone tomorrow, gulped down and forgotten. The craft seems to have been forgotten, the apprenticeship has not been done, it’s all ego and no tomorrow, throwaway “culture”. Our reality shows breed this, and sadly wanabees are the next big thing.
Hard work seems to forgotten, people craving without slaving first, to misquote Billy Connelly “ everybody wants to shock and they are auditioning for their own show.” You cannot turn back the clock, but singers, comics and their ilk forget about the practice that should come before any performance. Having 5 mins of material does not make you an entertainer. Over confidence blinds you to reality, you need to step back and get that paper graded, record your performance and really look hard at it, compare and contrast other people’s papers.
My own path into writing started by listening to all the stories my dad had, hearing them over and over. Being afraid of Mr Gallagher in primary school, so I took refuge in books from the age of 8, so I would not get the slipper. 3 years later and 100s of books later I was the head boy. We got an old Bush radio, the saucer dial one, with the dominoe buttons and the strip of marzipan carrying handle when I was about 10, this radio changed my life because I listed to Radio4 for 20 years. Imagine its midweek, your shift cycle has ended what can you do? You listen to the radio. Plays and News galore. Then you stumble into writing so you write and write, I had a head start thanks to Radio 4 . Now confidence I did not have, I just stumbled into it and then I realised I’d found something. I can do this, I can do this. You think what to do next after a few months of writing. Pad said “why not write a book”. So I did. This took a while and you realise you had nailed it. BUT its only on paper, a typed effort. I worked on computers, so I bought an Atari 520 and made a 2nd draft, this took a year when I wasn’t working nights or weekends, a year of a life. It was only when I’d finished my 500 page book The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker that I thought I was any good. I’d done my apprenticeship. However you never finish learning with writing, never finishing practising. From then to now is 25years. And before that 20years of using my ears. So if you like as I talk to you its 45years in the making. I’m still not overconfident, you have to work at your craft, and most important of all use your ears. Then and only then can you say I’m a writer.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Casey/e/B00571G0YC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 to buy my 5 books £2 each