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Monday, April 30, 2012

Em's list of what every woman should have and know by 30.

This has to be the toughest thing I have ever promised to do.

After posting Glamour magazine's 30 things a woman should have and know by the time she is 30 and openly mocking it I have found it quite difficult to compile my own list.

I wanted it to have reflective value for you all, to be applicable to your situation - to encourage you to aspire to more than just a black lacy bra and a cordless power drill (which was on Glamour's list.)

I wanted to create a list that you could print out and stick on your fridge. Something you could email around to your girlfriends, Mothers and Sistas.

The first thing that popped into my head was that you should own a mobile phone that doesn't involve prepaid credit, unless of course you are a drug dealer. Alas, that was no better than Glamour suggesting you must have an e-mail address and bank account in your own name.

I sat staring at my computer screen looking for inspiration. By the hammer of Thor! You "should" definitely know the National anthem (even the 2nd bit that no-one knows) by the time you are 30!
No Em, I said (a lot of self talk goes on around my house), how often are women going to call on that bit of information? That isn't going to make a difference in their lives.

After some pacing, dusting, lint inspecting and dog grooming it finally dawned on me..

The list is pointless. The list serves none of you any purpose, no I am not trying to get out of writing it but every time I came up with something it was either superficial, consumerist or would cause anxiety and that is the last thing I wish to do.

You are doomed to fail if you chose to follow a list printed by an American magazine in 1997.

The thing is, who am I to tell YOU what YOU should HAVE and KNOW by the time YOU are 30? Who is ANYONE to do such a thing?  It's the use of the word "should" that offends me most. Unless the person using it has achieved absolute spiritual and emotional enlightenment and can give you the one true answer then I don't want to hear it.

At the risk of sounding like someone who wears a lot of corduroy and owns a beige skivvy we are all on our own path.

As luck would have it I am married to a professional coach, and this is his thing. So I asked Scotty what I should impart onto you all and he suggested I offer some questions. So here we go (These are my words, his language is far more professional.):

1.How well is worrying about the following, serving you?

Career.
Babies.
Body.
Relationships.
Generally being perfect.

If you notice yourself worrying, that's ok just try one of the following. Can you change yourself or the situation? Can you exit the situation or is there a way to accept it?

2. Guilt - This is obviously linked to worrying. Guilt does nothing for anyone, it traps you and causes suffering. Either act or accept the reality and let it go.

3. Have you figured out what is really important to you? What are your values? -  (I pushed him on this. Coming up with your values is no easy task. He fought me and said there are many ways, I bullied him into telling me one.)

Think of one of your peak experiences, write it down using great detail and as many senses as possible - i.e. what you heard, felt, thought, saw, the mood, were you alone? With family? Were you giving to others? Was it expensive?  Re-create the richness of the experience as much as possible. Read back through it and try to exact the deeper factors that made it so good for you. Bang -VALUES! Scotty says aim for 5. He also says it's helpful to know which ones you'd drop off if you had to take it to 3 values and what your number 1 value would be.

4. Make good stuff happen. Look for easy wins, but also think about what you ultimately want. For most women it's happiness. So do things that make you happy. Go deep here ladies. I mean it, not just shoe shopping but experiences that align with your values. The satisfaction will be deeper and longer, I promise.


I know we may have drifted into wankerville but the bottom line is stop worrying and start living.

BOOM.

By the way, I suck at all of the above and I live with a dude who does it for a job. It's not easy but when you all achieve oneness I will claim a small part of your victory..

I hope this helped.

Em x

Thursday, April 26, 2012

30 things a woman of 30 should supposedly have and know..

I was watching Barack Obama slow jam the news with Jimmy Fallon over at the Huffington Post and happened to glance at their list of "most read articles" and saw that the top one was "30 things every woman should have and should know by the time she's 30." 


Instantly I was interested, I had a burning desire to know if I had satisfied the lists requirements. Deep down I knew I was probably headed for crushing failure and a loss of purpose in my life but I HAD TO SEE! 


The list was originally printed in 1997 in Glamour magazine and was written by Pamela Redmond Satran. It was a pretty big deal when it came out. It literally became an "email phenomena"which in the late 90's was no mean feat! It resonated with so many women that Glamour magazine went about collecting the lists of many famous women and then collated them into a book. 


Glamour magazine has been around in the States since 1937, it has had ANYONE who is ANYONE on the cover from Michelle Obama to J-Lo. It's a stalwart amongst the miriad of glossies on offer in the U, S of A. 


I thought I'd go through the list one by one with you all. My answers will be underneath, I encourage you to do the same. It's quite a cathartic/depressing/empowering experience. 



By 30, you should have ...
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

I had an amazing boyfriend in grade 3 named Jay, he and I would talk about Punky Brewster and how much we loved NKOTB. He was the only one who could braid my hair so I had no stickyupy bits and he loved musicals all most as much as I did- how I loved Jay... (SHUT UP, HE WAS NOT GAY, NOT THEN.)


