Here we are…

January 2015 is finally here – a big Happy New Year to you all!

Elphie gives notes after a rehearsal

Elphie gives notes after a rehearsal

When Lily and I went to Hothouse Theatre in February 2014 to undertake ten days of creative development on My Pet, My Love, we had no idea that a year later we would be putting on a one man show in the Midsumma Festival. Well, here were are and our show opens in less than three weeks!

We’ve been rehearsing like mad, with help from Lily’s new daughter Elphie (she’s a great assistant director, who very rarely spits the dummy!) and have two incredible designers on board, James O’Donoghue, lighting and sets, and Jai Leeworthy our sound designer. We are also very fortunate to have secured the La Mama Courthouse which is the perfect venue for our piece.

I am very excited to be sharing My Pet, My Love with an audience as this piece has been a long time in the works and one that is very personal to me. A lot of people have asked me what the piece is about and it’s difficult to answer that in one sentence.

In 2005, my Nonna began to forget things and in 2007, she was diagnosed with dementia. In 2012, she died, a shell of her former shelf, in the dementia ward of a nursing home. These events, and the impact they had on my family were the inspiration for this show.

I saw the effect my Nonna’s dementia had on my father, and then in turn, on me and so many questions started going through my head. What if my father develops dementia? Will I be as strong as him? What if I develop it? Or my partner? My friends joke that I’m forgetful and have early onset dementia, but what if there’s some truth to it? It’s a terrifying thought.

My Pet, My Love tells a number of stories. It is the story of an elderly gay couple whose relationship is affected when one develops dementia and the other becomes the carer. It is the story of a child who discovers death for the first time, and it is the story of me, a 30 something grappling with my own fears of growing old.

So, if I had to sum it up in a sentence – My Pet, My Love is a one man show about fish, forgetting and the fear of dying single.

La Mama Courthouse

La Mama Courthouse

Tickets for the show are on sale now and can be purchased via the following website – http://lamama.com.au/summer-2015/my-pet-my-love/

I hope to see you there

Rob

 

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Two down, eight to go!

Earlier this week we bumped the show into the theatre, rigged the lights, set up the set (doesn’t sound right, but I’m sure it is), had a tech run, a dress rehearsal and then we opened! Phew! Somehow in amongst those crazy few days we ran around doing last-minute publicity, including a great radio interview on SYN FM (click here to listen), made a few props and did a hell of a lot of painting and gaffing. There were tears and frustrations, but we made it. Our opening night – a night Carly and I had been thinking of for many many months. And what an opening it was. To say that our opening was flawless would be a lie – some things don’t go entirely to plan. But our audience was so supportive. They laughed, they cried, they cheered, and most importantly, they made us feel that it was all worthwhile and I couldn’t have been happier.

Yesterday was Valentine’s day. Before the show, our extremely talented sound designer Lore Burns set the mood by playing her original compositions on the piano, and with champagne and chocolates in hand, our audience entered the theatre for a night of fun and laughs. It was sweet to see people on their date night – we all felt the love in the room!

Our first review came out this morning. Alex Paige from Stage Whispers had this to say “Rob Gaetano as Tony is engaging while self-deprecating. Chloe Reid as Ruth gives us a cool exterior with a nice spark of genuine warmth beneath, which gradually emerges as the play progresses. Kirk Alexander as Don is full of bluster, passion and infectious energy. And a special mention must be made of Carrie Moczynski, whose genuine, touching and multi-layered Edie was a standout.” Click here to read more of this fantastic review!

Bonnie Moir from Storybottle who filmed our fantastic trailer, took these photos at our final dress rehearsal. Thanks again Bonnie for all your support – you’ve been amazing!

Tony  Edie  Tony and Don  Ruth and Tony  Ruth  Don and Edie  ChloeReid_Ruth  Tony and Ruth

There are eight more shows to go and tickets are selling fast. If you haven’t booked yet, I encourage you to do so soon. Just follow the link at www.marcupproductions.com.

Hope to see you at the theatre!

Rob

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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!

Rob

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