Aaron Sweeten is a developing artist who has joined ICACM to inform and crystallise his overarching career objective, which is to act in and direct performance-based work. As a Bachelor of Performance graduate from AIM Dramatic Arts (DA), he has marshaled problem-solving ability, task-driven initiative and a straightforward understanding of an effective ensemble environment during his course. It has instilled into him invaluable experience, rigour and concentration across key areas of theatre making and acting.
It wasn’t enough for Abbey Aziz to live life vicariously through other humans on screen. She’s the girl who wants to be falling head over heels, endearingly – sometimes clumsily – rising up to face mountainous challenges or just plain celebrating cinematic life in all its panoramic richness and diversity.
The path that Abbey first discovered – in front of the mirror in a house that she once shared with seven siblings on Hargrave Rd Auburn, Sydney no less – was to become an artist of unconditional emotion and philosophical magnanimity, with a few ‘awakenings’ along the way. She wants to bring people on that path, a touching journey that would change the way we view the world and ourselves in it. There there’s simple play and pleasure in the very act of performing. She wants to be living proof that we are all connected, without judgment and with pure love, power and compassion, much like leaving behind a legacy.
Since the age of six, Abbey has always been passionate in the areas of music, dance, fine art and acting. In other words, she is ‘home’. That place where time stands still and she forgets to eat and is painting frantically, splashing it all over her clothes and that is ok because it’s just like getting a coffee stain. Her curiosity in all things tactile grew as she grew older, along with her extreme interest in people and their stories of victory and struggle. ‘What makes us tick; what makes us uniquely individual yet universally identifiable to each other.’
Clearly, other than currently wrapping Abbey’s head around quantum physics and behavioural science, she relates it to her work as an actress. Meanwhile she is being driven by excellence in both personal and work life—creative collaboration, innovation and relationship-building for both on and off screen. Ultimately, she holds reverence for life… but she doesn’t merely want to chomp words, she wants to invite you in.
Emerging from the regional town of Gol Gol in NSW, Adrian Barilà left a successful family-owned vineyard business to pursue a career in Musical Theatre at Federation University’s Arts Academy. During his time in Ballarat, he has performed in a thrilling, technically superb and hilarious variety of content “Smash Hit” (Constable Craig); “Urinetown” (Billy Boy Bill/Bobby Strong – Cover); “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Jimmy Smith – Cover); “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Horace/Neville Landless – Cover).
Adrian performed his self-devised cabaret, “I’ll Have What He’s Having” in both Melbourne and Ballarat. It was well received that his cabaret was one of four shows selected to be a part of the 2015’s Ballarat Cabaret Festival, proving his chops as a powerhouse writer and performer combo on the festival circuit.
Adrian has also appeared as an extra in season four of “The Doctor Blake Mysteries” and Vance Joy’s “Georgia” music video, giving him a taste for the world of screen acting.
Often compared to Lucy Liu in looks, Aimee is a budding and unique actor, model and Irish dancer in her own right. Although adopted, she’s a heady, exotic mix of Taiwanese and Australian, proud of her family’s Celtic heritage. Other than graduating from Adelaide Centre for the Arts and University of Adelaide, she has challenged herself in exemplary, award-winning Irish dancing skills and learnt basic sword play, thus fusing both Western and Eastern worlds with perfect synergy.
Across TV, film and theatre credits, Aimee has been described to have a stylistic, moody, comical, primal and gamine-like presence. On the animation short film “Pigs in Zen” director Michael Ouyang has described her as ‘professional and very creatively involved... Punctual, prepared, anticipating production needs and always willing to spend the time to work with the other actors, finding new expressive ideas... exploring far more than the film could allow... a terrific creative collaborator.’
Aimiee’s soprano voice also brought her renown in the early days of her career. Making her professional musical theatre debut as a child in “The King & I”, she went on to win scholarships with Australian Girls Choir and Concordia College. She flourished in various musicals such as “Man of La Mancha”, “The Sound of Music”, “Oklahoma”, “Guys & Dolls”, “Chess (South Australian Premiere)” and “Victor / Victoria (Australian Premiere)”. In 2016, Aimee sang as a soloist in "An Evening of Frank Sinatra (Wrest Point)", starring Matthew Ives and his Big Band and John X as Frank Sinatra.
Aimee has modeled for some of the world’s leading international photographers: Todd Anthony Tyler, Timon Wherli, Susanne Junker, Cassidy Photography, Sammy Esquillon and Matjaž Tančič. She has modeled in Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines and Mainland China, utilising her attention-grabbing brand profile.
In a life-defining moment and a dream come true, Aimee was recognised as an Irish Australian Rose of Tralee in 2001 – one of Ireland’s highest honours for females of Irish ancestry. Sonya Perkins (The World of Hibernia) was moved by her ‘spectacular singing voice that wouldn’t sound out of place, on a Broadway stage’. Her name was later etched onto the Rose Wall of Honour in Tralee Park, Co. Kerry, Ireland in 2013.
This award-winning Rose of Tralee and Irish dancer is currently a Soprano with the Baghdad Singers in Tasmania, and was featured in RACT’s “Get Right Royal Service” health insurance TVC (2014-2015).
Born and raised in the gritty suburbs of Western Sydney, Akram Joseph knows the layout of Bankstown like the back of his own hand. He also has a sweet tooth for adrenaline-fueled action films, stage combat and stunts – and why wouldn’t he, when he currently holds down his day job at Sweet City Café in Bankstown?
Having been trained at Vulcan’s Pro Wrestling School, Akram is a local professional wrestler for PWA (Professional Wrestling Australia), as well as an award-winning boxer and a taekwondo fighter (won 2009 open division). He hopes to translate these tough skills into large-scale film.
With smoldering, heartthrob, ‘other’ looks that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of “Home & Away”, Akram is an easy-going, daring, motivated and in-the-know artist who is ready to bloom, bursting with expression for his lifelong ambitions in the world of acting. When StarCentral magazine calls Akram as one of most promising actors to debut on the scene, it’s not hard to see why.
Don’t let his boyish conduct fool you, for Akram has a softer, level headed and melodic side. He was a Metro Screen panelist member on current affairs and anti-racial sentiment, an improvisational artist, as well as a songwriter who can play darbuka (a traditional Egyptian hour-glass drum).
His 2013 highlights include being a detective in “Bingo Unit” an interactive multimedia police drama performance; SBS’s “Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl” spinoff miniseries. In 2012, he made Kris Macourt’s “Between a Stock & a Heart Place” about homelessness; “Convict” in a Parramatta prison setting, and Maria Tran’s plucky action comedy duo film “Hit Girls” starring girl power.
‘Put your faith in me,’ Akram declares.
Alexis B. is a talented, strong and dedicated young actor, dancer and singer who takes after her equally artistic siblings in the family. With an enormous amount of experience at the ripe age of 10, she tends to pick up on different styles very quickly such as jazz, ballroom, tap and hip-hop. She has appeared extensively on stage in QLD in musical theatre and plays, as well as a range of short films, including the recent feature “Love Socks” and the much-lauded productions of “Oliver!” and “The Wizard of Oz” in fine character form.
Alexis is a very friendly, bubbly and waif-like girl who loves to put on a dazzling show everywhere she goes. Due to her stoic and mature nature, she works very well with adults but more importantly also understands them on their level and can appreciate candour. Considering her portfolio so far, she may grow up to be masterfully associated with indie, arthouse, fantastical fare as she relishes introspective work-turned-unreal the most.
She has also dabbled in modeling, most notably in Tamblyn’s Young Model Search competition and splashing about in the wave pool as part of the feel-good summer lifestyle vista for “Wet’n’Wild” (2013). Alexis is currently home-schooled with four other siblings, whom she is close to, so it is often a hot creative mess at home!
Alicia Gonzalez is a director-theatre maker and teaching artist specialising in movement and ensemble devised techniques to story telling. She works across theatre, film and education as co-devisor, movement director, teacher and performer. For Clockfire Theatre Company, she has collaborated and performed in the 1st installment of A Hunger Suite and their latest project we, the lost company.
Alicia has worked as movement coach and movement director for several shows including Mardi Gras favourite “The Punters Siren”. She has also written and performed as a puppeteer for Umbrella Theatre (The Rocks Village Bizarre Festival). She is the Artistic Director of Marquez Laundry Theatre Co, she has been commissioned by the Old 505 Theatre to create devised theatre pieces: “Macondo's Clothesline” and “Fred & Ginger”. She was also selected to participate in NIDA’s 2014 Independent Creative Development Program in Sydney.
In 2014 Critical Stages offered Alicia the Emerging Producers residency. In 2015 she had her directing short-film debut. Her artistic influences include Compagnie Philippe Genty, Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brook, Maguy Marin, & Pina Bausch. Alicia was the recipient of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant to help fund her studies at Lecoq. When she’s not trying to find absurdity in the everyday idiosyncratic human condition, she offers her expertise as story consultant to screen writers and works as a corporate roleplayer for various organisations.
Alicia is a graduate of Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris (Professional Actor pedagogy and Laboratory of Movement Studies program), she's also trained at Zen Zen Zo (QLD), the Movement Theatre Studio (NYC), Actors College of Theatre and Television Theatre (SYD) as well as other specialists including Simon T Rann (Compagnie Philippe Genty).
After graduating from a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Theatre Performance at Wesley Institute, Alison Lee Rubie has had the opportunity to explore new depths to create and immerse herself into different characters. Originally from the Central Coast with time spent in Sydney, Brisbane and travelling the world, she moved back to Sydney’s Inner West in 2010 and together with Steven Hopley created their theatre companies Enigma and Hot Room Theatre Group.
Fresh from a short break in performing in order to focus on studying animals and zoo-keeping at Taronga Zoo, Alison has kept in touch with her creative side through her theatre companies, producing her own work.
She took on the role of Director for Hot Room Theatre Group's debut production “Opposites Attract” as well as acting in it, which brought back her passion and drive for the industry. Her theatre credits include “La Ronde” (Housekeeper), “The Shape of Things” (Jenny), “The Maids” (Solange), “Twelfth Night” (Feste), “The Popular Mechanicals” (Robin Starveling), “Interrupted at her Music” (Susanna, Self devised), “Talking With…,” (Twirler), and “Easter “(Benjamin), as well as musicals including “West Side Story” and “Hot Mikado”. She has also been involved in some short films and feature films including “Suburban Mayhem” and some TV commercials.
Alissar Gazal came to Australia from Lebanon in the early 70’s. After graduating from ANU in Canberra, she moved back to Sydney and began her acting career when she joined Australia’s first bilingual Arab-Australian company TAQA Theatre in 1991-1999. Her involvement there included devising, writing, acting and producing, which would place her in stellar steed among ethnically enlightening stories and among award-winning, visionary peers such as Tom Zubrycki and Fadia Abboud.
Alissar has always been interested in all aspects of film especially documentary. A fan of narrative-driven, character-driven and observational style, she produced and directed her own piece that was close to her heart, “Le[s]banese” which spotlighted the struggling connect between the women of Lebanon and their burgeoning sexual identities. Recently, she became a beloved character following the online sensation of the 9-part series “I Luv U But” over two seasons. She has a knack of bringing both heart and cheekiness to the role of a mother unaware of her daughter’s secret as well as a TV chef with a lascivious appetite…
Alissar is on the Management Committee of the Arab Film Festival and the Selection Committee for Sydney Film Festival. She is also a founding member of Sydney Arabic Choir. In addition, she has been known to facilitate thought-provoking diversity casting seminars for ICE (Information and Cultural Exchange) at Parramatta. While she has also enthusiastically assisted on the set for other filmmakers and casting directors, her first love will always be acting.
Alissar’s other love is cooking. She owned and operated her catering company Date Fig Olive from 2003-2006, but continues to cater for private functions.
