Pulling My Finger Out: My New Year’s Resolutions

The secret to a good New Year’s resolution is to not tell anybody about it. That way, you can fail to keep it and you’ll only have to deal with your own sense of self-disappointment… which is always there anyway, so it’s like I haven’t failed at all, SUCKERS!

With this in mind, I’m writing this very public list of my New Year’s resolutions so that Future Patrick won’t be able to make any excuses and wriggle out of them. He’ll hate me for a long time, but I’ve bought that guy enough ice tea and Berocca for tomorrow morning that I think he’ll eventually forgive me.

What follows is a list of my nine major New Year’s resolutions, ranked from least difficult to most difficult. By putting them up here, I’m asking my readers, followers and friends to hold me accountable – and, if possible, to help out. No man is an island, except for that one that totally is, and any support that anyone out there can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Here we go…

9. Win The Tropfest

After Matt Hardie proved this year that it was possible to win the world’s largest short film festival armed with nothing more than a dream in your heart, a camera in your hand and an unintentionally homophobic subtext in your soul, I’ve decided to knuckle down and win Tropfest 2014.

This shouldn’t be too difficult as (a) I have already acted in a Tropfest-winning film and (b) I have an at best juvenile sense of humour. Of all my resolutions, I think this one is the most achievable.

8. Write A One Man Show For The 2014 Sydney Fringe

In 2013, I briefly became an international Doctor Who celebrity by writing and performing in the show Pat Magee – Every Episode Of Doctor Who Ever Live On Stage, a tribute to my twin obsessions (Doctor Who and “being the centre of attention”). This year, I want to follow in the footsteps of my sexy friends Steen Raskopoulos and Susie Youssef and create a one-man sketch/stand-up/storytelling show.


(final draft)

Possible titles for this show include: Patrick Magee Wears An Increasingly Tenuous Series Of Hats, Patrick Magee Has Glued His Hand To The Back Of His Head or my personal favourite, Patrick Magee Is A Cute Girl With A Fringe And A Guitar. Other suggestions are welcome.

(As a sub-resolution, I am thinking about getting back into stand-up after a break of a year and a half. This could well be a terrible idea, and if it is please tell me.)

7. Buy Some New Shoes

Pretty self-explanatory.

6. Finish My Difficult Second Novel/Play

A lot of people ask me how I managed to write my first book, As Baile: A Story, and the answer’s always the same: I was unemployed in London for three months and wrote the novel in a misguided attempt to make my ex-girlfriend love me again. Unfortunately, those very specific and soul-destroying circumstances have not cropped up again, and I’ve been sitting around on my arse instead of writing a follow-up.

In 2014, I’m going to stop making excuses and get something written, be it The Clowns of Piccadilly Circus or the Great Australian Play I’ve had banging around in my head for the last couple of weeks.

5. Eat An Avocado

Let’s get this out of the way: I don’t like avocadoes. They have always reminded me of Mr Toad from Cosgrove Hall’s wonderful adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, and I can never shake off the feeling that if I try to eat one it will start talking to me in the voice of David Jason.

“On a per-weight basis, I contain 35% more potassium than a banana! Poot poot!”

But since literally everyone in the world seems to think that these alligator-skinned slime-commas are the most delicious fruit that ever there was, I’m willing to admit I might be wrong. So a large portion of my 2014 is going to be building up to eating an entire avocado without feeling like I’ve devoured an important part of my childhood.

4. Start Working In An Industry Job

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my jobs: drama tutor, Belvoir box office monkey, and general manager of Full Body Contact No Love Tennis (Sydney’s Greatest Improv Night™). But I’m one of the last in my circle of friends and colleagues to still be working casual hours while they’re off achieving wonderful things in the worlds of comedy, radio and TV. So this year, I want to get my foot in the rung of the industry ladder – even if it’s just working as a runner or junior vice deputy researcher. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

3. Make My Muscles Bigger

I literally have no idea how to do this. I’m aware that there are some magic potions out there that taste like milkshakes and they make you strong, but since I don’t like milkshakes I’m not sure what my options are here. Maybe this resolution requires a sub-resolution: Learn To Like Milkshakes.


Or, alternatively, Become Friends With A Druid

My current workout regime consists of me doing as many push-ups as I can to the theme music of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The image of Kevin Sorbo’s muscles in that misjudged yellow vest is a constant inspiration to me, both as a sex symbol and as an actor.

2. Chill The Fuck Out

“For the longest time, I did nothing about my anxiety. I had learnt to rationalise it as just a part of my life, as a chemical imbalance in my brain that I had no means of controlling. But that doesn’t have to be the case, and it’s not going to be the case. I’ve decided I’m going to take active steps to deal with my anxiety, starting with this blog post. I’ve started doing meditation and next year I’ll be attending counselling in an attempt to overcome this disorder I’ve been living with since forever. I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of being happier and more productive in my life.”

That’s from my post On High Alert For Jabberwock Attacks, and I reposted it here because it’s still relevant and also I am very lazy.

1. Write A New Post Every Week

In 2013, this blog received over 12 000 unique views. The three most popular posts were How To Win A Tropfest, On High Alert For Jabberwock Attacks and Why I Should Be The Next Doctor Who.

Most of my readers are from Australia, the UK and the US, although there’s also a surprisingly large contingent from Brazil (olá leitores fidelizados!).  What I’ve learnt over the last twelve months is that the most important thing in any of the creative industries is to keep producing content, and so in 2014 I’m committing to putting something new here at least once a week; it could be reviews, short stories, or recipes for delicious avocado-based milkshakes.

(They’ll all be in Portuguese, because with the Rio World Cup just around the corner, it’s time to start cashing in on Brazilian fever.)

So that’s my 2014 sorted. What are everyone else’s plans?

When not writing unfeasible lists of goals, Patrick Magee is a king of Dál Riata from circa 574 until circa 609. You can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or go and look at his new Doctor Who/Upworthy parody.


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