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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ahhh, the Tony Awards!

Unfortunately I have as much access to Foxtel as a a fish has to dry land but thanks to YouTube, my night has been made. The Tony’s recognise excellence on Broadway, rewarding performers, shows and artistic directors who’ve ‘made’ the year in the theatre. 

The 10th of June, 2012 marks the 66th Annual Tony Awards. I wanted to watch the live broadcast at 10am this morning, but as mentioned above, I’ve had to make do with the highlights from the world wide web. And basically, it’s made me want to go to New York and spend all my money on shows.

My pick of what I’ve been able to see surprises me. Firstly, I loved the cast of Evita. Ricky Martin is actually really good. He suits theatre. Maybe he should have started off, and stayed there. The cast are totally in sync with one another, the singing is a high quality and each performer looks like they’re born on be on the Beacon Theatre. My other favourite was Newsies. I’ve heard much praise for this revival from friends and reviewers but for some reason I’d never given myself the time to look into it further. It is a Disney production, with a young and largely male cast. I think tickets to Newsies would be my premiere purchase upon arrival in NYC.

The Book of Mormon has been on my To See list since I discovered the show. Written by the creators of South Park, it’s lots of cheeky bible humour, and is not one for the faint (or faith) hearted. The Book of Mormon won Best Musical at last year’s Awards, but the Elders made an appearance on stage again in 2012 introducing third-time host Neil Patrick Harris.

Harris is proudly gay and is best known for his role on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. Personally, I’ve only caught snippets of the sitcom and haven’t thought to pursue watching it. But after experiencing Harris’s humour, talent and natural performance abilities, I might see what I can find. He calls the Awards 50 Shades of Gay. Watch him.

Other blockbuster faces included Cynthia Nixon, Matthew Broderick performing songs from Nice Work If You Can Get It, and James Earl Jones. Oh, and Corbin Blue, whose pitch was, well, a little blue. Maybe he should Stick To The Status Quo.

The talent on that stage is enormous, bridging genders, generations and genres. I want to see these shows before they close. Or maybe I can watch them online, too.

And Harris clarified one thing above all. If our everyday was more like a musical, ‘life wouldn’t suck so much’. I’ll take his word for it.

 

No, not the television show, but an artist who emerged through something similar. Last night I heard Matt Corby perform at the Forum Theatre, his third sell-out Melbourne show of his Winter tour.

I’ve been a Matt fan since way back when, supporting him through Idol from start to finish. Girls across the country fell in love with his bright blue eyes, big smile and boy-fringe, myself included. But I also had an appreciation for his voice. The Voice. I believe that’s what made him special, despite winning many fans for his looks. A friend, S, shared my love for Matt Corby, and we’d avidly discuss him, his performances, and his voice for hours on end. A lot of our peers decided he was just a faze Australian teenagers were going through. But S and I knew otherwise.

Shortly after his long stint on Idol, he came to Melbourne’s outer north for a gig. We sat out in the rain, got autographs and loved every minute of it. Matt then hit the road on the Winner’s Journey tour. We watched 17 year old Matt at The Palms, with tickets we’d purchased as soon as they went on sale. Some things never change.

As Matt’s public face diminished, S and I connected with his Official Fan Club. Through this, we saw Matt perform at small, ‘intimate’ venues, organised by his loyal, true blue fans. The shows were interactive, he was still a boy, an interesting mix of humble and proud of his achievements. 

More autographs, happy snaps and brief encounters, S and I maintained our dedication. I’ve missed one major gig of Matt’s as it was a one of in Sydney. S went. I was jealous. The end.

Time passed and Matt and his band travelled and worked with international artists and producers. Toward the end of 2011, radio station Triple J caught onto the piece, Brother. Slowly, it gained commercial appeal, and ended up as a close third in the 2011 Triple J Hottest 100 awards. 

In the past six months I’ve heard Matt and his band on four occasions. His fan base has grown dramatically since reemerging as a commercial-alternative artist, but S and I feel like we’re part of an elite crew who’ve ‘been with him from Day One’. Maybe we just like to feel special, privileged… but we feel like we have some ownership over his success. Real fans will learn the lyrics to all an artist’s songs. Hearing the crowd go wild as Matt sings the infamous ‘Ohhweeo ohhweeo’ introduction to Brother is actually kind of annoying now.

LEARN SOME OTHER LYRICS, PEOPLE.

Matt Corby and his band are such versatile musicians, it’s almost a shame he’s become a commercial talent. Still, you have the girls with their mother or their boyfriend, who’ve been dragged along to watch another man woo their girl, that refuse to squeal at any other tune. It’s just irritating because Matt Corby has the vocal capacities on par with Jeff Buckley. Yes, I said it. He does. But Buckley was regarded as a musician, not just a popular singer.