My first love. Broke my heart. Cheated on me with my friend. Still hurts to type. He still lives with his parents at 33 years of age and is single. Nuff said.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

Define "decent" Glamour magazine?? Do you mean one that does't have weetbix welded to it or unidentifiable odours? I have 2 kids and a dog, I'm pretty sure no one at your office would deem any of it decent.. 
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

I'd have to dig it out of the "clean washing mountain" iron it and pop a broach on the stain but I think I have this one covered. Clothes I can do. 
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

I have a gold lamé coin purse that belonged to my Nanna a suitcase that my Dad emigrated with and an umbrella with a peacock head so I think we all agree, I ACED this item!
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.

Nope. Still hanging on to that one. This item may have to go on the  "60 things every woman should have and should know by the time she's 60" list.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

I work in the entertainment industry. This I have covered and then some.. (Insert Maniacal laugh) 
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.

This one makes me feel anxious right across the board. They don't really know if I will grow old and I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT SUPERANNUATION NOW OK. I don't want to feel guilty about that until I am at least 40. 
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.

CHECK! I also have 2 secret credit cards so I feel I've earned bonus points here.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.

The last time I needed a resume I was trying to get a job at La Porchetta, I may or may not have said I had waiting experience at my Parent's cafe when I didn't really.. My parents have never owned a cafe. Never. Not once. 
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

I have plenty of friends who make me laugh, truth be told I don't like to cry in front of anyone so not many of them can attest to having seen that.. Except of course for those times on reality tv when that's ALL I APPARENTLY DID. (When on Aus. Idol the producers chose to show my "softer side" - A LOT.)
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

KINKY! 
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

I have eleventy thousand of this one..
13. The belief that you deserve it.

Deserve what? WHAT?!
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

I have no plan. I have no regimen or routines. I am screwed here.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

Shut up. If you say yes to this one I hate you. I don't, but you know... Sheesh.

By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

I've been in the same relationship for 11 years. Do I need to go on here? 
2. How you feel about having kids.

Done and done. I pumped my 2 out in my early 20's- WINNER!
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

I have only quit one job and I told everyone to get f%cked when I left so I've got that one down! I don't even remember the last time I broke up with anyone, my Dad got rid of a few for me. I've had to confront a couple friends on their shit behaviour, 2 worked out well 1 still won't speak to me.. Half a point there?
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

I always try hard. I am a try hard. I have not mastered the art of walking away, I one day hope to. I really do. 
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

Yep. Peck - Stop. Anything involving tongue - Go.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.

FAIL. I am now on a mission to find out my Great Grandmothers' names.. I know one's name was Lillian Pearl and the other we called Mama Nelson but on my Italian side I've got no clue. If something needs tailoring I don't buy it and I'm substituting secretary of state with Governor general and I know that is the fabulous Quentin Bryce.

7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

Oh how I dream of this one.. 
8. Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.

Red wine. 
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.

Heels, spanx and therapy says otherwise Glamour magazine. 
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

I've blocked a lot of it out so I get this one on default.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

I often do things for free when I should charge for it and regularly get taken advantage of by those I love, FAIL. 
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.

I don't floss. I know I should and I feel guilty about it every time I brush my teeth.. I know I should floss. I'm totally going to stat flossing. I am, I am! I won't..
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

This has been a recent epiphany for me. I now apply the "who would I call if my dog died" filter to my friends when it comes to the issue of trust and care.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

Dude, I've known this one since I was 5.
15. Why they say life begins at 30
Mine began the day I discovered Game of Thrones but you know, a lid for every pot! 

So I got 16/30, how did you do?

I have barely passed my 30's it would seem.

Obviously I found this list superficial and not in a fun "Carrie Bradshaw is buying another pair of shoes even though she can't afford to eat" way. I appreciate the sentiment but found the execution patronising and archaic. It really has very little reflective value for it's readers which I think is the purpose of these types of exercises. Also, women should aspire to more than a cordless drill and a black lacy bra.

Ironically, they probably should aspire to more than confirmation they're doing ok from a list!

I am currently compiling my own list, I will have it to you by the end of the week.

Speak soon,

Em. x

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So, you want to be a reality TV star huh?

We are once again in the midst of a Reality TV tsunami.

Networks love the gear, can't get enough.

FOXTEL aside, which seems to have more Reality TV than actual actors doing their thing. Free to air has once again become clogged with painters, decorators, singers, dancers, gumtree leaf players, saxophonists, celebrities trying to reclaim their former glory, brides, grooms and Kerrie-Anne all competing to get a slice of the public's affection and their sweet, sweet cash.

I feel as though I am a little bit smart on this topic as my name is Em Rusciano and I am the product of a Reality TV show.

When people find that out about me they are either impressed or disgusted.

I was on Australian Idol in 2004 and came 9th.

Reality TV was an excellent career choice for me. Straight after being rejected by the nation I got a job in commercial radio. I went onto host breakfast radio for the then Austereo network for nearly 5 years, from there I got a my current jobs on The Project and The Circle. I still sing, host corporate events and take part in comedy and cabaret festivals - reality TV changed my life.

