Posts Tagged ‘Blueprint Studios













If you want to be a cabaret star this is the Big Brother of cabaret comps. The 12th annual Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest (YTICC) promises a spectacular line-up of talent from all walks of the Australian and New Zealand entertainment industry. The 12th annual event will feature an esteemed panel of judges including Australian film, television, and music theatre star, Mitchell Butel, Artistic Directors of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, David Read and Neville Sice, President of the Noosa Arts Theatre Liza Park, agent and Founder Emeritus of the event Les Solomon, Artistic Director of the Ballarat Cabaret Festival Graeme Russell, Artistic Director of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival Ian Mackellar, and YTICC Patron Ron Dobell.


Executive Producer Jeremy Youett said, “This contest is about giving artists a platform for exposure to the entertainment industry. The line-up of judges includes some amazing Australian industry leaders in the genre and they have the ability to offer incredible opportunities to entrants that take part. You never know who may show up and what they may be looking for!”


Hosts this year include past YTICC winners and seasoned performers in their own right: in Melbourne, Gillian Cosgriff; in Sydney, Marika Aubrey and Sheridan Harbridge; and in Adelaide, Amelia Ryan, while radio personalities Sam Coward and Mark Darin host our Queensland heats. Guest performers throughout will include Cath Alcorn, Bradley McCaw, Michael Griffiths and 2014 winner Melody Beck, with more surprise guests to be announced.


Tom Sharah

Tom Sharah, previous YTICC winner said “The International Cabaret Contest was the best professional launching pad I could have asked for. It is a one of a kind competition in terms of exposure, prizes and experience.

Winning meant I was able to write and tour my own work, which I still do, and I look up to so many of the other previous winners & contestants.

It has really paved the way for the future of cabaret in Australia!”




In 2015, both the Grand Prize winner and runner-up will be eligible to be offered performance opportunities from our Major Festival Partners. These will include invitations to perform at the Cabaret Festivals of Adelaide, Melbourne, Ballarat, and Queensland, as well as the Festival of Voices in Tasmania and the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, which all guarantee flights and accommodation. The Grand Prize winner will also receive the opportunity to present their show on an Australia/Pacific Cruise ship thanks to Grayboy Entertainment, as well as at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, with flights and accommodation for their appearance to the value of $3000 generously contributed by The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation. There’s a cash prize of $1000 for the winner, a photographic and marketing package from Blueprint Studios valued at $1000, a Music Theatre and Cabaret music and book package from Hal Leonard, as well as tour publicity from which will spotlight the winner’s creative process as they develop and tour their show. The runner-up will receive a $500 cash prize, and a photographic package from Blueprint Studios valued at $500.





The contest is open to performers at any point in their career, ages 18+


Submissions close TODAY Wednesday December 24 at 5pm AEST.


For full contest details, frequently asked questions and more visit


Tickets for all events are on sale now at Support the next generation of cabaret talent as they compete to be Australia’s next cabaret sensation!


melody beck 2014


Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest Finalists Announced!


Not one but TWO Queenslanders will perform on Friday night at The Basement in Sydney! Jessica Papst, winner of the Brisbane heat and Jenny Wynter, winner of the Melbourne heat! I think it’s fair that we still claim her!


Jeremy Youett. Image by Blueprint Studios.



Jeremy Youett is the guy behind Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest. It was fun to catch up with him in Brisbane and inspiring to chat with him about how far this contest has come, and how it’s helped not only its winners, but performers who have been involved in the many heats.


Sydney heat winners Melody Beck, Sarah Gaul, Brendan Hay, Monique Salle, and audience vote winner Ben Hudson will be joined by inaugural Adelaide heat winner Candy Chambers (aka Jamie Jewell), Brisbane winner Jessica Papst, Melbourne winner Jenny Wynter, Auckland heat winner Joanna Millett and wild-card Ivy Lucille.


Prizes this year include the opportunity for the winner to present their newly devised solo show at The Noosa Long Weekend Festival, Slide Lounge Cabaret Festival, and the cabaret festivals of Adelaide, Melbourne, Ballarat, Queensland, and Tasmania respectively. Each gig includes the flights and accommodation for the artist and musical director. The winner also receives a website for their show, headshots and $1000, courtesy of the Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation. The Foundation will also provide flights and accommodation to the value of $3000 enabling the winner to travel to the United States to present their show at the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival.


