I have a theory that everyone has a secret second life. It’s not necessarily criminal or hideous: it’s just that I think almost all of us have a parts of our life that we like to keep separate.
For example, I was, for a short while, a secret nerd. People at school didn’t know about my fannish proclivities. Then, people at work had no idea about fanfic, conventions, my love of Blake’s 7 or my tendency to costume up for events.
Who am I kidding? I doubtlessly outed myself as a nerd within a week, and the older I get, the less I care what people think of my nerdery. I am out and proud.
But, my own singular lack of ability to separate my life into compartments, I know that other people keep sections of their life discrete. There are all sorts of reasons for this, not all related to shame, but let’s face it, it’s a choice that most of us can relate to.
In early 2012, the ABC TV comedy series Outland debuted on Australian television. The show is about people who are out and proud about their sexuality, but rather more in the closet about their nerdiness. The six-part series watches five queer nerds stumbled through life, love and SF references both popular and obscure, trying to find a place to belong.
It’s a story for everyone.
I’ve been part of the Outland story since its first manifestation as a short film, shot for $500 over two weekends in 2006. For this incarnation, I went along for the filming of the final episode to be part of the crowd scene set at the Mardi Gras (you can catch a glimpse of me in my corset during the final scenes!)
I love the result: the wit brought to bear on creating visual, musical and dialogue tributes to SF, fantasy and horror shows and films while maintaining humour, drama and a cast of characters who I actually cared about.
Outland was co-created and primarily written by John Richards, who happens to be my brother-in-law. Still, as I’m fond of saying, just because I’m biased, it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I’m predisposed to love Outland because I love John, and because he and I have a similar sense of humour. But I also love Outland because it’s fabulous. It’s warm, funny, smart, cheeky and clever.
Outland’s six episode run is over, but now it’s out on DVD with interviews, deleted scenes and other special features.
To celebrate Outland’s release, and the very fact it was made in the first place, I have a copy of the DVD, signed by John Richards, for someone to win! To win the DVD, tell me what your secret passion is. Do your friends know about your secret knitting habit? Does anyone at work know you collect commemorative plates about the monarchy? Do your SF nerd friends know you have a passion for football? Or Glee?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me your secret, and why it’s secret, to be in the running. Note that I would like to use your answers for a future blog, so tell me if you’d like me to use an alias to keep your secret safe!
Note, too, that Outland is a region 4 DVD, which plays on Australian or multi-region players. This means that people from outside Australia are very welcome to enter, but if you win, you may not be able to play the DVD.
If you just can’t wait, you can get Outland from the ABC shop.
The competition is open for two weeks until Wednesday 9 May 2012!
Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.