Ally Bjørnstad is a born and raised Norwegian. She began her career as an actor and instructor at the renowned Drammen Theatre, just outside Oslo. In 2010 Ally graduated from The St. Hallvard School of Theatre and moved to Australia where she fell in love with the warmer climate and subsequently decided to seriously pursue her acting here. She gained acceptance into an intensive course for Victorian College of Arts (VCA).
Ally’s acting highlights at the VCA included “The Season at Sarsaparilla” (directed by Naomi Edwards); “Savage in Limbo” (directed by Peta Coy; a stage reading of “My Man Godfrey” (directed by Tanya Dickson); “The Tempest” (directed by Jenny Kemp) and "It's an Earthquake in My Heart" (directed by Robert Walton). She is also a core member of Flemhouse Productions and in additional to filmmaking skill, has acted in shorts “Beard” and “Red, Blue & White” as well as Norwegian features “Feil sted – Feil tid” and “This Little Piggy”.
Ally’s work ethic allows her to be realistic and choosy about prospects that excite her, leaving very little room for failure. With a ‘can-do, die-hard’ attitude and blustery confidence, this starling is has a very notable Norwegian trait that likes to defy expectations and surprise a lot of people who may not be familiar with her culture and customs. Her material tends to range from transnational romantic dramas like “Gaai” (where she went to shoot at Universal Studios in Mumbai, India that she entered as part of the VICA competition, in January 2014), domestic comedies “The Share House” about difficult housemates and being the mother of a grownup adult with an extreme Peter Pan syndrome in “ManChild”. Furthermore, she is equally at home in social alienation and growing pains with a high school revenge angle in “Gabby’s First Time”, said to be a cross between “Eagle Vs Shark” and “Napoleon Dynamite” set in the 70’s.
At the same time, Ally wants to mount its credibility and appeal as a perfectly competitive film industry onto the world platform. “iCCAM” believes in her exceptionally strong and sincere talent, propping her up for a prospective, impervious and well-trodden career with an international flavour.
Amy Morrison has had 19+ years of experience in singing, acting and dancing.
Music and stage performance have been constant and cherished companions in Amy’s life, from her work as a chorister through every year of her schooling life to her development as a solo soprano with an extraordinary operatic range.
Amy has performed on stage in musicals, stage plays, concerts and dance productions but her greatest passion is storytelling through song and she is constantly striving for the greater depth of character and emotion she can inspire in her audience. She also feels that despite her age, her ability to visually pass off as 16yrs is a definite advantage!
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, all Andrea Laing ever wanted to do was to be in the lights. Whether it is posing metaphysical questions about desire and ‘what ifs’, re-enacting a cold case murder, navigating through relationship breakdowns or presenting for reality TV, travelogues and awards shows, she enjoys showing off an abundance of incredible material and iconic hotspots in her hometown, and the exciting dimension of travel.
Andrea’s portfolio has ranged from the rags-to-riches element alongside a struggle for forgiveness and redemption in “A Cross to Bear” (2012), scientific knowledge piece “Stuff You Should Know” (2013) and social psychology experiment “Bad Girls” (2007). On the other hand, she tends to aim for irreverent fare “Zombie College: The 5 Rules of Lab Safety” (2013) and “Chainsaw Cheerleaders” (2013) whose titles are alone worth the price of admission. Her work on the Sundance film “Paradise” by Max Makowski in the Philippines gave her the contrivance of all three: independence, passion and exotic locations. More importantly, it exposed her to the ‘verite style’ of filmmaking in the genre of found footage, where she was required to draw from simply a thorough outline, naturalistic acting and authentic dialogue.
Andrea is a certified and experienced freelance host who can create a likeable, delicate and kind face of any segment. She is a regular contributor to “Mood Magazine” and “Get Connected”, who is in the know about fashion trends, entertainment news, business, celebrities, entertainment events and a thriving local hub.
Precise, articulate, consummate and visionary while driving a humanitarian cause when she can, Andrea is always persistent and humble in her pursuits. It is this consistency that shows value in whatever she’s after. She abides by this saying, which has always held her in good steed: ‘Let success make the noise!’
Andrea Minutolo is a very organised, self-motivated, hardworking, sympathetic, cheerful, communicative team player with experience in working within challenging positions. He is able to work efficiently and effectively in fast-paced environments and have excellent time management and organisational skills. He always perseveres to achieve the best results in a friendly, approachable and enthusiastic manner. He is able to work well with others while learning and exhibiting a positive outlook. He is peaceful under pressure, a confident communicator and a hardworking individual who willingly helps others.
Andrea aims to build a career within a successful organisation in a challenging environment with committed people who will help him to improve himself, his interpersonal skills and therefore realise his full potential.
Andrew Thomas, originally from Adelaide, moved to Ballarat to study musical theatre. During this time, he was in the workshop cast of “Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face” an apocalyptic musical as the role of Christopher Tupper. And in his third year at Federation University he played Gomez in “The Addams Family” and Cinderella’s Father in “Into the Woods”. He also starred in an advertisement for Ballarat Cabaret Festival.
Angela Tran has completed her Bachelor of Media degree at UNSW. As an emerging actor, she has appeared in a few short films and small-scale stage works, most recently for ATYP, Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) and bAKEHOUSE Theatre. She has already been noted for her gentle nature in renowned theatre critic and blogger Kevin Jackson’s review for her performance in “Red Panda”.
Angela has an indie, innocent, sometimes naïve and natural ‘best friend’ quality that, in the long term, can also take on a darkly ironic and unexpected dimension in the hands of neo-traditional material. In “The Violence Project” (2013) she tackles the confronting subject matter of violence, safety, mechanisms and pervasive causes of crime in Western Sydney neighbourhoods through vignettes and interaction with narratives of war, homeland, local landscapes and beauty. In “His Mother’s Voice” (2014) she harbours a collective ruthlessness and tyranny of the Cultural Revolution ideology while affecting sycophantic allegiance for Chairman Mao in a dual role as Red Guard and neighbour.
At the same time, Angela exhibits worldliness and studiousness for the business side of the industry. Capable of injecting subtext into any role, she is not afraid to ask for advice to strengthen her connection with the text particularly issues about youth and representation in the media. She understands the embedded value of character and intuition, evoking multi-layered experience from memory.
According to Suzanne Miller, Angela has enormous growth potential with a good work ethic and has the capacity for growth during the rehearsal process: ‘She’s a real find.’ Australian Stage Review also states that ‘more confidence, mastery and experience will stand her in good stead.’
Angelika Nieweglowski is a Sydney-based Polish actress. In 2015 she graduated from the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television. She has lived her whole life in Australia; however growing up in a Polish family certainly had shaped her into the passionate, fiercely determined and vivacious person that she is today.
Whilst at drama school Angelika had the fortunate opportunity to work with some of Australia’s brightest and most experienced directors including Lex Marinos, Luke Rogers and John O’Hare. She was voice trained by renowned practitioner Jill Brown.
Angelika’s credits include: Mrs Callas in “Roundheads and Peakheads” (AFTT), Helena in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (AFTT) and Gail in “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance” (AFTT).
After completing training, she performed in a short devised piece titled “Loop” (dir. Cecile Payet). Along with her stage credits, Angelika has also acted in numerous short films, including “The Fox” (dir. Luke Chetham). She speaks fluent Polish, which was put to good use on a recent bi-lingual short film “How to Speak English” (dir. Tiffany Liu) as voiceover talent.
Along with her acting, Angelika works as a theatre costume and set designer. In 2016 she has worked with companies such as Sport for Jove, Hayes Theatre Co, Squabbalogic and the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.
Anna Baranowksa's life has taken her from Europe and Africa to Australia and beyond, providing a wealth of experience, excitement and opportunity.
Anna’s childhood in Poland was filled with dance and music—performing was a natural progression. She left Poland at 19 and spent several years in Germany and England before moving to Australia. She thereby completed an Advanced Diploma in Acting (Stage and Screen) and became a permanent resident.
Her TV credits to date have included work in Poland, Africa and Germany. In 2016, she worked on the international hit NBC’s TV series “Cape Town” in South Africa. She speaks Polish, German, English and Spanish. As a TV presenter with engaging people skills, Anna has hosted over 600 live shows for Polish Television.
Anna is an accomplished dancer specialising in West Coast Swing. She is interested in literature, art, music and language.
Having returned from Europe, she is always looking for new challenges and interesting projects.
Anna Cominos is not your everyday, typical Greek female, if such a type exists. Motherly, smart, organized, sensitive, intellectual and in touch with both of her Greek and Australian cultures, this festival and event expert and published writer has also gained an unlikely taste for politically incorrect comedy smash-hit notably 2003- 2007’s TV series and 2003 spinoff feature “Fat Pizza” by SBS.
While the viral, famed nature of Fat Pizza has – somewhat dubiously – ensured its status in the hallowed halls of Australian pop culture, Anna is at lengths to emphasise that she is so much more than the sum of her parts, which is a writer for her bi-lingual heritage.
In an article, Anna can swing from satirical, cheeky and over-the-top, to thoughtful, historical and creative pieces on the displacement and re-integration of the Greek community in a diasporic context. While she is not writing, she is as enthralling and committed as a risk-taking, ‘death-defying’ performer on the stage. These life experiences have given her boundless depth and that rare mix of ingrained self-assurance and cultural embedment: translating to a perfect recipe for television drama.
Anna Jahjah is a French director and drama teacher who has been living in Sydney for 4 years. Anna studied Anglophone theatre at Cours Florent and Jack Garfein Actors Studio in Paris when she performed in both classical and contemporary plays, including Comedia Dell'Arte plays. They taught her everything about timing, rhythm and relating to the audience.Her career in directing began afterwards, in addition to being a raconteur of Aboriginal stories at Le Musée du Quai Branly and Musée du Louvre. She performed in radio plays and made several documentaries about life in Lebanon, her home country.
Through the Conservatorie National Supérieur de Musique, Anna taught drama and storytelling in schools in a city already known for its creatively rich flair. She also conducted drama classes in English for amateur actors willing to improve their English while infusing the value of fun within performance, by staging Anglophone theatre in English such as Peter Schaffer's “Black Comedy” and Agatha Christies’ “The Mousetrap”.
Although Anna made the difficult decision to leave friends and family behind in France to settle down in Australia, she has wasted little time in facilitating drama workshops both in French and Arabic in schools as well as the National Conservatorium of Music. Anna toured around NSW as an actor in the bilingual one-woman show “La Bouillabaisse et la Marseillaise”, and enjoyed teaching French learners about the culture and expressions of Marseille, both in French and English. This was to show both student and teacher alike how drama can help to inform and communicate a foreign language laterally; that non-native French speakers can interact with native French speakers while expressing quirky, innovative and thoughtful fun for all involved.
In addition to her time at Alliance Française, Anna has been a playwright and director adapting established material. Under Le Théâtre des Assassins Anna has debuted plays with amateurs such as “Le Dindon” with The Sydney French Theatre, as well as a professional English version of “Roberto Zucco” at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, She was pleased to collaborate with a melting pot of French, Australian, Lebanese and Russian actors.
Anna is very excited about her latest pet project Théâtre Excentrique with partner Gerry Sont. As Artistic Director of Théâtre Excentrique, it focuses on performing theatre from around the world. Her production, the critically acclaimed “Antigone” by Jean Anouilh was performed in April 2014 with professional actors in English and a chorus of school students repeating key sentences in French.
Ashur Shimon started his career as an underwear model at Kmart for the huge promotion "Animal Instinct... Not for the Ordinary". Penrith store manager Shelly said, ‘I didn't realise how many hairy freaks there were out there in the woods!’
Since then, such damning praise helped propel his career into the entertainment industry. He successfully auditioned for the musical “Hair” but was later rejected as the Casting Director insisted, ‘He was just too hairy for our production.’
Ashur did manage to get a supporting role on Home & Away, working at a kebab van at the caravan park serving Alfie Stewart. Flaming galah – when will stereotypes ever cease!