The Grand Final will be held at The Basement in Sydney this Friday 17 January. The judging panel for the evening includes Producer of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Torben Brookman, Artistic Director of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival Ian MacKellar, Ballarat Cabaret Festival Artistic Director Graeme Russell, Entertainment Producer of Slide Lounge Jeremy Brennan, and Executive Producer of the Tasmania Cabaret Festival Lucinda Wilson. Previous contest winner Sheridan Harbridge and acclaimed Australian musical theatre performer Michael Cormick will co-host the evening, which promises to be an exceptional evening of entertainment that will also include special guest performances from previous winners Bradley McCaw and Toby Francis, as well as cabaret performer Cath Alcorn and entertainer extraordinaire Trevor Ashley.


Each contestant’s fate will be decided by a combination of judges’ scores as well as an audience vote, so by voting for your favourite performer, you could help them become the next winner, securing the largest prize package in YTICC history!



The 10th Annual Australian Cabaret Showcase Finalists Announced!

cabaret showcase
Following preliminary heats in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales Monday December 17 through Wednesday December 19, the 10th Annual Cabaret Showcase announced today, the full lineup of 12 outstanding cabaret finalists from across Australia who will compete at a sizzling grand final this Saturday December 22 at The Basement, Sydney.

This year’s winner will receive the biggest prize package in Showcase history…


including the opportunity to perform a newly devised solo show at The Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Ballarat Cabaret Festivals, The Noosa Longweekend Festival and in New York at The New York Musical Theatre Festival, all with flights and  accommodation!

The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation will once again provide a cash prize of $1000, as well as providing travel and accommodation for the New York journey. The winner will also receive a photographic and design package courtesy of Blueprint Studios, plus publicity for their tour courtesy of I.P Publicity.

In a first for the Showcase and with the generous support of The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation, this year will see 3 acts traveling to Sydney after being selected at the recent Melbourne heats. Thanks to the Noosa Longweekend Festival we also are pleased to be including the first inaugural winner of Queensland heats in the Sydney Grand Final lineup.




From Sydney –

Melody Beck

Natalie Carboni

Mara Davis

Daniel Downing

Kerrie Anne Greenland

Amelia Ryan

Maryann Wright


From Melbourne –

Karin Danger
Emma Clair Ford

Andrew Strano and Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer


and from Brisbane –

Bradley McCaw

cabaret showcase


 Judges for the 2012 Showcase Grand Final will include; Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Festival Centre Producer Torben Brookman, Noosa Long Weekend Festival Artistic Director Ian MacKellar, Co-Artistic Director of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival David Read, Chairman of the Board Ron Dobell, Co-Artistic Director of The Ballarat Cabaret Festival Sean GunnTheatrical Agent and Showcase Founder Emeritus Les Solomon, and the General Manager of The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Executive Producer of The Australian Cabaret Showcase Jeremy Youett.


Hosted by previous Showcase winners Nick Christo and Sheridan Harbridge, the evening will also include guest performances by winner of the first annual Showcase James Millar, prior to his upcoming West End engagement, last years winner Angela Harding and 2010 winner Toby Francis, with resident Showcase Musical Director Mark Chamberlain at the piano.

Book now to witness the next generation of Australia’s cabaret stars!!

The 10th Annual Australian Cabaret Showcase GRAND FINAL

The Basement

7 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW

For Dining Options: or phone 02 9251 2797

Saturday – Dec 22

8pm (Doors open at 7pm)


Advance bookings, all tickets General Admission $40, or $45 at the door

Moshtix | | Ph: 1300 438 849

Angela Harding

Festival Prize winner at the 9th Annual Australian Cabaret Showcase, Angela Harding gets ready to wow Sydney audiences tonight! 

As a result of her win at The 9th Annual Australian Cabaret Showcase, Harding scored a fully produced Australian tour of her original solo show, with an invitation to perform at some of Australia’s biggest music festivals$1000 cash prize and a photographic and design package.

Now it’s time for Sydney audiences to catch Australia’s newest cabaret sensation…
Harding explores the highs and lows of employment, marriage and school days while unlocking a vault of well-kept secrets in Just Like You…Only Different! 

Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain

For 1 Night Only!

Friday 21st December

El Roccos (Bar Me)
154 Brougham Street,
Kings Cross NSW 
1300 GET TIX (438 849)
Thanks to our Major Festival Partners, we’re able to offer this year’s Showcase winner the biggest prize package in our 10 year history!
Check them out below and see what they have planned for their respective 2013 seasons…
2012 Cabaret Showcase

world theatre day 2012

Happy World Theatre Day! 

World Theatre Day Message 2012 from Jake Witlen on Vimeo.

I remember reading a post by Travis Bedard about Why World Theatre Day.

“World Theatre Day isn’t about creating a global theatre experience. It’s about celebrating the local theatre experience globally. World Theatre Day is an acknowledgement that we are all doing this thing that we love.

