Everybody needs an idol, it’s as important to us as Australians as good packet of Tim Tams and a Hills Hoist in the backyard. We need idols to help us get through the daily grind. Just look at the wealth of idols on display in magazines like Women’s Day…Jennifer, Kylie, Hugh, Ryan… and Lindsay Lohan, a fallen idol of mass destruction. How often have we wished Lindsay would get her act together, pull up her socks and get on with her career. Then, how often have we loved watching her fall apart. Good or bad, I reckon idols are here to stay.
I’ve had many idols that I’ve followed. After the death of my father as a young boy, these people (usually directors or pop stars) became my role models and continue to be an inspiration for me today to push myself and seek out new creative adventures. Alfred Hitchcock was someone I idolised as a kid, his sense of style, his humour and his sense of drama. I have seen some of his films thirty times, usually when I am single I watch them again. I got my first super 8 movie camera at the age of ten, and it was Hitchcock that inspired my first amateur film. My two favourite films of Hitchcock’s are Vertigo and The Birds. Recently, I saw the costumes worn by Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren at an exhibition at Federation square, and I was overcome with emotion as they were so familiar to me, as familiar as my mum. I was immediately transported back in time to my family home, with me as a kid, watching Hitchcock on the late night movie marathon.
When stuck for what I should do next in a creative sense, I often find myself staring in the bathroom mirror after a shave, thinking “What would Alfred Hitchcock do now if he were me… or what would Bob Fosse do now with that song.” Many a day a good dash of idol worship has pulled me out of the bleakest place in my mind and pushed me towards the sunshine and an open door. Before I get to Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets: The Musical, let’s look at some more idols that have stood the test of time.
First up, Elvis and James Dean. Wikipedia regards Elvis as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th Century. And, Jimmy Dean with only three films under his belt, became the symbol of disillusionment and the voice of teenage youth riddled by angst, crying to be heard, in the postcard perfect late 1950’s. Who can forget, Jimmy and Natalie Wood, hiding in a deserted mansion, playing mother and father to Sal Mineo (baby Plato) in Rebel Without A Cause. Together, recreating their version of a perfect family, away from the prying eyes of adult America. Wood, a child star herself was to become idolised by millions around the world. And, her mysterious death has only added to her legend.
Another male tops my list, he is of course Rock Hudson. Rock was a movie star in every sense of the word and a terrific leading man. Commanding big money, living the high life, his face gracing every magazine in the world. Women swooned over him, men wanted to be him. Of course, in modern times he became the first celebrity face of the AIDS movement, dying from the disease in 1985. Turning up on daytime TV looking less than well with longtime pal, Doris Day. But, what is it about all these three men that made the idols around the world? What makes an idol? Maybe we can answer this by looking at one of the greatest idols of all time, still very much-loved today, Audrey Hepburn.
Like the three men , Audrey Hepburn was a movie star and a screen legend. She was also recognized as a fashion icon and humanitarian with her work for UNICEF. Indeed, I believe it is her ability to expose her vulnerability that continues to draws us, idol lovers, to her. Like the Elvis, Jimmy and Rock, she had a sensitivity the flowed through her body. This sensitivity made it impossible not to idolise her. She was the every-girl, the girl that could despite of her vulnerability, succeed to make a success of life. Men wanted to protect her, women wanted to be her.
Liz O’Sullivan, has a dream in Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets, she dreams if only she could be like Audrey Hepburn, if only she could find a real man then everything in her life would be perfect… While she can never be Audrey, she can be guided by her in her love life and during her therapy sessions, these sessions make for some amusing banter between Liz, her therapist called Rod, and Audrey Hepburn as we know her from her movies… Roman Holiday, Gigi and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets is a rare gem in musical theatre, it’s an Aussie story with a Hollywood twist, and reminds us of the importance of family, cautions us about mental health and love, entertains us with the joy of music, and looks at one of the greatest idols of all time, Audrey Hepburn.
Spread the word Australia about our show, and help make a dream a reality. Goodnight Melbourne, good’ay Australia. Checkout the teaser for A REAL MAN performed by Aria chart topper Katie Underwood, written and directed by me, and released online on 13th August 2014. Cheers Noel 🙂