The Even Greater Aussie Guild - Celebrating 10 YEARS!

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

Postby lotrgrrrl » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:14 am

Thursday Workshop part 1: Acting, with David Weatherly (aka Barliman Butterbur)

Managed to get myself a front-row, near-the-centre seat, between a girl in an Arwen costume (RotK, Aragorn’s coronation) and a BOBW regular. Was pleased to encounter another BOBW regular, M, who I have enjoyed talking to in the past.

It is worth pointing out that this morning workshop with David was not planned, but more of a last-minute fill-in. It was meant to be a workshop with Thomas Robins (Deagol), but due to other commitments Thomas is now doing one on Monday morning.

As David was introduced, we were asked to turn off all mobiles. David quickly ducked away from the front of the room to turn off his.

The acting talk began, and David attempted to define what acting is, and talked about different types of acting, from the original Russian method acting, to the American school of method acting which David is not a fan of. David believes that acting is not about what you are feeling inside, but what the audience thinks you are feeling inside.

All of his ideas of acting were illustrated with stories and examples of different acting, complete with voices. And a burst of song was not uncommon either. David truly is a natural storyteller, which makes him great to listen to.

David believes that American actors, in general, tend to make the character fit them rather than trying to fit the character, and that John Wayne could never be accused of acting.

He talked about Huxley’s 'Brave New World' – how soma was based on the drug that native Americans got from a cactus, which has since been developed into mescalin, and LSD.
Huxley theorised that mescalin interfered with the link between the conscious and the unconscious, and the unconscious began to regurgitate things into the conscious. David believes this is very much like all forms of art – that they are the artist recreating, regurgitating previous experiences. David sees people as living in an igloo, with the blocks of ice being all different masks that you wear, and your id is hidden inside. If your igloo is entirely constructed, then there is no you, there is only the igloo, but if you have a few blocks of ice missing, your real self can peep out, and this is what happens with art.

Apparently there is no real magic way to learn lines – you just have to keep reading them until you absorb them! Even if you have a photographic memory it doesn’t help much, because you often end up just reading the lines rather than understanding and feeling them. Although apparently recent research has shown that singing things can help the memory remember them!

David also believes that it’s important to make eye contact with the other actors when working with them. Occasionally there have been problems with this, such as one particularly shortsighted actress. She was doing a play together with David, and one part involved a lot of dead Belgians, and this lady was supposed to come dancing in and around the pile of bodies, wearing high heels. She said to the people playing the Belgians “Now dears you will be careful to always die in the same place, won’t you? It’s just that I can’t see you and I’m wearing these nasty heels.” You can imagine how terrified the actors were!

Different things to do with acting and theatre that David likes are Jane Bennet, Johnathon Price, Christopher Fry, and Shakespeare. Things he doesn’t like are Andrew Lloyd Weber for his commercialisation of theatre and nicking off with Ken Hill’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’, and the reduction of theatre to “a story with a message”, rather than the three-levels found in Shakespeare’s plays.

There are also legendary stories of drunks in theatre. David told us one, in which the inebriated actor played the part of the button-maker, and came on at the very end of the play. They used to prop him up in the wings when it was nearing the end of the play, and then give him a helpful little push onto the stage when it was time for him to say his lines. On one occasion, however, the actor stumbled onto the stage, said “I am the mutton-baker…. Oh Fluffernutter Buttercups.” And walked off again.

David likens acting to telling lies, particularly movies. Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are apparently quite short. Obviously LotR also had much trickery with height.

David believes that people can learn the skills of acting, but they cannot learn to act as such – the ability to change oneself is either there or it isn’t.

David started getting into the acting feel of things as a defence mechanism. As a child he was very small, and small boys tend to get picked on. David in fact has a broken nose from having his face rammed into a brick wall. To avoid such incidents, it was necessary to become the class clown. As those who have heard David at a convention before know, he really got into acting when he was conned into a part in a play by his mother. He says he stayed for the booze & the birds.

David prefers doing theatre to film, because it is more of an interaction with other people. It is also possible to sometimes get an explosion of emotion. David has had this happen once, for the musical ‘Oh What A Lovely War!’, when they performed it the day after ANZAC Day, had diggers in the audience, and sound effects of a real German WW2 machine gun. It is his love of theatre that has kept him going in the acting business.

There is also a lot of adrenaline involved in acting. But while you may love doing some work, there will always be some that you hate. There are also niggles, such as clauses in contracts prohibiting certain activities, and its never fun working with companies you don’t like (such as the Sydney casino theatre, which is poorly constructed, has only one wing, the only toilets for the actors are two stories up, there are no escalators to get there, just the fire stairs, which are narrow and steep).

