A huntin’ and a gatherin’

The mad and ridiculous rush to the Christmas deadline didn’t apply to MARC Up.

Instead, with final rehearsal for 2012 on 20 December, actors were given homework – lines, accents and publicity material. The poor producer didn’t get a break either – but it didn’t help that she gave herself a long list of tasks to do.

Everyone has to chip in and double up on roles that would normally be done by others if time, money and extra people allowed. One of my tasks is to help search for props and other items for the set. When our set designer Bonnie handed over the prop list I couldn’t wait to get started. I love hunting for treasure, and without revealing too much, these items are from a time and place I’m familiar with.

So instead of wrapping presents, shelling prawns and disturbing the peace singing Christmas carols, I dived head first into dark cupboards, explored dusty sheds, sifted through piles of scrap metal, fished bottles out of bins. I drove Dad along gravel roads looking for discarded wooden boxes and appointed Mum as my production assistant on trips to second hand shops in Daylesford.

It didn’t stop there. On Saturday Kate, Bonnie and I shopped at the Salvos and IKEA (we managed IKEA in 20mins! Surely a Saturday record?) and debated over what pieces would suit which character, wouldn’t break the bank or our backs.

The design – set, props, lighting, sound and costume – is the other character you see on stage. It interacts with, speaks to and enhances the action, words and feelings of the actors. It completes the picture.

When you see a show or movie you may not give a lot of thought to all the people behind the scenes who make story come alive through their design. So next time you’re at a show or watching a movie think about how the light tells you what time has passed, the music that makes you think of your first boyfriend, the smells that reminds you it’s dinner time and the sound of heavy boots that tell you of danger. Then think about the designers that create this experience and how talented and passionate they are.

Thank you to the 35 people who pledged to our very successful Pozible campaign. We raised far more than we hoped for and as promised it will go straight towards production costs including design.


PS: Only 5 weeks to go. Tickets on sale next week via www.owlandcat.com.au

Fear and loving in Manchester

As I’ve said numerous times before, Kiss Me Like You Mean It is about love, but I’ve neglected to mention that it is also about something else that is just as strong. Fear.

Yesterday in rehearsal Chloe and I made really powerful discoveries around these two feelings. Kate (our director) had us play the scene with an atmosphere of love hanging over us, then again with an atmosphere of fear. It wasn’t until we combined these two, the overpowering love and the seeping in of fear that the magic started to happen, and the reality of our characters became apparent.

We discovered what it means for our characters to be deeply in love, and also deeply afraid. Its scary, almost terrifying to fall in love, to give yourself over to love. I know for me, this hit hard. I haven’t been in love with someone for a very long time, but I remember so strongly that the most recent time I felt a tingling of this love for someone, it was laced with such fear of them not loving me back that it was almost paralysing. I guess for some people, relationships with their partners, at whatever stage they are in, can be a constant tug-o-war between love and fear.

As an actor, it’s really exciting when you make these discoveries and the more I evolve as an actor the more I realise that so much of my work comes from who I am as a person. Rather than trying to layer an idea of a character on top of my work, I simply have to look inside and be true to what I’m feeling. Me, it’s that simple.

What’s not simple however, is the accent. You know how much I hate actors entering from the audience, but what I hate just as much is bad accents. The Manchurian accent is hard. However, we’re no longer afraid of the accent and in letting go of that fear, we’re allowing ourselves to play more and more and the accents are coming along. Don’t fear the accent, love the accent…

In other exciting news, last night we hit our target for our Pozible campaign, so thank you so much to everyone that has donated! I’ve been really overwhelmed by the people who have come forward and donated, not because of the incentives or because I’ve vowed never to speak to you again if you fail to donate, but simply because you love us, and that means the world to me. Really it does. Last week a friend who I don’t see nearly as much as I’d like to, made a very generous contribution and it brought me to tears, but it also made me think “Yes, I can do this, people do believe in me”. So thank you.

If you’re keen to get involved and help us out you still can! Our campaign closes in 18 days and even though we’ve reached our target, it would be amazing if we exceeded it and it would make things so much easier for us as we head into January. So keep the donations coming – http://www.pozible.com/kissme

The next time you hear from us, the jolly fat man would have been and gone, and the party hat from New Year Eve will be in the recycling bin. So until then, Carly and I wish you a joyous fun filled festive season, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2013!



And we’re off!!

On Tuesday night the cast got together for our first reading of Kiss Me Like You Mean It. To say that I was a little excited would be a massive understatement! All day I found it very hard to concentrate on anything, which is usually what I’m like on most days anyway, but this day was worse. So many questions ran through my head. What would it sound like? Would the cast gel straight off the bat? Will the director be excited or lose faith? Should we have wine or just tea during the break? Is our flat clean enough to host people? Will those bloody pigeons on the balcony distract us!? So much to think about, just breathe…

The reading went off without a hitch, no pigeons in sight, although the heavy bass music coming from our neighbours was a little strange considering it was 7pm on a Tuesday night! Every actor gave it their all and there was numerous occasions when the reading ground to a halt as we burst out in fits of laughter. This is definitely a strong group of actors, but not just that, they’re all lovely people too.  If this was anything to go by, then it will be a really enjoyable experience. I hope…

With the reading done, and rehearsals about to start we’re on track to producing this fantastic play! However, there is one thing missing – you. Don’t worry we’re not going to ask you to act in this play. I, like so many people HATE audience participation! But not as much as I hate actors entering from the audience – but that’s a whole ‘nutha story.

This project has been a labour of love for Carly and I from the beginning. So much so that we’ve invested a lot of our own blood, sweat, tears and money into making it a reality. However, we need just a bit more of that money to take us over the line. So here’s where you come in.  We’re launching a fundraising campaign to raise $1,500. It may sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it’s only a small percentage of our budget, albeit an important one. And considering how many Facebook friends I have, I think it’s an achievable target. If we go over the target of $1,500, that’s even better! The money we raise will help us cover a variety of different production costs.

We’re running a fundraising campaign through the crowd funding website Pozible, and making a donation is quick and easy. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and you’ll get loads of love and kisses from us, even if you don’t want them!


Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week. Now to get back to working on that Mancunian accent!