Andrew Scott, Show Us Ya Cups
I don’t live inside a box, so I certainly don’t think or write from within one.
Andrew Scott is the force behind a new documentary series, Show Us Ya Cups, where he uses humour to address two major issues he is passionate about – the environmental impact of the prolific use of paper coffee cups and men’s mental health. As a producer, promoter, personal assistant and janitor, Andrew admits he is still not quite sure exactly how to manage a small business, but his honesty is refreshing and his spontaneity is inspiring. In the midst of filming, we caught up with Andrew and his sustainability conscious alter ego, Uncle Bruce. Meanwhile, we’re off to buy a reusable coffee cup.
You were once a tennis professional, and now you’re making documentaries. Enlighten us – how does one make such a transition?
I’m a tennis professional by trade and an expert at avoiding real jobs. I still play tennis. I trained competed professionally in Europe, but when I came back, I felt the impending doom of a career ending. I wanted a shift and I didn’t know what it was. It had to be something that I was going to enjoy showing up to on a daily basis. So I got into entertaining and film making. A perfect industry for weirdos and creatives.
Producing films is no small task – how do you fit it all into a regular work day?
I’m much more comfortable spending 65 hours a week doing random things that somehow end up related, rather than applying myself for 40 hours a week to a single job.
You’ve just started filming Show Us Ya Cups, so what can we expect?
It’s a live experiment. We’ve asked cafe’s in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast to offer customers a $2 coffee if they bring their own reusable cup, rather than choosing a disposable one. We’ve been trying to coach the cafes that are on board to ask their customers when they order a coffee, “Did you bring your own cup?” We’re breaking a ritual with a simple question and that’s what we want to film.
We’ve heard of a guy called Uncle Bruce, who is a big part of this latest documentary and bears a striking resemblance to yourself. Who is he?
He lives inside of me.
How did Uncle Bruce come to life?
I wanted to create a character that was relatable but also loveable, rather than just your standard loud-mouthed bogan. Someone that people would have a heavy heart for. I am really fascinated by male mental health issues so I introduced Uncle Bruce as someone who’s contribution to the community would be a big part of people’s therapy and recovery. Comedy is a really good way of getting through to people.
How does your passion for men’s mental health come into the picture?
As I started to recover from a number debilitating issues of my own, the first friends that I started to spend quality time with were single mums, because there weren’t many dudes in their 30s who wanted to get together and have a coffee and talk about how they felt. I have since found the bromance factor and we’re all getting open and honest about the issues. There was a campaign about how men can chat side by side, but not face to face, and it’s true that guys can have a yarn in the work truck – but as soon as there is eye contact, something changes.
So, paper cups and men’s mental health – what’s with the combo?
This example best describes it – there’s a young person who has a beating green heart, studies science and works within the field of conservation, but is still willing to over-buy things or make consumer purchases which can have grave harm on the environment, like coffee in paper cups. I don’t think there will be a huge impact on reducing environmental harm, unless people are feeling great about themselves. You could not try and make a positive impact on either issue without considering the other first. It took me 18 months before I was using a reusable cup all of the time. At the start I felt lazy and I couldn’t be bothered running back into the house if I forgot it. I realised that this little bit of inconsideration was causing me to make a choice that would be harmful in an environmental sense. It didn’t mean I wasn’t caring about the environment, it was my attitude that was in the way. I’ve learned more about myself by trying to challenge my everyday habits, like using a reusable coffee cup, than I ever did at school, university or in the workplace.
Finally, when can we expect a screening of Show Us Ya Cups?
At this stage, late November. I have a great friend here on the Gold Coast who would be absolutely rolling her eyes at my lack of planning. I lock something in, then I figure out how I am going to make it happen. I seem to work better with spontaneity.