My experience of Akio! started even before the show began. Entering the foyer I was greeted by the 8-bit chiptune music reminiscent of a Nintendo Gameboy and other early video games, displayed on the walls of the foyer was a map of August Isles, the setting of Akio!, with images and descriptions of the tools our hero would need to succeed in his quest, much like the manual you read that accompanies a game, to familiarise yourself with the mythology of the world you are about to enter; the instant nostalgia transported me back in time bringing forth the feelings of joy, excitement, and adventure I associate with the old school gaming I devoted hours to in my youth.
I was suitably primed to watch Akio!
The show itself was a sight the behold. A seamless meld of dance, acrobatics, fight choreography, a rocking 8-bit score, sound effects (all that designed by Vanessa Morrison. wow!), lighting (Jessica Lowe), and video elements (James O’Brian) all skilfully executed. The black-and-white pixel setting, pixel art props (Mariya Tkachenko & Matt De Haas), and costume design (Julia Gorman) was minimal yet captured the spirit (and simplicity due to technology restraints of the era) of early gaming; the artists made it look so easy, even though they would have devoted many painstaking hours into creating a show, which runs so fluidly and with so much energy. The director (Jade Alex) should be proud of what she has been able to accomplish, pulling all of these elements together into a cohesive whole, with her exceptional creative team.
The story itself is told with very little dialogue accompanied by speech boxes, and mainly via interpretive motion and dance, as we follow the hero Akio (Kevin Clayette) on his adventure, teleported into the gaming world and must rescue his sweetheart Harumi (Demitra Alexandria) from the cruel and manipulative Bakeneko (Aaron Sweeten) under the villainess guidance of Jorogumo (Chanelle Freeland). Akio is helped along his journey by Tanuki (Ellie May) and Okami (Clancy Carraway), guardians of the August Isles, and set challenges in preparation for his final confrontation by three animal spirits (Khanh Trieu, Ashleigh Lindsay, and Jay Johns). The amount of talent in this show is amazing, many young cast and crew members doing excellent work, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see them experience great success in the years to come.
I won’t go into anymore detail about this beautiful story (written by Matt De Haas) because I won’t be able to do it justice, there is still 8 more shows left between now and Sunday, so if you are in Sydney, stop reading this review and book your tickets now!
The true success of Akio! is it’s strong Anti-bullying theme prevalent throughout, because of that I respect the producers (Sascha Hall & Colin Oke) even more for making this possible. Not only is it a lesson aimed at the children in the audience, it’s also aimed at the parents whom are also in attendance, expressing the fact that not only do we need to prevent bullying in the classroom and playground, but preventing bullying must also start at home.
The key to this? It’s simple: love.
Presented by Blue Theatre Company in association with Hayes Theatre Co.
Saturday 4 July – Sunday 12 July 2015
School holiday family entertainment
This post requires a brief amount of back story before propelling myself into the ocean that is my distrain for other pedestrians, potentially other people for that matter, and my superiority complex which has self-esteem issues. Confused yet? Me too! Well, let’s drive right in.
6th November 2004 (my Mother’s birthday *gulp*), I’d only had my Red Ford Laser “Sandra Dee” for 2 months when joy riding home from my friend’s house over in Cranebrook I drove carelessly through a give-way sign and end up on the front end of a large flatbed ute with, get this, a bull bar! Now, had the speed of collision been even a few more clicks faster I may not have been here today, entertaining you all with my witty anecdotes, considering that bull bar connected quite significantly with the driver side door. See below image:
Hindsight: Had I not done a few loops around the Cranebrook Village Shopping Centre for shits, or been acting like a reckless galah, maybe this incident could have been avoided. The car was a write-off and I was never again to own a car in the following 11 years.
So now I catch public transport and I walk.
For the most part complex mechanisms need rules and regulations for them to work to avoid the system falling into chaos. If we did not have road rules or traffic laws it would be a Mad Max like fury road where anything goes, or the closest real life example, New Delhi.
