Wednesday 15 April 2020

Having a yarn with Welcome to Patchwork

Dion, Christian, special guest Sammy J, and Josh
Just over three years ago, three friends decided to get together and talk about finding the perfect hairdresser and the right level of chat that one should have during their haircut. Since then, Christian Pisasale, Dion Factor and Josh Porter have presented their fortnightly podcast Welcome to Patchwork where they discuss life's everyday issues and concerns, like can you refuse to catch up with a new friend, should you take the elevator to the first floor and how many biscuits should you eat in one sitting? Nominated for Best Comedy at the Australian Podcast Awards for the last two years, Welcome to Patchwork has come a long way since its humble beginnings.

"It's a strange thought to have expected people we didn't know to listen to something we produced," Pisasale tells me. "One thing we were (and are) conscious of is the optic of being three heterosexual white males from Melbourne doing a podcast. For us, creating this was an outlet. We marketed it to our friends who we knew would enjoy the show and had similar, hyper granular observations about their lives. We've been fortunate to have incredibly supportive people around us who encouraged us to produce more content and who distributed our content to their friends. From that point on, our growth has been pretty organic."

Sunday 12 April 2020

Cooped-Up Cabaret

With performance venues in Melbourne currently closed, cabaret and burlesque artist/producer Sophie deLightful, has found a way of bringing the magic of live performance to the people while providing financial support to artists during this incredibly difficult period. Cooped-Up Cabaret: A Live Stream Variety Show is a fortnightly live-action event presented in a digital landscape. By purchasing a $15 registration, viewers gain access via Zoom and interact with each other and the performers through its chat function. As one registration link is valid for a household to watch, they are encouraged to use the money saved to tip performers via PayPal, if they are in a position to do so. 

With the sudden loss of employment for herself and fellow artists, deLightful had to get inventive with how she could earn an income. "The effect of COVID-19 on the arts sector was virtually immediate and I lost entire bookings which paired with the uncertainty of my foreseeable future. I started seeing performers offer their work online: bands playing a set, variety shows pieced together with pre-recorded acts and other more complex multi-location concerts and all of it was free," she tells me. "I became determined to create a concept that paid beyond sporadic donations, placing value on the arts and activating the community I knew was out there that's passionate about being part of a cabaret show."

Friday 10 April 2020

Going Method with Elliot Roberts

Meet Simon Hammersmith. The University student theatre veteran is busily preparing for the lead role in an upcoming production of The Crucible. But Simon is not your typical university theatre performer. He is a committed actor who takes his role extremely serious, and in a new six-part series, Method Actor, we are drawn into Simon's world as he contends with fully inhabiting this complex and flawed characters. 

Of course, Method Actor is a fictional comedy series with its creator, Elliot Roberts stating that it were his experiences through studying theatre and performing that revealed a reoccurring theme coming from actors, including himself, that he wanted to explore. "I’ve noticed more and more that, particularly for male actors, the crazier you prepare for a role the more it’s accepted as serious art. There’s a lot of merit in using method acting but there aren’t any boundaries for it and because it’s male movie stars, they often get away with whatever they want. Not to mention it’s mostly used as a marketing tool to win awards. It’s kind of gross and bizarre," he says.