Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The Russian version - complete with buttoned-up-orange-polo-under-the-jacket Shane Bourne type host and a chubby Tom Gleisner in the chair. Great stuff - check out the guests they have on to play - what glamour! What casual wear! (link courtesy of the SMOWAH forums).
Thursday, December 07, 2006
"From A to Z" was one of the incredibly witty titles Julia and I tossed around for our Fringe festival show (a year ago - gulp - where does the time go....? Bolivia apparently) before settling on our little homage to Nichols and May. Today there is a fantastic article about Julia in the Age discussing her rise in the world of the biz (although I insist that we had more than 12 people turn up each night). She truly deserves it. I can't think of another actress that can have me rolling on the floor laughing one minute and then turn around and king hit me with a fine piece of dramatic acting the next (not that she's manic depressive or suffers from volatile mood swings or anything - it's just a turn of phrase, although she has been known to attack men who wear beards without moustaches). You go girl.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Come along and see this fabulous show on the 13th and say hello to the nervous improviser in the corner (who looks a lot like me). Lots of wonderful special guests that night too (even a Queenie I hear). It's great fun.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Blankety Blanks in the USA?
Which came first I wonder?
Danny Elfman is the Devil. It's true.
It's from this slice of weirdness...god bless the alternative 80s
Monday, November 20, 2006
I've stumbled across a couple recently that made my neck hairs tingle:
Graveyard jamboree in particular has got everything going for it, puppet, stop motion, 2d, cut out - I just loved it.
More info at Screen Novelties
and also from the incomparable Fleischer studios comes the original Mysterious Mose
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
RRR's Trip magazine for it's loyal subscribers is going to do a section on the Last Laugh Theatre written by the man who started it all - John Pinder. Check it out if you can...and speaking of music:
I've had three albums on high rotation at the moment -
Koop - Koop Islands. Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simmonson aka Koop are a wonderful cross dressing Swedish duo who a class act when it comes to spiffy electro jazz. Koop Islands features singers Ann Brun, Yukimi Nagano, Earl Zinger and Mikael Sundin and is eclectic as it is electric. Here's their MySpace page which has some sublime tracks for your listening pleasure and a great video to boot.
Brazilian Girls - Brazilian Girls. I can't tell you how much this album rocks my world. It's got everything. A beautiful lead singer who speaks 5 languages, hypnotic bass lines, wry tongue in cheek lyrics, catchy pop snags, Brechtian trousers, a chorus that you can't play to your kids (no darling, it's about a Persian king's Pet cat...Pussy, pussy, pussy Maharajah...) Get it today and you too can have that smug self satisfied look of someone who knows, baby...who knows...
BG: vocals: Sabina Sciubba, keyboards: Didi Gutman, bass: Jesse Murphy, drums: Aaron Johnston
Yann Tiersen - Black Sessions (slightly disappointed that it wasn't self titled in keeping with the others). You know Yann - he did the music for Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulaina yeah? This was a live music broadcast at a French radio station in 1992 and features him playing an assortment of instruments including a toy piano and includes guest appearances from Domenique A, Bertrand Cantat of Noir Desir, Les Tetes Raides, The Married Monk and Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy. Great stuff.
Last week I went and saw La Clique at the Spiegeltent. I had an permanent erection for a day afterwards (apologies for the terrible mental image). It’s a great, great, funny, sexy show with a dozen or so fabulous acts all tumbling out one after the other. I’m not gay but - by god - David O’Mer in the bathtub is one of the most sensual things I have ever seen. The whole show is like stepping into Woody Allen's Orgasmatron.
BubbleGum Card courtesy of BubbleGumFink - this guy is amazing - go now and check out his blog.
Theatresports Semi Finals are on this weekend and we got a nice rave in the Age (I was in this History replay scene which was satisfying) and they used my image from the flyer - yay!
