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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

“Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story”

Last night, butterflies fluttered. Tears rolled. And my marriage improved.

All in the name of this here doco which I picked up for a tidy sum at my local JB Hi-Fi.

Oh my word.

I don’t even know how to start describing the impact this film had on me, other than to share the words of my hubby:

“I’m so glad I watched it with you. I feel like it really helped me understand you better.”

Indeed. I feel like it really helped me understand myself better.

Parts of the film – which tracks Eddie’s journey from struggling but madly passionate artist, to the world-renowned comedic superstar of today (with the gamut of highs and lows we’ve all now come to expect from those who reach even semi-lofty heights) – which particularly struck me:

– the early loss of his mother, or more specifically, how this event massively impacted (to this very day) his life in terms of his desire to perform, attract the love of the audience and his incessant and seemingly unquenchable thirst to overachieve. (Ehem…)

In one of the film’s final scenes, his realisation about the connection between these overachievement tendencies and his connection with his mother hit me so hard, I can’t even tell you. I won’t spoil it for you in case you wish to see it for yourself, but let me just say that I’ve never heard anybody else articulate it like that, let alone somebody in comedy: it pretty much described me exactly. I cried.

– His use of improvisation as a means of creating new material. I loved his commitment to improvising new stuff every week when he started up his own club so he could indeed, MC each and every week. He even had “I will improvise every show” in his project proposal. LOVE.

– The need for good writing. I feel like I have thus far gotten away with a lot of laziness in the writing front. Or sometimes I haven’t (gotten away with it, that is!) This really inspired me to pull my damn finger out and work more on my writing and rewriting. And rewriting some more.

– It also gave me hope that if you work hard and really persevere, then so long as you’re following the path you want to be on, things will happen. I believe Eddie was really struggling (as in, bleeding money into his art) for around fourteen years before he became an “overnight” success.

This movie – as well as really hitting me hard in a personal way – drove home something that I think I’d somehow lost sight of.

That having belief in yourself as you chase those mad dreams – rather than being some sort of mad delusion (as I sometimes think perhaps mine might be) – is in fact, the key to making shit happen.

Of course, Eddie’s story tells it a lot more eloquently than that. 😉

I think I’m gonna watch it again tonight.


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