An Actor’s Life.

Chris and I are both trained actors, as I hope is more than obvious to those who come on “Louisa’s Walk” and hear the story of Louisa and the day-to-day trials of life in the Cascades Female Factory. Again and again we hear comments like “Oh! You really take us there” or “I had to fight back the tears, it’s all so real!”. These comments are music to our ears of course. I often preface the start of “Louisa’s Walk” by telling the audience that there is little left to this, now World Heritage listed site, but sandstone walls. “But don’t worry,” I say, “we will take you there with our dramatic skills. Let us paint the scene for you with our words”. It is true that it is partly our passion for what we do and our skills, that make “Louisa’s Walk” the success that it has become.
However, as actors, we are also available for other acting gigs and that has been very apparent in the last week. We were both cast as extras in the latest Willem Dafoe film “The Hunter”, parts of which are being shot here in Tasmania. So, last Monday night saw both of us providing background characters to a scene being shot in the cocktail bar of the Grand Chancellor hotel in Hobart. The film tells the tale of someone who is obsessed with finding the last Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine (Willem Dafoe’s character of course). I have long held the view that, just as the New Zealand film industry seems to have carved a niche for dark,brooding films, Tasmania can do the same, finding its own, specific, genre. Our wonderful light, majestic and varied scenery and the swag of good talent both onscreen and behind the scenes, not to mention post production, should be recognised. A little island at the bottom end of the world? Why not? We are unique and talented! I hope “The Hunter” is a huge success for all concerned.

From time-to-time, we also are lucky enough to be cast for advertisements (I feature on several, currently showing on television at present). These, whilst not requiring a great deal of acting talent, are well paid and swell the coffers of our erratic income so, are very welcome! Last week Chris was cast in the latest RACT advertisement which entailed an afternoon’s and an evening’s filming. It was a huge cast with eight different locations and a dozen or so cast members. Chris plays the driving instructor and then cuts to the man whose house is burning down so, if you’ve been on “Louisa’s Walk”, you can see Chris in yet another character!

As if this wasn’t enough excitement for one week, Chris also had a call from a young film-maker/ writer/director with whom he had worked several years ago – Sean Byrne. Sean has just released his first feature length movie, “The Loved Ones”. Because Chris had helped him out with his early shorts, which helped to set him on the road to being a film-maker, Sean invited us to the premiere launch of the movie at Village Cinema, Glenorchy last Thursday. Chris had warned me Sean was into horror and that it may be pretty dark! I have to admit that, as a genre, it was not my bag BUT – what a talent! I have no doubt that “The Loved Ones” will quickly gather a cult following. This young man could well be Australia’s answer to the Coen Brothers in a few year’s time. The film had a sense of place and characterisation rarely seen in Australian films – indeed it has already won awards at prestigious Film Festivals and deservedly so. Check out Margaret and David’s review on the “Movie Show” this Wednesday. It would need to be a different genre but, if ever Sean needs an older woman to feature in an upcoming movie,he can contact me via this web site!

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