If every cell in the human body did not have its purpose or work by its genetic design, if you don’t sleep or eat, then we would surely become seriously ill and death may also occur. Honestly, I am not making this shit up people! (Please see any scroll or book about the human body or medicine ever written http://www.wrf.org/ancient-medicine/oldest-medical-books.php)
The act of walking along the footpath on a street, whether it’s busy or not, isn’t a complex system that requires rules and regulations; statistic show, or the absence of those stats, that not many fatal accidents occur by collisions at 3.1 mph (5.0 km/h for the majority of earthlings). The only real ‘accidents’ that may eventuate is a result of people performing the following pedestrian faux pas in my presence, therefore making me the unwitting victim; one day I might ‘accidentally’ black out in a murderous rage and… The details of this isn’t important, I’m sure these people will get their comeuppance when greeted by the devil on the shores of hell in the lake of fire, but what is important to know is how to avoid getting prematurely dead.
I believe you can learn a lot about humanity whilst walking and navigating the pedestrian landscape, especially for a brisk walker like myself, so naturally I have a few issues with he behaviours of my fellow footpath cohabitants. I will present this as a list presenting the crime, applicable punishment, and then the rule to avoid further infringement; this is all my own opinion of course so please do not enforce these behaviours unless law is passed through the proper channels in parliament:
Crime: Walking too slow on a busy or skinny pathway (elderly or persons with a disability are the exception), also slow walkers who crowd the pathway and become a hindrance to both lanes of foot traffic.
Punishment: Kick up the backside.
Rule: Try to put a bit more stride into your movement. If you are short and don’t have that capability or if you are just on a stroll with no regards for your fellow humans please keep to the side to allow overtaking and keep clear of oncoming foot-traffic.
Group Walkers (2+ persons)
Crime: Walking in a group and crowding the footpath.
Punishment: Others are allowed to run at them, knock them over like a bunch of bowling pins.
Rule: Keep together on the side as close as possible. If you are still in the way of oncoming foot-traffic common courtesy would suggest going single file to other the other humans to pass with ease. If you have 3+ in your group then 2 by 2 is allowed, by just don’t be a douche bag, give as much room as possible, the sidewalk if for everybody!
Stoppers (Groups Included)
Crime: Stopping dead in the middle of foot-traffic, either because you are looking at your phone, looking a shop, or lost.
Punishment: Kick up the backside or bowling pin knock down apply here too, or knock the phone from their hand (if applicable).
Rule: If you need to stop for ANY reason, pull off to the side to the curb or stand against a wall or shop front, you would stop in the middle of traffic whilst driving?!?! Same rules to avoid collisions, please guys!
Crime: Stoppers whom have stopped (of course!) but start-up again a fraction of a moment later usually without looking and causing, or almost causing, a collision with fellow pedestrians.
Punishment: Same as above, but stop for a moment to give them false hope before exacting relevant punishment.
Rule: Same as above… please guys!
Crime: Entering the lane of foot-traffic without looking or considering the other pedestrians. Example: Leaving a shop without checking left or right for oncoming people and stepping onto the footpath, or entering the footpath at a low-speed cutting off someone walking at a fast more brisk pace.
Punishment: Slap in the face, slow walker punishment applies, or knock the phone from their hand (if applicable).
Rule: Always look both ways before entering a footpath or high traffic area. If you see other pedestrians then give way before proceeding, if you see someone walking faster than you would be walking allow them to go first to avoid a Slow Walkers Infringement.
Crime: Failing to walk in a straight line or keeping to the correct lane, moving side to side that inhibits oncoming foot-traffic or possible overtaking.
Punishment: Football tackle, sweep the legs! Then curb stomp their phone for added effect.
Rule: Stay in a straight line or stay in the lane, do not swerve side to side. If you need to avoid an obstruction then do so but make sure you return to the correct footpath positioning. Otherwise, just don’t do it! What are you? Drunk? Delusional? have a complete disregard for your fellow human being? what?!?!
Crime: Walking alongside someone, albeit intentional or not, like you would someone you know. This can happen if a stopper starts whilst being overtaken or entering the lane of foot-traffic without regard. If no one involved attempts to correct this within a few seconds then both parties may be at fault.
Punishment: A slap up the backside, or knock the phone from their hand (if applicable).
Rule: If you are a stopper who is starting or entering the lane of foot-traffic then give way. Try to avoid this one, both parties may be liable depending the circumstances and a 3rd party witness will need to be consulted to determine the guilty party. If it’s too close to call then both parties will receive punishment.
