Friday, December 21, 2007

Season's Greetings

Hello all - May you have a very Merry Christmas and a booty-filled New Year.

Christmas Special #1 - Flashback: All I wanted for Christmas... in 1983...

My Dad made me the Ice Planet Hoth out of Plaster on a huge piece of chipboard
- I freakin' loved it. (images via

Christmas Special #2 - Flashback: Ok, so for the modern child The ViewMaster doesn't move or talk, they aren't Japanese, nor do they have any sort of Gameboy-style application but by god I loved my sets including: Road Runner, The Land of the Lost, Spiderman and more...Nothing takes me back to that feeling of childhood wonder faster than the click and the turn of the wheel.

Image Via Here

And finally - here's a great article about the discovery and restoration of the original Rankin Bass Puppets from Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer .


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The one about the Wizard's Finger, Indy 4 and being a Corp Jester

Re-post of the ad I did last year which has now rolled over - yay!

Long time between posts again - apologies.

First up - a recent trip to Sydney for a corporate job and a birthday visit bought me in contact with friends and improvisers from far and wide and I saw the IA Cranston Cup Grand Final which was a hoot. Wizard's Finger won the night in a spectacular show of physical and verbal dexterity (and some natty ties)... but all the teams showed off their prowess onstage - much laughter from the audience reminding me again what a great theatre the Enmore is when it's full of happy punters.

I've had a few auditions recently and I'm still waiting to hear back about an ad shooting next
week (would be nice to get) otherwise I'm plying my wares on the corporate circuit at the moment. From the Regent Ballroom to the MCG, to the Fed square, businessmen and women have enjoyed me after entree and before mains...

The Illustrator in me is feeling very rusty at the moment - I have done a few design projects for friends:

...but I haven't sat down with a pen in hand for what seems like years... time to just sketch methinks.

Ok so here's the fanboy in me sneaking out again. Looks great but boy - he's looking beat now isn't he?

Have been watching:
30 Rock
Green Wing
What's New Pussycat?
Rankin Bass specials

Listening to:
The Octopus Project
Sufjan Stevens
Mod Jazz
Christmas music (the kids insist...well, all right just one more cd)
Rodney Hunter
Pee Wee Herman
Special mixed CDs brewed in collusion...

I predict another entry before Christmas... but just in case... Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Good bye Ivanhoe - Hello Briar Hill

image courtesy of finkbuilt.

Ok, so it's crazy I know but I've moved again. The flat was great, had a beautiful million dollar view and has been good for all parties (sadly no parties)... but I was too far away from the kids and without a car it was proving impossible - not too mention getting thoroughly sick of the tinny-mobile-phone-music-playing-incredibly-loud-ipod-wearing-southern comfort and coke in a a can-swilling morons on the Hurstbridge line.

So I applied for and got a fantastic crazy '50s house in Briar Hill, 2mins walk from the kids school (but a smidge too close to bogan central for my liking...)

and secondly - I scored a lovely little second hand car off my mechanic in a sweet serendipidous moment of the Fates working with me instead of against me....

So... what else has been happening? In no particular order:

Drinking into the wee hours with chums at the Speigeltent and talking to Newcastle
A couple of auditions after a dry spell
Re-watching "Spaced" and loving it all over again. A brilliant, brilliant series.
My son turned 10 and the subsequent parties that followed.
Some more corporate work with people I enjoy performing with (and watching them perform)
Winning the Theatresports semi finals and getting ready for the Grand Final next Sunday.
Discovering my Nissan Pulsar has a cd player (it's the simple things in life people...)
Watching the divine Benne Harrison sing at the Speigletent and the wonderful effect it had on the dance floor.
Getting things fixed, finding places for my crap and setting up house.
Unpacking, relishing, then storing away my past.
My dad won the Mcclellend Sculpture prize and making the dailies.