However it was genius Director Paul Fenech who discovered Ashur and with the backing up of Comic Legend Tahir Bilgic, both of them agreed that this guy could be Australia's hairiest actor.
Starring in “Swift & Shift Couriers” and “Housos” playing the character of Abdul, Ashur has enjoyed phenomenal success. He was thrilled to work on set alongside game show king Ian Turpie and TV personality Amanda Keller. More importantly as an advocate type he believes in bringing joy into peoples’ lives and connecting with strangers on the street, which it is the greatest gift that one can ever receive.
Despite this, he remains single and desperate, living with Mum and Dad in his hometown neighbourhood of Wetherwill Park. One might consider this to be a humble step for Australia's hairiest actor but Ashur quipped, ‘Nah, I haven't hit the big time yet but once I do I'm moving to the beach to join the wanky Bondi Hipsters.’
Looking towards the future, Ashur will be busy building his dream home, fostering healthy relationships with loved ones and friends in addition to working on worthwhile projects that do make a difference.
Born in Paris in 1987 and with an itch to dance since the time she was an infant, Aude Florentin finally commenced intense training at the age of 7. By 11 years old she joined the Paris Opera Ballet School. She graduated at 17 from the Paris Conservatoire (Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris) and continued on with the Youth Ballet Company the following year.
Aude first professional experience was performing for two seasons with Europa Danse (European Youth Ballet Company) as a soloist, touring around Europe for over 12 months in over 90 performances. She then joined the Bordeaux Opera Ballet (South of France) for 2 years in Charles Jude’s "Danseur Etoile" at the Paris Opera Ballet.
Aude moved to Australia in 2008 and danced with the Australian Ballet directed by David McAllister and the Melbourne Ballet Company. In full bloom, she settled there for 2 years. In 2010, Scottish Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Page, gave her the opportunity to join the company as a guest artist. She returned to Australia in 2011. She performed Odette in “Swan Lake” on a Tasmanian tour. She was involved in many Opera Australia productions, dancing for “Magic Flute”, “Pearl Fishers”, and “Columbine in Capriccio” at the famous landmark Sydney Opera House.
Aude has worked alongside recognised artists, Liane Dayde, Claude Bessy, Elisabeth Platel, Jose Martinez, Cyril Atanassoff, Monique Loudieres, Attilio Labis, Nicolas Blanc, Thierry Malandain and Vicky Attard. Alongside them, she has appeared in many traditional ballets: “Giselle”, “Don Quixote”, “Nutcracker”, “Cinderella”, “Manon” “Chopiniana” and “The Rite of Spring”.
Aude performed with acclaimed choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, Alexander Ekman and Carol Armitage. Aude also participated at many International ballet competitions like the Monaco Dance Forum and the Prix de Lausanne (quarter-finalist) and was successful at the Cirque du Soleil audition. She is on call to work with them within the next 3 years.
Aude nowadays stays busy performing worldwide for internationals best Dance Companies and Choreographers. With an important experience in Ballet, Aude has diversified by working commercially and performing arial (double trapeze act - Moulin Rouge), teaching Pilates and Ballet.
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Ayesha Gibson has now completed her Bachelor of Performing arts, majoring in Acting, at Ballarat’s Arts Academy, taught by the likes of Ross Hall, Paul Hampton and Kim Durban. These studies have allowed her to expand her theatrical repertoire greatly and left her with a rich skill set across a variety of styles. Prior to commencing her studies she worked extensively in children’s theatre with Brisbane’s Fame Theatre Company and performed in Joymas Creative’s “The 25 Project”. She is currently playing Miranda in Bunninyong’s “The Tempest”—quickly putting her studies into practice—and hopes to soon expand her experience in film and stand-up comedy while relocating to Melbourne.
Babushka Ferenczi is a full time professional model, dancer, teacher and actor currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Beginning her career in France where she was inspired by art nouveau, she has been in the industry for nine years.
Her vast portfolio in modeling has included runways, photo shoots, catalogues, fashion shows and video shoots. Babushka’s has been published in a few magazines for the bridal and alternative markets and has taken part in leading consumer and retailer events such as L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, Fringe Festival and Melbourne World Runway. As a performer, she specialises in belly dancing, Bollywood dancing and fire twirling; all of which she performs on a regular basis for different functions, festivals and charities. Because of videographic modeling for many well-known Indian singers, she was offered an opportunity to work on a Bollywood feature as a lead.
Babushka is known to be very reliable, organised, dedicated and easy to direct. Although she knows how to adapt and conform to rules, she also has a very fertile creative side and loves adding her own twist to projects when it is welcome. Her artistic output has tended to alternate between glamourous, tasteful, refined, old- school, wholesome, warrior-like, frenetic, tranquil and otherworldly – and that goes for her looks as well.
Babushka’s experience in working for different and world-renowned dance companies have enabled her to form her own company Jalwa Dance Company, where she can utilise her skill-set to the fullest and richest extent of her ability. In addition, she instructs her students under these variegated dance styles to a shrewd and high standard.
Indeed, Babushkua is proof of the adage that art is a way of life. And when she embodies the tagline in a photographic campaign: ‘Divinely You’, it’s not hard to see why.
Belinda La Faber, an early career artist and presenter feels that she is ready to move on to the next step with “interCulture”. She shares a similar philosophy towards transparent and fairer ethnic representation, removing barriers on the basis of skin colour, pointing out that she feels more Australian while acknowledging her cultural heritage as Sri-Lankan. At the same time the arm is two-fold – potentially reaching her goals of presenting through this agency in a professional, diligent, punctual and credible manner.
Born and raised in outer Western Sydney, she fell into presenting by accident while studying for a Bachelor Degree in Education and found that she had a knack of enthralling an audience with an effective, tender and firm presence. Belinda could connect with children, business people and consumers through various educational, advertorial, infotainment, lifestyle and corporate video pieces. In fact, because of her B.A. Ed she specialises in kids’ educational presentation, notably what’s good for their health – the Blackmores Kids Mineral Minds vitamin brand and identifying the food types. Belinda has knowledge and experience in the real estate industry, thus is keen to be considered for such castings/programs. She also has no problems working with animals, like horses!
Moreover she is interested in moving into being a spokesperson for government, believing that she has the mouthpiece needed to represent the best interests of a group or electorate: objective, analytic yet affable and winsome. Since presenting presupposes knowledge of journalism, she has trained in radio, newsreading and interviews for Sydney TAFE Radio, an online radio station.
Belinda’s well-spoken credentials are crossed over from a background in teaching, but can also be accomplished in an acting sense as well. She is beginning to apply her animated and colourful delivery style to comedies such as “Super Awesome” (2013), about two straight men raising funds for a musical about gay marriage – with disastrous results, of course, and the hard-hitting, confronting beats of “Gimme Shelter” (2012) about a young female’s sheer audacity through broken homes and abusive circumstances.
Whatever her audience is, Belinda’s warmth, self-assurance and charm are as suited to acting as much as presenting in lifestyle, advertorial and corporate areas.
Benjamin Hambley’s strong passion for musical theatre began at the tender age of five when he played ‘Sooty’ the black cat in his preschool play. Soon enough he caught the stage bug, which led to his acceptance into the Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre.
Since then, Benjamin has choreographed musicals as well as worked for companies such as the BBC. His recent credits include: Judas in “Godspell”, Andrew Carnes in “Oklahoma!”, Rob in David Ives’ “Captive Audience” and Paul San Marco in “A Chorus Line” as well as an array of featured roles, some of which include “Con2TheCabaret” and “Who’s On Now?”
Benjamin prefers to tackle challenging, enriched, fully fleshed-out roles with a backstory that he can research and adapt for exciting narrative purposes.
A strong and enthusiastic passion for music led Bethany van Barneveld on the path to musical theatre in 2011. Originally trained as an instrumentalist and a singer, she had a strong lilting background to become an established and appealing presence on stage. After being cast in her first musical in 2011 as the vibrant Hedy La Rue in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, she was hooked, auditioning for the Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre a year later.
Bethany is also a master of improvisation including short form as much as clowning, Stanislavski and Shakespearean. Recent credits include ensemble works in “Oklahoma!” and “Godspell”, as well as featured artist roles in “Con2TheCabaret” and “Who’s On Now?” and in David Ives' “Words, Words, Words”.
Bethany’s laundry list of accents ranging from American dialects to French Canadian, Japanese, Puerto Rican and Scandinavian has elevated her serious citizen of the world credentials. She excels in all manners of sport and fitness, including digging her gumboots in the relaxed but stylishly competitive world of equestrian sports such as dressage, endurance riding, English riding and horse jumping.
Brierly Broad is a Melbourne-based actress and filmmaker, who graduated full time from the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia. She grew up in New Zealand with a background in classical theatre, performing in Shakespeare in the Park and directing contemporary takes for the Sheila Winn Shakespeare Festival.
Brierly graduated with an LLB & BA in Politics from the University of Otago, as well as being admitted to the NZ High Court as an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor. She has since returned to her passion of acting, performing in web series, theatre, and short films such as an indie horror piece “The Priest” (2015) and “Baby Powder Blues” (2014) which was made on the fly as part of the 48 Hour Film Project incentive. She has achieved Grade 8 AMEB in piano and played violin with Youth Orchestra. She is currently producing an eating disorder documentary called “Control” and sci-fi short “Broken Sleep”, both of which is close to her heart for different reasons.
In addition to her veritable talent, thoughtful work ethic and lightning-quick intelligence, Brierly’s mixed heritage as a Mauritian, Indian, Scottish, African, English and Eurasian has allowed her to step into the doorway of any and many cultures. She also delights in exploring classical texts like Shakespeare, social issues, arthouse cinema and modern comedy, or sometimes even all four at once if she can help it!
24 year-old Britt Lewis is a musical theatre performer and a recent graduate of the Diploma of Musical Theatre course at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). She also has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Creative Writing and a Diploma of Languages in French, both from the University of Melbourne.
Britt fell in love with acting at the age of 7 when she realised the magic of make-believe as a child could be found within the creation of theatre as an adult. Britt has gone on to play the role of Eponine in both Warragul Theatre Company and Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s “Les Miserables”—for which she received a GAT award and a Music Theatre Guild of Victoria nomination. She has starred as Natalie Goodman in Williamstown’s “Next to Normal”, Mrs Lovett in Queen’s MADS’ “Sweeney Todd”, Wednesday Addams in Williamstown’s “The Addams Family” and Sally Bowles in Wonthaggi’s “Cabaret”, for which she received a Music Theatre Guild of Victoria award.
Throughout her time at NIDA, Britt has trained under such professionals as Phillip Quast, Tryan Parke, Jennifer White, Jen Peers, John O’Connell and Anne-Maree McDonald and was involved in the NIDA director’s production “All That Glitters” in 2016. Britt also played the lead role in the NIDA Rough Cut short films “Spark” and “The Picnic”, and was a part of the ensemble for the Weimar Cabaret, directed by the 2016 NIDA directors.
An avid lover and supporter of new Australian theatre, Britt has also been a part of several readings and workshops for new theatre in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. These workshops include the Homegrown Grassroots festival at the Victorian College of the Arts, the Melbourne University Dramatic Festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the StageArt Exposed Festival at Chapel off Chapel in Melbourne. She aims to help Australian theatre grow and is excited to continue making contributions to empathetic, inclusive, bold and moving theatre in Australia and worldwide.
If there’s anything that Brylee Mills has learnt in dancing, it’s how to listen to her body and treat it like a beautiful, affecting, aerially and intellectually abstract force of nature. Originally from New Zealand, she worked with professionally inclusive Touch Compass Dance Co. for 4 years. She aced her RAD ballet exams, achieving an above-70% rate in her primary and advanced modules.
A successful audition for the famed Brent Street Studios saw her move to Sydney in February 2015 for an intensive, full-time year in Cert IV in Dance. Alongside hip-hop, jazz and lyrical, she majored in classical and contemporary, and felt these styles to be a best reflection of both worlds.
