Class Comedy

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Hills dwellers need not travel to the inner city for hilarious first class comedy – Melbourne Fringe on tour returns to Burrinja with Bucket’s List, a satirical comedy about love and buckets by multi award winning Belgrave writer Sarah Collins, starring Justin Kennedy and a possum plus live music on stage.

“The show itself is a gem of a thing – inspired by a real life bucket salesman I met at a wedding,” says Sarah. “The show has been so positively reviewed, and I swear he is why. He is one of the kindest, nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was just totally inspirational. He was actually a bucket salesman by day and wedding DJ by night, and these two disparate worlds just HAD to be explored in a show, I felt. The trick was figuring out how to bring them together into a cohesive show that had a storyline and made sense and felt complete, not just novel. The jumping off point for me was these two jobs he did. Beyond that it was about imagining a world where something interesting happens because of those jobs. I had to explore the world of buckets and love and figure out a path for them to come together. So that’s essentially what the show is – a collision of these two worlds.”

Sarah and Justin share an underground house in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges – which has been featured on the Design Files blog.

With a hilarious support set by another seasoned local comedian Michael Connell this is sure to be a night to remember. Michael, who’s performed on Australia’s Got Talent, Rove, and other TV shows, mixes big ideas with big laughs before throwing in a few surprises.

Are you a budding writer or comedian or both?  Here’s your chance to learn from this talented duo by taking part in a Comedy & Script Development Workshop with Justin Kennedy & Sarah Collins the weekend before the show. Bucket’s List is a storytelling show, told through the mediums of narration, physical comedy, live music and puppetry – and this workshop brings all of these experiences together.

“We’ve been getting asked to do more and more of these comedy/writing workshops in recent times, which is great, because we really love talking about ourselves and feeling like we still know things after being on a big parenting kick the last two years!” Sarah explains. “A session just like this was what got me into writing my own things back in 2004 and I would go so far as to say it was life-changing. Certainly career changing at the very least.”

“The biggest thing we want participants to know is that the workshop is not at all scary. You don’t have to be a genius to get something from what we’re teaching. It actually takes the process back to the very basics and gives everyone these ridiculously simple tools to create their own work.”

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Clockwise from top: Sarah Collins, Justin Kennedy and Michael Connell.

 

Comedy Class – with Justin Kennedy
Justin is a stand up, actor, and head writer for Channel 10’s The Project. He has written for Letters and Numbers and Rove and has been a regular on the Comedy Channel for years.

From Idea to Script to Show – with Sarah Collins
Sarah is a Belgrave based writer and performer known for her comedic storytelling shows.
She has won numerous awards for her script writing and her shows have enjoyed sell out seasons at La Mama, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, the Arts Centre Melbourne – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and even Toowoomba! Her show Bucket’s List has received straight 5 star reviews and won the Tiki Tour Award.

“We’re so happy to be playing at Burrinja, our home arts centre! We’ve had such amazing support from the hills and can’t wait to play for all our friends here.”

Bucket’s List, with support act by Michael Connell plus Comedy & Script Development workshop at Burrinja – Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.
Workshop: Sunday 2 Oct, 2 – 4:30pm
Performance: Friday 7 Oct, doors open 7:30pm
Cost:  Performance $18 – $28 | Workshop $25 | Workshop &performance $44
Fantastic student price for the show and workshop just $35
Contact: 9754 8723

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Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

Lantern Parade turns 10

Post by Justine Walsh.

Belgrave Lantern Parade has become a very well known and celebrated event on the local calendar, with up to 10,000 people from the Dandenongs and beyond attending. This year the parade, held on Saturday the 18th of June, will be celebrating the festival’s 10th year!

It is shaping up to be more spectacular than ever. There will be dancing, singing, drumming, musical & even circus performances! With a beautiful post-parade Village space for community to gather for delicious food, hot drinks and entertainment – complete with fire pits & lantern tipis – there will be plenty for everyone to see, hear & engage with!

Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

2016’s parade is a very exciting one – the Lantern Parade team have been busy ensuring that the program is jam-packed and has something for everyone.
Before the parade – from 4pm onward – the main street will be alive with activity. With the road closing at 5pm and parade beginning at 5:45pm, the cold winter night won’t deter thousands of people from congregating and watching the playful & spectacular beauty of the parade, or walking along with their beautiful lanterns!

