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Life simon on 19 Sep 2017

The Power of Online Video

Long time no see!

Apologies for the lack of posts this year but there hasn’t been much worthwhile to blog about until now.

So the weekend before last, I flew over to Melbourne for VidCon. VidCon is a convention dedicated to online creators and their communities. Many different American and Australian content creators came to the convention which was the first of its kind in Australia. As you’d have expected, I did make a vlog – you can watch it below!

The weekend itself was amazing. I met so many awesome people and I can’t wait to do it all again next year (without the surprise trip to Canberra probably!).

Life &Music simon on 04 May 2017

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
August Wilson Theatre

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (Jordan Roth: President; Rocco Landesman: President Emeritus; Paul Libin: Executive Vice President; Jack Viertel: Senior Vice President)
Produced by Whistle Pig, Columbia Live Stage, The Dodgers and Michael Watt
First performed in London on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at The Old Vic Theatre
Book by Danny Rubin; Music by Tim Minchin; Lyrics by Tim Minchin; Based on the film written by Danny Rubin; Music orchestrated by Christopher Nightingale; Additional music by Christopher Nightingale; Musical Director: David Holcenberg
Directed by Matthew Warchus; Choreographed by Peter Darling; Co - Choreographer: Ellen Kane; Additional Movement: Finn Caldwell
Scenic Design by Rob Howell; Costume Design by Rob Howell; Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone; Sound Design by Simon Baker; Video Design by Andrzej Goulding; Hair and Wig Design by Campbell Young Associates
General Manager: Bespoke Theatricals; Company Manager: Kate Egan
Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: David Lober; Stage Manager: Michael Krug
Musical Supervisor: Christopher Nightingale
Illusions: Paul Kieve
Casting: Jim Carnahan Casting; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising: AKA; Dance Captain: Camden Gonzales
Cast
Andy Karl 
Phil Connors 
Barrett Doss 
Rita Hanson 
Heather Ayers 
Ensemble 
Kevin Bernard 
Ensemble 
Andrew Call 
Ensemble 
Gerard Canonico 
Ensemble 
Rheaume Crenshaw 
Ensemble 
Michael Fatica 
Ensemble 
Rebecca Faulkenberry 
Ensemble 
Katy Geraghty 
Broadway debut	Ensemble 
Taylor Iman Jones 
Broadway debut	Ensemble 
Tari Kelly 
Ensemble 
Josh Lamon 
Ensemble 
Raymond J. Lee 
Ensemble 
Joseph Medeiros 
Ensemble 
Sean Montgomery 
Ensemble 
William Parry 
Ensemble 
Jenna Rubaii 
Broadway debut	Ensemble 
John Sanders 
Ensemble 
Vishal Vaidya 
Broadway debut	Ensemble 
Travis Waldschmidt 
Ensemble 
Swings: Camden Gonzales, Jordan Grubb and Natalie WisdomOops! I haven’t posted in a while.

I thought I’d offer my thoughts on the Groundhog Day The Musical Broadway Original Cast Recording! I’ve listened to it a few times now so I think now’s a good time to do a mini-review :)

I’m already a massive fan of Tim Minchin, and some of the team that worked on my favourite musical, Matilda the Musical worked on this musical too so naturally I was already super excited!

Onto the (very brief!) review…

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Life simon on 16 Feb 2017

On Family and Grieving

grandad 14th February 2017.

Early Tuesday morning, I received a phone call from my dad to tell me that my grandfather had passed away.

I wasn’t quite sure what to say to him. And I still don’t quite know how I should be really feeling about it. My father and sister broke down when they heard the news, my father more so. And me? I’m writing this now, hoping I can find some clarity within myself.

The first thing I did that morning was message my boss to tell him I wouldn’t be able to work for a few hours while I helped my dad organise his flights to Cambodia so he could attend the funeral; he’s arriving there today with my sister who had also changed flights to go with him (my sister and I were originally scheduled to go in April). I might just be the only family member who isn’t there right now.

My sister and I weren’t that close to my grandfather. We had only met him once, on a childhood trip to Cambodia back when I was barely in my teens. In the short time that I spent with him though, I knew he was a good man, and that he cared very deeply for all his children and grandchildren who were living with him. Just being around him and the household he took care of, you could feel a positive family vibe. It was nice.

I’m glad to have met him. Some are unfortunate enough to have never known their grandparents and had the opportunity to explore their family roots. My time in Cambodia with my extended family was amazing, and everyone took such good care of us – and of course, our grandfather had taught them well.

To my late grandfather:

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you again, and I’m sorry I can’t be there with you now. I hope that you are now at peace, knowing that you meant a great deal to much of our family’s lives, and I thank you for that. May you rest in peace. I’ll be thinking of you.

Life simon on 20 Nov 2016

Thoughts on Trump vs. Hamilton

As you all know, I enjoy a bit of musical theatre. One of my favourite musicals is one called “Hamilton” – a musical about an immigrant who became a Founding Father and had great influence in shaping the United States.

The other night, VP-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of Hamilton. During its curtain call, when the show had ended, the cast took to the stage and spoke:

This led to President-elect Donald Trump attacking and shaming the cast of Hamilton, demanding an apology, and claimed that Pence was harassed at the theatre.

I just find this absolutely absurd.

