Week 2: Facebush and Other Barbershop Tales
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 second shoot started with a barbershop in inner-city Sydney, where Tommy runs the crew. I sat down with sociologist, Michael Flood, the guy who commentated on my Man Hugs experiment with Maroon. We chatted about masculinity and what changes there have been over the years – and the fact that young blokes are now walking around with full-on Ned Kelly beards!
Next up we went to see a guy called Steve on a huge construction site and talk to him about an organisation called Mates in Construction. They put me straight to work on the jackhammer to get a taste of how hard this job is. The construction industry has gotta be one of the most blokey environments and you can see that in this environment it’s gotta be hard to open up if they’re not coping. Mates in Construction gives construction workers someone to talk to when they are doing it tough.
This was probably the most emotional shoot for me. Steve looked a lot like my mate, Angus, and he is also a suicide survivor. I totally lost it in the lunch room after talking to him.
After that, I went to chat to Mates 4 Mates, another organisation helping men in a high-risk industry, in this case current and retired servicemen. One of the ways they do this is by bringing the guys together to do physical activities. We joined them on a yacht for the day to see how it works. It was a difficult shoot because I really don’t do well in the open sea. I had taken seasick tablets but …useless. In fact, as one of the guys was telling me a really important story about losing a friend in Afghanistan, I threw up all over his leg. Not a good look but he was totally cool about it. It was great talking to these blokes and hearing their stories even if I was feeling a bit ordinary.
A couple of massive days, no doubt about it, but I feel like we really nailed some big ones, and we’re on the right track.
For the next shoot, I’m going to GQ magazine to talk fashion, (yeah right), spend a shift at a Lifeline call centre, and then I’ll head to the pub to talk about how blokes can own their fuck ups. I’m excited!