What Is it Like Producing A Live Theatrical Production

Since I have taken on Assistant to the Producer for a local theatre group, called Naked Villainy – it sounds risqué but it is a Shakespearean allusion.

Check them out and show your support by liking their page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naked-Villainy/587639971312725

 

The actor and backstage positions for Mort have been filled. Phew, I wipe the sweat from my brow as the performance is only three weeks away.

We have builders slaving away on the massive stage set, many people sourcing and making props; the cast are rehearsing and perfecting each scene and my director Sharon Kennedy, looks like she could do with a five espressos.

Producing a full scale production for three performances at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre is, how to put this, er, say this elegantly… I need an understatement .. is just mental.

I run around putting up posters all over town to catch the attention of our theatre and entertainment loving locals and I’m on a social media campaign which keeps my hands connected to my keyboard when I’m not working. I have called every school in the greater SouthWest inviting them to our Senior High School matinée on Friday August 1st. I’m currently harassing journalists to do a story on our play – they are hard to get hold of but enthusiastic about our theatre group presenting Mort, the comedy play by writer Terry Pratchett.

So it is a bit busier than I first visualised.

I’ll be honest, I took on the gig of Producer because I thought it involved me wearing fur-trimmed jackets, swanning around rehearsals sipping on lattes…

 

I usually have to learn things the hard way. It is fun, but I’ll be glad when it is over. Fingers crossed that it is a sensational success!

MORT-POSTER

Scored a job in Theatre!

I’m officially assisting the production of Mort. The Terry Prachett novel is funny, clever and very entertaining. As soon as my day job finishes, I’m hassling the talented director for advertising posters and whipping up a media storm. It is a local show and I’m looking forward to seeing the performance at the new Entertainment Cube in the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.

Fingers crossed that none of the actors actually break their legs or go all diva on opening night. Check it out – http://bit.ly/1plUkx7
Mort

Who is the Better Friend?

I arrived in Melbourne: awesome city. I’m from Perth so any city is awesome.

My friend met me at the airport, “Mel, you’re in Melbourne! Whadaya want to see first?”
I just hopped off the plane so I didn’t want to do anything at all.
“I want to see the bright lights from your TV and your DVD collection.”
“No, don’t be ridiculous. We have a lot to offer the tourist: culture, book stores, fashion, federation square…”
“Let me stop you there: DVD + eyeballs = TV.”
“Mel, you need to experience Melbourne.”
“I will, and I’d like to experience Melbourne via the television.”
“No, we are going for a drive.”

I don’t know why I have friends.

So we are out for a drive. The excitement is never-ending and my friend announces, “Let’s pop in on Deanne. She’s really nice. She’s South African and loves living in Australia. You’ll love her.”
“I’d love your lounge chair and your telly. That is what I would love.” I mutter.

As we are driving into the driveway, Deanne has already opened the door and rushed down the driveway. Her arms are open and she greets us with a massive smile and many warm greetings.
“Welcome, welcome. It is so good to see you all. Come in, Come in. Oh this is your friend! I’ve heard much about you. Oh! It is so good to meet you.”
She embraces me and leads me to a comfy chair. *Yep, I do love her.*
“Make yourself comfortable. Are you hungry? I have plenty of food. It would be a pleasure to share with you my friends. And we will talk, yeah, we will catch up.”
“Hee hee, bye Deanne.” I wave girlishly as she enters her kitchen.

Deanne is not ripping open a packet of doritos and dumping them in a bowl – no, she is whipping up ordervey things with toothpicks.

My friend nudges me and says, “Why can’t you be a bit more like Deanne?”
“What?” My brilliant comeback.
“Remember when I visited you last year?”
“Are you still stroppy about that? Look, you ‘popped’ over, unannounced, between the hours of 8am and 10pm, which you know is not a good time for me.”
“What was the first thing I said to you?”
“I have just travelled three thousand kms to see you. Wow, has it really been five years?” I responded.
“And what did you say to me?” She glared at me.
“Well… I asked, well, ‘is it important?’” *valid question*. “But, then I said, ‘Come on in… but I’ve got no food’.”
“And then what did you say?”
“I think I sighed, clicked my tongue and asked how long were you staying or if I could book you a hotel?” *Yet another valid question*. I looked at my friend, she had a point. So I shouted to Deanne, “Deanne! do you mind if I put the TV on and rest up a bit?”
“Go ahead my friend. You must be tired from your trip.” Deanne bustled through and handed me the remote.
I leant over to my friend, “Now who should be more like Deanne.”

Blame it on the Boogie

My friend and I were discussing modern music and I said, “My view is that the lyrics, dance moves and music clips are overtly sexual.”
My friend disagreed so I emphasised my point, “I’m saying that kids are growing up with some in your face, hardcore lyrics and sexual images.”

Allow me to explain.