Tonight I'm off to see The Time Is Not Yet Ripe - a great new/old piece of theatre directed by Jane Woollard who I did the squid play with... here's the guff:
The Time Is Not Yet Ripe
by Louis Esson
15 - 25 November, Wed-Sat 8pm (except Fri 24th at 8:30pm)
Venue: Studio One at Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote (enter via laneway off Westbourne Grove)
Bookings: 9481 9500 $20/$10 concSee you.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
A couple of weeks ago I bought a copy of Get a Life at the Brunswick St Bookstore and quickly devoured it's contents. I'll admit I'm a huge fan of the clear line school of storytelling that comes out of
I emailed Dupy & Berbian many years ago with a really, really sloppy fan letter in the vain hope that they would forgive my terrible, mangled French (and eventual collapse back into English) they did - and not only that - Charles Berberian emailed back (even now that makes me excited in a fan boy way) he then went and had a look at my website (the one I had ages ago - before the one I now have which is in dire need of an overhaul and some new content). I was in heaven after that. I bought Barcelona Carnets when I was in
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Russell Gilbert was a great guest on last week's TGYH but so nervous that when he came through the door he hugged the entire cast before the scene had started - a lovely gesture to be sure - but notice how I'm fumbling in the background? After Russell hugged me my lapel mic got caught on his space suit and popped off after he let go. I love tech stuff ups but I had two lines to deliver which is why I appeared a little more voluble/emotional than usual...heh heh. Tonight I get to play dress ups again as the sergeant at the scene of a siege. Angus "Wild Thing" Sampson was hilarious during this shoot. I hope the Working Dog guys leave these scenes uncut for a DVD in the future - so much good material hits the cutting room floor.
Oi that’s got to be the first time I finished a blog entry with a fart gag. Hurrah!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
(note: technically I am only 35 - but I'm taking artistic license)
He’s just a little bitty thing, he’s just a little guy
But women go crazy for the big blue eye
How does he dream, how does he think
When he can’t even speak and he can’t even blink
I said: Hail, hail
The Eyeball Kid
The Eyeball Kid
Excerpt from the lyrics of Tom Waits "The Eyeball Kid"
Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan-Waits
Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), © 1999
Official release: Mule Variations, Anti Inc., 1999
Arrangements and lyrics published in "Tom Waits - Mule Variations" (Amsco Publications, 2000)
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Secret no more - I have been working on TGYH and it starts on Wednesday (7.30pm Channel 10). It's been fantastic to be on and I have been lucky enough to reunite with a few mates during the process. Shaun and I have a very brief scene together - what they cut out though was his surprised, honest reaction when I drove into shot "Oh hello Lliam..." "Hi Shaun...", "....they'll cut that bit out...".
The ensemble crew are great actors and improvisers and it's always a privilege to watch them work. As the shows go to air I'll see if I can dredge up any Extras-style commentary to go with it.
The first episode features Cal Wilson, Anh Do, Hamish Blake and Tony Martin. At one point during our scene I burst out laughing at one of Anh's responses – he was so bloody disarmingly honest.
After so many years improvising (big head alert) I'd forgotten just how scary it can be for some people to step up to the plate with nothing. Some performers fly and others end up with spontaneous stammering and sweaty upper brows. I guess that's what makes this show so popular.
And just in case you want to get into semantics - I'm approaching the work as an "actor who improvises" not the other way around. It's tough to only have half a script but it keeps you on your toes.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Had a call from my agent: "Can you do something for - unnamed returning popular TV show - on Monday?"
I spat coffee out all over the new Dell laptop (luckily it put out the fire that had just started ) and let out an excited "yip" (akin to the sound a small dog that women carry in their purses might make) and so...proceeded to shoot stuff and have a great time. Once it's up and running I'll post more. Shhh secret squirrel.
The corporate work is still rolling in which is great - I sat up the other day and realised that I was a half way to being a "working actor" (i.e. making the majority of my paltry living off being creative) a warm sensation to say the least - not unlike weeing in the sea - but the feeling soon leaves and you are left wet, deluded and slightly paranoid.
I caught up with Julia after her Adelaide leg of Eurobeat and we discussed remounting our Fringe show from last year - hearty yesses sounded good and we'll discuss and procrastinate a bit more when she gets back from Sydney. Apparently I could be heard laughing in an episode of Rockwiz the other night (the one with Liam O'Maonlai and Eddi Reader – and it was me that yelled out “Do It For Sean!” during the duet – what? I’d had a few beers….) - this not an uncommon experience as I am often in the audience for TV shows (I like to watch) and have one of those loud ‘Brian Blessed’ style laughs.