My son's face when he opened the massive remote control Dalek we got him for his birthday (Who Fans Unite)
Watching the most amazing strip tease act during a Juke Baritone & The Swamp Dogs set.
descending down into the Paris Cat and being wowed by the atmosphere and beauty.
Sweet visitations from angels afar.
The catching up with and subsequent partying with all the impro brethren during I.M.'s Halloween festival

and just because it deserves it's own paragraph:

Mr Fish and his Spooky Library of the Improv Macabre was the most satisfying and enjoyable improvising I have done in quite some time. Along with Patti Stiles and Rama Nicholas we launched ourselves into the hands and mind of Derek Flores and we created three nights of magical, spooky, silly and terrifying stories. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.

Derek Flores as Mr Fish - Photo by Alex Reichart

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh Joy Unconfined!

Hmmmm my acting has been a little lacklustre recently but what, oh what am I to do??

What's that? You've got just the refresher course for me?

But whose taking it?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time to honour "Star Crash"

With the Barbarella re-make just around the corner can we expect more B grade space epics like these? (oh please say the answer is yes....)

Monday, October 22, 2007

...and in more Design/Performance/Mammary news...

Here's a shout out to any friends in Sydney who may be at a loss as to how to fill the gaping void that is Tuesday Night....

I whipped this flyer up for my mate Jon. Go and see the show - they're brilliant performers and it's loads of fun for a good cause.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Design! More Shows! More Fun!

Here's a couple of designs I did for the upcoming season of Spontaneous Broadway at the fabulous Spiegeltent - I'll be there on Saturday, furiously writing down my ideas for new songs and laughing heartily at the brilliance of these freakishly talented improvisers. See you there.

Alternative DL flyer (not used)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Halloween Classic 2007

Lliam gets into the Halloween mood...growl.

A proper update soon folks - but for now - a gratuitous plug for a very special weekend we have coming up - The Theatresports Halloween Classic 2007. I'll be performing on the Sunday night but I'm also very proud to say that I'm part of the cast for Mr. Fish and His Spooky Library of Improv Macabre - a project directed by Derek Flores from the Three Canadians. Here's the lowdown brown:

"World-renowned improviser Derek Flores (The Three Canadians) is returning to Melbourne especially for the 2007 Halloween Classic! With him comes his new show, Mr. Fish and His Spooky Library of Improv Macabre.

Mr. Fish has spent his life traveling the world in search of the spookiest and most horrifying stories the human mind can muster, and tonight, deep with in his ancient library, moments from his mortal passing, he passes them long them to you. Be it a twisted urban myth, a tale of ghosts from the old country, or a truly macabre story of witches he has collected them all and with your help he, by dim candle light, shares them with only those brave enough to seek them out.

Running over three nights, this show will feature Derek Flores, Patti Stiles, Lliam Amor, Rama Nicholas and more!"

Also featured on this weekend will be some amazing guests from interstate and O/S who will come and play with the good folk from Impro Melbourne - creating a lovely impromoltov cocktail of talent. See you there.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I live in the suburb of Mandom

All things manly in this post folks:

In this ever-increasingly homogenised society (thank you Rik Brown) I find men wandering around the streets sniffing at lamp-posts and rooting through rubbish bins in search of their 'lost identities'. Fearing I'm always a man-size salada crack away from these poor fools I'm always on the look out for signposts, tips and suggestions on how to be a real man in this sterile wasteland. Now, thanks to "The Groovy Age of Horror" and Charles Bronson - a clear, manly Dolphin-Torch size light is shining the way:

It's the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac's seminal work "On The Road" - a book that has held me in good stead ever since my dad handed his battered copy over to me with a knowing wink (or was it a tear?) - This article may go some way to explaining his feelings...

Some more swell guys from the swipe files: (can you name them all?)

Coming soon - Impro Melbourne's Halloween Classic

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mis-Quotes of our time

"Some are born thrusting, some achieve thrustness, some have great thrusting thrust upon them"
Lliam Shakespeare

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Big ol' update - part two

Ok so here’s the long awaited part deux:

Remember how I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have the car for a week and how tough it was to function without it – sheesh what a carbon moronoxide.

