Life on Hold Productions: Creating exciting, innovative, & diverse work! Theatrical performances, corporate events, & education for young artists. Ask me anything! #ArtistAMA #StartupAMA #FreelanceAMA

Jan 11, 2018

LoH Productions is being created primarily as a theatre troupe, we're a group who have worked together for a few years now, under the banners of community theatre groups.

There was 'Lord of the Flies' - 2016 - rave reviews & an award for excellent soundscape.

Then there was 'Moby Dick' - 2016 - awards for excellent ensemble work, & best director.

Then, 2017, we took on the mammoth challenge of 'The Jungle Book' - one cast member winning an award for his puppetry work as Kaa.

LoH Prod. will also serve as a banner under which we can operate as performers at themed events - which we've been doing, unnofficially, for a few years, this will just make it more formal, & afford us marketing opportunities.

The first one we did, 'Classic Cluedo Mystery', for AIM WA, 2014 - it was Col. Mustard who killed the good Dr Black!

I've been working in education for the past few years, so also wish to incorprate training of young thespians into the quiver of ammunition LoH Prod. has to offer! There's potential to run workshops in performance & technical aspects of theatre, as well as offering tutoring for senior school students studying drama.

We've the experience & talent to branch out on our own - now's the time!

But we can't make our dream happen without the kindness of strangers...


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Conversation (26)

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From your experience, who is the right character to choreograph a dance concert?

Jan 11, 3:25AM EST0

Sorry, another dance question...

I'm not at all involved in dance, & LoH are unlikely to stage musicals.

For a musical there's usually a choreographer, or sometimes the director will take on the task. As for concerts, I've no idea.

Sorry can't be more helpful.

Jan 11, 3:34AM EST0

What is the nature of dance concerts and how are they prepared for?

Jan 11, 2:18AM EST0

Dance concerts? 

Sorry, I have no idea. I'm not involved in dance, & Life on Hold will be tackling plays, themed events, & education - dance is not in our wheelhouse! Sorry can't be more helpful with that one.

Jan 11, 3:09AM EST0

Which is your favorite role of all that you’ve played in the past?

Jan 10, 11:09PM EST0

Haha! Wow! This is always hard to answer!

In more recent time, my undoubted favourite role was that of Walter Plinge/The Opera Ghost in Terry Pratchett's 'Maskerade' (2015). In this role I got to be both the simple & clumsy Walter, then put my mask on, straighten up, & be the charasmatic & strong Opera Ghost!! It was a real challenge to create two such distinctly different sides to the same character - I rellisehd it!!

But, going a bit further back, being part of the chorus of 'Les Miserables' (2005) was incredible! This is my favourite musical, & the swell of emotion the music creates for this story is unsurpassed!

Also, sorry, said this was a hard decision to make! My role as Annie Loder in a production of 'Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde' (2007) was my first lead role in a play, & something very special. This was an intense gothic drama, hard physical & emotional work. Jekyll/Hyde will also be part of LoH Prod. As much as bringing stories to life, theatre can create new stories & relationships in our own lives.

Last edited @ Jan 11, 1:30AM EST.
Jan 10, 11:54PM EST0

In case you hope to expand your gallery of plays by introducing dramatic and historic pieces, what main challenges are you prone to face?

Jan 10, 3:38PM EST0

We are aiming to delve into more dramatic works from this year. Having essentially done youth productions as my main works for the past two years, I am keen to work with older actors for a while now, so that opens the floor up to deeper dramatic work! Challenges for me in this will be to elicit the emotions from actors that I see coming through the plays/characters. This can be difficult as often actors & directors may not interpret characters/stories in quite the same way, & it is important to realise the directors' vision, but also for a director to have faith that the actors will create truth in what they're presenting. As a director, I can't be too rigid in my expectations for characters, as an actor, I need to respect what the director is asking for, & not just go rogue!

As far as historical pieces are concerned, the biggest challenge here is finding costumes/props/set pieces that are appropriate to the time period in question, but also the style of the play. This can be time consuming, & quite costly.

I'm currently in a production of 'Once Upon a Mattress', which is a faerie tale musical, so quite big & colourful, set in 1428. For a show like this, the costumes need to look appropriate for the era, but also be bright & colourful - so not necessarily exactly accurate, as they may need to be if, say, one was tackling Shakespeare, in it's traditional form. The biggest challenge with this is knowing where to draw the line between being just representative of a character, & offering an authentic depiction.

Jan 10, 4:11PM EST0

If you could teach me any acting technique, which one would you choose?

Jan 10, 6:13AM EST0

That's a tricky one.

