Here’s a little tale for you. A little deviation from the normal blog. Long long ago in a galaxy far away, yours truly here was an actor in Killarney, Ireland. I worked for a Theatre group called Bricriu. I loved it. Had a passion for acting. Still do. We did improv and short one acts in pubs, did serious drama and pantomime in theatres. Imagine waking up each day and going off to a job you truly love and getting paid to do so! Now, granted the pay wasn’t that good but nevertheless we were paid. I had so many memorable experiences. We went on the road travelling around Kerry. We did a play by John B Keane in his own pub in Listowel. John B was a famous playwright who has since passed away. One of his plays, starring Tom Berenger was turned into a mega Hollywood movie called “The Field”. That night John B watched me perform in his play and was kind enough to come up to me and praise my performance afterwards. Funnily enough a few years earlier I was sitting in a pub in County Clare when I thought I recognized a man who just walked in and ordered a drink. We were the only two in the bar. It dawned on me that he was an actor as soon as I heard his American accent. I went up to him as one does and said “You’re that actor from the movie “Witness”! He confirmed that he was and looked a little annoyed perhaps because I couldn’t even name him. When I asked his name he replied that his name was Thomas Moore and he was in Ireland researching his Irish ancestry. Then he stopped talking and I kind of got the hint and went back to having a conversation with my pint of Guinness. Well I found out afterwards that Tom was shooting the movie in Ireland playing the “yank” and it was a fine movie indeed.
But I digress. After a little while at Bricriu we were joined by a young actor called Michael. I remember him having an unusual last name. He would come and see some of our theatre and participated in some activity though he did a lot more after I left. He was a nice enough young fellow but I never truly got to see his acting ability and we knew each other but never had the time to strike up a friendship. Soon a sliding door was opened and I was off to Australia with big dreams in my head and stars in my eyes and I was going to make it as an actor in the land down under. Home and Away beckoned! But reality came and hit me on the head with a hammer. I didn’t act again for over five years. Australia was beautiful but I spent the first few years standing outside banks as a security guard wilting in the 30 degree plus heat. But the acting bug never left. For if one has an active imagination one can be a star in one’s head. I would stand there outside my bank dreaming of movies and Hollywood and Oscars. I was lucky because if balaclava clad people had walked past me, held up the bank and made their getaway in a pink van emblazoned with the words “Bank robbers” I wouldn’t have noticed a thing. You see, I was the Security Guard called Walter Mitty. One day I woke up, called the security firm and told them I was never coming back again. Instead I went to get further education qualifications; commenced volunteering and one day fell into the profession of Volunteer Management. Again I found myself waking up and going to a job that I absolutely loved.
The years went by. I got back into acting joining an Irish Theatre Company in Brisbane. My biggest achievement was winning a best actor award for a one act play in a state competition. Mitty was leading the life! Ever since I've acted for various amateur theatre groups, volunteering, and managing volunteer programs.
One day I heard through the grapevine that Michael meanwhile had achieved a bit of fame by starring in a Guinness Ad (What else!)
Life went on a then one fine humid day I picked up a paper to see film critics raving about a movie called “Hunger”. It starred Michael Fassbender. I was gob smacked. Wow- he had made it good! Over the years he made it better. Prometheus, the Xmen, Frank,Shame, Twelve years a slave and the list goes on plus he got an Oscar nomination for the latter. I am convinced an Oscar will have his name on it someday soon.
I used to have fun telling my partner that he had made it but that I had made it in Volunteer management so who had really made it!? She laughed her infectious laugh and asked if he had become a little bit of a nemesis. And more and more articles appeared about him and more and more movies came out with him and friends and family would play with my mind. Friends would ring up and say “hey – Michael is on the Graham Norton Show tonight” or “Did you see Michael at the Oscars”? It even came to the stage where my kids would show me a newspaper with a feature on Michael. Michael this Michael that blah blah blah! Ahem. Excuse me.
An actor friend of mine keeps telling me to contact him! “It could be our break he says! I laugh. I tell him Michael wouldn't know me from a bar of soap.
So there’s a story of 2 boys from Kerry. One went on to live his dream, meet the most inspiring people in the world and the other went to Hollywood! One became a Volunteer Manager and amateur actor and the other spends his days making movies.
A couple of years ago I came up with my own movie pitch. Or maybe a play. It’s called “My Michael, My Nemesis “ ©DJ Cronin
My friends love the idea. Two boys from Kerry. One goes to Hollywood and DJ Does Brisbane! The movie follows the lives of both. Then one day the guy in Brisbane puts together a cast of amateur actors to be in the play called “My Michael my Nemesis”. Fassbender hears about it and decides to play the lead role. The press are amazed, it becomes a big story and Hollywood decide to turn it into a movie (Although it’s already a movie!) It’s a bit Seinfeld really!!! And then and only then do Cronin and Fassbender win Oscars. Me in the lead role of course. Michael can have the best supporting actor Oscar. I mean you cant have it any other way!!!
And then I appear on the Graham Norton Show, The Ellen Show and The Late Late show and I talk about the greatest thing I have ever seen in my life. Volunteering.
Now that’s a tale.