It’s summer! There’s extra pressure this time of year to get out and have some fun. Luckily in the City of Angles, we have a lot of great entertainment options. One you may want to add to your list is The Last Breakfast Club: Musical Parody at the Rockwell: Table & Stage. Gen Xers and 80’s music enthusiasts, this show is for you.
The show appropriately opens with the familiar R.E.M. song “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” as we find the expected gang of five in weekend detention. All is just as you’d expect, except there’s been a nuclear disaster and they are very likely the last brain, athlete, basket case, princess and criminal on the planet, all holed up in the library. But don’t you worry, Bradely Bredeweg (director, EP, co-writer) and Rockwell veteran Kate Pazakis (EP, artistic director, co-writer) have them all mulling over the same teenage angsty 80‘s issues from the beloved movie as well as a few new topics to add to the mix. Good ‘ole Principal Vernon is there keeping watch, although he is a now a zombie. And Carl the uptight janitor seems to have survived as well. Purists don’t fret, the changes are fun and there are a lot of them, it is The LAST Breakfast Club after all.
“If only,” two words that can make you feel like a victim and keep you stuck in negativity the rest of your life. If only I was 3 inches taller, 30 pounds thinner, and could sing and dance like Beyonce! It goes on and on and on. When your happiness is reliant on the external instead of the internal you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Seeing everything through a negative lens robs you of joy, zaps your enthusiasm and leaves you feeling as if something is always missing or not quite right.
You’ve done all the things you can to have command and control over your career. You are a solid actor, you have a well-developed resume, you are comfortable auditioning and you know how to be in a room. (see blog What Hamilton and Commercials Have In Common). Even after doing all you can do to take control, there is one element you have no control over that can work for or against you. That is the element of luck.
After you do everything to create your own luck, let’s look at where this mystical area comes into play. Bringing these areas to light can eliminate the stress of fighting against something you really have no control over.
GO FOR IT! IF YOU DON’T SOMEBODY ELSE WILL
Your fear can be the answer to why you are here.
What is it that makes one person go for it and another just talk about it?
Honestly, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I go for it I do it full force, and when I talk about it, well, I tend to do that full force too! After a while, I get tired of hearing myself talk about it and I am sure all the people who have had to listen to me are just as exhausted as I am!
I’ll admit, I’m a little excited and a little scared. I’m attempting to tackle a topic that doesn’t have a clear answer: How an actor finds commercial representation. I’ve had many actors ask and my answer is always something close to shrugging my shoulders. But that’s a cop out. There are MANY ways an actor can obtain a commercial agent and I know of plenty of them. The painful part of the process is no one can say which one or which ONES will work for you. There are variables that are in your control and out of your control at any given time. In the end, you just need to try things and work at it. But making informed decisions is a good thing, and that’s where I (hopefully) come in with some help.
“No matter what anybody tells you, thoughts and ideas can change the world”
– Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society
The world today is a precarious place with humanity at the immediacy of the media. The endless variety of news platforms submerges us in every glorified facet of existence; ignorance is no longer bliss when the ability to access information is expedited straight to our fingertips. With every click of a Facebook post and Twitter mention we are catapulted into the global perils of society.
Remember the film Clueless? Cher Horowitz depicted a modern day version of Jane Austin’s Emma in the coming of age comedy about a teenage girl and her friends growing up in the lap of luxury in Beverly Hills. Together the teenagers tackled high school, freeways, siblings, fashion and relationships in a much simpler world. Clearly, not everyone is as fortunate as the 16 year old Cher to grow up in a mansion with columns that “date all the way back to 1972” yet, the cult classic undeniably reflected the purity of a time when anxiety and terror were at an all-time low, with the latter barely even a flicker in our sheltered lives. Aside from Clueless being a favourite movie of my youth with its epic one-liners becoming a fixture in my adolescent (sometimes even adult) vocabulary, it also represented a happier time, a time when people seemed to be nicer – and not just sporadically either. One may say the film marked the end of the age of innocence when we had a “way normal life,” our only direction was “to the mall” and before the world became a “full on Monet” aka “just a big old mess.”
“This month, make a conscious effort to not apologise for yourself, in life or in the room.”
This month I’ve been thinking a lot about how I view myself and how that in turn affects my career and my performances. I’ve spoke about it before, but I’ll say it again, our minds are so powerful. What we think, we create. Belief and imagination manifest reality. The age of social media and filters has made reality, and the truth, malleable. We place extravagant standards on ourselves as a result of watching someone’s highlight reel and comparing it to our own. Who is honest anymore? It feels like everyone is buying social media followers, filtering their photos and giving that ‘perfect’ audition. It is exhausting trying to keep up.
I injured myself this month and have had to take it easy. Being injured really sucks; I hate not being able to give 100% but that’s what my body needs and I listen to it. I’m almost back to normal now, thank goodness, and I learned that when we get injured we need to listen to our body and let it heal. If we push against that pain and refuse to recognise it, then it’s going to start screaming at us and most likely, we will do more damage.
Have you ever been to an audition, walked out and asked yourself the following questions?
- What the actual hell am I doing with my life?
- Who even am I?
- Was that a practical joke?
- Am I the world’s worst actor?
- Would setting myself on fire in front of the casting director have been less painful than that casting?
If the answer is yes, then cool – SAME!
If the answer is no then congratulations, you’re a unicorn.
After reading that, it may come as no surprise to you that I have been to some pretty embarrassing auditions. I have been auditioning for professional work for many years and it’s only been the past 12 months I have come to better understand the beast that is auditioning.
“There’s something to be said for seeing someone go from working double shifts in hospitality 6 days a week to getting flown first class across the world to do something they love.”
Aussies in LA. For a relatively sparsely numbered, fairly chilled out bunch so far south that the next stop straight down is the South Pole, we certainly hold our own in the Megatropolis of Dreams.
What is the secret to this much touted Australian success in Hollywood? Is it training? Optimism? Opportunity? Work ethic? Is it positive subliminal conditioning from growing up in a society prizing, at least philosophically, ‘a fair go’? As our second year acting teacher, the indomitable Australian actor and director Mark Constable would cheerfully announce after we gave a particularly horrific performance: “well, you gave it a crack!” Without delving into a complex socio-cultural analysis, it is probably fair to say that Australian actors aren’t afraid to take risks. And it is certainly paying unmistakeable dividends.
Now there’s a new kid on the LA block and his name is Damian Sommerlad. Fresh outta Syd-city having filmed Australian feature Life of the Party starring Holly Brisely, Damian has worked in London, Australia and now is hitting LA with a vengeance — and he has some great ‘top tips’ for success.
Summer is here (finally) and it really is time for us all venture out, leaving the comforts of our living rooms and to share with old and new friends alike what has now become a regular staple in the film events calendar – the outdoor summer screening!
With so many different venues and options to choose from these days, we round up a collection of our favourites across the UK.
Image copyright – Somerset House
Somerset House, London
Perhaps the most well known summer screening series, and the longest running, is Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. This year boasts UK premiers of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power on opening night and this years Palme d’Or winner The Square as well as a whole host of other crowd pleasing classics likes Jaws and Donnie Darko. Full screening dates and times. read more