- Start using ‘Twitter’. It reminds me of Facebook with a word limit or a friend that stops you when you’ve said too much. Am pleased to see hashtags getting some long overdue recognition.
- Become a presenter for the Seven Network. Another audition that takes place in front of a lotto machine. I come to the conclusion that ‘Tattslotto’ clearly brings me better luck than ‘Keno’.
- I travel overseas through Europe visiting countries including Turkey, Hungary and Greece. For this reason, when talking about my travel, it sounds like I’m just talking about cooking and food. *Fans of dad jokes will get this gag and appreciate its brilliance.
- Create the blog ‘The Daily Male’. A place for me to share funny articles and stories that I create. The name is a play on words that I only later realise will also be used by an Instagram account that posts photos of gay males… daily. *Insert 'awkward teethy emoji face' here.
- Start using ‘Instagram’. Reminds me that holiday photos, like Frankston tap water, are much better through a filter. The hashtags continue their world domination. Can’t help but feel for the asterisk, which has failed to make the same leap from phone keypad to pop-culture.
|The top-middle photo is me presenting the lotto on the Seven Network and making someone rich. The rest of the photos are me travelling the world and sending myself broke. Both brilliant fun though.|
- Buy and move into my first home. Some call it a sign of growing-up. I call it all the joy of moving into the most expensive cubby house I’ll ever buy, combined with the discovery that I’m now a part-time unpaid cleaner. The house is also immediately behind my parents’ block. There’s not a speedometer big enough to measure how quickly I cut a hole between the adjoining fences and establish an ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ dynamic.
- Melbourne Victory FC asks me to be their official ground-announcer. It means I can combine a couple of my true loves; working on camera and sports. No Victoria’s Secret Angels agree to come on board as co-hosts to help me complete a trifecta.
|Left; Jumping for joy after purchasing my first home. My back is turned away from it and I can't see how much renovation work needs to be done, hence the joy. Right; Around the ground and behind the microphone for the mighty Melbourne Victory.|
- During a routine visit to my travel agent for a check-up, I discover a large European flight and am told that it’s Terminal… number 3 that I’ll be departing from at Tullamarine airport. I’m told I have 2 months to travel. I don’t seek a second opinion.
- In a half-court shoot-out against NBA legend, Vlade Divac, I beat Vlade with a behind the back shot. It’s a weird moment beating one of your heroes in anything. Like someone beating Roger Federer in a tennis final or someone else knocking out Mike Tyson in a boxing match. Unlike those two guys, Vlade neither cries nor bites part of my ear off.
- I become an uncle for the first time and hopefully not the last. He’s called ‘Aleks’ and he’s already infinitely more mature at his age than I am at my age. I get to play with him, tire him out and then give him back to his parents so he can wake them up throughout the night. It’s like a “parenting test drive” really.
- Get a part in a movie called ‘Bićemo Prvaci Sveta’ (We’ll Be World Champions) while in Serbia. It means I get to claim my trip on tax and get paid to perform, play basketball and meet incredibly talented people. I’m pretty much a Serbian version of Michael Jordan in the movie ‘Space Jam’.
- After returning to Australia, I write an article about my adventure entitled 'All Aboard the Balkan Express! 10 Reasons to Set off on a Serbian Adventure!' and it becomes a viral hit. It leads to some great accolades, including being named one of the ‘Top 20 Serbs of 2014’ by Serbian media, alongside faces such as Novak Djoković and Marina Abramović. It also pleases me that this is the only viral thing I bring back with me after months of travel through Eastern Europe.
|The article in question and a couple of articles about the article in question. Also some stills from my feature film debut in 'We'll Be World Champions'.|
- The year starts with me getting the gig as a presenter at the Asian Cup 2015. I can now include on my resume that I can comfortably and correctly pronounce over 25 Uzbekistani names in under a minute and that I’ve been 50% of an interview with Mel McLaughlin without her coming out of it uncomfortable and without me coming out of it with a $10,000 fine. Stefan Popovic – 1, Chris Gayle – 0.
- While a part of the Seven Network’s ‘Good Friday Appeal’ coverage, I get to meet Agro. This might not seem noteworthy to some of you, but there was a generation of us for whom Ranger Stacey was our ‘first lady’, Plucka Duck was a household name and Agro was a funnier puppet/muppet than any of today’s AFL footballers. For me it’s like meeting a Sesame Street muppet that’s gone on a Gap Year to Australia.
- After several months of research and writing, I complete my first screenplay. The mission then begins to get it made into a film while at the same time keeping the subject matter secret. It’s 275 pages long and is one of my proudest moments when I finally finish it. I ask my parents if they’d like to read it but they say it’s too long and are happy to wait until the movie is released. It’s a fine line between being concerned about their disinterest and being flattered by their confidence in the project and the script’s potential.
- I buy a new bicycle. My dad buys a new motorcycle. In doing so, we come to an unspoken mutual understanding that he is infinitely cooler than me.
- My website stefanpopovic.com.au goes live. It’s like final step on the evolutionary chart of social media. I kind of wish that Drake is around to rap something along the lines of “Started off with MySpace now we’re here”. He isn’t, so I take the opportunity to do it for myself.
|Left; meeting Agro. Right; completed first feature film script. Both major achievements in their own right.|
- I get to interview Novak Djoković live in front of over 20,000 people at AAMI Park ahead of the Australian Open. It’s like an entire small country town eavesdropping on a conversation between a guy and his man crush. I’m really excited to interview someone who’s close to my height as well as the chance to show it is possible to both interview Djoković and still correctly pronounce his name. I will later claim that the quality of the interview inspires Djoković to go on to win his next two Grand Slams.
- I become a wine-drinker. I hear that consumption of a large glass of fermented grapes is a sign of being a grown-up. It doesn’t really make sense to me and honestly I’m more comfortable with consuming a small box of dried grapes and being told I’m behaving like a child.
- My track record of disappearing from Australia during the winter in and going into hibernation in Europe during their summer continues. I’m like a tall, blonde-haired, sort of German-looking bear really. I meet lots of Serbian Olympians, actors and musicians, hang out with friends, jump across borders, oh and I sneak into many first-class lounges at airports while in transit. Quite an adventure!
- Most recently though, I turn ‘twenty-ten’. Yep that’s a number now. It’s for all of us who have the benefits and wisdom that come with reaching the age of thirty, combined with the immature inner-child (that’s quickly becoming an outer-child) that many people have lost by the time they were ten. It’s real and it’s totally a thing. I’m giving you all another year of your twenties. You’re welcome!
To be continued…
|I leave you with this collage of some of my highlights of 2016. Hopefully you spot yourself in some pics and even more hopefully, you're not annoyed at me for using a photo of you on here.|
*Ending a bio can always be awkward and boring. So to avoid that, here are a couple of pics of me as a child just generally being cute and waving goodbye to all you readers!*