Tutelage by some of the best teachers in Sydney such as Teneill Wilson (Head of Ballet and Contemporary) and Nadia Klucznik (Head of Petite Performers) further refined Brylee’s dance-theatre technique. This, she put to consummate use at the sellout 2015 graduation showcase, both in an ensemble and a solo. She tends to evoke a narrative of physicality, struggle and reclaimed destiny; meanwhile her choreographic moves alone are worth a thousand words. A sinuous pivot, a enshrouded shimmer, a mid-air sense of gravitational pull, strength and speed etching her features into one of pure, alacritous concentration.
Of course Brylee not just a one-trick pony: she has posed for NZ Photographer of the Year Richard Wood in award-winning portraits as part of the International Colour Awards. She specialises in family, wedding, portrait and dance photography.
Other than dancing stints on acclaimed reality TV competitions “The Voice” and “NZ’s Got Talent” Brylee has had classes in singing and acting, the latter of which she utilised in a local medical drama “Shortland Street”. In 2016, she has also been invited to speak on National Young Leaders Days across country, a youth initiative of The Parenting Place designed to nurture, inspire and empower New Zealand students of all ages.
And the best and most normal part of all—this young performer also happens to be a left arm amputee, but when has that ever stopped anyone from reaching unparalleled dedication, discipline, affability with most people and social change as well as a welcome for new challenges and opportunities?
A disciplined and unique triple threat, Burcin Eser began performing at the age of 13 in high school productions. Coming from a Turkish background, she was born and raised in Melbourne. She realized her passion for the performing arts from a young age, when she would put on shows in her living room and find new gimmicks to perform for her family. Burcin followed her passion for the performing arts through to university, by completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Drama and Psychology at Deakin University. During her years at University, she took on lead roles in several student short films, whilst also getting a taste of the professional set environment in commercial television work, and extra work in feature films and television productions.
Burcin’s first lead role was in a short film called “Displacement” where she played a young Turkish migrant woman trying to make ends meet for her and her family with limited resources. Being on her first film set and playing a character she was drawn to, she gained a greater appreciation for the performing arts and filmmaking in itself. Following her graduation, Burcin wanted to continue her training in acting, and undertook The Alexander Technique with Penny McDonald, and Sensory with Justin Lehmann at Melbourne’s 16th Street Acting Studio.
Burcin’s passion for the performing arts is not limited to any one medium. Through the years she has been inspired by film, TV and theatre equally and hopes to be challenged by a range of roles across different genres and styles of entertainment.
Cameron Bajraktarevic-Hayward is 15 years old. He is in Year 10 at the Conservatorium of Music High School where he is a major in composition and voice (lyrical baritone) and minor in piano. He also plays the cello and flute.
Cameron spent his primary school years at the McDonald College where he was in the classical ballet stream and he also learned jazz, contemporary and lyrical dance. At the moment he takes classes at the Sydney Dance Company.
Cameron has been in many community musical theatre productions. He started as Oliver with the Holroyd Musical Society. His first show with Packemin Productions was also “Oliver” where he was in the Fagin’s Gang. In 2015, he played the cello in the orchestra for the Packemin Youth production of “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. In 2016 he was in the Packemin Youth production of “Back to the 80s” and in 2017 he was the Growltiger, one of the leads in Packemin Youth “Cats”, as well as a part of the “Spamalot” Ensemble with the Sydney Youth Musical Theatre.
Cameron also performed with Chatswood Musical Society and Ruby Productions. He is a member of the Gondwana Voices Young Men’s Choir. When he is not performing, he keeps himself busy with composing, drawing and creative writing.
Cameron would like a career in musical theatre, opera and film composition. He would like to study at the Royal College of Music in London, UK.
Carole Sharkey-Waters has been performing from the age of 4 and is a natural conqueror in everything she does, and does well: acting, modeling, singing, voiceover and dancing. She studied RAD Classical Ballet, then onto other forms of dance including opera, pop and rock before eventually seguing into acting. Her career highlights were dancing for the Dalai Llama; performing a burlesque show in her 50’s; learning how to fire an actual gun for “Deadly Women” and modeled for General Pants” as part of the Christmas promotion at their request.
In addition, Carole wrote her first song “Butterfly” at the age of 17, which later turned into a studio recording that was then used in a feature film; played an eccentric lead in the black comedy “Garish Hearts” whereby she wrote and sang the theme song “Softly”, and sang for George Miller’s animated film “Happy Feet” in the Stevie Wonder song “I Wish”. Memorably, she got to play Manu Fieldel (as “My Kitchen Rules” co-host)’s bogan bum in the hilarious Good Food and Wine event presentation.
Carole is a great adventurer; she has camped and trekked in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe
You name it—she has abseiled, skydived, and scuba dived with sharks. Say what you will about a woman of certain repute and panache, she loves using all of her skills; so the more outrageous and extraordinarily exciting the role is—the better!
‘I love experiencing different things in life! Hmmmm……………. I wonder what’s next???’
Cassandra Scalzi is no stranger to examining all that Aristotelian life can offer. To date she has qualified as a legal practitioner, curator, arts columnist, arts educator, creative facilitator, visual artist, mother, wife, model and actor. Her storytelling in all mediums has always been eccentric and exhibitionistic at heart, she often seeks the world around her as endless, day-to-day sources of inspiration, humour and imagination: people, fashion, art, beauty, nature, photography and, of course the unusual.
Based in Adelaide, Cassandra has had the privilege of working as a stylist and creative director on fashion shoots, patriotically drawing upon her surroundings and signature compulsion of colour, fusing art with fashion in an edgy, natural and transformative style. Her knowledge and respect for languages, literature and the great Masters of art exceeds commendation. From expert interpretation and translation, to performing her own stunts such as climbing trees in a tutu and bonding with a cow named Gus in a manger, she does all in the name of communication, self-expression and craft. Indeed, she fits the trope: appearances can be deceiving.
Cassandra prefers to be immersed within the richness and ethnic diversity of fashion, film and non-mainstream television. In addition, she derives satisfaction from showcasing, supporting and providing a platform for other talented artists’ work and collaborating with women and like-minded professionals.
A unique, charismatic and enormously intelligent – to the surprise of the many unsuspecting – artist with more of an open mind than most people and Parisian sensibilities, Cassandra has also begun to explore writing and acting and is a gifted comic with a distinct ‘zany’ and prankish persona. Self-reflexively drawing upon social commentary and indelible childhood memory through formative, sometimes affectingly ironic observations of human compassion and intolerance in equal measure, she is the modern and independent feminist with an exciting twist! Think Lucille Ball VS Mary Coustas with ‘sit-down’ comedy and a peculiar daredevil streak!
Cassandra is also a reptile enthusiast with a pet blue tongue named Mr T (Rex) and a recent hand-rearing kitten rescuer.
Cassidy B. played Cosette in Cameron Macintosh’s universally acclaimed hit 2014 production of “Les Miserables” in Melbourne—and loved it. Already a very mature, intuitive and responsible young girl, she is a quick learner and a wonderful listener who understands the visual art of storytelling through character and song, while following voice/movement direction far beyond her years.
Cassidy loves to sing, dance, model and act, adopting a casual, instinctive approach towards entertaining and able to hit all the right notes virtually on cue. Other than Les Miserables, she has always nabbed lead or supporting status in roles for short films such as Sydney Film School (SFS)’s “Memories of Jack” and “ANON” in 2013, an Anonymous Productions TV pilot “A Soapie Reality” in 2011 as well as pulling heartstrings as an orphan in a 2012 and 2013 national tour of “Oliver!” and “Annie”. In addition, she won plaudits as Best Supporting Actress in a 2012 play “A Pirate Game” and was a finalist in Tamblyn’s Young Model Search 2013. Indeed, Cassidy may have notched an impressive list of credits to her name but she remains funny, kind, friendly and most of all reliable, picking up on a natural chemistry with just about anyone in the cast.
She is currently home-schooled with four other siblings, whom she is close to, in outer Western Sydney. Meanwhile, she attends performing arts courses like Commotion School of Performing Arts and Kim’s Dance Academy (KDA) being trained in tap, ballet and acrobatics, all over Australia. For Cassidy, it’s the best kind of education to nurture highly her dogged sense of individualism as she chooses to juggle both demands on stage and in a classroom with much ease, mobility and flexibility. Shipping between Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland on a semi-regular basis, it is safe to say that Cassidy can almost be in three places at once!
At the same time, this growing, talented young artist never fails to lose sight of what makes it fun – which is to perform before the thrill and excitement of an enraptured audience in an industry that she truly loves.
As a child, Cathryn McDonald’s greatest ambition was to become a clown, frequently donning a red nose and suspenders and performing in the driveway for her biggest fan, Fatso the cat. Brought up on a steady diet of Get Smart, Fawlty Towers and Monty Python (to name a few), Cathryn inherited her sense of humour from her father and love of musicals from her mother.
Having graduated from the Music Theatre program at Federation University in 2016, she is happy to report that her audience now extends further than the family cat. During her time at the Arts Academy, Cathryn’s performance highlights have included playing the role of Mabel in “The Pajama Game”, Kee in “Vincent An A Capella Opera” and Alice Beineke in her third year graduating musical “The Addams Family”. She has also had the pleasure of performing in masterclasses with audition specialist Michael Lavine and Natalie Gamsu, as well as playing the roles of Duke of York and Margaret in a performative reading of an adapted Shakespeare work “Margaret of Anjou”.
Passionate about writing and creating her own work, Cathryn recently performed an original sketch comedy piece “Malteasers and Chill”, in which she directed and co-wrote with her friend Emma Austin for the Arts Academy’s Student Theatre Festival. In early 2016, Cathryn debuted her self-devised cabaret “Baby Got Paperback”—a quirky, pun-filled peek into the life of a chronically single, cat-loving, book nerd with a surprising gift for stand-up comedy. After performing to audiences in Ballarat and Melbourne, she was selected to extend her cabaret for the Ballarat Cabaret Festival’s In Development Program. In the future, Cathryn hopes to continue developing her cabaret and stand-up routine as well as pursuing sketch comedy writing for stage and TV.
Passion for the theatre led Charlotte Lawson to study Musical Theatre at Federation University Arts Academy, where she performed in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Princess Puffer) and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Ruth).
Upon graduating Charlotte was cast in a new the Australian musical “The White Mouse”, culminating in an Original Cast Album released June 2016. In her graduating year she was a part of Matthew Robinson's 2016 “New Voices” Workshop. Charlotte has most recently arrived home from China, where she was touring with the Australian International Opera Company’s show “The Sounds of Hollywood”.
Born in South Korea and raised in Australia since childhood, Acclaimed Actor/Filmmaker Chase Lee is a very achieved and hard-working Actor that began his career with Story Writing and putting together his own Scripts, due to his ethnicity in his country that hindered him from obtaining auditions or being cast.
This manifested Chase to set his sights on Indie Filmmaking. While pursuing it on a zero budget, he diligently began teaching himself Producing and Directing completely on his own. And quickly began to hone a very dynamic and advanced level craft in the Art of Filmmaking.
In late 2008, Chase joined a training program at The Actors Pulse, run by Billy Millionis. He still continues his training there under the Mentorship of Billy Millionis, Luke Ford (“Home and Away”, “The Mummy”, “Animal Kingdom”), Melissa Bonne (“Janet King”) and Jeremy Shadlow (“Old School”). For the last 10 years he has been training in the Meisner Technique from the great Sandy.
Some of Chase’s influences range from Director/Writer Kim Ki Duk, who is known for his unique approach and has been noted for his idiosyncratic art-house cinematic works. Lee is also influenced by Roland Barthes, a French Philosopher known for his thought process in regards to an individual choosing to manipulate conventions of language and style for an effective, desired effect.
Currently, Chase is working as an International Film Producer in Advertisement, and is actively pursuing Directing and Acting film roles. Lee is also in the scripting phase for his upcoming debut feature film, "I Found Bliss".