David finished by talking about how the medium of television has become the message, and that critics are part of this machine.
“Them that can, do. Them that can’t, teach. And them that can’t do either of the above become critics.”
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Postby notlistening » Sun Nov 21, 2004 7:38 pm

lotrgrrl! thanks for the report. we are very jealous, precious!

Yes, I noticed that the trilogy was cancelled from GU. Very sad pouts

jo, if you want to email me, I can get you a ticket to go on the 22nd Jan and come along with you. There seems to be 2 sessions 9am and 1pm. Cost is $19.80, not sure about students. let me know.

hi to all other aussies!!

nl
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Postby BaronAlstine » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:49 am

hello again,
some of you may faintly remember me, i posted long, long ago, and then didnt until now.
i just thought i would air my frustration at trying to scrape enough money together to get to sydney, which really doesnt look as though it will happen.
but oh well.
anger aired.
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Postby BaronAlstine » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:50 am

hello again,
some of you may faintly remember me, i posted long, long ago, and then didnt until now.
i just thought i would air my frustration at trying to scrape enough money together to get to sydney, which really doesnt look as though it will happen.
but oh well.
anger aired.
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Postby notlistening » Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:31 pm

BaronAlstine, sorry you can't make it to Oz. Maybe another time?

hey, how many Aussie torcers are going to the LOTR Exhibition?

i'm going next tuesday!! (28th)

Samaranth, I'd love to go again with you and lotrgrrl sometime in January. Let me know?

and a very merry Christmas to all Torcers!

nl
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Postby BaronAlstine » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:40 pm

oh i'm already in Oz, have been all my life :) just that i'm trying to make it to sydney for the expo, so might have to go by Bus from adelaide
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Postby notlistening » Sun Dec 26, 2004 2:53 am

BaronAlstine, let us know when you can get over here and hopefully some of us Sydney Torcers can meet up with you!

what say you, samaranth??

nl
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Postby BaronAlstine » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:37 pm

that would be cool, unfortunately im finding it hard to decide as to when i can go, plus there is that whole money issue :x curse the financial circumstances of students
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Postby lotrgrrrl » Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:17 pm

For anyone who is interested I will be going to the Exhibition on Sat January 22nd at 5.30pm (til 8.30pm) for one of the VIP viewings (normal viewing but you get a glass of wine & a piece of merchandise as well. An exclusive piece of merchandise. Yes yes I am easily sucked in). Tickets cost $35.
There is more info at:
http://www.showbiz.com.au/find.asp?url= ... id=LOTRSYD

NL - thankyou for the offer, but one of my friends has offered to get a ticket for me. (VIP ones can be gotten by credit card over phone - Showbiz, or in person at the museum).
Hope i shall still be seing you there! (and thanks for the emails).

Baron - hope you can make it too :)

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I got a United Cutlery Anduril sword! Woot Woot! *dances off*
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Postby Esgalgondwen » Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:45 am

Ahhh i see we have a new aussie home... wonderfull to see
just a flying visit to tell all my aussie friends im still around
:)

Essie
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Postby notlistening » Mon Jan 03, 2005 6:02 pm

Hi all,

well this little hobbit has been to the LOTR exhibition. (went tuesday 28th)
We got there early to avoid the queues and succeeded. The pre-bought line was actually longer than those that just rocked up on the day. I think lots of people were still away on holidays. No photo allowed though :(
The first thing one does is walk between the Argonath which is nicely made. The exhibition is mostly costumes and weapons and prps. Treebeard and the Cave Troll kind of dominate the landscape. I wish they had included a dress from Eowyn ratehr than 2 from Arwen. You got to have your photo taken as a Hobbit $15 extra. You can handle a couple of swords and chainmail but there is nothing really interactive. The last ring is there, plus many monitor telling you stuff from ROTK extended dvd. I think my favourite thing was Boromir in the boat. One of the guides told us that they had to tie his hand to his sword as in the heat the wax hand rose upwards and scared a cleaner! :D I didn't buy anything at the store as they were out of ME map posters. Stuff was pricer than in toy stores so watch out for that.

I don't know whether I will go again so soon but it is great fun to see all the stuff!

nl
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Postby feaguire » Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:26 pm

Hi everybody!

Another Aussie here!!!

I hope I can join this guild with my fellow Australians.

Speaking of the Powerhouse Exhibition, I live in Sydney and I'll be going with a friend. I'm not gonna pre-order a ticket, so I dunno when I'm gonna go. :P

Fea :)
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Postby celebalqua » Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:41 pm

OK, I didn't think I would be able to make it to the exhibit but reading about it I'm starting to consider whether I can find a way of getting up there.

