Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Long Should You Try?

By Pam



Last year, TV.com sponsored an on-line chat with Alex O’Loughlin. I was one of hundreds who logged on for the event, and was lucky enough to have two of my questions answered.  There were a lot of interesting questions asked, but the answer to a question posed by Chelsea stood out for me. The question was, What inspired you to be an actor? Alex’s answer was, The persistence of human spirit.
Call it the inner voice, or the part of you that urges you to keep fighting no matter how bad the odds are stacked against you. It is what makes you get back up, time and time again, after you have been dropped to your knees.*
“Perhaps the first solid book [Alex] read was AB Facey's A Fortunate Life, when he was 19. Here he discovered a common spirit in touch with humanity, a kind of innocence, and a person of honesty who would not deceive another. Facey was a model for a new life…” (Frank McCone, Canberra play critic; 2003)
This is the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. It is the story of Albert Facey, who lived with simple honesty, compassion and courage.  A parentless boy who started work at eight on the rough Western Australian frontier, he struggled [all his life] - yet felt that his life was fortunate.***
I am humbled by [A.B. Facey's] gentle acceptance of the good and the bad… - Adelaide Advertiser***
Alex O’Loughlin:
"I didn't feel that engaged with the world as a kid," he says. "I wasn't the fastest learner. I didn't feel like I fit." 
"I never felt at home in Canberra." He says there was no possibility of anonymity and he felt more at home in Sydney: "You could disappear." 
"I also come from a working class part of town, and I've had my share of rough and tumble times. I've got some stories of my own."
How do we recognize the qualities of the human spirit? One aspect is certainly the ability to move on despite adversity — without being angry, bitter or dejected — to stay positive when the solely human part of us would give up.**
I’m going to address Alex’s own human spirit, here.
“The first year [after moving to LA] was very difficult for me and there were a lot of times in the first year when I wanted to shut up sticks and leave. My car got written off and my stuff got stolen I had in storage, which was pretty valuable and all this stuff happened and I was thinking, ''What am I doing? '' So there were a couple of times where I was thinking of pulling the pin but the people around me, my mates over there and my mates here, kept reminding me that these are really the months that determine the man you are. It paid off."
I read A Fortunate Life, and when I look at Alex I see the same qualities A.B. Facey had. He is honest and forthright. He has an innocence that comes from his refusal to plug in to the negative. He has compassion for the unfortunate. He describes himself as “blessed.”
Alex’s grandfather instilled a strong work ethic in him. He used to tell him to just keep his head down and keep working, and he’ll get what’s coming to him; to just push through. Those words must have rung in his ears every time he didn’t get a call back after an audition. There was a year of nothing but auditions and rejection. As hard as it was, Alex’s spirit persisted.
We all have the power to persist. It’s the spark that’s in every soul. It’s our survival instinct. Alex persisted and came out on top. He never gave up despite the adversity. As Alex modeled his new life after A.B. Facey, we can look to both men for inspiration.

I highly recommend A Fortunate Life which can be found in both hard cover and paperback at Amazon.com.
***A.B. Facey, A Fortunate Life; Penguin Books – back cover

3 comments:

  1. This is a very cool post. Thank you!
    I think most of Alex's fans have seen this in him and we are very inspired by him. :0

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  2. Kimberly HusselbaughMonday, June 28, 2010

    I agree with Connie. His determination, drive and compassion are why I admire him so much.

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  3. Alex was a actually a late bloomer as actor (If you compare the career of fellow Aussie actor Heath Ledger, who died and ended his career already at the top, at the same age(28) that Alex only made his first Aussie film). What I want to say, is that 'rejection' and career disappointments can be even harder when your older - time might be running out to make your mark. Shows even more courage to push on....!

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