The Arts is awash with performers desperate to show an audience of four people how amazing they can be but I think we could learn more from knowing each others' baggage, hang ups and mistakes. This year with my debut solo show I'm aiming to reveal my darkest and most painful secrets in an attempt to uncover The Worst of Scottee.
Ten months ago I hired a psychotherapist, a filmmaker and a production assistant and gave them a list of names of people who no longer talk to me. I wanted to find out where they feel I went wrong and what they really think of me. The results are some pretty awkward films that reveal deceit, lies and unfathomable attention seeking on my part and the unpleasant effects of these actions.
Continuing my exploration into self rubbishness I set up a webiment asking people who ‘Like' me on Facebook to answer just one question anonymously – 'What is the worst of Scottee?' I wanted to find out if people would take this opportunity to speak their mind if they didn't have to tell me face to face. What happens if you give the general public free rein? Here are three of the meatiest comments out of the 53 I received…
"You are so self-absorbed and self-obsessed, and you think your histories are the worst/most difficult and that your opinions are the only ones valid. Until I decided to not give a crap you made me feel like shit. Great you have to trample on others who are trying to support you to feel good about yourself."
"As a performer you think you're an innovator but you're actually pretty poor. As a friend you're the worst I've had. Sorry babes."
"I've always felt very sorry for Scottee. It's clear to me that he doesn't like himself very much and that fuels his need to dazzle and impress, everything else comes second place and the results are ugly. The main problem is that it justifies in his mind the selfish way he uses people for what he wants. When someone is useful to him he will play at being lovely and charming, what he fails to realise is that it is disingenuous and insincere and people can actually see through it. When someone won't do what he wants they are disposable. There is a real nastiness there too where he will bitch, lie, spread rumours behind someone's back. The ultimate motivation for his work is to become famous, everything that might seem like a message or a politic is just to give an air of credibility. Ultimately it's just a very indulgent form of Arts Council funded [work]. I think ultimately Scottee is a very cruel person, which is known, and ultimately nobody really cares about what he does. The writing is on the wall and he can sense that. I think he should spend his energy on a career that was much more lucrative and try and understand that carrying on doing this is not going to give you the love and attention you should have got as a child and pushing away and maliciously hurting people that do genuinely care about you is a sure fire way to end up completely alone. And once James [my partner] finally splits up with him, I'm not sure what he'll have left. I hope Scottee finds some peace and balance in his life and his Histrionic Personality Disorder."
If I told you these comments didn't affect me I would be lying or dead, but I did invite the wolf to the table and it's not like I was asking them to write down things they liked about me.
The most interesting thing I think these reveal is that they seem to be from people who know me well: well enough to know my partner's name, well enough to have spent enough time with me to form these opinions and strangest of all well enough to call or have called me a friend. Isn't there a statistic about 90% of murder victims knowing their killer?
What did these people hope to achieve by telling me what they thought anonymously? I'm not able to make it up to them, excuse my actions or mend things. Again, I'm fully aware I went looking for the beef but I wasn't expecting a bloody steak. I think I was expecting constructive insults – I asked people what was the worst of me, not why they think my boyfriend should dump me.
I think the majority of the comments received demonstrate that maybe we all have the ability to hurt others, especially when we've been hurt by them, because when we consciously hurt others we feel like we've won and if the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent have taught us anything it's winning – with this in mind I'm quite happy being a loser.
Maybe the content of my show isn't that extraordinary – we've all f**ked up, hurt others or said things in the heat of the moment that perhaps we wouldn't stand by today. In an age of trolling and cyber bullying it seems it's become even easier to put pen to iPad and let off some steam, but at whose expense?
The Worst of Scottee has taught me that maybe I have more enemies than I once thought and the effects of my malicious teen dramas affected more than just the people in question and for longer than puberty. Is the worst of Scottee just "publically funded therapy" or is it a painful look into the way we damage each other? As one comment suggests "Get over yourself."
The Worst of Scottee runs at the Roundhouse until 15 February 2014
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