On the 23rd Aug I drove down to Mornington to perform a corporate gig for the Alinta Energy group. The route took me down through the sites of my childhood, Frankston, the start of Golf Links road and where my regular milk bar used to be – it’s now a Ritchies Liquor store and there’s nothing left of it. It was here that used to buy my mixed lollies, Star Wars and Indiana Jones bubble gum cards as well as the occasional packet of roll caps for my (frowned upon) toy handgun which I had for around two weeks before it was ‘mysteriously’ lost. Wolfe was right – never go back.

I arrived at the location and went inside, men in working blue sat around looking blue and talking somewhat blue as well – hilarious to watch and hear especially as one launched into an impassioned speech about the managers that would make Joe Pesci do a double take. After a full afternoon of Safety roleplay I drove away (still feeling my way with the new clutch and gearbox that had been put in). I was off to meet Carole Patulo for another corporate gig the next day when I realised I was heading the wrong way down a dusty dirt road, cursing, I swung the car around and headed back. On one particular stretch a car sped passed me, dust flew up, and I swerved slightly out of caution, lost control of the steering and went into fish-tale skid. The little voice in my mind went through all the classic instructions: “slow down… no – is it speed up? Turn into the skid…no wait if I do that I’ll end heading for the embankment………………” and that’s what happened – at that point the voice gave up “well there’s nothing I can do now knucklehead”.

The car hit the small, grassy wall and launched into the air, rolling over and stopping on its side, driver’s side down. I opened my eyes and thought “this is different…” I turned off the music and the engine. All the crap I kept in the car was strewn everywhere, the back of my head felt wet and I was starting to go into escape mode. I tried the passenger side door but it had been crumpled in and wouldn’t open so I wound down the window and hoisted myself out, Dukes of hazard style (an oxymoron?). The first thing I saw was a cluster of cows who had come over to see what was happening. They seemed vaguely disappointed that I hadn't sustained greater injuries (later when the tow truck came and took the car they all left mumbling about ticket prices and “value for money”.)

The other car hadn’t seen me crash and was long gone, soon two guys pulled up and asked if I was ok and wanted a hand pushing the car over. Another guy stopped as well and we all gave the battered Mazda 121 a shove and she thudded to the ground, leaking green fluid and looking decidedly worse for wear.

Check out the dint above my head on the driver's side

A quick body check seemed to indicate that I was ok (there was no wetness at the back of my head or back) and a few phone calls later the car was towed and I was being driven back to Melbourne feeling very surreal and just a little shaky. I left the car at the wreckers over the weekend and went back on Monday to clear out what was left and say goodbye (it was a write-off as they say). Compared to the two twisted pieces of metal that flanked it in the yard I thank my lucky stars I got off with just a sore back and two stiff arms. Not having comprehensive insurance and out of pocket after the towing fees etc I face a car-less future for the time being - with hindsight this is proving to be a mixed blessing - for the pros there’s the no pollution issue, more exercise and seeing the world from the window of public transport…for the cons there’s the huge range of awful smells that come with public transport (yes, I’m talking about you – bong-water couple, Christ – air yourself first next time will you?) and the sheer frustration of having to add extra time to get anywhere…

So – no money, no car, feeling sore and depressed… but wait! Who’s this on the phone? It’s my agent (bless ‘em)… what’s that? Mulliners are desperate for someone for a Television ad? They want me to audition and its $10,000? Wow! What’s it for?

The Workplace agreement ads for the Liberal party.

Deep breath as I thank her but decline the offer. No matter how low life gets, no matter how hard fate grinds it’s boney finger into my breastbone… there are just some things I won’t do.

That night I attend my mate’s book launch* at the Trades Hall – I walk up those steps and notice that my head is still proudly held high (even though my neck hurts).

