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Friday, September 25, 2009

Les Mis Review Roundup

It's been one week since Les Mis opened at the Schonell last week, SEVEN shows done - it's been energy draining, but it's been so much fun so far. We've had standing ovations, tears have been shed, curtain calls, encores... people are loving it. The word is out and tickets are getting harder and harder to get - with full houses or back row only for some shows.

So here are four rave reviews we've had published about us...

Nigel Munro-Wallis on 612ABC gave us four stars. On air (not in the printed copy) Nigel gave us what I consider the biggest compliment of all from a theatre critic - he has disliked the show Les Miserables for many many years, but we were the ones that finally converted him. I really appreciate that comment. :)
If you have ever enjoyed Les Miserables then get along and see this production. It goes a long way to proving my suspicion that there is a great deal to offer in Brisbane in terms of musical theatre and that there are a significant number of highly talented devotees to the art out there who are doing a great deal to lift the bar with regard to the standard we can expect.

If you can't get out to catch one of the many offerings that are currently showing around town as part of the Brisbane Festival then go and see this. At least it has a descent run, as opposed to so much of what is on offer as part of the festival that only runs for a couple of days.

Well done.

Jason Whittaker at Australian Stage Online...
This is a labour of love for many; from the really clever staging (the battle scenes at the barricades are terrific), effective lighting and sound design and dazzling costuming faithful to the revolutionary times, and a tight, well-rehearsed orchestra under the co-batons of Harmony Woollett and Edgar Chan. Experienced director and choreographer Simone de Haas pulls it all together quite seamlessly, efficiently conveying exposition that moves at a swift pace in the first act.

The stage bursts with talent. It is a uniformly excellent cast, right down to each member of the large chorus who really do give it their all.


Lovers of musical theatre won’t be disappointed. It’s great fun.


Lauren Dillon at Timeoff...
With a cast of voices that would rival any other, an orchestra primed for action and a budget worthy of the requirements of such a production the Schonell Theatre was transformed into nineteenth century France much to the delight of the supportive and appreciative opening night audience.

Director Simone De Haas has outdone herself by being able to wrangle over 20 performers, an orchestra and special effects including gunfire in this mammoth production. Her skill combined with that of co-musical directors Harmony Woollett and Edgar Chan makes for an epic production...

From Perform Magazine...
When a theatre company decides to take on a musical of this scale and present it to a paying audience, they want to be very sure that they can come up with the goods. Director Simone de Haas and musical directors Harmony Woollett and Edgar Chan have delivered in spades...

When I saw that Chris Herden was the understudy for the original Sydney season of Phantom of the Opera, as well as having sung with the Queensland Pops Orchestra and Opera Queensland I was relieved. The role of Jean Valjean is so pivotal to the story that a less than professional performance would ruin the whole musical. Herden became Valjean and held the audience in the palm of his hand as he stood on the barricades and sang Bring Him Home. It was one of the finest renditions of this haunting piece that I have heard in either a professional or community production...

The firearms and gunfire in the barricade scene were so realistic that I ducked in my seat every time one of the actors turned toward the audience holding a rifle.


DON'T MISS OUT. We're on until the 16th October but don't wait until the last minute to see it. People have seen the show and were initially skeptical about the ticket price and got back on the phone and rebooked to see it again. It's of a quality you'd seen in a professional show at half the price. for dates and details on how to book.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Got my topical video done, like I said I'd try to. :D

An updated version of an old joke, in light of recent events.

If you like it and you haven't gone and voted for me already, please go to SamProof's Battle Of The YouTube Non-Stars Round #2 video and post a comment with "almostfamous83". That's all. That easy. And if you can check out the other battles' contestants and vote for them, that would be coolios too. :)

And post-script, RIP Patrick Swayze. It was obviously a long time coming but it's still quite the unpleasant shock. RIP Bodhi.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I say "pimp" as a verb A LOT

Round #2 of the Battle is up. I need your votes. Please go here and post a comment with "almostfamous83"

Here, however, is a video in which I plead for your votes but also pimp Les Mis which opens THIS FRIDAY. WOOOOOT.

Les Mis rehearsals are getting tougher. We're in tech week - every single night is a full dress/tech run through with the orchestra, ballistics, scene changes... the show opens Friday night and it's going to be an exhausting week.

