Tag Archives: Brisbane

Sunday morning in Red Hill

Red Hill, Brisbane.10 am Sunday 10th June 2012

How very strange, sitting on the back deck with 3 layers of warm tops, good socks and loose comfy trousers, with nothing better to do but drink coffee and talk to you.

Yes, it is winter in Brisbane, which anyone living in Scotland would find a very acceptable format for summer.  It’s cloudy today, and quite breezy, which is probably why the birds are later than usual.  In summer, the maggies sing around 8 am, followed by the crows, but here they are in full voice at 10 am. I’m certainly not complaining.

Of course, I have other things to do. I don’t think, though, that they are more urgent than sitting here with the birds and Perch the cat, enjoying the cool air round my fingers and an excellent coffee.

Perch catching some rays on the deck.

I will start learning my script for Nanaimo later on today, pay for my upcoming week of training with Ira, and post a blog on Being in Voice about the workshop I’m proposing next month.  Nothing too demanding – my to do list.  Hopefully, the workshop will be Extremely Demanding.  I’m pretty excited about the possibility of working with people who crave Extremely Demanding.

You may have guessed – if you don’t know already – that I have now formally handed down (submitted) my thesis.  Done.  Like a dinner.  I have informal acknowledgement that the submissions office has received it, but I’m still awaiting formal acknowledgement that everything is in order. The actual submission process turned out to be incredibly complicated, fraught with error potential, and took about 10 days to get everything sorted.  hmmmm.

So anyway, here I am, virtually post thesis, at least for a few months till the examiners send it back with whatever objections, revisions, suggestions they may have.  So I am enjoying the remarkable sensation of hiatus, and allowing lots and lots of ideas to potter around in my head for what mischief I can get up to next. My supervisor likes some of my ideas for writing projects, so that’s encouraging.

I’ve listed my itinerary below, so you can skip it if you’ve already heard it. In brief, as I’ve said before, I’ll be away from 26 July to 8 September. If there’s any chance we could meet up someone along the route, please let me know! Maybe by the time I get back, I’ll have figured out what I’m going to be when I grow up.  I’ve applied for a couple of jobs.  One thing is sure, it includes a trip to UK and France in 2013. And to anywhere else that gets me outta Brisbane. Out of Brisbane. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the title of a film.

OK my friends, tha-tha-that’s all folks – for now.

 

 

Here’s the plan to date:

I’m house-sitting in Red Hill with Perch the Cat till 13 July.

Next week, more clown training with Ira, who has just returned from Europe and 3 months touring (performing) with Slava’s Snow Show. I’m very exciting about working with him again.

2-6 July – ADSA conference, here in Brisbane. I’m leading a voice workshop

14 – 26 July – house-sitting in Toowoomba for Willie and Elvira.  I shared a dungeon basement flat in Sauchiehall St, Glasgow with Willie 17 years ago!

14 and 15 July – workshop “Shakespeare’s Archetypes” IF I get 6 participants.  I still need to find a venue, has to be special because I want to work from 9.30 am to 9 pm, total immersion, food included. Details HERE.

26 July – fly off to Seattle to see my beautiful Iain, Jessie, Owen, Natalie and Annie the Dog.

2 August – to Washington DC to take part in panel presentation on Presence at ATHE conference.

5-9 August, VASTA conference, also Washington DC. I’m presenting a short paper on training teachers to care for young children’s voices – i.e. encourage them to play with sound for longer, and safely.

10 August, get together with Adele and Lauren in Moorestown, then back to Seattle.

16 – 23 August – to Nanaimo Fringetastic Festival with Across The Pond, to perform “Man Catches Fish.

23 August – back to Seattle

6 September – back to Brissie.

Downhill All The Way

I see it’s nearly a year since my last post. Maybe I should make a habit of this, annual postings!

SO, where am I? In Brisbane. Still house-sitting, thanks to some lovely house-owners who are kind enough to let their animals keep me company while they travel.  What am I? Still a student, part time PhD candidate, and still a freelance voice and acting coach. A little bit less of the former, a little bit more of the latter.

I’ll explain. I have now completed a full draft of my thesis. It is sitting with my two very busy supervisors, waiting for them to read it and return it to me with their comments, and suggestions for refinements. Hopefully refinements. Hopefully they won’t want major rewrites. I’m now pulling together all of the ancillary material I can muster to put into the appendices, such as feedback from colleagues and audiences who attended the various work-in-progress presentations of the performance project, The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will). Then there are all the diary type notes I made along the way, since the project became officially part of my PhD.  I’ve been pretty slack in that area, but as I’ve been trawling through every external hard drive I’ve saved files onto over the past 4 years I’ve managed to find 23 pages worth of ramblings, some of it quite revealing.