The moral of this blarticle is something, I don’t know! This may not even be a problem for anyone else except for me, this might just be my issue; something about my attitude to walking and other pedestrians is just a metaphor of my own life and how I get frustrated by the blocks and barriers life drops in my path as I try moving forward to reach my intended goal; maybe I am my own pedestrian blockade? Possibly. Or, maybe just be mindful and considerate of the other people you live with on this little blue planet we call Earth, otherwise I’m going to knock the smart-phone from your stupid-fingers and Edward Norton curb stop the crap out of it (if applicable).
Peace on Earth.
To get the obligatory puns out of the way: this movie “collapsed” under its own weight, the plot was “shaky” at best, the characters were a bunch of “earthquakes”?… hmm, thought I had more of those, but I guess that is my own “fault” *wink*.
Honestly, I didn’t hate this movie. Anyone going to see this movie and not expecting the paint-by-numbers conventional disaster porn cliché story is mad! From the hero father bravely facing death to save his family, to the scientist whose warnings are ignored until it’s too late, and then CONSTANT DESTRUCTION; it’s enough that would make any Roland Emmerich proud.
Dwayne Johnson stars as rescue helicopter pilot tasked to rescue his wife and daughter, played by Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario. Also featured is Paul Giamatti as the seismologist whom predicts the impending disaster moments before it strikes; not really enough time to warn anybody but his storyline serves as a framing device to let the audience know more crazy shit is about to transpire, so strap the f&%@ in!
And oh my god, Kylie Minogue make an appearance in the film! *SPOILER ALERT* she dies. Quickly, and offscreen. No loves for the Kylie in this motion picture *sad face*.
I’m not going to lie, there was one main reason why I wanted to see this movie. Sure, I like the thrill and excitement that comes from escaping falling buildings, debris, and tsunamis, etcetera. The reason has a name, her name:
She is a sight to behold. There is something about her; when my eyes send her image to my brain it decides to let my ancient reptilian brain take the controls and I become the apes at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey when they discover the Monolith, except in my case I want to mate with the monolith.
Only one other woman in my life has caused quite a stir, but Daddario takes the cake. I’m 95% certain she was designed by the artist at Disney to taunt me. With a face so adorable I just want to kiss her so much; with those big blue soulful eyes, soft lush lips, a smile that weakens me, I could get lost in her forever. That on top of a body so enticing… if I go into too much detail I will faint. Curvy. So curvy in all the right places.
I digress, San Andreas is fun for the whole family. There is a scene with Dwayne Johnson sitting in the cockpit of a single-engine plane where he gives one of the most heartfelt performances of his career, he plays it subtle and deep, and proves he’s not your typical Schwarzenegger action hero; he is charming and witty plus a large slab of acting chops to boot.
However, If you just saw Furious 7 and want to see “The Rock” in action again this is the movie to watch! He flies a chopper, rescues people from certain demise, battles a tsunami in a motorboat; Alexandra Daddario’s first scene is in a black 2-piece bikini which leaves nothing to imagination but that maroon tank top she wears in the end just enhances her naturally given assets, and the filmmakers know this, if the whole movie was just b-roll shots of Alexandra Daddario it would be my new favourite film. EVER!
I was hoping she’d be in this film more than a few scenes and my hopes proved fruitful, she was in a lot of this movie, those parts I did not quite follow the story as well as I should because of the limited brain function while thinking about the perfect evening with Alex. I would cook her dinner, eat it by candle light underneath the stars. Afterwards we’d huddle inside under a blanket with a glass of red and talk about life, love, the topic of space might come up, slowly drifting closer to each other. I would hold her body against mine, kiss her gentle on the back of her neck, and work my way up to her ear. When we are both shaking with anticipation I would turn her towards me and we would lose ourselves in the passion; mind, body, and soul will merge into one, and the rest of existence fade away until only we remain as the bright, electric, pulsating centre of the universe.
The movie was great fun, go check it out!
3.5 / 5
The first part in what will be a series of posts outlining my history and experiences with writing so far, an epic adventure starting at the very beginning of it all – like ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but fewer dragons.
Prologue – The Moment Eternal
The epiphany struck me like a lightning bullet, shattering the world as I knew it; a cataclysmic eruption that blew open my perception and spewing the fragments of my old mind into the Exosphere. When the dust settled what remained was a singular realisation that since has driven me forward into the future; the great unknown:
I want to be a filmmaker.