And the internet allows us to share those local celebrations and revel in the fact that we’re not alone in our pursuit, and that no matter how many times they try to prove it to us mathematically, theatre is not dead.”  

Travis Bedard 2009

N.B. The bold is mine, not Bedard’s, just in case you were trying to skim over the contextualising quote.

With that in mind, I thought it pertinent to share with you, Sam’s President’s Report, which he read at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance AGM on Monday night. Please feel welcome to leave us your feedback about the Alliance, Sunshine Coast theatre in general or to comment on World Theatre Day events in your area. And remember, if you’d like your production reviewed, or if you need some support by way of consultation or a workshop or a visit from one of us, during any part of the pre-production or rehearsal process, send a request or an invite at least 3 weeks out, to

President’s Report

With a relatively slow start to the year I am pleased to report that 2011 ended with a bang, the Festival was a great success and the separation of the Youth and Open sections went as smoothly as could be hoped; laying a stable foundation to continue growing both sections. Thanks to the Festival Committee (John B, Jacqui Mata Luque, Julia, Synda and Stephen).

The website has seen significant growth in the past 12 months and is truly the number one source of theatre related information locally. We have plans to upgrade the website in 2012 and hope to continue its exposure and usage. Thanks must go to Synda for her tireless efforts in managing the site, mailing list, directories and any other design/print jobs that pop up, which Synda takes in her stride and always makes us look good.

The 2011 committee also saw the inauguration of the Season Launch Soiree, a great night and the first time in a long time we have had the community together, under one roof. It was a good start; far from perfect but again sets a platform on which we can improve in future years. Huge thanks must go to the enigmatic Julia Loaney for her amazing Event Coordination of this event.

Most notably the 2011 committee voted to include any and all performing arts related entities into the Alliance, albeit with different levels of membership. This marks a significant milestone in the Alliances history and now will truly align all theatre groups, choirs, dance groups and the like, to share resources and form a stronger community for us all. Whilst the details of this change in constitution have yet to be ratified the sentiment and unanimous vote has ensured its go-ahead.

My main aim for 2011 was to raise the profile of theatre on the Coast, and whilst I am happy that we have gone some way to achieve this, I still feel the bulk of this task lies ahead. We need to show Sunshine Coasters that a weekly serve of culture can be found on local stages and not just in their yoghurt. We collectively need to shout out our success stories and demand a greater presence with the local media.

For many members 2011/12 has been a difficult year, with volunteer numbers dwindling, directors almost non-existent and companies struggling to recruit new members for both on and off stage duties. These challenges, coupled with shrinking audience numbers, means we all have a responsibility to find a remedy and together support and nurture the way forward.

To this end, I now ask anyone who reads this to consider the need, validity and value of “the Alliance” what does your group get out of it? What do you get out of it? Is what you get out of it worth what you put in?

I can see the need for collective representation, but to whom and for what? It hasn’t done us much good with the media, really. We haven’t secured any grants on behalf of anyone (this is a full-time job, even in the pro-am companies) and we have really only gone some part in achieving the set objectives as per our constitution.

The Festival would run without us – the keen would ensure it – the advertising discount would be maintained by the media houses, under the Alliance umbrella or not, the biggy would be the web site and directories; which could be maintained commercially if so desired.

So, again I ask: need, validity, value?

I personally have answers to these three questions, but do you? Does your theatre?

The commitment might only be 12 nights per year, but they are 12 nights we could better spend elsewhere if our efforts go unsupported or appreciated. I will continue my mission of raising our industry’s local profile whether or not I be involved with “the Alliance”……

I intend to stand again for re-election for 2012/13 but in doing so, I seek a mandate from those delegates who would like to see us become more active, which means becoming less bogged down in protocol at meetings and genuinely focussed on improving the standard, audiences, network and profile of all Sunshine Coast Performing Arts pursuits.

Thank you to all 2011/12 Delegates for your service and I hope that together we can effect some positive change, as the same ol’ same ol’ just aint’ good enough.


Sam Coward


MENTAL: casting update

Well, to address a number of enquiries in one post, the online casting process for P.J. Hogan’s new comedy, Mental, closed on May 31st. The roles were cast yesterday. If you missed out and you’ve asked us how you (or your daughter) can still get a look in, here’s our response.

Firstly, next time, meet the deadline! The casting directors are busy, busy people and they have deadlines too. If you were too busy or forgot or got distracted or didn’t hear about the opportunity in time to submit then maybe this job (and this industry) isn’t for you (or your daughter). Seriously. I’m talking about treating the opportunities seriously.