So if any of you have any final thoughts in response to your encounter with June Bloom, and would like them included in the final document, now is the time to send them in to me.  Final submission – when I have to hand it down – no later than the end of June.

My teaching practice is bubbling along quite nicely.  I must be doing something right with the website, because I am now getting one or two calls a week from potential students who find me just by searching on the net.  I’m working more with non-actors at the moment, people from different walks of life who want to develop their voices and presentation skills. What fun!

When I arrived back in Oz last year, after a fabulous trip to  Phoenix, Haworth NJ, New York and Seattle, I vowed not to leave the country until the thesis was completed. Well, one way or another, it will be completed by the end of June, so I’m setting off again late July, back to Seattle to see Iain, Jessie, Owen, Natalie and Annie.  There will be a dash across country to the east coast for a conference or two and hopefully catch up with the NJ mob, then back again for more Seattle family fun.

Back in Brisbane in early September, I guess I’ll have to decide what I want to be when I grow up.  I seem to have discovered yet another string to my bow – composer! having tinkered, on and off, as long as I can remember, with song writing. There have been occasional forays into arranging, and then of course there was the Music Major as part of my BA. I keep forgetting about that.  Anyway…

To explain the photo up at the top.  I’m wearing one of the costumes for the Performers For Peace group, for which I have been commissioned to compose original music for their latest street theatre performance.  It’s been an absolute blast, tagging along as the group (from the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Brisbane chapter) debated and discussed, improvised and devised – under the most excellent facilitation of Anna Yen – the words that they wanted to sing.  I then went into seclusion to set it all to music. It’s just 5 minutes long, but we’ve managed to turn out a miniature agit-prop epic. Opening night is at the end of April, at the WILPF Annual Awards cocktail party.

Of course, I am not without ideas for stuff to get stuck into when September arrives. I’m pretty excited about a range of possibilities for getting more and more people of all ages, from very small children to senior, involved in voice work and play. Shakespeare will also feature in future plans, be prepared to be surprised on a street corner or in a car park near you.

Oh, and there’s a trip to Paris to run a voice workshop, that’s in early planning stages. It would be awfully nice to get a whole tour happening around that, early in 2013. Think about it! It could happen in your part of the world too. I’ve been riding high for some time now, and I’m heading down into the valleys to continue the journey.

OK, enough already. Until next time…

 

 

 

Quietly Stepping Out for CARE

22 May 11 14:00 PM

This morning I returned to the walkway along the Brisbane River for the first time since I’ve been back in the country. I was delighted to find it practically deserted, hardly another person at all as I walked from Auchenflower towards the city, and only a few manic speeding cyclists on the walk back.

Quite Walking by the Brisbane River

Isn’t it interesting, how cyclists who complain bitterly about being hounded off the roads by speeding, thoughtless motorists will team up to speed along the walkways with absolutely no thought for the pedestrians they are supposed to be sharing the space with. Ok, enough whinging. It was a beautiful walk, cool and a little bit drizzly, calm and quiet. I am very lucky to be able to walk just for my health and pleasure, unlike millions of women who walk to survive.

Also, I discovered that if I place the pedometer too tightly on my waistband, it only counts every second or third step, so I’ve actually been walking more than I thought I had! Today, I’m up to 9,692, and it’s only 2 pm. My fundraising total is creeping up slowly, thanks to very kind and generous friends. I hope you will join them, if you haven’t already – here’s the link: www.everydayhero.com.au/Flloyd_Kennedy.  If you have, thank you so much!

with love Flloyd

Biding my time

Sitting in my old (as in ex) apartment, now empty – I moved out last August, and went back to house-sitting – waiting for a student who is now 37 minutes late. I guess I’m not actually waiting any longer, just sitting.

I was supposed to have 2 students this morning. One sent me a message to cancel with 1 hour’s notice, the other just hasn’t bothered at all. Such is the life of the freelance coach.  Fortunately the first one has paid in advance, and has therefore forfeited his fee for today’s session. The other was a newbie, and they often don’t bother turning up, or letting me know that they have changed their minds. That’s why I get people to pay in advance once they do start with me. It’s the only way.

I’ve been staying with my friend Kris for the past couple of weeks. She hasn’t sold the house yet, but she has bought into her new place, and the big move happened on Friday.  It was relatively stress-free. Mini-movers did a great job, and we had the bonus of a gorgeous big hunk of a gay singing removalist as well.

