4 November 2014
Dear Frank Woodley,
That’s really strange, saying “Dear Frank Woodley”, don’t you think? Because if we were friends I would say, “Dear Frank” and I were a Tax Inspector I would say “Dear Mr Woodley”. But I’m not a Tax Inspector but on the other hand I don't really know you well enough to be quite so informal. That would be cheeky.
Oh, yes, right. Sorry. Ahem.
Dear Frank Woodley. Thank you. I have just watched your “Give Frank A Break” campaign for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, and it’s brilliant. Thank you for putting your talent behind something so worthwhile and so desperately important. That’s one of the things I wanted to thank you for, but not the only thing.
Thanks also for always “having a go” in the nicest possible way. You make it clear to me what courage is for. I’ve seen a couple of your shows, occasionally in preview, and I see the ideas you bring out and play with. I’ve heard you declare “Well that’s never going to be done again” as something you’re trying out stutters and stops. But you don’t quit, do you? You bring out more great stuff and the audience laughs and it’s wonderful. And then you get up the next day and do it all again. On this Melbourne Cup Day, I’m tempted to talk about backing yourself because that’s what you do. And if you didn't, we would be all the poorer for it.
I’m often surprised by on-line comments along the lines of “Why aren’t you with Colin Lane anymore?” We’re not all that happy - as a species - about endings. We don’t like them. But they happen all the time. I thought you and Col were magical together. And I thought you two were smart to decide it was time for an ending, even if it wasn’t evident to the rest of us. The rest of us aren’t Lano and Woodley, although we sometimes think we owned you somehow. Public property is an odd concept when applied to human beings – it’s more suited to park benches and public toilets, isn’t it? Anyway, I’m glad you continue to make funny, clever, original stuff.
Thank you for your generosity. A couple of years ago you met a young girl, and she asked for your autograph. You chatted with her for a while and then the event we were at started and you had things to do. Turns out, the highlight of her night wasn’t the event itself, but the fact that as you wheeled your bike from the building, you called out, “Goodnight, Rose!” You made a kid happy. That’s a gift. And she learned in that moment how decent, generous adults behave.
So thanks. I read recently that your ABC show Woodley would have had even more gags in it if there had been the budget for them. I can’t imagine where you would have squashed them in. I hope there’s more budget for you out there. A lot more. We need more Woodley in our world.
Anyway, I have a pretty good life. I hope yours is too. Thanks for making mine better.
Love Peace and Light