Secondly, were you what they had in mind? Sometimes you won’t be and there’s actually very little you can do about that. But there are ways to increase your chances of competing for a role. Do you have a resume, headshot and showreel prepared? If not and you want to be applying in the future for jobs like these, maybe now is the time to get organised. Talk to people, get online, do the research and find out who does the best work. Personally, I like to find out who is being used by who is getting the jobs. It can take a long time to earn respect in the industry. Clearly, the professionals whose names appear on everybody’s material have established themselves, for good reason, as the best in the biz.

There is some debate over whether or not an online casting system is worthwhile. These sites often charge a monthly or an annual fee for hosting your profile. Apparently, casting agents everywhere will see your profile and you get to see casting notices that would otherwise remain hidden from view. I’m skeptical of the promises made by some of these sites. Having said that, I’m a little inconsistent in my own approach and haven’t yet trialled properly one or the other (or the other, or the other)… If you are using something other than the original (AT2 Casting or eCaster) and it’s working for you, let us know.

Back to our example, Mental; the details were posted in many places and this is just the very succinct information posted by Ruby Lennon on 

The casting is being conducted by local company Christine King Casting, which has negotiated free temporary ActorCast memberships for Australian girls to upload their video auditions. The Sydney-based casting house has previously used ActorCast (which is attached to US casting portal Cast It) on major productions such as The Pacific and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The production is searching for five young actresses (aged between 12 and 17) to play the roles of Coral, Michelle, Leanne, Kayleen and Jane, who get “a spoonful of sugar” from their new nanny, Toni Collette, in Mental. Universal Pictures has the UK, Australian and New Zealand rights to the film – a comedy loosely based on Hogan’s own life.

So if I saw this, as a parent or as an ambitious young thing and I’d missed the deadline for online submissions, I would have picked up on the fact that Christine King Casting is local (ie Australian). And probably accessible. Perhaps even really friendly and approachable (who am I to assume otherwise?) When I go to their website, I find this message:

Actors can submit a photo and resume or a link to an online showreel by sending them to:

So, if I were wanting to submit anyway, because I believe I might be perfect for an upcoming role in something, somewhere, with somebody else (you never know), my 2 minutes of online research will have probably paid off (truly, you never know when somebody will find your file and call you for something. Georgia Stitt, Broadway composer, lyricist and audition accompanist is famous for borrowing the resumes of performers who might have been overlooked by the casting directors she’s playing for and offering them work with her or one of her contacts instead). If I were feeling really determined and confident, I might even call the casting director.

This is exactly what one dad did.

He spoke to Christine King – who was lovely – about what steps to take next. Unfortunately, this time, his daughter missed out on the chance to compete for one of the roles, however; by taking action and calling, he received accurate information from the casting director herself and could probably send his daughter’s headshot and a link to her showreel now, for future consideration.

When one goes about such things in a polite, respectful manner, one is almost always going to get a positive response. We’ve all heard that the industry is about who you know. And that’s true…to a certain extent. Additionally, if you believe in yourself and you want badly enough, a career in the performing arts, keep attending your classes, get your repertoire, headshots and showreel together, get a great agent, have them help you establish an online presence, go to the castings, work hard and follow up with the people you meet along the way.

Most people will be helpful. Most people will want you to succeed (casting directors especially, after all; their work is almost done once they have found someone who is suitable for each role). Learn who to trust and trust yourself. You can get the roles you want, provided you are not only suitable for the role but well prepared and willing to go the distance.

Image by Kurt Sneddon Blueprint Studios


Too Many Too Soon

I wanted to share with you, a message from a friend, Tanya Lee; the founder of The CorriLee Foundation, with whom I had the pleasure and privilege to work, during the Noosa Longweekend‘s One Night in Emerald City special event. I can’t even begin to describe the energy and passion and drive that this woman has for projects like these. She is awe-inspiring and I can’t wait to work with her on something – anything – again.

This is a project that is supported by many…and now needs to reach out to many more. Please support the making of this television commercial and know that, in doing so, you are playing an active role in youth suicide prevention.


It would be wonderful if you took a look at the website and uploaded or emailed a headshot of yourself, to be used for a youth suicide awareness commercial.


The concept of the commercial is to use hundreds of photographic images submitted by people who want to create awareness of youth suicide and support Kids Helpline.


All the photographs submitted will be used to form a montage of Tahlia’s face – a young woman whom tragically lost her life too soon and to whom the commercial is dedicated.
The project has received generous support from The CorriLee Foundation, BoysTown, David Field, Miranda Kerr and her mother, Therese Kerr, in order to come to fruition.