At 6pm, The Village (in Hayes Carpark) will open, and will run until 9pm for people to continue to enjoy themselves & celebrate. There will be delicious local food, hot chocolate, face painting, fire pits to warm your hands, singalongs with local musicians to join in, performances by local poets & storytellers, beautiful glowing decorations and giant lit-up lantern tipis decorated by local school children and artists! With spaces for young & old to play, sit back and relax, sing, listen and get cosy inside a lantern tipi, there will be ample opportunity to bask in the gentle afterglow of the parade and experience the sensory delights of celebrating our community in the depths of winter.

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Lantern making workshops have been running for the past couple of months and many beautiful handmade works have been crafted specially for the event. Ranging from gorgeous decorated pyramids to stunning detailed creatures, the parade will be quite a sight to behold! The Belgrave Lantern Artists have of course been working on many wonderful large structures to make this year’s parade move & feel even better than ever!

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There is only one more workshop left, on the morning of the festival itself, for those of you who would like to learn how to make your own lantern to bring – at the Belgrave Library (please call the Library on 9800 6489 to book in, limited places available). Check out the website & facebook page for further details!

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We are always looking for more volunteers to help out on the day – contact us at celebrate@belgravelanterns.org.au for info and to get on board!

Keep an eye out for parade program flyers about in local stores & online to make sure you catch the performances you want to see on the night.

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Contact Justine at justine@entwinearts.com.au

Write by Canlelight workshop

Write by Candlelight

Write by Candlelight

Cameron Semmens, who has led us through a series of poetry writing sessions in a few issues of the hillscene last year, is holding a series of poetry writing workshops in June. But they’re not just any poetry writing workshops. It’s writing by candlelight, which seems very whimsical and romantic. So the question needs to be asked…

Why a writing by candlelight workshop?

There is something deeply cosy about candlelight, it draws us away from technology with it’s 24-7 demands into our own minds and our own imaginations.

When you let yourself enter into the small circle of light that a candle gives, it can help you focus in on own thoughts and memories, letting the rest of the world and its expectations fade into darkness.

Is candlelight more conducive to writing good poetry?

Writing by candlelight encourages the introspection that good writing and great poems need to grow and develop. And there’s something comforting about candlelight – maybe it’s the colour its light, or that small bit of warmth it radiates… I don’t know, but… it helps you focus. And good art always needs focus!

What will people take away from this these workshops?

Each session has a different emphasis, but each week you’ll end up with a number of pieces of writing – sometimes small haikus, other weeks, longer poetic memoirs.

I’ll be guiding you through it all – and each person can come to it with whatever skills they have. So if you’re a beginner, that’s great, I’ll hold your hand all the way. And if you’re an experienced writer – I’ll give you some framework or inspiration and you can take it wherever you want!

But ultimately, by the end of the month, you should have a nice little collections of writings to share with the world!

Do you have to be good with words to write poetry or can anyone do it?

Anyone can do these workshops. You don’t have to be ‘good with words’. Ironically, often the best poets are those who use ‘just a few words’ – they just choose the best words, and put them in the best order.

Actually, I started writing poetry because I was overwhelmed by the huge amount of words of longer forms of writing. So, you just have to willing to try things out, and you might be surprised what you can actually express in words.

Any last words?

I say, give yourself permission to write some poems. Often, in our busy lives, we don’t give ourselves the ‘luxury’ of expressing ourselves creatively, while at the same time, we have a whole crowd of insights, stories and revelations bubbling around our hearts just begging to be written. Give yourself permission. Help find the words for those fleeting wisps of thought. It’s very unlikely you’ll regret it.

Write by Canlelight workshop

Write by Candlelight!

Poetry Workshops for Wannabe and Know-it Poets with Cameron Semmens
5 sessions, across 5 weeks in 2 Melbourne venues.
June 3 – July 2, 2015.
7pm – 9:30pm at both venues.

A good poem is one that NEEDS to be written. Do you have stories, memories and insights within you that need to find expression? Poetry, with its imagery and brevity could be the perfect way to express them. Let Cameron help YOU find your poet within.

Week 1 – How to use METAPHOR for all it’s worth.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 3.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 4.

Week 2 – How to turn your MEMORIES and tragedies into quality poetry.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 10.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 11.

Week 3 – How to use just a FEW WORDS for a big impact.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 17.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 18.

Week 4 – How to use ANIMALS as metaphors and symbols to explore your soul and society.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 24.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 25.

Week 5 – How to pull your poems together into a BOOK.
Belgrave: WED, Jul 2.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jul 5.