Let’s look at the Victorian era. The opposite sex would meet at a ball. Both dressed up in an attractive way to entice the other partner. The lady was covered in three layers up to her neck and down to her ankles: very hubba hubba in those days. The dashing gentleman was fully covered in a suit. This era was all about look at my face and appreciate the conversation, because you’re not getting a looksee into anything else, not till after we’re married… even then you’ll be lucky.

At the aforementioned ball, the gentleman would ask the lady to dance and engage in polite small talk. They would do this several times: Get to know one another at social functions and balls, dance, chat, take a turn about the garden and finally meet the parents. Then they’d get married and have ten children.

Fast forward to the 21st Century

The party is jumping, the music is pumping and ‘the lady’ is hardly wearing any clothes but loads of makeup and bling. The gentleman is wearing Nike everything or no shirt to showcase his tats and wearing saggy pants which look like he hasn’t fully pulled up from visiting the toilet.

He engages in ‘polite small talk”: “What a smoking, hot, banging Double D babe you are. I want to give it to you, (not flowers), so do you put out? (not the garbage) and check out that rack – (not rack of lamb she had for dinner).”

The music starts… not instrumental music, not tunes with lyrics like, ‘I want to hold your hand or I love you or Please marry me’: no, the lyrics are rude, crude, crass and vulgar about sexual acts riddled with expletives with a bass so loud that disturbs all my internal organs.

And our young people are hooked up to their iPods for the majority of the day listening to this stuff. And we wonder why we are having problems with our youth.

My friend disagreed with me and told me to take a chill pill and stop being such a prude.

Why I don’t like Bunbury, Western Australia

Every time I say that I don’t particularly like living in Bunbury, I receive the same reaction: a look of utter astonishment, followed by incomprehension and then the rebuke – WHAAAT! This place is paradise! What is wrong with you?

So many things, but let’s not get into that.

Bunbury has loads of everything:

Bunbury is called the city on three waters. Driving home I pass Back Beach and catch a glimpse of the Indian ocean’s waves jostling and exalting local surfers; I pass by the calm Koombana bay with its golden sands, family friendly waters and peaceful pelicans; and then drive home in relative ease past the serene Leschanault Estuary. Nearly every night, this popular waterway is jotted with people crabbing and fishing. There are kookaburras laughing, cormorants majestically airing their wings and black swans gliding through this estuary, and I enjoy all this against a backdrop of a glorious burnished pink sunset.

It is truly horrible.

I work in the CBD right in the middle of the famous cappuccino strip, which boasts a vibrant café culture, world class restaurants and boutique stores. Uh – meh. We even have a… what I affectionately call: The Bunbury Yeller. We have our own madman who walks around Bunbury shouting crazy stuff. He livens up the place and I have grown quite fond of him, but I still avoid him like the plague if he is on a rant. He must be on good meds, because he has been pretty quiet of late. I miss his verbal havoc.

Even though Bunbury is WA’s 3rd largest city, Bunbury is small enough for you to meet and get to know people. It enjoys a regional town atmosphere with a city label. Every day I park 500 metres from the city centre in the jetty car park, so I can walk to work along the Estuary promenade. Every day I see herons, sea gulls and a few bottle nosed dolphins. I once saw a baby stingray cruising along the shoreline. I enjoy the early morning sunlight dancing on the rippling waters, and during summer, the warmth from the Australian sun heats up the small of my back so I arrive to work toasty and content. Come to think of it, I enjoy about 3000 hours of sunshine in Western Australia. In fact us Bunbury-ites enjoy a fairly temperature climate: about 30 degrees in summer and 14 in winter.

I even live near a river that hosts hundreds of butterflies during their breeding season and where a tribe of kangaroos live. I once witnessed a big grey kangaroo bound across the road when I walked to the local shops. How cool is that… meh.

So what am I complaining about… paradise is boring.

I hang my head in shame for I am an ungrateful spoilt westernised brat.

Also, do you know that Bunbury is only one hour from the famous Margaret River renowned world over for its surfing & wineries. Yep, been there, so whatevs.

And Saturday nightlife in Bunners is pretty lively. The Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre received 10 million dollars in funding and has gone all state of the art and offers cultural activities and entertainment. Enjoy a Saturday evening in Bunbury… if you don’t mind pushing past drunken, brawling and yahooing bogans. Oh! thank goodness, I found one legitimate complaint.

As my favourite comedian says: What is wrong with all you Australians? There you are, golden sun beating down on you, surrounded by sparkling emerald oceans, lying on a beach, drinking your banana and guava smoothies and you say … “This place is rubbish! I’m going to the other side of the world to the freezing cold to live in a cupboard with 8 other people.”

I won’t be doing that.

I’m considering changing my attitude to Bunbury and appreciating what I’ve got… hmmm, it’ll probably be easier moving.

AAAAAA Messed up