This is what I told my mother after the moment had passed. She is driving down Dunheved Rd nearing the Richmond Rd intersection travelling from my childhood home in Werrington County to somewhere in Penrith. Any further details of the day are unclear to me: Maybe Mum was driving me to one of my drama classes or just to Penrith Plaza for shopping; I think I was nine or ten years old but I never thought to take note of this at the time; had Harold Bishop returned to Ramsey Street after years presumed dead having been swept out to sea? These details are not important (sorry Harold) but what I do recall is a single image of the Dunheved / Richmond Rd intersection upon approach, and a single statement:
I want to be a filmmaker.
This was the offspring of two seemingly unrelated thoughts: What do I want to be when I grow up?, and I love movies! A teacher at school had told the class to start thinking about your future NOW so you can plan ahead (Don’t ask me which teacher. If you are reading this, teacher of Mitchell’s past, please let me know for the record and to receive my gratitude) and I loved watching movies with my Father and Brother every second weekend (who doesn’t like movies? But there is a difference between loved and FUCKING LOVED!!!!). Here they were clacking through my brain, increasing linear acceleration, and probably due to signal failure collided like a couple of freight trains:
I want to be a filmmaker.
Such a simple thought in a simpler time. I was young, naive, innocent, oblivious; the ramifications of this moment which lasted a mere few seconds was so potent it defined the course of the rest of my life all leading up to this point as I near my 30th birthday. A moment I recall on so many levels more than all other moments or days or weeks from my past. I was seven years old when on a bus ride to school I was attempting to explain to the other children an abstract thought my mind had stumbled upon (we call this an “I am an apple” moment usually reserved for shower contemplation): in that instant on the bus I existed purely in that moment and all other occurrences in my life ceased; that bus ride was the moment I was conceived. I don’t think they knew what I was babbling on about but I knew I was onto something, I just had the wrong moment.
It wasn’t that bus ride to school when I was truly conceived, it was the car ride with Mum, when the epiphany struck me…
I have two great loves in my life: One is food, the second is television.
Now, I say ‘loves’ which is a strong word, not using the word ‘loves’ in regards to the feelings or bonds I have with the human people I call friends and family but more as an exaggeration to emphasis how much I like these two things in my life. One of these things I consume on a daily basis as if my life depended on it, I get excited thinking about it (the word excited in this sentence can be interchangeable with the word aroused – your prerogative), and if I withhold myself from it I tend to overindulge to the point of exhaustion.
The second thing is food and… well, pretty much can be described the same as above.
If I was to add a third thing to that list it would be masturbation… okay, scrap all that, to make short and simple: I like to pleasure myself in more ways than one, just to make sure I have all five traditional senses covered! If I was to acquire a sixth sense then surely I’d find a way to put those ghosts to good use *wink, wink*.
When I say ‘good use’ I’m implying I would find a way to bang a ghost, FYI.
But “why?” you may ask, “why did you title this *blarticle™ ‘Television’ when you have also been talking about food, and jerking off, and having sex with a ghost?” Well, sir! If you really want to know… because I started with the intention of writing about television exclusively then could not help but see the similarities in my relationship between all three. So, let’s write a bit more about television, finally!
Television is one of the very first indulgences we all have as a child. Food and sex at this point in our lives don’t play as large an importance but TV was alway there as the additional parent that talked to us, sang to us, made us laugh and cry; it was the parent that didn’t get mad with us or spank us or send us to the naughty corner: It was the good cop. Too much TV and, I assume, our bio-parents would get jealous of the attention we gave to our favourite mech-parent and tell us to read a book, or go ‘outside’ (shudder). We would be happy to see it in the morning and when we arrived home from school and would fall asleep in its warm loving embrace.
The downside was having access to this love on a strict schedule. Not every show on TV we wanted to watch, a lot of it was down right ordinary; day time and Sunday programming being the worst! Plus, I wasn’t into the morning cartoon as much as most other children. I like my primetime schedule such as The Simpsons, M*A*S*H, Neighbours, MacGyver, and occasionally family favourites such as A River Somewhere and The Brittas Empire on the ABC. Then, there were shows I wanted to watch but wasn’t allowed to, like The X Files and South Park (for some reason! pfft!) but did so on the DL. There was still another 19 hours in the day, 8 for sleeping so another 11 hours of Life not absorbed in the shows of other lives.