I'm a strong believer in each actor finding their own way to prepare for roles & get in character - as a creative process, I don't think there are right or wrong ways to go about it.

That being said, one theorist I have spoken to quite a few actors about is Laban. He developed a theory of movement that I've found hugely helpful over the years!

Working out where a character sits on these continuums can really help create a movement pattern that is unique to the role, & different from an actor's own movement style. Especially useful if playing multiple roles in a show, or an animal, or someone of a very different age to oneself.

I'm personally quite an analytical actor, so I enjoy getting into the nitty gritty of character development, like this! It's not for everyone, but I believe Laban's theory is very worth considering in preparation for any role!

Jan 10, 3:54PM EST0

Can I prepare to present something at an audition even if it's not needed?

Jan 10, 5:40AM EST0

It's always a good idea to have a monologue & a song in your back pocket, so to speak. Often especially useful for callbacks to just have something ready to go!

Generally, you'll be told quite specifically what to prepare for an audition, but sometimes instructions can be a bit vague, so if you've got material ready to work with, great! 

Also, whatever you're auditioning for, I would recommend familiarising yourself with the script as a whole. Sometimes it can be tricky to find scripts, but it is always worth having a look. Somtimes you'll be asked to read from a script, sometimes to perform a monologue, either way, reading a script can help guide your preparation.

Jan 10, 3:45PM EST0

What are the best tips on the selection of plays?

Jan 10, 12:53AM EST0

As a director, so far, I've chosen stories that have had an impact on me, stories that matter to me. I don't think I could just be given any script & make it into a great production, there needs to be a personal connection. It's that feeling for the story that can be brought into every aspect of it's creation!

As an actor, I look for roles that interst & challenge me. The beauty of acting is being able to lose yourself in someone else! So I try to stay away from roles very similar to me.

So, I guess a tip would be, pick something that affects you. 

Last edited @ Jan 10, 12:59AM EST.
Jan 10, 12:58AM EST1
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In which area would you desire to improve as an actor?

Jan 10, 12:38AM EST0

Hmm... Well, I believe there's always rom for improvement, I can always do/be better. 

As far as one particular area, I've never been great at improvisation. Become better over the years, but especially when we're doing events, & there's no script, I would like to get better at being able to act on the spot.  Others in our group are great at this! I need to learn from them.

Jan 10, 12:47AM EST0

Why are you carrying the name LoH or Life on Hold? What is the significance of the title to the essence of the group?

Jan 9, 10:53PM EST0

Good question!

We've chosen Life on Hold (LoH just for short), as when one is involved in a production, the rest of life is on hold. For me, my shows come first, always. Whether I'm acting, directing, or just doing tech work, rehearsals need to be first priority. My team are similarly dedicated to their theatre work. We're all willing to put our lives on hold for the good of a production, so the name felt fitting!

Jan 9, 11:16PM EST0

When was your first responsibility as an actor?

Jan 9, 12:31PM EST0

I first started acting, outside of school, when I was 16 (2003). My first production was 'Paint Your Wagon', a Lerner & Loewe musical.

I was just in the chorus, but will never forget how terrified I was before opening night, or how elated I was after!!

Last edited @ Jan 10, 11:54PM EST.
Jan 9, 7:32PM EST1
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Share an experience when you had difficulty with a character. What was this specific character and why was it a challenge?
Jan 9, 11:52AM EST0

I'll give you two examples of particularly challenging roles I've played!

1) Harry Knott, 'The Season at Sarsaparilla', by Patrick White, 2013.

I often play male roles, as we are often struggling to find young men in community theatre. This is generally quite simple, as I'll be a Prince or some other 'type' of character, so can work with that in characterisation. Harry however, was just a regular, working class Aussie guy. He loved his wife & worked hard to support his family, but had no particular characteristic or idiosyncracy to latch onto as an actor. So, I had to really work hard in the way I moved, & spoke, to convicingly, in a dramatic piece no less, be a man. This was one of the smaller roles I've played, but one of the hardest.

2) Queenie, 'Be My Baby', by Amanda Whittington, 2014.

Opposite end of the spectrum! Queenie was quite a powerfully feminine character, pregnant with her second child. This play was set northern UK, 1960s, at a home where unwed women could go to have their babies, & leave them their. This was also a play with music, Queenie singing quite a lot! I have never wanted children, nor was I then particularly familiar with '60s music. So trying to create this mothering young woman, who not only has had & wants kids, but has already given one son up, who also can belt out a Ronnie Spector song, was a really complex character to wrap my head around, & emotionally very difficult to give in to, & then let go of when the season finished.

Jan 9, 7:47PM EST0
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