It wasn’t quite pain free. My back is not up to much these days, lifting the odd box – no matter how carefully – results in a couple of sleepless nights. But it’s all better now.

So, I’ll just sit here for a little while longer, sharing my adventures with you, before I head off for an audition for a short film, followed by a show at the Powerhouse. Hope I get a park…

I think it’s going to rain. Actually, I do believe it is raining already. Lot of it about.

So, what’s new? Well, the thesis still isn’t happening for me. Meeting up with Joanne (my supervisor) this week, so I’m pretty sure something will happen between now and then. In between my online rehearsals with the Phoenix crew, and moving out of Kris’s place and into another very kind friend’s place for another couple of weeks, and preparing for the big trip next month.

I’m pretty darned excited, I can tell you. Next time, I’ll give you my itinerary.

of flood and fire

The dreadful floods that have inundated large swathes of eastern Australia lately, including much of my present hometown of Brisbane, have not troubled or inconvenienced me personally at a physical level. I am staying in one of the outer suburbs, not too close to the river and not particularly low lying, so the massive amounts of rain left the garden water-logged by last Monday, but not flooded.

The local streets have coped well – this is a fairly new housing estate – with storm water drains flowing freely throughout the worst of the downpour. As I took this picture I realised there was a drain blocked with leaves in the middle. I cleared it, and the water drained away very quickly.

I did get down to the River several hours before it really took over.  This photo was taken at the Kodak Beach, at Southbank, 9.30 am on Wednesday. By the time I got to the bus station it was closed, with water lapping the edge of the Queensland Performing Arts Complex nearby and buses being re-routed via the Captain Cook Bridge.  A friend dropped me to a bus stop in Ipswich Road, and 2 1/2 hours later I was safely home (a trip that normally takes around 30 minutes).  There was a lot of traffic winding its way around those streets that were not flooded. The river rose another 3 metres after this.

I have managed to stay pretty cool and calm, not a problem when I am not directly affected. Now that the water is receding, and the clean-up has begun, I feel the need to offer to help.  I have enough sense to realise that I am no longer fit and able enough to manage the heavy work that is required in the first, second and third instances. So I have offered to bake treats for anyone who wants them, and I’m selling my jewellery online with all proceeds to the Qld Flood Relief Appeal. You can either acquire something pretty in return for your donation – at www.handmadebyflloyd.com –  or at my Etsy Store, or bid in the auction at Handmade Kids Flood Appeal Auction (the latter is for Australian residents only). Or of course you can donate direct to http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html.

I have listened and watched the news broadcasts, and been inspired by the patience and hard working support of our State Premier, Anna Bligh, by courage and generousity of local residents who mucked in together, helped clear each other’s houses, took in strangers and generally behaved with great kindness and patience, and appalled by the politicking of the opposition leader, who announced at the height of the tragedy that he would be “keeping a close watch on the government” rather than offering his, and his party’s support. Not a good look, Tony!

And I have been reminded, most reluctantly, of what it feels like to have your family’s lives at great risk, to lose all of your possessions, and to be inundated – not with water – but with the very generous donations of total strangers.  It was a house fire, on Tiree (Inner Hebrides, Scotland) in 1975.  I don’t think about it often, after all we all survived, we moved on. (ok, we lost the dog. That still hurts). At the time of the fire, I was so busy getting on with the business of getting everyone out, squirting a pathetic little fire extinguisher at the flames, and then watching the local fire brigade managing to douse the fire, but only after it had gone through the roof. I remember being overwhelmed by all the gifts of clothing and toys the islanders brought in huge bags, and I also remember feeling deeply resentful – something I have never confessed before.  I resented their smiling, caring faces, and I resented having to wear, and to dress my children in their loving gifts.  I still have a problem with second hand clothes, although I will occasionally indulge myself with some small item from St Vinnies, or the Salvo Shops. And boy, will I ever donate to them, every time I move and have a clean-out.

So I guess what I want to say at this moment is that I feel very deeply for those affected by this natural disaster.  I want to help you, in any way I can. That means I will bake for you, I will make and sell jewellery for you, I will come and entertain you when you are ready to be entertained.

I will also refuse to watch those disgusting television reporters who try to make people cry, with the camera people zooming in to catch the tears. Yuk! Do they have no humanity? They certainly don’t understand plain decent courtesy.

The Big Wet has a way to go. And then it will be back to the Big Dry. Because that is the way it works over here. Nature, eh?