There’s TWO Venues: Choose the location in Melbourne, or night, that works best for you. It’ll be the same workshop at both venues, and the same time: 7pm to 9:30pm, with a short coffee break in the middle.

Every WEDNESDAY night, Jun 3 – Jul 1, 2015 at Grunge Café, 1696 Burwood Highway, Belgrave (on the main shopping strip). www.facebook.com/GrungeCafe Coffee and snacks to buy.

Every THURSDAY night, Jun 4 – Jul 2, 2015 at Hawthorn West Baptist Church, 36 Barton Street (upstairs, in the cosy loft space). Coffee and tea provided, BYO snacks to share.

COST: For all 5 sessions – $95
For a single session: $30 (pending availability)
BOOKING ESSENTIAL. SPACES STRICTLY LIMITED. Contact: cam@webcameron.com

Cameron Semmens poetry by candlelight

Who’s leading this poetry workshop series?
Cameron Semmens is an award-winning poet, entertainer and poetry educator with 15 books to his name… AND a parent of 2 students of BHCS. He makes his living through poetry: performing, running workshops and selling his books. He lives in The Dandenongs with his wife and two youngsters. See www.webcameron.com for more details.

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Dawna Richardson-Hyde

Dawna Richardson-Hyde’s authentic journey

Dawna Richardson-HydeDawna Richardson-Hyde artworks

Post by Amy Middleton.

‘Authenticity’ is a word frequently flung around in conversation. I approach the term with caution when explored within the context of arts practise because it poses a contradiction. The devil on one shoulder shouts provocations of revolt, inciting me to use my creativity to bark in the face of (authentic) artistic tradition. The angel on the other shoulder beckons the use of art to pursue creative earnestness and genuine expression. Potentially both interpretations are correct. How do we begin to understand our authentic creative selves when the pressure to justify our practise is measured against a raft of other agencies?

Such was the subject of a conversation I recently had with Dawna Richardson-Hyde. As well as being a prolific visual artist, Dawna also leads a series of Professional Development workshops for artists. Dawna’s advice to all artists is to take your practise seriously and be intentional about focusing on what your creative purpose is. She explains that, “While people are stimulated by different things including political causes, their environment or beautiful objects, the process of creating authentic artwork can be applied to all makers; you need to know what you want to say and what tools you will use to say it.”

I connect with this sentiment but find it difficult to move away from creating products that hold commercial worth, or projects that massage the interest of funding bodies. There is a balance to be manipulated between making work that serves our authentic creative passions, and those that pay the bills. Perhaps for the purpose of this short blog, we can pretend that our basic financial needs are met, and we are on a journey to discover how life and art (creativity) become more closely aligned.

Dawnw Richardson-Hyde artworksDawna Richardson-Hyde artwork

Dawna recently returned from leading a weeklong residency in East Gippsland exploring The Artists Journey. This series of workshops tackle many of the battles artists struggle with including how to combat creative block, the design processes, understanding what kind of artist you are, naming fears, managing distractions and time management. It became clear to me that the depth and richness I see in her artwork is drawn from a deep well of experience and commitment to her creative purpose. I am also very aware of how generous she is to share this with others.

Dawna and I also dialogued about the importance of solitude for artists. She said. “The time you dedicate to being alone in your studios will help bring focus to your practise.” Dawna also shared how she has seen ‘technique surfers’ spend a lot of time learning new mediums, attending workshops and they become very accomplished, but never discover what they want to say because they are too busy emulating how other people work. The longer I chatted to Dawna, the more I became aware of how much knowledge she had, and how empowering it can be for artists to understand themselves more deeply.

Dawna Richardson-Hyde fabrics Dawna Richardson-Hyde library

Upon reflection on my time with Dawna I realised that the pursuit for authenticity is very healthy. (Even though it remains an indefinable concept in my mind!) If you get the opportunity to attend one of Dawna’s workshops I would strongly recommend it. Having spent just one hour with her, I already feel a shift in how I will approach my practise. I understand that the layered contradictions offered up by this illusive concept are integral to the dialogue imbedded within my current work. There also seems little point trying to measure the value of your art practice against the other elements that add busyness or richness to our lives. Art is the sum of all these things.

If you would like to touch base with Dawna and find out more about her work or professional development workshops, please go to www.makeart.com.au or email her; dawna@dajas.com.

Dawna Richardson-Hyde artwork