Commissioned as digital story telling & digital documentation producer for Evolveris/NESSie public forum.
What's his story to tell?
Boil the kettle & make a cuppa - here's a yarn about journeying, change, place - and culture making.
I've lived in Armidale for 15 years and work in the arts & media in the country marked out by Mungindi, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Coonabarabran.
I was 17 when I saw my first professional theatre production and I was one of the first kids out west in the 70's that joined up with the Q-Theatre's pilot of outreach drama workshops.
Professional city actors trekking out west, passing on their knowledge & experience to working class kids - at 19 I'd started to think the theatre might be something to do with my life.
That's how I got my start.
After High School I studied Theatre & Film at the University of NSW then moved into a career in Fringe & Alternative Theatre in Sydney & Melbourne.
As an actor and as crew, I ventured occasionally into film & TV, when I had the opportunity between theatre projects.
Producer, director, actor, playwright, technician, puppeteer, teacher of performance & production skills and mentor are a few hats I've worn in my first career.
I've worked, in one capacity or another, on over 200 live performance events/productions - exploring the gamut of possibilities that the making of theatre in Australia presents.
From busking in the streets of Sydney, stage lighting for club music acts & cabaret shows, outdoor shows & entertainment, freelancing for independent production, directing Shakespeare,
teaching in university drama & theatre courses, tutoring in acting schools and generating community theatre, touring NSW & Victoria with theatre productions….
Woven through this, my apprenticeship, as artistic director & producer for an non-subsidised, self funded theatre company I co-founded in 1982 - Fata Morgana, Melb.
- a rich and exciting enterprise, where I learned my craft. A 24/7 life that let me learn about every aspect of theatre making & production - the ten years after university life.
And then began my journey towards cultural activism.
I started to ask myself what the rest of the world was doing with the theatre, what did they want with it? did they need it? how would they use it?
And this lead me to ask what is it we want/need from the Arts.
I began to get very interested in how the world outside "Showbiz" and professional mainstream arts practice engaged in cultural activity & cultural production.
And then I was bounced by South African protest theatre of the 1980's - productions that toured to Australia, born in the Townships of Johannesburg and Capetown, and out of the Anti-Apartheid cause.
Taking the message to the world. Using the tools of cultural production to communicate the need for action - expressing the needs of community.
And so, as soon I started to look at what the rest of the world around me was doing with theatre, performance, the Arts & culture making and the media, my professional life took a 3600 turn and I began to work as an artist in community.
I soon discovered how much an artist needs to know and be able to do in service to their community. I soon discovered that I had to be equipped with much more than my theatre experience.
Can you do this? How can we do this? Show me how? Can you teach us how to do this? We were thinking of doing this…….could we do that here?
So my brief is set by what my community, other communities need - I do what they call out of me.
I pursue the skills and methodologies they need, and those I need to be of use - I do my best to share them.
Add to the mix the new media, community TV, arts intervention programs with disadvantaged youth & young offenders, commercial & community radio, youth arts projects, collaborations with Aboriginal artists and communities, workshops in High Schools,role play activity at conferences, mentoring young artists, digital story gathering……
And that brings me to Armidale in 2008 and Social Ventures Media - a 30 year journey…….
To the community-
the tools to make culture,
the means of expression
and access to the media of communication.
With the community -
record and share their stories,
celebrate ordinary lives through culture making.
Time to boil the kettle again