Meaning my time is REALLY limited and I MAY not get to do a challenge video. Which would suck. If you can vote me back into the next round, I would be super psyched.

I've also tweeted that if I get voted back in, I will do a future Battle video naked. Unsure how people would react to that, but nonetheless, I need your votes.

Again, Les Mis. Opens Friday. Five weeks. It's tres awesome. Hook into it, musical lovers of Brisbane. :D

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Purge - Part 1

I've been thinking about this for a while. I didn't think about it really hard until I received an email from YouTube a couple of days ago saying they had reviewed my channel and considered me a "great candidate" for the YouTube Partner Program.

This could have been sent to everyone or it could have just been sent to a handful based on viewing stats. Who knows.

What would this mean? It means I can allow ads to be inserted in/around them and earn (a very small amount of) money from my videos. I would get more promotion via searches and front page promotion, and have more control over my channel designs and video settings. The money isn't really an issue, as I've heard tales of woe of how little the pay is from Google - what I AM interested in is the promotion.

Unfortunately, if I want to follow through and apply for partnership, things have to change. And for me, it's a big one. Relatively.

I'm going to have to remove a quarter of my videos.
Mostly Law Revue ones at that.

I'm not going to be one of those idiots who AngryAussie often (and quite rightly) rants about - people who put up copyrighted material and whinge incessantly when they get shut down, claiming ignorance and that they "didn't intend to" infringe. I don't claim total ignorance. There were things which were perfectly fine in terms of copyright, things which were borderline, and things which were not. In the end, I used them because 1) they suited the jokes and made the Law Revue videos work as best as they could and 2) I didn't think anyone would care about our silly little sketch show in a university theatre.

But times have changed. Back then, YouTube was still a new thing - it was known enough to have it blocked on work computers but not enough for Viacom to sue it for a billion dollars. It's now synonymous with internet video and it's much much bigger, more technical and more policed. If you couple that with the fact I'm averaging 1000 views a day across my channel, it was bound to happen. I'm just surprised it took this long.

The biggest one I'm going to have to move is March Of The Engineers - the video that a lot of people still really love, still gets favourited, is always in my top 5 rating videos on YouTube Insight, and production-wise summed up the best of the Law Revue years for me. It got me work and got my name around. If I could rescore it with new music, it could stay on the channel as March Redux, but I don't have the raw video files or the original Ross McNab audio recordings in order to rescore it with original music anymore either, so that is the final possible cut. And it has to move.

Now, I don't think it's a guarantee that I'd be made a partner. But even if I don't, in the last week, I've had one video removed (without any notification) and half a dozen others with content identified (even if they were just little snippets) and then links to iTunes as per the content sharing arrangements between YouTube and various record companies. These videos have been up for a long time - for years - and they've amassed thousands of views for me, been favourited, commented upon, forwarded around... but it really was only a matter of time, and I knew it.

My channel is still really important to me, even if they reject the partnership application. I've worked hard on it over the years. In the last year, I've uploaded more and more original content with myself, especially songs, and my subscriber count is pushing 600. I want to start promoting myself as much as possible with this channel, and promoting The Complete First Season with that YouTube channel. Is it worth jeopardizing all this progress I've made (some of which I was foolish not to back up) over a handful of vintage Law Revue videos that are now averaging maybe 10 hits a day at most? No.

So this is the plan.

One day this week (probably Monday or Tuesday), I will delete all of the videos I believe would get me kicked off. This is includes the videos on which content has already been detected but not disabled. A big content cleanse.

I'll then upload them to a new channel which will serve as a depot of sorts for said older Law Revue videos. This should leave my almostfamous83 channel relatively copyright-clean, but with three quarters of the videos left.

Will this be enough? I don't know. But like I said, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I really don't want to completely get rid of a lot of these videos because they are, well, my roots when it comes to comedy and film-making. They're a memory not just to me but to all who were involved in those videos and my channel has always been a place for them.

To be continued.

(I should clarify that I'm not deleting ALL of the Law Revue videos from my channel, just the iffy ones when it comes to copyright content. I'll post the new links here and do up a video to address where they've gone to my subscribers.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Twitter's Effect On My Cognitive Processes: A Lengthy Essay

Since joining Twitter, I've been wondering if the short message service has in any way affected my ability to stay focused on one thing at a ...








Bored. Onto something else.