Ollie likes to talk about Himself...
Across this year I've been doing a number of things that have lead to success. Getting fit, putting on events, creating shows, performing, being cast for TV shows, and it amazes me just how many people like to point out that I mention these things a lot and laugh at me, almost condescendingly for it. I laugh along usually because I'm British and self deprecation is my jam, but... An important thing I've come to realise is that actually I don't really overdo it as much as people like to impress upon me that I do.
Look, I understand the irony of writing a blog post about myself to prove I don't really talk about myself as much as people say I do, but it's my blog... I mean it's what it's here for.
There's a lot of time for introspection at the moment. Almost too much. So I've done some digging on my self, some investigation, if you will into just how much I like to talk about myself, how much I will celebrate myself and how often I share the negative aspects of my personal life online and here#s what I found...:
Instagram: A Mosaic of Selfies.
My Instagram is, for example, my face, nothing particularly remarkable, and as I write this I have made 601 Insta posts. That's an account that I've had since 2011 where I have posted about my Insanity journey, my place in the universe and myself.
I only really became confident about how I loo in the past year, what with having worked hard to do it, but along the way, the odd person here and there has told me that they felt inspired by my willingness to show what I was doing and so I have continued. My Insta 'brand' if you will is: selfies, insanity and poetry.
What is the purpose of a selfie? Why do I do it? What do I get out of it? Well... The truth is sometimes I like the way my face looks, other times I like to practice expressions and to be fair, at this point, whenever I post something that isn't a selfie, it doesn't get as much engagement... We all have different ways to tell our stories and my face is one of the tools I use to tell mine.
Do I play the Insta game? Yes I do, and it only really started this year too, the hashtagging, the adding people for follow backs and removing those who don't follow back. It#s fun sometimes, and I can go weeks without doing it. Social media is fascinating and anyone who claims they aren't interested in garnering some attention from what they post online is lying.
Facebook: None of my business...
Facebook for me is about work now. I use it to promote DonkeyDrop and to keep updated on what people are up to, but let's be fair, it's not the most compelling place to spend time online, if it's not shit-posting, it's people telling you what you should find funny. Endless memes and questions and the occasional bit of interesting content that someone probably stole from Reddit...
I have 3 pages I run, DonkeyDrop Theatre, Ollie Horsfall and TEARS, and I probably only actively update the first of the three, leaving the other two to stagnate until I have something to add to them. That is to say, I don't post about myself very often.
For some reason, even though I might post a negative status maybe once every few months on my Facebook (I desire to do this even less than I already do) these are the words that people seem to connect me with. It's either my supposed vanity or my purported negativity that people seem to remember me for, never the stuff in between.
Yeah I talk about the things I am proud of, I don't know many people who have managed what I have in such a short period of time, and I've worked damn hard on it. Before COVID-19 hit, I had 4 events coming up, three plays in rehearsal, one of which I was both producing and performing in, with another on the table potentially, I was teaching a drama class once a week and I was maintaining a number of relationships with a variety of groups across Prague. I'm not saying this makes me special, but I guarantee you didn't know that, you reading this right now, had no idea, because I don't really make a point of how hard I work. Might be about time for me to start...?
Oh and by the way, every single event I had planned isn't happening now, I have no income
Social Interactions: 'I've been working out everyday for a year, did you know?'
The above is a joke I made a few times, it's a running joke now because I'm willing to admit that I talk a lot about my workouts. It's a big part of my life and a hobby I enjoy. I work out, at home, on my own. I have committed to it for almost 365 days now, and I'm looking forward to celebrating that milestone when I reach it (some time around mid-May)
When it comes to my company, I'm sort of tired of talking about it, but I have to, networking and keeping an active presence going is key to continuing the reputation I've managed to build this past year.
When I meet people they will ask the usual questions and I'll generally give the standard, polite, 50% answer and if they want to follow up they can. For example:
Them: What do you do?
Me: I run a theatre company.
Them (usuallly): That's cool, what's it called?
Me: DonkeyDrop, feel free to add us on Facebook, got a bunch of stuff coming up if it interests you...
It was pointed out to me recently that I don't switch this off, ever. The one time I tried after this was pointed out to me, it was brought up multiple times on my behalf even though I stated I didn't really want to talk at length about it.
This is where I am now. It's not necessarily that I want to be this way, but it's necessary for survival in a place where English-language performance and the things that go along with it, are a hard enough sell as is.
I work hard, so I'll talk about it if I want to is the point I'm trying to make really. It's never really been my intention to make people feel as though they aren't doing enough, but I realise also that the people who like to point the finger at me for being self-obsessed tend to be the people who want to celebrate themselves but just don't know how.
I don't find it difficult to celebrate other people, in fact I love seeing my friends succeed, I don't feel the need to bring others down if they are happy to talk themselves up, because it's important in a world where everyone and their great aunt Martha have a voice. We are all getting drowned out by each other, and in order to stand out we have to be willing to occasionally say
'HELLO I'M HERE! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO! ISN'T THIS GREAT?!'
And of course it is and of course you shouldn't be afraid to do that. Nor is it your place, if you are afraid to do that, to point out to someone that they shouldn't. I don't get paid nearly enough (if at all) to take the 'subtle' jabs thrown at me, and occasionally someone will through a sucker-punch, and just because I can take it on the chin, it doesn't mean that I deserve to have it thrown at me in the first place. I have noted though, that thee people who say these things, don't tend to know me well, but I know, if I'm given the chance to at least explain, I can change a mind or two.
Hopefully that#s what this post will do. If not, thanks fo reading anyway ;)