The making of the commercial will take place in mid March with David Field and Miranda Kerr doing the voice overs.


Please upload your own photo and forward this message on to your friends, family and Facebook contacts. It is so easy to upload a photo and takes 10 seconds to make a difference!


Thank you so much for your time and ongoing support.


Known People so far who have sent a photo include:

Wil Anderson

Paula Duncan

David Field

Prue MacSween

Darren Cahill

Ita Buttrose AO OBE

Miranda & Therese Kerr

Artist Melissa Egan

Artist Sinead Davies

Daniel MacPherson

Ian Roberts

Scott Draper

Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM

Tracey Spicer

Mikey Robins

Chris O’Neil

Mark Edmondson

David Williamson

John Alexander

No. 9 ranked tennis player Fernando Verdasco

Author & SBS presenter Liz Deep-Jones

Bob Ansett

Terry Serio

Steve Liebmann

Mark Bouris

Ian Rogerson

Shane Warne

Anastasia Rodionova

Sir Ian Botham

Carl Barron

Steve Kilbey

Bruce McAvaney

Artist Adam Cullen

Wayne Gardner

Adam Hills

Molly Meldrum

world no. 1 Squash player Nicole David

Rennae Stubbs

Harry M Miller

Simonne Logue

Bianca Dyer

and hopefully many many more to come!




Get Threaded

You may not be familiar with this term. I would like to say I coined it but I know, even before conferring with my good friend, Google, that that would be an outrageous lie. And, anyway, just look at what my good friend Google did find:

Indeed! A local business called…Get Threaded! You can take a look for yourself. N.B. This is NOT where I first experienced the ancient art of threading however, this IS where I’ll be going to from now on because Chermside’s Wink Bar is too pink for me and too far to visit every 4-6 weeks. I will say that it was pretty-pink-convenient to walk by, realise what was going on, walk on into without having made an appointment, and be treated with threading and a tint in just under 12 minutes, between the purchases of Wittner shoes and a Veronika Maine LBD. Look, a girl needs to put her feet up during such a spree and every seat was taken at Shingle Inn

Also because my extensive research showed 6 mutual friends on Facebook – that’s 6 degrees of separation, kids – between me and Get Threaded,  I thought, “It’s a siiiiiiiiiiiign…

In case you didn’t click on that link right there, here is the NBC story that helped spread the craze in the states. Incidentally, because I know there is NO craze without Oprah’s say-so, I looked for a clip from her show…and it seems there is an opportunity for somebody there…



Now when I look for my nearest practitioner, I find that these guys are suddenly EVERYWHERE



This is really important. It’s something your mother probably told you. If not your mother, your best friend or agent or photographer. I should mention that Kurt Sneddon has never offered any tips about brows to me personally but he is acknowledged, when it comes to headshots, as the best in the business and so it goes without saying that if you’re an actor requiring new headshots, which I am, you will do the courtesy of prepping your brows, which I am doing. Only then, will you be truly ready for your close-up, which I will have to be (because it’s booked now) for the 8th of December!

The eyes may be the windows to the soul but the brows frame them. Put simply, if you are in the public eye then you had better have great shaped brows.

Not to mention, it’s not really ever acceptable to sit down to Christmas dinner sporting the unkempt kind. Not even in Australia. Just saying. I mean, you have probably done enough this year already to offend the family.

Below are some examples of undesirable eyebrow shapes. Tragically, there are many more. In fact, there are LISTS of Best and Worst Celebrity Brows. Well, of course there are! In order that we mortals might know better. Try to avoid the following styles or any variations thereof.






Also, try to avoid pretty much everything you see next. It just won’t work…for you. Miranda Sings has a unique style and though many have tried, there is no one else in the world who can pull it off. Haters, back off. I happen to be a big fan.



As you can see, eyebrows are difficult to tame. And even more difficult to maintain. In fact, if you’ve ever seen me, or a picture of me, you would know that to be true. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten it quite right. But I’ll tell you one thing…actually, I’ll tell you two things:

  1. Apparently, threading was conceived by some ingenious Indian women who did not want to use wax on their sensitive skin. It’s a valid point. After centuries, it’s becoming a growing global trend. It’s efficient, its painless, it’s novel and neat. You should try it.
  2. If you do not heed this advice and instead, insist on plucking and ruining your brows (or worse, entrusting them to one who has not yet achieved – and, I dare say, never will – the illustrious title of Eyebrow Designer or Eyebrow Architect), you’d better have a bloody good hairdresser. The fringe will always be in for those with undesirable brows.

To read more about threading, keep an eye (brow) on Nikki Parkinson’s blog Styling You. She tells me she is getting threaded on Friday…