I hate to break it to you guys, but when I’m not being fabulous, doing fabulous voiceover, I am pretty daggy.
I wear daggy clothes, I say daggy things, I trip over my own feet in very daggy ways, and I’m seriously happy to just exist just the way I am, warts and all. (although, actually, the actual wart I had on my hand has disappeared, hooray!)
Do you see what I mean? Who writes about their actual warts on their voice actor blog? Only a true dag like me.
I must pause here to define “daggy” for… well, most of you, because it’s a very Aussie and New Zealand piece of slang, and people are always asking me what it means. It’s very hard to define, but Wikipedia gets close:
Dag is an Australian and New Zealand slang term, also daggy. In Australia, it is often used as an affectionate insult for someone who is, or is perceived to be, unfashionable, lacking self-consciousness about their appearance and/or with poor social skills yet affable and amusing.
Affable yet amusing! Unfashionable! Yeah baby, it’s me alright.
Just this morning, my partner and I watched some old Elvis videos on Youtube during breakfast, and then while making a cup of tea we were talking about what “kids these days” think is cool, compared to how cool Elvis was. During this short conversation, I spilt water across the kitchen bench, and threw a teabag on the floor instead of in the bin. Smooth, lady. No wonder my partner can’t keep his hands off me.
One of my absolute icons of Australian dagginess is Fran, played by Tara Morice, in Baz Luhrmann’s delightful 1992 film Strictly Ballroom. Gosh I love this movie. SO MUCH.
Fran is a beginner dancer at a ballroom dancing studio whose star student is Scott. Scott is a champion! Fran is an ugly-duckling beginner who still dances with other girls… doesn’t sound too bad to me! 😉 But in the ballroom world of the movie, this means laughably incompetent.
When Scott’s superstar partner breaks her leg, Fran sees her chance and confesses bravely to Scott the memorable line “I wanna dance with you.”
Yes, Fran! You go, girl! You see what you want and you follow that dream!
Of course Scott takes a bit of convincing, but next comes the montage of ugly-duckling-to-swan… somehow Fran doesn’t need her glasses anymore, Scott gets some REAL dance lessons from Fran’s Spanish family, the late-night dance lesson on the roof of the studio, you know how it goes…. And voila, Fran is ready to compete! At the Pan-Pacifics!
There’s way more to the movie. Go watch it! It’s brilliant.
Josh Alexander posted in the GVAN Facebook group the other day asking us which blockbuster movie would describe our lives as a voice actor. Hmmm, I thought to myself, what’s the best movie ever about some ordinary daggy Australians following their dream in a spectacular way?
If I knew how to photoshop my face in there, I would make all my 14-year-old self’s dreams come true for sure. Just look at Paul Mercurio in those ballroom dance pants. I had many Paul Mercurios on my bedroom wall! (Elvis was long-gone before my time…)
Anyway, this is a blog post about how daggy I am at 40, not 14, and I don’t have any Paul Mercurios on my wall anymore. I have vocal warm-up exercises and cute pictures from my partner and inspirational reminders.
Because: It doesn’t take swooning over Scott the hottie at the dance studio to transform from uncoordinated duckling to champion dancer. And it doesn’t take watching other voice actors work hard to become a fabulous voiceover artist. It takes dreaming hard, working hard, practicing a lot, learning learning learning, and believing in oneself!
Sometimes, believing in yourself means looking at that spilt water and old outfit and saying “why yes, I am a total dag, but I am ALSO totally fabulous, and I can do this!” Perhaps the personality traits that humble you will keep the fabulousness from going too much to your head – but more importantly, the dreams of fabulousness, and the effort and persistence you put in, will take that humble, daggy self a very long way to outrageous success.
That’s what I reckon, anyway.
What do you reckon, ya big dag?
This is one daggy blog.
Makes me wonder if everyone thinks that video of elvis is cool or if coolness has been redefined by each generation?
So very daggy. It can’t be helped. 😎
Coolness is redefined and then other words take the place of “cool” and it all just constantly evolves forever…
Dang, girl, you dag! Keep it up. I wear shorts everywhere, even to weddings. Take that, world. Oh! And by the way, your “Smooth, lady. No wonder my partner can’t keep his hands off me” comment slayed me, in a most-undaggy sort of way, wherein I spewed my coffee across the room in the most daglike fashion.
haha, Josh, you definitely qualify as a dag. 😂