Chase’s entire current Filmography and projects in the making can be found on IMDB or at www.actorchaselee.com.
Chinie Concepcion is a triple threat with immeasurable and decisive experience in dancing, singing and acting. At a tender age of 9, she began showing off her performing chops to family and friends before blossoming into a professional career at only 19 years old.
Chinie moved to Singapore from Manila upon receiving a scholarship to study musical theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts. She was henceforth accepted into the program and accelerated straight to Level 2 by a year. She counts professors and mentors Aubrey Mellor, Tony Knight and Amanda Colliver as influential to her success. She graduated with first class BA HONS in May 2014.
In her homeland of the Philippines, Chinie is known within the dance community as one of the pioneers of "LA-style" (or commercial) hip-hop. In recent years, after choreographing and dancing in several major shows in this genre, she shifted her focus to theatre.
Chinie has built up a vast and extraordinary body of work in musicals, straight plays, commercials, music videos, corporate shows, events and TV shows that became as gorgeously malleable, irreverent, infectious and warm as the next. Her star turn in ABC 5’s“Shall We Dance” on Filipino television was recognised for perfectly mastered showmanship—or should that be ‘showwomanship’?
In addition to these plucked strings to her bow, Chinie has mastered the following vocal and dance styles of jazz, tap, ballet, tango and even breakdancing, to name a few, noting her gymnastics background as an advantage. She is a key performer of the One Night Stand cabaret, which she co-produces once a month.
Christopher Hamilton has appeared in many musicals and plays in both professional and community theatre. They include roles alongside Jon English, in the timeless adventure “THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE” (1984-85) and again in “PARIS” (2008). He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Pancrazio in “THE VENETIAN TWINS” (1985), one of Australia’s best-loved musicals.
Christopher has toured nationally and internationally in Melvyn Morrow’s “A SONG TO SING O!” and recently completed a season of Morrow’s new play “VICE”.
For five years he was guest soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the ABC’s popular Family Concerts. He sang a wide variety of music including opera, operetta, Gilbert & Sullivan and narrated the ever popular “PETER AND THE WOLF”.
Some of his favourite—and highly acclaimed—roles have been Roger de Bris in “THE PRODUCERS” (2009), Javert in “LES MISÉRABLES” (1994 & 2001), King Arthur in “SPAMALOT” (2001), Todd in “SWEENEY TODD” and Charles Makin in “THE HATPIN” (2010).
Christopher Nehme’s ‘soul-searching’ journey has taken him along many different careers and qualifications that include being a dockworker, boilermaker, metal fabricator, aircraft technician and more recently self-help entrepreneur. Despite wearing these smart, tough and hands-on hats, he has finally landed on where it matters most to him: acting in film and theatre.
Having found his life’s purpose, Christopher has begun 2015 with a bang, starring in films the likes of short film “Squashed” (dir: Chris Evans) and feature film “SFv1”, a string of TVCs from “Luxbet” and “Fitness First” to “KFC” and local gripping television such as “Rake” and “Top of the Lake”.
Christopher plans to capitalise on this momentum to broaden his on-screen trajectory and feels that ICACM is best positioned to serve his sense of ‘being free to be’ himself and sense of fulfillment. This epiphany, coupled with a soft-of-heart desire and intrigue to leave his audience with a considerably memorable footprint, is the aspect that surely would launch this Lebanese Australian into the steadily professional league.
Christopher Quyen is an upbeat and dedicated creative from Sydney. As a performer, he possesses a favourably marketable skill-set within the scope of acting, dancing, acrobatics and music. With these skills combined he is formidable. He possesses a strong work ethic and has high expectations of a perfect result. At the same time, he understands that he is in for a steep learning curve and prefers to challenge his prospects particularly as a minority actor. Whatever the challenge may be, he is willing to use all of the colours on his palette to paint the scene however you wish to create.
When Christopher is not on camera, he is a published and self-promoting author, writer, photographer and filmmaker with a vibrant background in directing and film production as well as a Social Media Content Marketer. Motivated, positive and reliable with the soul of a broodingly heartfelt poet, his raison d'être is collaborating with other creative minds in order to make a masterpiece, or at least become closer to the ideal.
Christopher abides by this daily philosophy: ‘Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music—the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.'
Hong Kong-born and now resident in Sydney, Chun Kit Wong (aka William) is a karate instructor whose persuasion for theatricality associated with the martial arts, discipline for the fitness regime, and consumption of Japanese anime cosplay makes for a natural bridge across to the acting world. He lives and breathes Asian-centric content, fantasy concepts and video games, including creating costumes for and dressing up as his beloved characters. He understands the connection between culture, identity and performance, imbuing each of them with a sense of fun, pride and child-like joy.
Chun has been a costume artist for 10 years where he tends to wear his own work as a cosplayer. He regularly represents international events as a native Australian such as World Cosplay Summit in Japan. Chun is a key voluntary translator for Sydney’s renowned Animania Japanese Pop Culture Festival in consecutive years, liaising between Eastern and Western festival-goers, as well as featuring in promotional material of Australia’s biggest pop culture events. He respectively became 2010 national and 201 World Champion through this strange but exciting and dazzling merge of costume design and performance art form.
Other important talents include Chun’s strict and exceptional Grade-standard musical training in piano and cello with AMEB, which he began from the age of 5.
Finesse, showmanship and competitiveness are his daily mottos, so it’s hard not to get swept up in witnessing Chun’s military precision to get the results that he wants—and often succeeds in doing so. When he’s not found teaching at a local dojo or Les Mills group fitness classes, he writes soundtrack music as a hobby. Chun hopes to one day become a soundtrack composer for video games or movies.
Claire Appleby’s confidence, energy and talent have drawn her to the Arts from day one. With extensive training in singing, dancing, and acting since the age of four, the title of ‘Triple Threat’ is well deserved.
Claire portrayed control freak Courtney Jones in the short film “The Volunteer” (2017), earning her ‘Best Actress’ in The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards; capturing their hearts by bringing to life ‘a wonderfully annoying persona’ (TMBT).
Despite her success on screen, Claire’s passion lies in theatre. Earlier this year she starred as Viola in “12 Inch Night”, an adaptation of “Twelfth Night” for Mardi Gras 2017 where she performed to sold out audiences for its entire run.
Claire's drive, determination and strong skillset have enabled her to seamlessly work within a multitude of mediums setting her up for a long and diverse career in the arts.
Claudette Clarke hails from Guyana, South America and is of African-Caribbean heritage. Growing up in London, she had come to largely identify as a ‘Black British’ minority member of the United Kingdom. Currently a Sydney-based resident, one has to glance at her portfolio to appreciate the breadth and aptitude of her work in universally-loved classic adaptations particularly “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Doubt”, “The Crucible” and “Danton’s Death”.
Claudette thrives best in multi-ethnic ensemble pieces, dealing with prejudice and class struggles, role models and education, crime and bloody political tragedies, cultural revolutions and holistic experiences; as well as pride in one’s heritage and place of birth. This is most notable in her narration of the arts-based magazine program “Omnibus”, where she comments on the link between racism, racial identity and diasporic relations in a primarily Anglo-centric British society. She is said to have a natural strength for acting, steadfastly commanding the space.
But creativity also is in the genes: her adult daughter is a celebrated writer and author who is more passionately versed on the topical issue of refugees, displacement and human rights than Claudette is. Although Claudette now considers Australia home, she is never more comfortable than speaking in Creole with relatives, and always mindful of her British African-Caribbean roots.
Ever since arriving in Sydney and leaving behind her worried family and hometown of Seattle, Clelia Niyikiza in two months has been in demand. The African-American expat has found herself thrust into a Hollywood blockbuster production “Gods of Egypt” directed by Alex Proyas and starring Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush.
To date, Clelia has performed in fairytale classics “The Jungle Book” and “Snow White” for Bellevue Youth Theatre when she was 15. Following that, she trained in Celebrity Actors Camp, a Hollywood-based TV and film program collectively boasting unparalleled and invaluable experience of casting directors Joey Paul Jensen, Lisa London, Catherine Sroud, Brandi Brice and Larry Lafond. A quick and impressionable learner, she also received intense and varied coaching from celebrities Adrian R’Mante (‘CSI’, ‘24’, ‘The Suite Life’), Giovannie Samuels (‘Freedom Writers’, ‘Bring it On: All or Nothing’, ‘The Suite Life’), Walter Perez (‘Fame, ‘Friday Night Lights’), Phill Lewis (‘Scrubs’, ‘Yes, Dear’, Suite Life on Deck’) and others.
Due to commitments to a demanding high school workload and extracurricular activities, Clelia is only beginning to get back on the horse as she derives the most enjoyment from acting. She took dance classes in hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. She is also keen and confident to transition into modelling, which suits her rounded, ardent, independent and soldiering-on personality.
Most connected to nature, seaside scenery and travel, the camera intuitively picks up on all these qualities as soon as the sun shines on her. Already Clelia is reaping the fruits of being in the entertainment industry by developing leadership qualities, self-confidence and the best possible head start in life.
Cristina Siciliano was born and raised in the South of Italy, Apulia, the land of Trulli—good food, olive trees and, of course, the land of magic. ‘You just can’t grow up wanting to be an international spy. You want to be an artist.’
Cristina started dancing when she was 4; her parents put it down to being a pest and thought that classical dancing would teach her manners and digestion (from huge nonna’s mains based on parmigiana and orecchiette with meatballs). However, she grew to love the dancing as it made her feel free and invincible.
At 13, she realised that she just didn’t want to be a nice puppet, so she transitioned into acting as a means of fooling people into believing that she could be someone else.
Cristina started an acting course alongside high school (back then there wasn’t a performing arts institution in Italy that was also good value). Whilst at Languages High School (8.00 am-2.00 pm Mon-Sat) she discovered her affinity for foreign languages including English, Spanish and some German, and took a broader interest in different cultures. She juggled this schedule with her performing arts training, despite being youngest in the group.
Cristina learnt a lot in those four years at Accademia Unika: respect for the verisimilitude of theatre and teamwork, to be reliable, to be punctual, focused and above all, to be passionate about singing. Through American songs, she worked on her English pronunciation.
At the age of 18, during an experimental masterclass Cristina accepted a proposal with her first leading role: a Greek princess, a princess who was predicting terrible things so she had a rather unfortunate life. However, backstage, she was destined for greater things.
Cristina honed acting techniques and styles ranging from Shakespeare and Chekhov to experimental theatre and musical theatre, until she scored a spot in the I Make Academy for the Commedia dell’Arte Masterclass in 2013. She had a blast playing a clown and discovering a whole new world behind each actor’s form and gesture. They collectively made a pop tragicomedy out of the fact, and took it to Greece (to this day, this production is still having a great success around Europe).
However, it was really Cristina’s tutelage with the renowned Mrs Baccarini that cemented her love for musical theatre. She subsequently took a bite of the Big Apple in 2009 and found it a paradise of the performers. During these years some of Cristina’s greatest professional satisfactions: were: a singing role in a musical at the Sistina theatre in Rome; a one-woman show with a jazz duo of piano and double bass; winning a talent show competition and inevitably starting a screen acting career.
Cristina’s decision to live in an English-speaking country saw her book a one-way ticket to Australia in 2013. She mounted the next challenge: completing a NIDA course, performing across theatres and public spaces such as squares, forums and cabaret nightclubs in the years to come.
Before Daniel Asher Smith sprung to Australia in 2015, he shot to relevance as principal dancer with Salzburg Ballet. For 8 years, he toured with primarily Salzburg and Győri Ballettt in Europe in classic ballet texts such as “Romeo & Juliet” (2010) “Marie Antoinette” (2012), “Carmen” (2012), “La Cage Aux Folles (The Birdcage)” (2013) and “Swan Lake” (2014).