After downloading the I.T Crowd and watching the last episode (which I saw taped in
p.s. just for reference the other shows I can be heard laughing on are The Micallef Program series 1 & 2, The Big Bite, Rockwiz Series 1, 2 & 3, The Late Edition (UK), Shelley Berman on Radio 4, The I.T Crowd ep.6 and Thank God You're Here Series 1 ep 1.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Went To Adelaide to perform in a corporate gig with Troupe De Jour and my old sparring partner Jason Geary (whose hitting the boards in Eurobeat in Perth this week). We spent the night chomping down huge steaks, drinking whiskey and walking/waddling through the chilly streets trying to find our hotel....good times.
The next day we rehearsed and then they pulled the plug on the gig (an off-off-off site technical issue was demanding our audiences attention) . Very bizarre to have residual performance energy and no where to leave it.
Listening to: Paris Derniere Vol.1, Paris Derniere Vol.2, The Party Soundtrack, Jamiroquai & Nat King Cole and half-heartdly pretending it's the swinging 50s & 60s
Friday, July 21, 2006
I flew up to
Some lessons I’ve learned about acting for camera (for anyone who cares to heed them):
- Never say “Wouldn’t that light look better over there?”
- Respect the crew and get to know their names
- Improvisation is handy, as is a sense of humour.
- Bring your own Soy milk – sookie la la
- Bring a book – a good, long book.
- The perceived division between ‘Actors’ and ‘Extras’ is smaller than you think.
- The costume dept will always ask you to bring your entire wardrobe.
- Taxi Drivers are generally weird.
- Know camera terminology and if you need to confirm a shot for your acting size, politely ask the D.O.P not the director.
- The crew generally gets to eat first. Fair enough – they’ve been there since 5.30am what time did the Hotel clerk wake you sleepyhead?
- Just because the director asks you to do it a different way it doesn’t mean (hysterical neurotic actor voice) “THEY HATE ME…OH MY GOD” .
- Comedy is better played straight and Drama is nonexistent in this country.
While in Brisbane I went a caught Impro Mafia doing their thing in the O’Malley’s Pub. Basically a series of tricked up short form games – they were hilarious and played off each other really well. Afterwards we talked all thing impro and they showed me the delights of the Pig and Whistle. P.S. a couple of them also have a sketch comedy thing they are producing called Sexy Detective – it’s got some great gags especially for the jaded media student out there. Dutch Filmmaker was my favourite.
While in town I also managed to visit every comic store in the local vicinity (I had time to kill during the day – most of which was literally killed by watching Superman Returns - yawn). Get this though – in
Things coming up:
More Cave shenanigans on the 30 July and the 20th August. Come and say hi.
As usual I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a web comic (inspired by the guys over at Double Fine Action Comics)
More corporate acting work on the horizon which is great and keeping the mouths full.
ABC 774 – every Monday fortnight I’ve been appearing alongside some other Impro mates on Derek Guille’s program and having a ball playing “Who Gives a Quiz” (around 9pm)
Friday, June 30, 2006
From the Horse Bazaar website:
2nd Wednesday of every month - LOONEY TUNES
Come enjoy a programme of animation screenings, showing all kinds of animation including stop motion, Machinima, claymation, animé, manga and cartoons. Music from oleg kostrow, messer chups, bisk, tipsy, hifana, carl stalling, moog music, raymond scott, people like us, stockhausen and walkman, djme & djyou...etc Music and animation re-mixed and re-contextualised on the spot by your music and animation selectors: DJ Delay + DJ2 Free entry from 9pm
What Lustre! - The Lantern Gallery ...and she also made the lovely Sarah Carroll a website.
And don't forget that the new Impro Melbourne format 'Tangents' starts this Sunday at the Impro Cave.
Monday, June 26, 2006
- Last Days of Chez Comedy Fest – I laughed, dribbled and cried from hilarity during Spymonkey’s ‘Cooped’
- Played ineffectual scrabble with the lovely folks from Scrabble Unscripted alongside The Bedroom Philosopher. We had not one but two temper tantrums, dashing the board to the ground in a fit of pique. Great fun.
- Played in the last night of Late Nite Impro – as usual, a month later, I can’t remember anything about it. Did I play the nonplussed Samurai against Simon ‘Thank God You’re Here’ Dowling? Who knows….