Might try for the 22nd too lotrgrrrl I'll get back to you soon.

Cel
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Postby notlistening » Sun Jan 09, 2005 10:03 pm

feaguire, welcome! I'm sure you and your friend will enjoy it no end. There are 2 sessions to go to even if you don't pre-book. 9-1pm and 1pm-5pm. I think they throw you out after the 1st session to make way for the 2nd. You cannot linger :D

cel, I hope you can get up here for the exhibition. If you and lotrgrrl go, is it okay to meet you guys for coffee or something afterwards? not busy that day.

nl
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Postby celebalqua » Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:28 pm

nl found out that 22nd is out of the question as have prior engagement that my husband wont let my skip :cry2:

Am working on an alternative
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Postby samaranth » Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:39 am

hi Cel, and notlistening, and lotrgrrrl and all other aussies!

I'm hoping going to the exhibition this weekend with my young son. But we're members of the Powerhouse, so can go anytime! (nl and cel, I may be able to get some guest passes, if you want to go again.) I'll remember the 22nd, lotrgrrrl, but I have a feeling I'm already supposed to be doing something that day.

It would be great to catch up with you all again.

:) :hug: :)
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Postby notlistening » Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:58 pm

Sam, that is generous of you. I'd love to go again, maybe when Cel can make it up. I hope you and your lovely son enjoy it! I'm sure you will.

nl
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Postby celebalqua » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:06 pm

Hi all, I am looking at Feb 19th or 20th now for the exhibit, but haven't booked anything yet. I will probably just come up for the day, saves on accomodation.

Cel
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Postby feaguire » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:10 pm

Hi guys! Thanx for the kind welcomes! :D

I've heard more good things about the exhibition and I really want to go soon, like next weekend or something like that. Its really hard to organise to go with other people, because no-one is as interested in going as me and I don't want to go alone. :(

Fea :|
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Postby JudyA » Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:22 pm

I know what you mean, feaguire! I thought I'd pop in to this thread, seeing as I'm Australian and all (based in Sydney), and it's nice to know that going to the exhibition is big in your minds too!

I'm planning to go before I go back to work at the end of the month, if I can, and I think I'll have to go alone. My husband would be interested, but I am NOT taking my 6 and 2yo kids!!! I want to spend some time and enjoy it, not run around trying to stop my 2yo from destroying everything she can get her hands on :roll:
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Postby notlistening » Mon Jan 17, 2005 5:18 pm

Judy, there's not much a 2yr old could touch there as most things are behind protection. It really isn't a thing for kids. I hope you get to go soon.

Sam, care to tell us your thoughts on your visit to the exhibition?

Jo, have fun this weekend. A friend of mine from work will be going to the same session as you.

nl
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Postby JudyA » Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:13 pm

Thanks for the feedback, NL. Although it's pretty amazing what she finds to get her hands on :) !!! But I think the main point is that it's just not for small kids. My 6yo is aware of all things LOTR (how could she not, living in my house), but I think she'd have to be a few years older for it to really capture her attention
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Postby feaguire » Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:35 pm

Yeah. If I had kids, the youngest age I would take them would probably be 10yo...

Has anyone else seen the adds for 'Lost' which has Dominic Monaghan (Merry) in it? They're on Channel Seven, at like 11:00 PM.

Fea :)
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Postby notlistening » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:00 pm

feaguire, I have seen the promos for LOST. I actually work for Channel 7 myself and hope to get access to the show early if I can but they have been playing the coming soons for a while now. Should be great. :D It's rating its socks off in the US. But that does not always mean it will be the case here. We are a different audience.

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Postby feaguire » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:15 pm

Thats cool how you work for Channel Seven. I think LOST will be good here. It reminds me 'The Beach', which is this movie with Leonardo DeCaprio in (I hate him! :x)...

Fea :)
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Postby lotrgrrrl » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:01 am

I'm really excited about seeing Lost (wasn't until I realised Dom was in it). And I have to see it and pass verdict on whether it was worth him missing the convention in order to film the pilot :P

Hi feaguire & JudyA! Welcome to the Aussie guild!

Feaguire - I will be at the VIP exhibition viewing this Saturday (5.30 - 8.30) if you want to rock along then.... you can send me an email with a contact number or leave a post here with some sort of meet arrangements if you want to meet up there.
Cel - same thing!