That was the schedule I had to follow. No other options. This was the way of things and I did not question it… and then they started to release tv shows on DVD and then, OMG, shit got amazing!
Much like discovering the wonders of SBS late night programming did for young boys (remember Saturday Night Cult Movies, anyone?), and getting your first wage / allowance and being able to buy the food of your own choice did also for young boys (possibly young girls but I was never I young girl, despite what my brother would tell you), TV on DVD was a revelation for me. Hours upon hours of television and I could set my own schedule. I could binge watch it or view it more sporadically, but I had that choice. It was mine to control!
Cut to: 10 – 15 years later. I have the Internet, Menulog, Netflix & Stan, I have all of this indulgence at the click of a button and I don’t even need to leave my house or interact with other people. So many shows to watch from the past, present, and more to come in the future and I want to watch it all! Okay, not all, some shows I’m happy to give a miss but there is so soooo many I want to devour completely!
It is equally as glorious as it is dangerous. God help us all.
*Blarticle – A blog, but due to reasons of shame and because it’s not good enough to be a proper article I created this new word that creates a somewhat comfortable middle ground that upon reflection isn’t making anything even remotely better for myself.
(This is an article I wrote back in 2011, but is still somewhat relevant, and I kinda like it, so…. here it is!)
I’m the kind of guy whom likes his coffee in the morning or on my way to work. I like coffee. I like the taste, tastes good. If I didn’t think it tasted good then why would I drink it? This is a question which makes perfect sense. It goes without saying, really, and is valid for many foods and beverages. It’s even sensical when you lay this sort of rationalizing behind a variety of subjects, why would you do something if you didn’t like doing it? But for now I’ll talk about coffee.
Just now upon writing the previous paragraph I felt the ‘call’ and quickly popped over to my local cafe for a large mocha, one sugar.
In my previous short paragraph I mention that I bought a mocha, this is my regular drink (for those unfamiliar, it’s like a latte or cappuccino but with chocolate which they inject in either with a powder or syrup). For a while I was convinced the staff at Bitton Gourmet Cafe assumed this was my actually name, they would always greet me ‘Hello, large Mocha?’, in early mornings it kind of sounded like ‘Hello Large Mocha!’ There is a big difference. I have informed them of my real name and the rest is history.
It has now been many month since I wrote the above paragraphs. In that period of time I have consumed vast amounts of coffee which makes me even more of a scholar on the subject. Maybe if I was to take a few lessons, become a barista, and work in a fully operational coffee shop for a few weeks I’d be that much more professed on this subject… but am I going to do that?
Not recently, but a few times in the past, the female waiters (waitressesses) have written or illustrated on the lid of my take-away coffee cup (usually writing my name or a cartoon mouse face – most time without me even saying a word). Some would say this is some kind of sexual calling, a throwback to much more primordial mating ritual in which such a transaction ended with copulation. I don’t really see another other reason other than they are bored or doing something nice by breaking up the monotony of the day, but it really is more likely a suggestion of intercourse for the intent of procreation of the species.
I’ve notice from what I have already written (because I tend to continuously refer to previous paragraphs) that when coffee has come to mind as a topic to write about I have more discussed my experiences with the cafe I attend or the people I meet. Normally you might think if I was writing about a certain topic such as coffee I would stick to the analysts of different tastes, brews, blends, beans, how brazil – the biggest export of chocolate beans and second biggest consumer of chocolate – don’t make Mochas (insane!!), but for me the drinking of coffee is partly the taste and more so about the social interaction of coffee. It’s a chance in life to slow down, sit with friends, family and acquaintances, to relax, talk, think, to grow, develop and solidify the bond of love and friendship. This is why it makes for a good first date for new friends and potential partners, or strengthen pre-existing relationships.
It’s about bringing people together.
I’m not addicted to the caffeine, I’m addicted to the human interactions that come with the coffee experience.
That… and maybe slightly addicted to the caffeine. It’s either coffee or crack. Until crack finds a way to enhance its social benefits I’ll stick to my Mochas.