- Mum launched her band’s CD. The Swamp Album.
- Started shaping the new format ‘Tangents’ with a group from Impro Melbourne.
- Keith Johnstone came through
in a chipper mood and a bag full of advice. I directed Maestro with him and had a ball. Later I drove him home (from St.Kilda to Eltham – that’s a lot of terrifying small talk) and we talked about impro, his distaste of the guru status, movies, comics and art. I asked him why he still travels the world teaching, he said ”because I enjoy it…and so many people fuck it up”. Later we stopped and picked up some supplies (now I know how Jeff Griggs must have felt). It was quite a surreal moment to be standing in Safeway with a living theatre legend and finding him Soy Cheese. Melbourne
- Deborah from The Spontaneity Shop swung by and we caught up over dinner then she sat in on a Tangents workshop and blessed us with her wisdom.
- My Birthday came and went. Hello i-river!
- Renovations trundled on – Walls came down, new walls went up, sinks went in ahhh finally – we had a kitchen again.
- Corporate gig for Optus in
- Painted walls (groan)
- Deakin students heading towards end of semester and all is fine. Some great performances and films and a bunch of not-so-great ones (but you’ll never which ones know if you’re a student reading this – Maw hahahahahahaha)
- Caught a cold and thought I’d keep it around for month.
- Corporate gig for AXA in Melb
- I brought a Roustabout shirt from Route 66 – I was chatting to the guy behind the counter (called Guy BTW) and he asked how I came to shop there. I said I had been coveting their range of shirts for some time now but on this day had followed a link from the Man’s Ruin website. He chuckled and asked which performer I liked, he was an affable chap so I told him (also with a chuckle). He then said she was his girlfriend. Convo over, shirt paid for and a swift exit was called for.
- Started a new Quiz show on ABC 774 with Derek Guille – called “Who Gives a Quiz?” It’s a format that a group of us from Impro Melbourne have been working on – it’s on tonight (and every second Monday). Loads of expert fun and Derek is a great player and host.
- Last day of Uni – awwwwwwwwwww. Now - the marking of assignments – bugger.
- Dad asked if I want to sit for a portrait and so have been doing that over a couple of weekends – I haven’t done one since I was a callow youth of 15 so it was interesting to be back in the chair again. He put on his latest find - Jack Nitzsche and we talk and he paints.
- Taught a one off three hour impro workshop out at Deakin which nearly killed me…but was great fun.
- Went to a Mid-Winter Festival at my son’s school. All the kids had collected wood for a bonfire on the oval and when it was lit – Boom – a hundred or so instant pyromaniacs were born.
- Celebrated Gulliver Thompson’s first birthday – it was a pleasure to meet him at last.
- Took down a heavy wooden Ikea Bunk bed, put up a comparatively lightweight Ikea Loft bed and swore a lot.
- Claire had a ba-beeeeee. Welcome Lily – you’ve got a great family.
- Anne had a birthday and I nearly killed her with kindness – she looked quite worn out by the end of the day. Maw hahahahahahahah.
There – that’ll do.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
What I did and saw at the Comedy Fest by Lliam Amor, aged 8.
I must confess for all my waffling about supporting and seeing hundreds of shows this festival I have been extraordinarily slack and/or unlucky and have only managed to catch a few, including:
Dylan Moran - I kicked off the festival with a night of heavy lidded curmudgeonly Irish goodness. We sat three rows away from this wonderful performer and enjoyed him and his second hand smoke immensely - Then again he could've shuffled in lit a cigarette for an hour and I still would've laughed (or did he just do that - I can't remember). He tapped into the usual comedy catch-alls - sex, relationships, drinking and, strangely, discussing feminist issues and how he had to deal with them onstage because "they're a bunch of loveable muddleheads".
I also took the family to see La La Luna by Wolfe Bowart the Artistic Director of The Shneedles Family Circus. I’ve been a keen follower of the Shneedles on the web and we all hurried along one cold afternoon to see this incredible show. Funny, wry, magical (and all the other usual adjectives that go into describing this beguiling show). A clown - whose not scary, the design and aural quirks of a Circ De Soleil show without the exorbitant ticket prices and some genuinely funny belly laughs from a gifted performer. Plus the kids enjoyed it to.
