Week 1: Mates, Hugs and Goin’ Bush
Hi and welcome to my blog! Over the 8 weeks of filming, I wrote about my experiences making the awesome television series, Man Up, including some of the amazing guys I got to talk to about what it means to be an Aussie bloke today. It’s been an incredible ride and I can’t wait to share it with you…
Our first shoot was very cool as it was the first time in my TV life that I was able to film with some of my really good mates of 30 years: Clint Newcombe, Johnny Spencer (Spen) and Rob McGlynn. Four times a year we get together for what we call the Saxa weekend, to muck about, drink a few beers, play a bunch of competitive games and generally act like a bunch of kids. It’s also a time we get to talk to each other about the stuff that really matters.
But it turns out that me and the boys heading away for the weekend is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. Boys weekends are awesome, and we all need to do them more often.
After SAXA weekend, we flew to an outback cattle station in far north-west Australia in search of your classic outback bloke. Armed with my akubra and a pretty new looking drizabone, I landed at the station where they filmed “Australia”. I got to ride a motorbike and everyone was very friendly to this city slicker, but I gotta say out here the men, and even the women, pretty much keep to themselves. They’ve got a job to do and if they’ve got issues, they don’t talk about it, they just get on with it.
Back in in Sydney, in a ‘science’ experiment, I had to man hug as many blokes as I could find in 2 hours – with the action called by my mate, legendary league commentator Anthony Maroon, and man expert, Michael Flood. I thought they were a bit tough on me to be honest – pointing out all my rejects – but the crew thought it was hilarious!
So this first week I got to hang out with my best mates and hug a few blokes, but I also went to the far outback to see how guys handle stuff out there. Next week I’ll be heading to a barbershop to talk male grooming, then check out Mates in Construction and Mates 4 Mates, two organisations that help blokes in high-risk industries. Can’t wait!