11 October 2009

I remember an argument between 2 friends years ago. It was a regular discussion that happened between 2 actor friends of mine. I remember trying to play the piano whilst they both went at each other. My closest friend Ashley Paske played Matt in Neighbours the Australian soap which consumed the UK in the 80’s and early 90’s. Ash had finished with Neighbours and was treading the boards in Oxford. He couldn’t go anywhere without being mobbed. People would interrupt every occasion when we were out in public, it is incredibly frustrating, but one he thrived on.

The other actor was far less famous. Successful in his own right however on a much less grander scale. He was in a failure of a programme called Eldorado. A late night version of Crossroads. He was called Jude and he was a lovely guy, and he was dating my flat mate Caroline.

The argument was over “what constitutes a proper actor?” Ashley had touched on the subject of “how much you earn?” and tied that into your credibility as an actor, Also “how well known you were?” also cropped up too. Two things that immediately elevated him above Jude, as Ashley was being paid £7000 per week (a footballers salary in those days) to play the prince in Aladdin in Oxford.

Jude was quick to point out this recent role hardly made him Dustin Hofman. And so the argument continued. Although Ashley probably won the argument through pigheaded stubbornness and the fact that it is very difficult to discredit someone who is very successful and to Ash’s credit, he was, Jude definitely had the last laugh.

I also wonder what impact that discussion played on Jude’s future success as he was incredibly upset, passionate, determined to prove himself right that night. Yet sadly I never saw Jude again after he and Caroline stopped seeing each other later that year and Ash moved back to Adelaide and I am ashamed to say we never kept in contact.

A few years ago on a long-haul flight, I asked Gail what she was watching. I switched on my TV and joined her. I commented “that looks really like an old pal I used to know from yeas ago, Jude.”

She responded quickly saying “it’s Jude Law, He is one of the most famous up and coming actors in Hollywood.” I thought it cant be yet the more I watched I realised it was him. I remembered the argument in my flat all those years ago. I remembered what Jude had said.

“Mark my words, I may not be as successful as you yet, however I guarantee you, I will be the most famous British actor ever to break the US. I will live in Hollywood and if money gauges your success, then I promise you I will definitely be the biggest success.”

This was an emotional rant and left Ashley’s girlfriend who was sat on my piano singing and I cheering “go Jude!” as most people never confronted Ashley who was renowned for his headstrong tenacity.

I don’t know whether Jude Law wrote down his goals, I don’t know how much he actually planned his journey, however that night he was coherent and his determination did not sound spontaneous, quite the contrary, it sounded well thought out and everyone in that room that night believed him, so much so that when he went to bed we carried on the discussion about his passion and determination.

Earl Nightingale said “the most powerful thing in the world is a single thought.” It all starts with a thought and then develops. Although it has taken me more than 10 years to see the link between that passion and determination that night and the actual success in the flesh I cannot think for a moment that it is coincidence.  Jude Law is one in a million, the difference is that I have heard thousands of times people stating that they are going to do “such and such” but they lack the conviction, and without that belief a very different journey awaits.

The other girl in the room that night, Julia Worsley went on to be a very successful singer and one of Cameron Macintosh’s favourites making a real mark in the West End. She sang in Evita and became a friend of Madonna after getting the role as Madonna’s sister in the film Evita. Julia was a huge fan of Madonna and always said that she felt an affinity with her. It was later confirmed when Madonna faxed my house with a note for Jules arranging to hook up when she was coming to the UK.

Ashley failed to live up to his accelerated early start and dissapeared  and as I understand is somewhere back in Australia.

Musically I have not hit any of my goals I set in my early life, yet they are not forgotten and at some point I will rebuild my recording studio and reassemble some of my old friends for the next chapter. Meanwhile I have one focus and that is UKFast. It is as exciting as composing and conducting an orchestral overture and all consuming.

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