I just hope Matt Corby can retain his stance as a musician, too. Next time I see him the crowd will know lyrics to two of his songs. His new single, Soul’s A Fire is getting increased airplay as we speak.

S and I will probably go to every one of Matt’s gig for the rest of time. That’s dedication.

This afternoon I sat in seat W28 for the performance of Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet. The show is a collaborative effort between husband and wife team, Rasta Thomas and Adrienne Canterna of New York City. The show is a fusion of ballet, musical theatre, jazz, hip hop, acrobatics and contemporary dance, to a soundtrack for the people. We heard the Black Eyed Peas, U2, Michael Jackson, Queen, Right Said Fred over the State Theatre’s sound system, creating an atmosphere unique to the show itself. The technical skill and precision of the dancers was incredible, but it was sincerely matched by their passion for their craft, and a professional work ethic only possible in a small cast.

Apart from Rasta Thomas and Adrienne Canterna, the principals are part of the troupe the Bad Boys of Dance. As far as I understand, this group of six male dancers is changeable, but are all trained under Thomas. Canterna choreographed almost the entire show, and her attention to detail and grasp of each style is wonderfully executed.

I’ve always wanted to be able to dance. As I’ve frequently reminded them, the one thing I regret my parents not making me do as a toddler and primary school girl, is attend dance classes. I want to know that I have that ballet foundation, the one that will make it possible for me to pick up a routine with ease, and be able to feel that lyrical flow. Over the years I’ve done martial arts, sports aerobics, musical theatre, and the odd jazz, tap or Zumba class. Whilst I can feel a beat and keep in time with the music, I know I’ll never have the satisfaction of feeling completely comfortable in the dance world.

Dancers are able to make sense of the music in a unique way. Musicians play expressively, compose, improvise and sometimes even choreograph their works, but only a dancer has the ability to create total fluidity using both body and space. A show becomes an experience, and today I was consumed and overwhelmed by the show’s unity. The synchronised movements, full use of stage breadth and depth and how in tune each dancer was with the music and fellow performers.

I could not get over their athleticism. They were all so fit and toned, but you could see the hours of hard work they put in to get these results. Centerna’s figure was so precisely sculptured, she became all the more incredible to watch. Her thighs were muscular but feminine. I can only dream of having pins like her.

I’ve come home tonight left hanging, wishing, thinking. When I watch dance, theatre and even some dance-oriented movies, I always feel like I’ve lost a part of me I never actually had. I want to be able to dance. I wish it came naturally. What they can do is inspiring and scary, but the results are full of a blinding emotion that captures me every time.

If Rock the Ballet comes to your city, do yourself a favour. Go and experience their work. If you’re not left stunned or inspired, I’d love to hear from you. And your heart must have been elsewhere.

http://www.rocktheballet.com.au/

I have a ritual of reading the print version of The Age everyday. I read or skim the main section first thing in the morning, before I leave the house. I like to know what’s going on in the world, or at least, I like to be informed about the world’s current situation.

I read The Age because we get it delivered, so its convenient. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, we also buy The Australian because Dad likes the Higher Education lift outs and such. To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to The Australian, but I think that’s habitual more than anything.

Saturday mornings are my big News times. I pull apart the newspapers and gather together a little (or big) collection of sections of interest. This selection has diversified as I’ve grown up. Initially, I flipped to the back of the main section to check the television guide, and maybe the weather. Stage two saw me reading the eg and the A2, now titled Life & Style. I wanted music and movies. That was pretty much it. I took an interest in the weekend magazines as they became glossier and put pictures of pretty ladies on the front, a marketing technique so common but oh, so enthralling.

The mighty Tigers had me opening the Sport each weekend, as I tracked the dismal play of my favourite football team. When I became a club member, I read more. When I cancelled my membership, my dedication to the section almost vanished. Funny thing though, they Tigers are roaring again but my interest in the game is still pretty hazy.

The travel section was the next to jump on board. Holidays have that global appeal (no pun intended). To see the world is on so many’s bucket list and with good reason. The two trips I’ve taken overseas were two of the best experiences I’ve had in my life, thus far. I like the letters from fellow readers expressing their travel wows and woes. Anything on Italy, I read. New York would come a close second.

The main broadsheet section of The Age became a part of my daily routine around the time when I actually needed to know stuff, for school, and to feel like I was a legitimate part of society. Gradually, my reading of this section has increased from just a casual skim to something more substantial. I’d say it takes me approximately half an hour to get through the daily news. But 30 minutes is only 30 minutes. One can hardly grasp the world in just 30 times 60 seconds.