*The book is Game as Ned by Tim Pegler and is a brilliant piece of against-the-odds teen fiction about an autistic boy in a country town. I had a wonderfully massive lump in my throat as I finished the last chapter and can’t recommend it highly enough.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Big ol' update - part one

Ok – this is massive ‘cause I’m a lazy bum.
Hey Lliam - What’s been happening since July 31st? I hear you ask... well, I’ll tell you nosy:

Aug 4th - Impro Australia’s Celebrity Theatresports

Each year (like Impro Melbourne) IA holds a massive night of Theatresports peppered with celebs from all over. A portion of the proceeds go to the Starlight foundation and there are massive raffled prizes etc. It’s always a big production and this year was no exception. Being 2007, the directors Nikki Parry and Jon Williams went with a James Bond – style theme (007 geddit?…also brought on by Jon watching a spotlight dance around a stage reminding him of the opening credits of the classic Bond films)

They asked me a couple of months ago if I would like to design the poster/postcard for it and being a fan I whipped up a design.

Then came time for the production and they asked if I would like to Judge along with Benita from Playschool and local impro guru Lyn Pierce – I said yes of course (I was going to be in Sydney that weekend anyway). Fates twisted a string and Jon rang and asked if I would like to play instead – so on Saturday the 4th I hit the Enmore Stage in the team 'Casino Royale With Cheese' - Lee Naimo, Jordan Raskopoulos, Clare Hooper and myself won the night after a game of 'everything replay' that involved the 'Velociraptor of Christmas Past'.

'Casino Royale With Cheese' - we were the Villains

Clare attempts to revive me as I wimp on yet another song by faking a heart attack

We were monster pudding... or was it jelly? Dan looks on with his heroic beard

All Show photos (copyright) by the excellent Stephen Gustav Reinhardt
More show pics here

We won… I had to kiss Jordan's sock... but we won. On to the After party and mooching, drinks and laughing all good fun (apart from the fact that I was in the grip of a terrible cold – curse those airborne beasties)

Aug 5th – My sister Zoe’s little girl Asha had a birthday – she turned 5 and I forgot it (BAD UNCLE) then on the 8th Zoe had her opening at the MARS gallery – loads of fantastic sculptures and beautiful pieces.

More Corporate work – I don the Suit costume once again and take the elevator to financial gain. Thank you Performing Matters and ABT.

The car is sick and needs a new gearbox and clutch. $1600 jumps out of my bank account and scampers off into the distance. I find life is much harder while my car is in the garage.

AB and Susie leave for OS. Have fun chums (and they do - as the photos don’t lie)

Here endth part one…

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

McSweeney's makes me laugh.

I have a penchant for toilet humour - Sad but true - a well timed fart gag will have me rolling in the aisles, tears streaming down my cheeks and emitting a weird high pitch giggle that I have no recollection of picking up. Now - marry that concept with practical joke tricks and I'm a mess. Thank you McSweeney's...

No. 86:
Novelty Items—
Some Novelty Items
That Never Caught On.

From Comedy by the Numbers
by Eric Hoffman and Gary Rudoren

- - - -

Itchy milk

Exploding eye patch

Shit gum

Gassy nun's habit

"You're Dead, Cocksucker" inscribed pencils


Syphilis ink pen


"Stinky" drink coasters

Placebo suntan lotion

"Squirting" glass eye

Hobo negligee

Leaky-mercury anal thermometer

Farting brick

Measles underwear

Asbestos wig

Bendy turd


Weewee toothpicks

Bouncing ice cubes

Indestructible ice cream

Pills that make you vomit boxing gloves

Prancing foot-odor mustache

Lice beer

Faux insulin

Jumbo eyelash

"My Other Car Has Cancer" bumper sticker

Poo-poo eye drops

Sexy edible shoe insoles

Shrinky toilet paper

Invisible-ink "Missing Child" poster

President Anne Frank dollar bill

Halitosis adult board game

Vomit bikini

"Keep On Truckin'" inscribed on the head of a pin

Glow-in-the-dark elephantiasis glitter

"World's Greatest Grampa" coffin comforter

Pet fingernail

Friday, July 27, 2007

Amors in the news...