Before anything else, I just want to say that I actually found the speech quite respectful and not inflammatory at all. Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor that portrayed Aaron Burr (a former Vice-President) in the musical, thanked Pence for attending the show and offered encouragement and hope – the hope that his Government will protect the rights of their diverse cast.

This was not harassment, merely an offer of goodwill (Dixon asked the audience not to boo), hoping that Pence will take the message of Hamilton to heart. (And by the way, if Trump thinks this is harassment, he should take a look at how he treats women).

I’ve seen so many arguments that the theatre was not the place for this speech, and that it was classless and disrespectful. Many are also saying that he was there to be entertained and not “lectured to” or “to be educated”. If you watched this speech, I would call that anything but. The fact the company allowed Pence access to tickets and to attend was a show of respect when they could have easily restricted him from the theatre. I’d also argue that the theatre is one of the most appropriate platforms for such a speech. Art has always been a way for artists and performers to express their thoughts and feelings through their work. Anyone who knows anything about the musical and the story of Hamilton knows that it is a story of inclusion, a story of love, and a story of diversity. The statement made after the show had finished just further expressed that. It would have been a different story if the cast refused to perform, or stop the show midway to make this statement, but they did not.

There’s also now a call to boycott Hamilton which is ridiculous in its own right. This musical is a constant sell-out with tickets next to impossible to get. I’d bet that the people calling for a boycott don’t even have any idea what the musical even is even about, and are just joining in the anti-Hamilton bandwagon because Trump had a few words to say.

Hamilton does not need to apologise for exercising their rights to free speech. A speech that does not hurt anyone. If Trump or Pence is offended by this, they both should think about the platform *they’re* on – a much more public platform, a global platform, where anything they say or do has the greater potential to cause so much more hurt.

I think the cast and company of Hamilton deserve massive praise and credit for standing up for what they believe in. It was their stage, and they have every right to use it to send their own message. Mike Pence chose to attend the theatre, so he must respect the performers on stage. I’ve also read that while Pence did leave as soon as the show ended, he did stop in the foyer to hear the statement directed at him which we can give him credit for listening.

History has its eyes on you, America.

Life simon on 15 Nov 2016

Melbourne 2016

Another year, another PAX down. Please enjoy this three part vlog series in which I document my awesome time in Melbourne!

Life simon on 13 Oct 2016

Spring is here!

Cheating again and posting another vlog rather than a blog post. Hey, it’s my blog so whatcha gonna do about it? :P

Life simon on 02 Sep 2016

A Wedding, an Experience, and an Adventure

No post, just video :)

Enjoy the past week through my eyes:

Life simon on 31 Jul 2016

Even if you’re little, you can do a lot

You mustn’t let a little thing like, “little”, stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Might as well be saying, you think that it’s okay
And that’s not right.

matilda-tickets

I’ve got a bit of an obsession lately.

Been listening to a lot of the Matilda the Musical soundtrack (which is amazing, by the way), waiting for an opportunity to see the show in person. It was announced earlier in the year that the show was coming to Perth next year and I couldn’t be more excited (I’m still really bummed I didn’t go see it when I was in Sydney in 2015).

The other week, it was just announced that the Melbourne season will be closing with the last shows on the second week of November which was great for me! I’ll be there for PAX during that week and of course I booked to see it pretty much as soon as I land.

When I was younger, Roald Dahl was a source of wonder, imagination, and happiness as someone who liked to read those kinds of stories. This was the man that created Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and of course, Matilda.

I have really good memories of the movie that came out in the 90’s, and to have another adaptation of this great book – with songs written by none other than Tim Minchin – well, I don’t need another other reason to go see it.

If the show is running in your city, I highly recommend checking the musical out. It didn’t win all those Oliviers and Tonys for nothing!

Seriously, check out how amazing these kids are:

When I grow up,
I will have treats every day
And I’ll play with things that mums pretend
That mums don’t think are fun

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up,
And I will spend all day just lying in the sun,
And I won’t burn
‘Cause I’ll be all grown up

Life simon on 29 Jun 2016

50% progress update

IMG_20160214_191513

Post at least once a month, he said. You won’t forget, he said.

Okay, okay. Hey, I’m here all right!

We’re half way through 2016 and a lot has happened. It hasn’t been a particular great year so far but life goes on and time doesn’t stop for anyone. Unless you’re a mutant named Quicksilver, then yea, I guess it slows down just a bit.

I’m looking forward to the latter half of the year because I’ve got some stuff lined up – it’s gonna be pretty busy!

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Life simon on 12 May 2016

Good Game Live 2016

Getting pretty good at posting at least once a month! (Let’s not get too ahead of yourself there, Simon).

Anyway, I’m going to cheat for this post and show you guys a vlog that I made of the trip I took to Sydney last month. It was a great weekend, and it was nice to get away from an otherwise ..erm, well, average time I’ve been having here recently. While the weekend didn’t go exactly to plan I still got to hang out with a few friends whom I don’t get to see often and also see my dad which is always a good thing!

In terms of the video itself, I’m actually quite proud of it really. I took my camera everywhere and made sure to film anything remotely interesting, so I had a lot to work with. Last time I went to Sydney I totally forgot to do anything so I made sure this time I had something to make – my channel is even more neglected than my blog here. Speaking of my channel though, I’ve now reached over 50 subscribers! It’s taken a few years and I’m not exactly happy with all my videos or the amount I produce but I’m glad there are people out there enjoying what I do.

Thank you for your support everyone!

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