I glance at the Education on a Monday, the Epicure on a Tuesday, the Green Guide on a Thursday, and as I mentioned earlier, the eg on a Friday. I check out My Career to see what opportunities may lie ahead. Last year, I started to flip through the Drive section. It seemed like a logical progression as I began to drive myself, and naturally, I wanted a car. The scanning did result in an amazing gift from a close family member, of which I am eternally grateful for. If you’re reading this, Nonna, the koala is still watching out for me.

I never thought it would happen, but in the past few months, I’ve even turned a few pages of BusinessDay. Yes, the business section. I couldn’t and didn’t see it coming, but choosing a Politics, Economics, Business subject to compliment my communications degree, I’ve actually started to understand and make some sense of what that world is all about. If you’d have asked me a year or even six months ago whether I’d choose this subject, I know I’d have had to try hard not to laugh in your face. But its not all numbers and figures. Societies communicate through these systems with consequences that can affect whole nations, or as in the case of the Global Financial Crisis, the world.

Six weeks ago, I knew nothing about the GFC, had no interest in learning about how or why it occurred, and was not looking forward to it coming up in my course. But, I’ve learnt so much in such a short time and am proud to say that researching the sets of actions that contributed to the crash of the 2008 U.S. housing bubble, could not have been more intriguing.

So that’s my daily paper round up. Once that’s done, I start all over again with my online program, the one I wrote about yesterday.

I’m so lucky I like my university course. Too many friends and acquaintances have been disappointed in something they were positive was right for them. For once, my indecisiveness steered me in the right direction. And I’m grateful for that, too.

After a long hiatus I’ve returned to the bloggersphere. I’m not sure where this blog will take me, if it will travel at all, or whether it will become just another thing I feel I have to do on the internet. It seems my list of have tos is growing at an unprecedented rate each time I find a new collection of clothes, news, photographs and social networking paths I wish to frequent during my Dedicated Daily Computer Time.

One day, I might only have an hour. But on average, I’m somewhat ashamed to say it can end up near six. Nevertheless, my world has grown, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My daily routine goes a bit like this: Hotmail, Twitter, Facebook, Google News, The Age, StarNow, eCaster, Pinterest, seek, Genio, Gmail… then most days I also visit a few friends tumblr’s (not a fan of the platform but a fan of the friends – a girl must grant pardon every once in a while). I check out what’s happening across the world through the New York Times, browse asos for new clothes I do not need, check out Motel, Urban Outfitters and Nike, because I really want those freestyle runners in neon colours but can’t justify the expense. Maybe if I stopped trawling over at asos I might actually Just Do It and actually get my coveted Nike’s one day.

If I didn’t have my DDCT (Dedicated Daily Computer Time) I sure would read paperbacks a lot more, I’d watch more television, and possibly see a bit more of my friends, but I suspect I’d also be bored as hell. The internet offers so many amazing opportunities to learn and explore the world in all its diversity. Whether its politics, art, fashion, economics, crime, literature or a specific culture or trend, it’s all there, right at your fingertips. 

It is as true as it is cliche and passe. No matter who you are, the internet provides a gateway to something new every single time you open up your browser. 

My fingers automatically reach out for command T when I catch a glimpse of something intriguing, and I think I’d be in the ranks for having the most ridiculous amount of tabs a person can have open, in the one window, at a single moment.

My list of Bookmarks is far too long. My Reading List is even more absurd. Every day I find articles, programs, ideas and images I want to investigate in more depth to do it justice. And so on to the Reading List it goes.

My numerous email accounts are signed up to so many daily, weekly, monthly newsletters and subscriptions, it almost defeats the purpose of belonging to an organisation, social group or mailing list. But almost is the critical word. While I think of the relief my inbox(es) may feel as I click on unsubscribe, I travel through time. Well, I think of the next day when as a consequence, I am left unaware and closed. A lesson in Public Relations Systems Theory states that a closed system is disengaged, unresponsive, closeted and isolated. Reducing connections whether it be face-to-face contact, community engagement, online networking or cancelling your eBay membership, will only shut a door you once upon a time chose to push open. 

Basically, this blog is an open opportunity for me to write. A special friend was over last night and she read a piece I wrote for my university writing folio. She then told me I should be a writer. So as crazy as it is, here I am. My System is completely open. 

If you’ve made it this far, my rant and I are very appreciative of your time and eyeballs. Seriously, thanks. And Bonne nuit.