With a contra tenor voice, Daniel starred in “Kiss Me Kate” and “Sound of Music” musicals, where the former allowed him to express himself entirely in German, and the latter in expedient but scenery-chewing roles such as Nazi Soldier, Ball Guest and Ensemble. He has also been involved with theatre photography and dance photo shoots, posing for jewelry or portraiture as a model.
Sustaining a professional injury which somewhat forced a re-evaluation of his priorities, Daniel decided to focus on the acting component and letting verbal language and facial gestures speak for themselves in equally profound ways. Whilst standing still requires a different skillset, it has proven rewarding for him wherein he has been able to tap into heightened emotions such as desperate grief in the 2015 short film “When We Were Younger”; entrapped distress as a kidnapped victim in the relationship parable “Naked Rations” (2016) and confounded indecisiveness as a boyfriend searching for the right tampon brand in a supermarket in quirky-serious “Death & Tampon Taxes” (Sydney Film School, 2016).
However, as the spate of audio-visual videos by Third Floor has shown, music is never far from Daniel’s Irish genes. When combined with acting, they make up wonderfully evocative ‘compressed slices of life’ – or vignettes – that may very well mirror his career trajectory.
Hailing from the Philippines, Daryl Morante was raised in a culture where Filipino dance was not only an acceptable and rewarded form of grace, precision, tempo and passion, it was also a commodity: a passageway to the world where celebrity, fashion, luxury and fame beckoned a natural-born entertainer.
Daryl (also known as D.Mo) has more than 10 years of choreography experience, starting with hip-hop in 2005. While he taught and learnt at the most prestigious schools in LA, Brisbane and Sydney where he now resides, he is more reputed for his natural groove in hip-hop, due to picking up the moves from many 90’s music videos. He also received technical training in jazz, ballet and contemporary at Mad Dance House for two years.
He has choreographed for countless music videos, local concerts, fashion shows, festivals, cultural, ceremonial and political events, corporate gigs and, of course the demanding and all-encompassing world tours. He recently flew to Thailand to perform at a birthday, truly establishing him as an international dancer.
Daryl has kept up the pace with esteemed pop stars, actors, musicians and hip-hop dance crews like Mimi Choo, Robbie Antonio, Jabbawockeez and Cat Thompson, worldwide. One of his greatest achievements was performing at Jason DeRulo’s concert in 2011. Daryl was the movement coach and choreographer for X-Factor’s boy band “The Collective” and returned to choreography for “So You Think You Can Dance Australia” (2014). Currently he is in one of Australia’s best Bollywood dance companies called Sirens Dance.
He has been training in African/Jamaican style dancehall, adding to his enormous versatility and commercial viability as a dancer. He has an almost preternatural ability to infuse any of these styles as if they are a wide brushstroke on a broader canvas: a precise masterpiece.
Since 2012 he has applied some of these same colourful, showy and breezy gestures into modeling, runway shows and professional photography. He is the face of new label “Roger Tait Man Summer Collection” in 2014 and opened the hair show at “Redken’s Next Generation Show” at the Hair Expo in 2013. He has a desire to explore and extend his skill-set into fitness modelling.
Daryl heightens his brooding, thick and standout features so that each print, pose and tic convey not only to tell a story beyond the naked eye, but also deceptively something close to transcendental art. Whether it is letting his pastel pants and cerulean blue jacket speak for themselves in a fallen Autumn forest setting, or going slightly retro with some youthful punk on a catwalk, Daryl certainly makes you wish you were right up with him, wondering, capturing, encapsulating the meaning of the moment: ‘What is he thinking?’
In the future – whether he has heat under his heels or not – fear Daryl’s oeuvre.
Springing out of a dynamic collision of the performing arts, film and theatre in human rights, David Mark Farrington is a unique actor and creative producer who has emerged on the Australian landscape in recent years.
A British-Australian working in London and Melbourne over the past decade, David pioneered at a national level the role of live performance in theatre-in-education for minorities. After working in theatre and documentaries for disadvantaged communities, in 2013 he established Australia's first experimental theatre company social enterprise, Universal Difference, for creating equality & inclusion for sexuality and gender different young Australians.
Spotlighted early in his dramatic art training as truly 'an actor to watch', David made his significant debut at several of Victoria's high profile state festivals with major productions in the Castlemaine State, Midsumma and Melbourne Fringe festival. He has toured with his funded company performing in ensemble works in school tours, national conferences and regional festivals throughout Victoria. His work has recently enjoyed international interest in Canada with the 2013 dramedy “Include the Rainbow”. In 2014-2015 he received an Arts Victoria actors residency grant and HEY grant for improvisation and performance work with primary schools throughout Victoria.
His film debut began in 2014 through his collaboration with Finnish-Australian Actress/Director Saara Lamberg film's “Finding No” and the Hollywood award-winning feature script “Innuendo” which won him finalist in the 48 Hour Film Festival and Official Selection at The Three Cities Film Festival in New York, Los Angeles and San Domingo. Currently working on the Australian environmental dystopia feature promo “Parra Wirra”, David has been deeply inspired by contemporary industry role models for diversity, recently collaborating with legendary Indigenous actor Jack Charles.
David is an intuitive character actor by nature, driven by his deep love of the craft, a commitment to work hard and an ethos to always learn more as a contemporary working artist. His natural eccentricity, brooding intensity and performance versatility has given him a distinctive presence on stage or set across a diversity of genre's and formats. David applauds iCCAM's pioneering vision and innovation in representing our increasingly diverse world of the 21st century on our stage and screen.
David Wynen’s theatre credits include the Australasian tour of “42nd Street”, “Hocus Pocus”, “Showstoppers”, and “The Australian Opera” as well as in the Australian cast of “Billy Elliott”. He has performed for the Olympics and was featured in the movie “Blonde” and Brenda Bufalino’s “Last Rehearsal Hall” (USA). He also has presented his cabaret: “David Wynen Unplugged and Untapped” to sold-out audiences.
David is constantly in demand as a Director, Choreographer and Music Theatre educator. He has choreographed “Anything Goes”, “Kiss Me Kate”,” Working”, “Company”, “Prodigal”, “Merrily We Roll Along”, “Sweet Charity”, “Witches of Eastwick”, “The White Rose”, “Smash Hit” and “Godspell”. In addition, he directed and choreographed “The Addams Family”, “The Life”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, “Sweet Charity” and “42nd St”. He also produced, choreographed and directed “Cabaret” in the Deluxe Spiegeltent.
He has been awarded the EJ Barker Fellowship, the Dean’s Award and the Vice Chancellors’ Award for outstanding leadership in his field. David was awarded the Australian Government Citation for Learning and Teaching for his ground-breaking international work on Tap Rhythm—the first online tap syllabus of its kind. (http://taprhythm.com/).
In December 2015, David choreographed for a tribute to Luigi at Symphony Space in New York featuring Broadway veteran Rachelle Rak. He has lectured at the VCA, Lehman College (NY), and Carnegie Mellon University (USA), and was invited to present at the Music Theatre Educators Alliance Conference in Oslo in August 2016. David is currently the Program Leader for Music Theatre, as well as Senior Lecturer in Dance and Movement at Federation University’s Arts Academy.
Trained in Contemporary Acting, Davion Chung had recorded voiceovers for a major Bollywood film and appeared in numerous principal roles for Australian web series, the most notable one being “Love Ya Not So Much”. As an aspiring screen actor, he got a rather auspicious opportunity asplaying an extra in executive producer Ridley Scott’s dystopian alternative history web TV series “Man in The High Castle”.
With the foundation of improv, Davion took it a step further by attending screen courses at University of Washington. Despite a series of unfortunate events and a rough upbringing slowly threatening to bury his dreams, a glimpse of his childhood dream shown during his darkest hour pulled him back from the void. He had realised that in order to reclaim his life, he would have to do what most people would not do.
Such immeasurable education would also give Davion confidence to fly across the world, to Asia but also to India: the one place that scared him the most. It was the start of a journey that would have him experiencing the depths of the human condition as well as the heights of modern humanity. Diving deep into the spiritual ravines in the Himalayas and exploring technological marvels in Japan, he knew he was on the right path. With everything on the line and enough money squirreled away, he followed his gut and flew to Sydney. He would discover open courses at NIDA and become a defining presence among brilliant acting circles.
Through his NIDA studies, Davion looks forward to the day when he will have worked his way towards an Oscar but more importantly would have grown into the person that he is beginning to be proud of. He has already mentally prepared his speech to be directed at those who have doubted him, and empower the rest who dare to dream big.
Indeed, life is never about colouring in the straight lines!
Originally from Sydney, Declan Carter is honoured to have trained with such a passionate group of performers at the Arts Academy. He has roots in classical voice and acting, as well as a keen interest in improvisational comedy and writing. Performance highlights at the Arts Academy include “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Chairman/Mayor Sapsa), “Thoroughly Modern Millie (Muzzy’s Boy), “Urinetown) (Senator Fipp), as well as performing his own cabaret “#NOFILTER” at Melbourne’s Hares and Hyenas. Declan also worked under the direction of Nancye Hayes (OAM) performing in “Riches, Romance and Rebellion” (Yern).
From a small village in Bali to sailing a boat to Australia, Desak (Dewa Ayu Sri Hartati) has lived a life of colour and adventure. Balinese culture is intimately linked to art and storytelling so she grew up learning dance and the traditions of the epic Ramayama. This background fueled an interest in theatre and film.
Desak is a trained makeup artist and loves using the human face as a palate to create character. Her artistic and cultural heritage landed her a role in the 2017 TV series “True Story with Hamish and Andy”. She is thrilled to be part of the emerging multicultural face of entertainment in Australia.
A prolific Chinese pop and Beijing Opera singer, Diana (Xiaojie) Lin had grown up in a very strict family in the 60’s. However due to her pretty face and nice voice, her parents took her to singing lessons. Naturally, being also a very talented actress, she began her acting career when she was 14 years old, and underwent 5 years of intensive training in Beijing Opera with Harbin Peking Opera Company from 1975.
By mid-1980’s, after 4 years of professional studies she graduated from one of the top drama institutions Shanghai Theatre Academy in the country with a Bachelor degree, which also included Traditional Chinese and Western Dancing. She headlined many movies, television series, plays and of course Chinese opera in which she played numerous famous characters. Her first lead in the feature film “Ren Sheng Mei You Dan Xing Dao” (1985) essentially kicked off her career.
Diana was honoured to receive a Best Actress nomination at both China Golden Rooster Awards and AFI Awards (1993) for her excellent performance as Xiang Min, and was winner of a Sydney Chinese Community karaoke competition.
In early 1990s, Diana migrated to Australia and has reinvented herself for a Western market in a similar fashion. Most recently she worked with director Jonathan Brough on the comedy miniseries “The Family Law” based on celebrity columnist and author Benjamin Law’s Chinese-Malaysian childhood. Even through the move she has not lost her sensibilities; she continues to sporadically return to her homeland to work on local productions such as “I Am a Hero” and “Ji Gong Zhuan” respectively.
Chilean-born, Diego AR Melo graduated with a B. Performance from University of Western Sydney. While studying he came across Stage Combat and was immediately hooked. His love of physical activity on stage led to more combat classes including working as a Fight Assistant for ABC’S “Double the Fist” (2007), stunts and pop culture satire enhanced with CGI.
After training with Brisbane physical theatre company Zen Zen So, he embarked on a new path of theatrics with an old childhood love: professional wrestling. Diego began training for the Australasian Wrestling Federation (AWF) in 2009, performing as various characters all over NSW. He hopes to bring the skills from both disciplines, incorporating them into a cohesive form, which is easily learnt while also being effective and entertaining.
Theatrical credits include “Shakespeare’s Reservoir Dogs” (The Vanguard), “The Shape of Things” (Hot Room Theatre Group) “Sense and Sensibility” (Factory Space Theatre), “Romeo and Juliet” (Brave Touch) and “Mollycoddled” (Short+Sweet). Film credits include recent feature “Circle of Lies”, “Rules of the Game” (Coherent Productions), and in Boy and Bear’s music video “Rabbit Song” he is the mysterious Cycling Buffalo.