I have performed in two Late Nite Impro shows now and have my last fling on Saturday night. The new format is great fun and the shows have all been selling out which is a great feeling and testament to the work that Impro Melbourne does as a company.
I'm feeling a bit burnt out though. I don't know why. I go to the Hi Fi bar and I see the same stuff that everyone's done before. Performers trotting out the same stand up acts, recycled and dusted off.... Arrgh I'm becoming a grumpy old man already. Still - good on everyone who took a punt and lost a load of money appearing in the fest this year. The rain hasn't helped.
* Bumping into Dylan Moran on the street immediately after his gig and saying very stupidly "great show - really enjoyed it" - he looked pained but thanked me anyway.
* Watching from the top 'soundproofed' Hi Fi bar as Daniel Kitson took to task a man in a white sheet who had crawled onstage, pelting him with apples and poking him with the microphone stand. A bizarre dumb show indeed.
* Locking lips with Tracy Bartram, lifting and carrying her offstage during Celebrity Theatresports (we were in a team together - I'm not a stalker)
* Watching Jason Geary perform with a inner ear infection and still make the audience laugh their heads off.
* Catching the Umbilical Brothers perform some "old" material during the lock in (I can't believe I auditioned for their franchise project - it takes years to perfect that stuff...and even then...)
* Playing "Add in a "specific body part" to a film title" with the Call Girls, Justin Kennedy and others from the Crew in the Peter Cook Bar.
* Witnessing the blatant fawning of a group of very pretty tarts over Arj Barker. Huh! What's he got...etc etc
I'm also going to play with the Scrabble Unscripted group on Sunday which will be great fun as I have no idea how it goes - thus the beauty of impro.
Happy Birthday Marios.
Dad was in Canberra so he slung my sister and I his tickets to the Mario's 20th Anniversary party at the Fitzroy Bowling Club. What a great night it was. Both Marios made fulsome speeches and there was much hobnobbing and chatting.
The Renovations are nearly completed (hah) and our lungs have a fine patina of plaster dust as does the rest of the house. Jeez it looks good though.
See you for a drink to finish off a wet fest on Saturday and Sunday at the Cook.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Hmmm the link seemed to be causing some issues - just go to YouTube and type in Tom Waits in the search feild and you'll be rewarded with a plethora of raspy goodness.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Here's a great animation from some French students that uses CGI and Cut out together to make the kooky world of NY.
The backdrops and layouts make me think of my early animations I did at VCA. I wish I got my act together after that course but my son came into the world at the same time as my degree and feeding a family became more important than swanning around the glamourous world of "starving animator".
One day I'll get my shit together and make an animation (with these young punks on my back I'd better hurry)
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
For all your man boob needs...
I went and saw the new Pink Panther movie with the family. Let me state first and foremost that I am a sucker for the Panther franchise - always have been, even when the movies were at their most awful, bland and run of the mill they could still raise a chuckle (if not one good guffaw). I love Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards's comedy sensibilities. While they may not have always seen eye to eye (go out and rent - or read - the beautiful and sad "Life and Death of Peter Sellers") their partnership has created some of the finest gags I have ever seen on screen. Even the spin off "Son of the Pink Panther" with Roberto Benigni had some choice moments "Your lips are like worm...mangos...". But I'm no fool when it comes to expecting too much from this battered series so I went in with fair to middling hopes.
I laughed and laughed and laughed. It helped that my 8 year old son was sitting next to me, together we conspired and shrieked at the plethora of fart, sight and sound gags that Steve Martin and Co has littered the script with. Sure it falls down on so many levels - Clouseu would never work out who the Killer was by using his brains, he never got the girl (for long)and NY is not an "exotic" location (producers pandering to the American money men?) but who the hell cares? I had a good time. And I especially liked the opening credit animation - a nice update on an old favourite. One day I would like to play "The Second Cousin Once Removed of the Pink Panther". Then all my dreams would have come true.
Next one I'm hanging out all slack jawed like is for Art School Confidential (from the Ridiculous to the Sublime hey?)
I have also entered the murky world of renovations this month - but as the D Gen pointed out so well in the Late Show - Reno Talk bores the crap out of everyone, so consider me tight lipped.
Had a great time doing a Screenplay this week. Oops too late to blow my horn yet again...