I missed the hard copy last Wednesday but here's the online version:

Artists in the frame
(full article from the link)

"...In contrast to her representation of Crooks, Payes' portraits of another Melbourne artist, Rick Amor, are classic images of the artist in his studio. They reflect his elder statesman position in the art world and his old-school approach to his craft: his studio is a place of easels, the smell of oil paints and inspiration on the wall, from photographs of loved ones, to small treasured original works by artists such as John Brack and Jacques Villon.

A painter, but also an illustrator, print maker and sculptor, Amor has been based at this home studio since 1994. His leafy Alphington garden beckons but he keeps the blinds down most of the time, preferring the even glow cast by skylights.

Payes' photographs reflect Amor's paintings: stern and somewhat dark but with a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. They represent a quiet man with an undercurrent of humour, who was embarking on treatment for leukaemia the day after the shoot, but still able to reveal a warm personality.

"It's a bit disappointing I look so sick but it's a record of how I looked at the time," says Amor, who's now well.

But Amor is pleased with what Payes captured. He was impressed with the way she photographed things no one else had thought to, like the boxed action figure his son created.

He's even more impressed that Payes managed to capture the sunny side of himself. "I said to my wife, Meg: 'It's amazing, Sonia's got me actually smiling in these pictures!' Being of the Patrick White school of posing, I don't smile for the camera. That's because she flirts - she smiles at you when she takes the photograph, and you smile back."

It's no surprise, then, to learn that except in cases where she already knew the artists, for Payes the photo shoots for her book were "like a blind date". Unlike most blind dates "it was fantastic with all of them", she says.

Untitled. Portraits of Australian Artists is published by Macmillan. Selected photos from the book will be exhibited from next Tuesday to August 25 at Charles Nodrum Gallery, Richmond.



I'm also proud to have contributed to the always excellent Cartoon Brew this week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Show and Business

The Impro Melbourne Cave season has been going from strength to strength - full houses, fantastic work and some hilarious moments which are now lost forever (curse the transitory nature of improvisation - why wasn't someone making a crappy tape of the night?). I debuted my two handed format idea - Double Stunt - (liberally borrowed from Maestro and Full Body Contact No Love Tennis) to much acclaim (for the improvisers - I was a bit stumblymouthed that night).

Coming up this weekend (Sunday July 29th) I'm hosting Gorilla at 7.30 and then performing in Uber-Improv which according to the blurb is: "Sausage. Schnapps. Lederhosen. All things German, but all things unlikely to be seen in Uber Improv. Be exhilarated. Be thrilled. Be efficiently entertained by the Cave's special international guests. Directed by Mark Gambino & Sean Fabri." Any clearer? Excellent.

July means good times in the corporate world and I have been getting lots of work in Melbourne and interstate. Yesterday I flew to Brisbane and caught up with Dan Beeston from the Impro Mafia crew and had a good chat about all things post Brisbane Festival where they suffered at the cold, cruel steely eyes of Shawn Kinley (oh c'mon I'm being tongue in cheek - the man is lovely). I had the pleasure of watching Shawn perform in the Mega-Maestro last week and then do an all too brief workshop with him on Monday night before he had to jet-set off to his next destination. He's ace.

I've also been asked to be the narrative judge at the Sydney Celebrity Theatresports show on the 4th August which is a great honour and I'm looking forward to catching up with Impro Australia stalwarts, Scrabblers and Blankers (sounds like a cast for The Warriors).

Oh and if you look at the Celebrity Theatresports design and think - "hey - lookin' good, very Bondish" - I thank ya.

In addition to the vice-like grip MySpace had on me I've also added Facebook to my list of "inconsequential things to fill in the time until I die"