It's been a bloody steep learning curve, before Idol I had ZERO experience performing. I also had next to zero self awareness. The last eight years have been a mixture of work, luck, tears, moving, counselling and reflection. I am still a nobody and have a long way to go before I can get a legitimate invite to the Logies, but I get paid to do what I love so I can't complain.

I am in the minority of former RTVCs (That's shop talk for Reality TV Contestant) who have gone on to semi-successful careers.

It's a waste land out there folks, you see once the public/judges decide they no longer want you, you're very quickly forgotten. The public are fickle and spoilt for choice, they will move onto the next thing if you're no longer on their TV every night.

One day you are being watched by millions of people, have your own security guard, live in a mansion, are being interviewed by magazines and radio stations and the next you are back in your regular life which for me involved hacking away at dried weetbix with a metal ruler on my child's highchair. Aforementioned child no longer recognised me, just to really sweeten the situation..

You are expected to pick up the pieces as though nothing has happened. It's a severe reality and not something the production companies prepare contestants for.

Some are crushed by this, some fight it for a while and some try to pretend like it never happened.

For the record, I did all three.

With Big Brother starting up again soon and The Voice receiving so much hype I worry again for the next crop of rejects. I know that sounds harsh but that's essentially what we are, I wear it as a badge of honour. I think the mistake a lot of people make going into these type of situations is that they think if they get chosen as a finalist that's their one way ticket to becoming a *gargantuan star. (*I thesaurused the shit out of "huge" there.)

Some contestants leave the competition feeling as though the world owes them something, when the offers don't roll in as expected it can be breathtakingly crushing.

My advice to those of you thinking about Reality TV as your next move is to see it as a platform not a magical career maker.

Go in expecting nothing.

Expect to give everything.

Don't attach your self worth to the outcome.

For the love of everything that is good and holy NEVER, EVER, EVER, NEVER, EVER go near the internet forums. My GAWD I cannot stress this enough. I made that mistake.. My left eye still twitches as a result.

The crap news is even if you do win or somehow manage to trick people into giving you a career in the industry (as I did) you are still judged and looked down upon by those who got there by legitimate means.. You know, WAAPA, NIDA, being extraordinarily pretty..

Have a crack anyway, what have you got to lose?! (Sanity, privacy, career, sense of self worth, reason for living, credibility..)

I kidd!

Good times!

E x













Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who will save my girl's musical souls?

Growing up my top musical heroes were who you would expect.

Prince
Michael Jackson
Madonna


I pretty much decided that I would model my look on all 3 as a 10 year old and I haven't evolved since.


My daughters are music savvy. I mean it, they've truly got the rhythm in them. I know all parents say that but just trust me ok?!

Every Saturday morning I wake to the familiar sound of "Rage ra ra ra Rage ra ra ra Rage Raaaaaaaaage". The two of them sit there watching film clips, singing along hoping that their favourite song is next - as I did when I was their age.

I worry for them, who will be their musical icons? Who will adorn their walls, who will they rush out to buy smash hits for? ( Does smash hits still exist?)

They have no interest in One direction, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift (I'm a tiny bit proud of that) They form attachments to songs not artists.

Having only ever listened to my music, as I decided very early on The Wiggles and High 5 were messengers of Satan, my kids expect much from their pop music. They can sing along to most of Stevie Wonder's back catalogue, know The Gossip's "Music for men" top to toe and it meant something to them when Whitney Huston died. What I'm getting at is they want more than what Bieber and One Direction have to offer. However the artists I mentioned above the boys bands are all my taste inflicted on them. Sure I'm helping to shape their musicality but until they discover someone for themselves they won't get that truly authentic "losing my shit over ________'s new album" experience.

The current day pop landscape is full of technologically suped up wannabes who are out before they're truly in. Songs have had the soul auto-tuned out and there is so much choice and product flooding the market place it's hard to know where to start.

What I want more than anything is for my kids to have someone to hook into, really love and obsess over.

I thought GaGa was a serious contender but it all got a bit much for my 5 year old when I had to explain the concept of the alien re-birthing and thirteen minute film clips involving bathtubs and leather.

Chris Brown might have been in with a chance had he not PUNCHED A WOMAN in the face.

Britney Spears. No. Just, no.

Beyonce is talented and probably as close as my girls have got to having someone they admire but she still leaves me a tad cold. I don't think Beyonce has a real identity, you would't look at an outfit or hear a song and say "that is so Beyonce" as you would with Prince, Michael or Madonna.

Robyn is front runner at the moment, again a favourite of mine but the girls play her independently of me so that counts for something. Sia has come up the ranks also particularly for my eldest.


Calling all icons, we need you. Us Mothers who are bringing up the next generation of music enthusiasts desperately need someone to believe in. Someone to teach our daughters and sons about the importance of independent thinking, musicianship, killer shoulder pads and shit hot dance moves.

WHERE ARE YOU?


 Do any of you have suggestion? Am I missing someone? Who will my kids be playing to their kids?

Em. x

 P.S. For those of you wondering about who Robyn is, watch below. She is RAD.