In addition, Diego’s contributions in fight choreography to “Penelope” by Kate Gaul have been well documented, adding to the acclaim that this production has already received (nominated for four 2013 Sydney Theatre Critics Awards: Best Independent Production, Best Director, Best Stage Design, Best Sound Design). He and his crew received reviews the likes of ‘… an incredibly fresh, energetic and perfectly realised piece of theatre’ and ‘… extravagantly imaginative’ by Stage Whispers and The New York Times respectively.
As both teacher and performer across theatre, TV and film, he has a tactile and stylish background in Shakespearean acting, stage combat and wrestling. When he is in the ring he is a serious opponent not to be messed with. But appearances are also deceiving: with his genuine, charming and ‘straight man foil’ persona Diego takes on any role with gusto, cleverness, naturalism and a sense of sympathy.
You can be guaranteed to note Diego’s handprints all over polished and reverent works in the future, as he continues to incorporate varying physical styles in the quest for Perfect Motion.
Dushan Philips trained with Robert Marchand, who has been hailed as Australia’s foremost expert in the Mike Leigh acting technique. He was also a member of Scott Williams’ Masterclass, who was a student of Sanford Meisner. He has graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts Foundations Program (Melbourne), The Melbourne Actors Studio (Bruce Alexander), The Actor’s Playhouse (Meisner Technique), and 16th Street (Chubbuck Technique). In London, he is a member of the Actors Centre.
Dushan’s theatre credits include Dirty Pretty Theatre’s “Angels in America”, “Conviction” (directed by Declan Greene), Attic Erratic Theatre Company’s “The City They Burned” and Chapel off Chapel’s “Teleny”. He debuted with the Flying Bookworm Theatre Company, touring through Victoria as the male male in productions of “Macbeth” and “Romeo & Juliet”. His TV credits include ABC’s “Glitch”, Channel 10’s “Offspring”, Foxtel’s “Wentworth”, and the American TV Series “Hunters”. He was also one of the leads in Channel 31’s ghost hunting 6-part series “Sonnnigsburg”.
Dushan has lived in various countries around the world—Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand, UK, and currently Australia respectively.
Elena Bello is a versatile and deeply committed actress born and raised in Mexico. She began her career as an actor in 2007 at the Performing Arts Centre Artestudio back in Mexico City. After moving to Sydney she decided to develop her skills in acting for TV and film by taking the Showreel Course at Screenwise. Subsequently she graduated in Musical Theatre Diploma at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM).
Elena has a wealth of on-stage experience in theatre and musical comedy. Over the last few years she has been part of several productions both in leading and supporting roles, including corporate videos, TV commercials and short films. She has worked locally to work locally and abroad, across both Spanish and English languages respectively. A 2015 highlight was to play Carla in the premiere of “In The Heights” by Penrith Musical Comedy Company.
Elena's first performance job in Australia was as part of the Real Mexico Mariachi Band as lead singer. It gave her all the necessary experience to begin stepping up onto the Latin music platform almost immediately after her arrival. Since then she has continued collaborating with several bands, spreading her particular flavor, sensuality, richness and energy of Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue and Bachata all over Sydney.
Eliane Morel is Australian born of mixed Vietnamese, French English heritage (though she has often been mistaken for Pacific Islander/Maori, Italian, Spanish or South American!). Her middle name is Anh Xuan.
Born in Peth and raised in Canberra (where she won a scholarship to study singing at the Canberra School of Music), Eliane moved to Sydney in her twenties to complete an Honours degree in Theatre at UNSW, the Playwrights’ course at NIDA, and continue her singing studies with Susan Reppion-Brooke and Ghillian Sullivan.
Since then, Eliane has become an accomplished comedienne, opera singer and actor, with an emphasis on multicultural theatre and a love of accents, which she can master to a very high standard.
Eliane has been touring NSW high schools with three shows in repertory for Starrs Productions: “Women in Shakespeare” - a two-hander featuring some of Shakespeare’s most complex female characters (in which Eliane has the pleasure of playing Shakespeare himself, Demetrius, Bottom, Cleopatra, Olivia, Juliet’s Nurse, Gertrude, Portia and Puck!); “The Lucky Country”, a solo show exploring post WWII migration to Australia and featuring 6 diverse characters of English, Italian, Lebanese Muslim, ex-Yugoslavian, Indian and Vietnamese backgrounds; and “Letters from France” another powerful solo piece based on the exquisite poetry and letters home of World War I poet, Wilfred Owen.
Eliane has performed as an actor and singer for The Citymoon Vietnamese Australian Theatre, Kantanka Theatre and the Asian Australian Artists’ Association, and has also devised many of her own pieces including “Ba Ngoai”, a show about her Vietnamese grandmother (made possible by an Australia Council grant) and “All Night Long” featuring the talents of bogus Feng Shui expert from Hong Kong, Madam Long. She has also worked for the Arts Health Institute as a ‘humour valet’ providing humour therapy to nursing home residents with dementia.
Eliane has appeared with Pacific Opera, the Jubilate Singers, and has toured Indonesia in the show “Shadows”, with the renowned singer/songwriter Sawung Jabo. More recently, she has been working as a concert singer throughout Sydney and regional New South Wales. She has performed in several concerts for Newcastle Festival Opera including a joint production with Newcastle Musica Viva, as well as numerous concerts for Sydney and South Coast seniors – in both nursing homes and public venues, most recently at Bondi Pavilion.
In late 2015, Eliane shared the limelight on “Tell Me the Truth about Love” with Bill Hawkey (OAM) in Bega and Naroma, and went to Cuba to sing at the International Choral Festival with her choir, Voices from the Vacant Lot.
Elias Jabbour discovered his passion for performing from a young age, through training in dance and group singing. It was not until later in his years that he discovered the alluring world of musical theatre and the potential to stretch his showmanship flair.
Post VCE, Elias Trained at Centrestage Performing Arts Schools Fulltime Musical Theatre course SHOWFIT for 3 consecutive years. Whilst at SHOWFIT Elias was privileged enough to work with some of Australia’s leading industry professionals including Verity Hunt-Ballard, Scott Johnson, Mathew Frank, Dean Bryan and Simon Gleeson respectively.
While there and since graduating, Elias has appeared in both The OC Project’s “#LIVFORCUNNINGHAM” and “#LIVFOREUROVISION; “Songs for the Master” for his SHOWFIT Showcase; “Songs of Bryant and Frank” and “The Crucible” (directed by Scott Johnson).
In 2016, Elias was privileged to play the role of Hugo Dude in the world premiere of the Australian pre-apocalyptic zombie musical “Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-face” (written and directed by Anthony Crowley).
Although Elias recognises his heritage as coming from Lebanon, he is ethnically broad enough to be regional Middle Eastern, European or Caucasian. This gives him reach to facilitate between many types of roles and specialised genres—in addition to his veritable, young and dedicated talent.
Eliza Grundy began her journey as a performer in a dance studio in the suburbs of Sydney. After gaining 16 years’ worth of dance training, she moved to Ballarat in 2014 to pursue her aspirations in Music Theatre at Federation University’s Arts Academy. Whilst training, she performed in Vincent: An Acapella Opera (Ensemble), The Addams Family (Morticia Cover/Equestrian Rider Ancestor), and Into the Woods (Narrator). Eliza is also proud to be credited as Choreographer for Vincent: An A Capella Opera and Dance Captain for The Addams Family. She looks forward to extending her choreographic knowledge and experience in the future.
Eliza has also been fortunate enough to have gained experience working as a dance teacher for young people with Down Syndrome with non for profit organization e.Motion21. Along with teaching her new levels of compassion and patience, the experience set a path to train in AUSLAN, which she is currently studying.
Eliza is a passionate storyteller, and aspires to bring truth and humanity to every story she tells.
Hong Kong-born Elvin Lam started dancing in his late teens. Prior to this he was a silver-medallist figure skater for 10 years, often competing against the cream of the crop. In addition to being an actor in film, TV and theatre (such as working for the LGBTIQ arm in YGLAM theatre for a couple of years), he proudly represented the 20th Summer Deaflympics in 2005 as an Auslan singer in both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
As a professional dancer who is very much invested in the visual, poetic side of storytelling for maximum intuitive and synergetic impact, Elvin learnt Latin, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, contemporary dance and ballet; the latter of which he is most passionate about. He has been training at different reputable schools and workshops including The Australian Ballet, The Space Dance & Arts Centre, Chunky Move and Dance Factory.
For Melbourne Fringe Festival, Elvin toured with the troupe “Deaf Can Dance” for two consecutive years around Melbourne, South Australia and Queensland, as well as for a few other festivals and events. He is presently a vital member of the Arts Access Victoria (AAV) initiative’s The Delta Project, which is a company that empowers both deaf and non-deaf performers alike.
If that’s not all, Elvin is a smart cookie, having studied design (building, fashion, interior and theatre) in top Melbourne universities and back home in Hong Kong. For his day job, he is a procurement officer for government but of course, this is not where his dream lies in.
Despite—or rather because of being a proven and breaking-the-mold performer who tends to communicate through sign language and using an interpreter in a verbally dominated world, Elvin’s deaf identity is integral to the belief that ‘deaf people can do anything’.
‘Emily Dash speaks with passion, authority and wit. Her natural warmth and intelligence is enhanced by wisdom beyond her years forged in the cauldron of experience’ according to Julie McCrossin, radio broadcaster and journalist.
Emily Dash is a 24-year old emerging artist living with Cerebral Palsy. As writer, actor and speaker of motivational speeches, she is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Gender Studies in 2013, achieving First Class Honours in Sociology. Since 2009, she has been actively involved with disability awareness. She has spoken on behalf of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Youngcare Australia, FRANS (Vice President of the Board of Directors) and Northcott Disability Services. She was also a guest speaker at Leichhardt Municipal Council’s “International Women’s Day” event in 2013 and was a member of the Steering Committee for the 2014 and 2015 events.
In May 2014, Emily performed in Ever After Theatre Company’s “Social Network Stories” (Carriageworks). In June, she appeared in a video for NSW Health about young people’s healthcare rights and featured in the Believe/Achieve initiative. In September she was a guest on ABC Radio National’s “Life Matters” program, hosted by Natasha Mitchell. In November, she wrote and performed a monologue for Beyond the Square’s “The Control Room” (Riverside Theatre). Emily appeared in “Happily Ever After” for Ever After Theatre Company. She joined Can You See Me Theatre Company in January 2015 as a performer/writer, and was integral to the romance subplot of “The Waiting Room” at the Sydney Opera House, which received a standing ovation!
Emily debuted Metro Screen’s “I Am Not a Work of Art” starring herself in late 2015, as well as an introspective, brooding, metaphorical, Tropfest-shortlisted piece “The Cards I’m Dealt” (directed by Kylie Harris). For the 2016 season, she worked with Can You See Me for “Water Angel”, striving for much-echoed narratives of finding joy and meaning in one’s life and achievement for equality regardless of limitations and marginalised issues.
Emily Roberts comes from a small town of roughly three hundred people in rural New South Wales. In high school she completed her CDPA training through the AMEB system, allowing her to tutor students in Speech and Drama, which she thoroughly enjoyed. While at school she was fortunate enough to travel to the US to participate in workshops with several prestigious schools including The Stella Adler Studio Of Acting.
In her gap year Emily appeared as Miranda and The Judge in a brand new production by Sydney Theatre Company, “In A Heart Beat”. She also appeared as Clara in a production of “The Hatpin”. She recently graduated from the Federation University’s Arts Academy where her credits included Helen in “Smash Hit”, Little Sally in “Urinetown”, Pugsley Addams in “The Addams Family” and Little Red Riding Hood in “Into The Wood”s. Emily also completed a successful 2016 season with her cabaret “Lunch For One: A Short Guide To Popularity” and in the same year is rehearsing for Sovereign Hill’s “Christmas Cabaret”.