NL - that's fine re: this weekend. :) Glad to hear your thoughts on the exhibition. If you want to do a coffee meet before or after the exhibition I should be able to be there!. No particular plans, so just have to organise transport. Would be great to see you again. If you still have my mobile number, feel free to give me a buzz. Will probably make sure I check my email Sat morning too ;)

Sam - great to see you in here again! Hope you enjoyed the exhibition!
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Postby JudyA » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:24 am

Thanks lotrgrrrl - and if anyone wants to find out more about Lost, they should hang out (or just lurk, if you don't feel like chatting :) ) in the Lalaith-Elerrina fan club thread in the Bird & the Baby. Most of the girls (and they're all girls) who chat on that thread live in the US and they'e HUGE fans of Lost. Bit annoying for me, really, as I've no idea what they're on about!

All this chat about the exhibition, boo hoo :( ... have any of you guys NOT gone and would like to go? I'd rather go with a fellow LOTR freak than by myself...
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Postby feaguire » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:21 pm

Thanx for the offer lotrgrrrl but I'm going with a friend another day. :D

I didn't even know about 'Lost' until I was looking for Dom sites on the internet and found this one about the show. I then found from that site that adds had started to come on in Australia, and that very same day I coincidently saw one :P.

I can't wait! :clap:

Fea :)
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Postby samaranth » Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:24 am

Hi notlistening and everyone, and welcome to JudyA and feaguire.

I thought I’d drop by with a report of the visit to the Lord of the Rings Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum which I made with my 8 year old son a week or so ago.

It’s fortunate that we have a membership to the Museum, because the queue for tickets was out the door, round the corner and down the block! Whereas we could swan right in to the Express counter, and then swan right up to the…

…really, really long queue to get into the exhibition itself. But we shuffled along at a good pace, so no complaints really.

The entry was guarded by the statues of the Argonath (and a chirpy little lady who stamped our hands with our choice of either the Ring inscription or the Eye, or both if we were greedy, which we were). The two kings were very impressive, even though not 200 feet tall and surrounded by water and cliffs.

Through the door, and directly in front was Frodo’s costume. So small, and very finely made. We saw Sting, the Red Book, the light of Earendil, the map of the Lonely Mountain. I was transfixed by these things, so that my son had to drag me away to see the really important stuff, like the armour of Gondor and the various bits of weaponry. We saw: Theoden’s armour; Legolas’s going-on-a-Quest outfit; Galadriel’s beautiful shimmery white dress; Arwen’s beautiful blue velvety dress; Aragorn’s Ranger outfit (I presume it had been washed); Gandalf the Grey’s kit (including toffee bag); the Elven crowns; bits of clutter from Saruman’s tower; models of Barad-Dur, Orthanc, and the ruined mill buildings in the Shire (as per Mirror vision); models of the wall crawlers and cave troll (which were pretty ugly in a scary way); another model of the cave troll, which demonstrated that no detail was left out…and I mean, no detail); and the wax model of a dead Boromir, lying in the Lorien boat – this was amazing! so life-like, you could almost imagine seeing the rise and fall of breathing (except, duh, he’s meant to be dead. Oh well.)

We stayed there about an hour and half, moving from one display to the next, and then going back to see our favourite bits, before going out to do battle with the gift-shop thing which they so kindly make you go through.

Interesting crowds too – some there out of general interest, some with a more extensive knowledge of the movies and what prop fitted in where. And some with a book knowledge to match (‘No, no, that’s wrong’, I heard one man say to his girlfriend when he was reading one of the display texts, and then he proceed to give her chapter and verse of whatever small point it was. Something to do with the genesis of the Uruk-Hai. I admired her skill at being able to look completely interested in something she obviously had no idea about!)

No photography was allowed, which was really, really hard for me to bear. (I could feel my camera growling away in my backpack.) There were a lot of things I would have liked to capture – I guess I’ll just have to go back and see them again sometime. The Museum is about a 20 minute walk from my office, and the free entry makes is a tempting proposition for a lunchtime activity, once school holidays are over.

Well worth seeing. I would have liked to see more of the hobbits’ things – but we did see Sam’s pots, and a number of things in both hobbit and non-hobbit sizes. Unfortunately there is not much there that kids can get their hands on, and that’s a pity because the littlies soon get bored just looking. They had set up a Shire play area, which I thought looked fun, but my son thought he was too grown up for it so I didn’t get to play. :P

I hope you had a good time lotrgrrrl – I’m sorry I couldn’t catch up with you, but I had other commitments last night. (No social life for months on end, and suddenly I’m double-booked. Unbelievable!)

:)

and just because he has his clothes on:

:cavetroll:
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Postby feaguire » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:31 pm

Wow! sounds great...

Can't wait till I go. :D

Fea :)
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