Emily is passionate about reading, travelling, eating and all things theatre.
Emma Austin has always loved performing, even as a toddler. This love led her to study Music Theatre at the Federation University Arts Academy. In 2015 Emma was chosen to be part of a masterclass with renowned Broadway vocal coach Michael Lavine. During May of 2016, she was also part of a reading of the ‘new’ Shakespeare play “Margaret of Anjou”, celebrating the 400th anniversary of his death, under the direction of Kim Durban. She has also recently made her cabaret debut in her self-devised piece “You Can’t Hurry Love”. For the cabaret season, she was also chosen to be an MC, which showcased a whole new love for stand-up-type performance. This obvious passion led to her being chosen to be the MC for “In Development” at the Ballarat Cabaret Festival 2016.
During her time at the Arts Academy, Emma has been in shows such as Anthony Crowley’s “Vincent: An A Cappella Opera” (Christine), directed by Sara Grenfell with musical direction by Adam Przewlocki, and “The Pajama Game” (Ensemble), directed by Casey Gould, with musical direction by Rainer Pollard.
In her graduating year, Emma was lucky enough to play some amazing roles. She loved playing Grandma in “The Addams Family”, directed by David Wynen, assistant direction from Matt Heyward and music direction by Rainer Pollard. One of her favourite performances was as Jack’s Mother in “Into the Woods”, directed by Jeremy Stanford, musical direction by Robyn Womersley.
Coming from a comedy background, Emma has a growing passion for writing and creating her own work. In 2016, she and her friend Cathryn McDonald wrote, directed and performed an original work entitled “Malteasers and Chill” for the Arts Academy’s Student Theatre Festival. This was a huge highlight in Emma’s career so far. She hopes to continue writing and performing comedy material, for both stage and television.
Emma J. Hawkins’ flair for the flamboyant, serious and whimsical plays to her strengths as a feisty, charismatic thespian with a knack for subversive, escapist comedy, high-octane dramatics and brilliantly versatile circus showcases. Her movements between the many worlds of fantasy, musical and children’s genres credit her with storytelling-based acrobatics, singing, dancing or slapstick. She is equally at home in the ironic, contemplative tragedies of Shakespeare, bringing joy and laughter as the Fool in “King Lear”, climbing the heights as a tap dancing, stilt walking acrobat in the critically acclaimed Circus Oz or sinking into the dark depths of a murderess in classics like Jean Genet's “The Maids”.
She stands on the fringe of the mainstream, but that’s where Emma does her best work in theatre: distinctive, fun, nuanced and unique while conveying a touching common humanity. She was nominated for a Green Room award for her portrayal as Fleck in the most fabled of musicals, “Love Never Dies”.
As cabaret alter ego Divine Miss Em, she relishes every opportunity to breath life into new characters but also extends a hand into creative development in theatrical productions. At the same time she imbues her performances with heart, audaciousness and fortitude as well as a steadfast belief in social justice and equality.
With a bag of tricks bigger than herself, Emma sees performing as a way of challenging herself and audiences alike to think outside the square. Her first memory on stage was chasing a boy with a frying pan so just don’t give this feisty redhead any kitchen utensils!
Emma Jones is a Sydney-based actress with a passion in bringing flesh and blood to masterful, inspiring storytelling and will go beyond the call of duty and niche to make it happen. Although Emma is a multi- platform actress enjoying film, TV and radio, she is particularly drawn to the theatre and its exposed immediacy.
– the energetic interaction between the stage and the audience as well as the honour in being able to deliver those stories with all of her guts, glory and raw nerves. She especially delights in breaking down rarefied assumptions between perception and reality, between verve and pragmatism, and between farce and gravitas.
Trained in the Stanislavksi and Laban techniques, Emma is very much at home on the black box theatre circuit particularly in the inner west and metropolitan areas. She has worked on “You, Me and the Cat” (2015), “Who Do You See?” (2013), two adaptations of “A Walk in the Park” (2010 and 2011) and “It Was Raining All Afternoon” (2010). She has also taken a stab at “Clown Porn” (2008) with director Pearl Tan, “Sick” (2011) with dual directors Christiaan & Connor Van Vuuren and her new film “The 5th Shadow” is due for a 2016 release.
A quick look at Emma’s skills reveals an intimidatingly command of American and European accents and dialects. Meanwhile, she keeps herself very busy on pursuits ranging from piano, rollerblading, yoga to gymnastics, archery and skiing. Indeed, she has proven proficient, musically inclined and professional in real life as on screen.
However, Emma’s biggest theatrical dream is to play Shakespeare’s bent king “Richard III” with cackling, Machiavellian arrogance – after all, men played female roles back in the day, so why not the opposite?!
Emma Walsh has been passionate about performing her whole life. She is dedicated to honing her skills and building her talents, which led her to study Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium. Prior to this, she studied in Sweden at Musikteaterskolan completing a Diploma at one of the most highly acclaimed courses in the country. Originating from a Swedish-English-Irish background, Emma had planned to stay in Sweden and continue her studies yet after hearing of the acclaimed Drama Schools in Australia she made the big decision to move.
Emma’s time at ‘The Con’ led her to perform in iconic Musicals, including “Godspell” and “A Chorus Line”. Since graduating from The Con Emma moved to Melbourne and began her career as an artist. In 2016 alone she has appeared in numerous short films as well as online commercials and a music video for an upcoming DJ. Emma has also appeared on the Melbourne stage in original plays and her own solo Cabaret show. Her latest project was a featured role in award-winning playwright Neil Cole's play “1916”, which had the grace of the German Ambassador and The Arts Minister in the audience.
Emma is well travelled, having lived in two countries, speaking two languages (Swedish and English both fluently) and holding three passports (Swedish, British and New Zealand). It certainly can be said that she has gypsy blood, which is in fact true linking back to her grandfather’s Irish birth. If Emma were to describe herself in one word it would be bold. The longer version is that she is an adventurous soul who is brave, quirky and independent. Her work ethic is astounding and her determination—unstoppable. Emma is a true all-rounder and these skills make her extremely employable.
Melbourne based, international dancer, model and actor Erinn Arnel has emerged as one of the most outstanding and contiguous graduates to come out of Australian Ballet School. Born in the central Victorian town of Bendigo, Australia in 1992 and started dancing at the age of 3. She was accepted into the Australian Ballet School at the age of 10.
While studying, in 2009 she danced with The Dancers’ Company (regional arm of the Australian Ballet Company) Tour of Australia, headlining “Poems” by Robert Ray and “Nutcracker” (Act 2) by Leigh Rowles. Again in 2010 she acted and danced corps de ballet in “Don Quixote”, choreographed by Ai-Gul Gaisina (influenced by Petipa). Graduating in 2010 with an Advanced Diploma of Dance with Distinction she was awarded the Graeme Murphy Award for Excellence in Contemporary Dance.
In 2011 Erinn featured in the Australian band My Disco’s music video “Turn” (part of the album My Little Joy) as lead dancer, which was received very well on Pitchfork. She also performed with Chunky Move in “It Sounds Silly” at Signal and has modelled for “We Are Handsome”, a swimwear label photographed by Stephanie Bailly. More recently Erinn has returned to Australia after performing musicals with Royal Caribbean Productions in “West End to Broadway”, “City Of Dreams” and “Tango Buenos Aires”. She gained the lead role of Sally Say So in ”Bada Bing… Bada Boom” and in 2013 has been proud to perform in Opera Australia’s “The Ring Cycle”.
When she is not a timeless and atmospheric mover, she is acting. Erin switched to stints like university graduate Danielle Caltabiano’s short “Inside of Me” (2013) about a visiting lesbian couple’s repercussions from a drunken one-night stand with a handsome male bartender, as well as a celebrity-laden, indie feature “The Sunset Six” (2010) about an ageing rock band’s desperate last attempt at reclaiming stardom by Jeremy Stanford. Similarly she has been cast in an acting role for the 2014 production of Opera Australia’s Rigoletto.
Meanwhile Erin continues to traverse between hip-hop, burlesque and contemporary shows with Melbourne’s SCIMM Dance Company.
From classy and free-flowing long splits and pirouettes in classical and neoclassical ballet to barefoot techniques to contemporary and orchestral music, alluring and sensual to burlesque, conscious and topical movements in hip-hop and shimmering, shadowy and frenzied to laser-infused, strobe rock, this multi-disciplined, award-winning artist definitely knows how to listen to her body.
It is not just her life: in effect, Erin’s body is the music.
Now living in Sydney, Australia but originating from Sosnowiec, Poland, Ever Sliter holds a Master’s degree in Dramatic Arts from the National PWST Drama and Arts School in Krakow, Poland. Her career has encompassed a diverse range of areas including theatre, advertising, film and television. Her acting credits include Polish National Theatre productions such as Gogo in “Waiting For Godot” by Samuel L. Beckett, Isabella in “Measure For Measure” by William Shakespeare and Masha in “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov.
Some of Ever’s acting technique specialties include: Mikhail Chekhov, Stanislavsky, Sanford Meisner, Grotowski as well as Body and Voice. The latter two of which she had the privilege to learn directly through Zygmunt Molik in Wroclaw, Poland. Directors have commended her for her high level and clarity of interpersonal skills, flexible responsiveness and creative acumen.
Ever has also been complimented for an easy and engaging personality, for her enthusiasm in learning new things and for being consistently passionate about character and story. With her Polish heritage, she has amassed a remarkably miscellaneous trivia In all things related to European theatre and film that—a foundation that has informed and nurtured her approach towards the different styles and techniques of her acting craft.
Ezel Doruk is one of the hardest-working and most consistent actors today to come out of Melbourne. While he has been a dramaturgy for roughly ten years predominately on stage, his ambition is to move further into the TV and film world. He made his substantial debut on national television, on Channel 9’s historical drama miniseries “Gallipoli” playing Adnan Cevik, a young Turkish lieutenant who serves as a foil to the captain of the Turkish army, Kemal Ataturk.
Ezel received critical recognition on AtticErratic's “Tripped”, a double hander black comedy about race relations in Australia and how self-preservation and preconceived prejudices can actually cost you your life. ‘Moving… Charismatic… Really shines… Emotive and Raw… Is of interest… With equally impressive finesse’ summarised his performance. Premiered in both Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals (2014 and 2015) with much acclaim, it is starting to have a life of its own and he plans to take it much further.
He covered similar ground in 2012’s “UnAustralia” based on the Cronulla riots. He also lends his flair for naturalism to an Ibsen classic “John Gabriel Borkman” (2013), in an uncompromising yet poetic gender-bender of a role typically assigned to that of a woman’s (due to sharing the same vocal depth as Nordic women), as well as provocative, exploratory liberation versus conventional sexuality in “Tell Them That it Rained Too Hard” (2011) with AtticErratic.
It’s clear that early training in Suzuki Method, in Meisner, Adler as well as Laban movement analysis and Ruth Zaporah action theatre has prepared Ezel for brooding sensitivity, physicality and identification with any subject matter. Ezel has had extensive voice training during his years at the Victoria Youth Theatre (VYT). While he can boast a lucid baritone voice, he has really developed the fact through use and practice rather than training.
Ezel is a man who will keep his saucers spinning in the air, but as he falls deeper and deeper into this crazy industry, he understands too well that he may be bound to drop one or two along the way. Being of fashion-model, Turkish extraction, he prefers to believe in iCCAM’s focus and energy and in the ability to chip away at limited realities, while creating new pathways readily available to him and growing from truthful feedback at the same time.
A citizen of the world performer, Firdaws Adelpour is proficiently multi-lingual in Russian, Turkish, Dari, Iranian and Tajik and Farsi, not to mention variations of British, American, Middle Eastern and Asian accents. With his Central Asian heritage, he has a pick-me-up talent in these languages, showing respect and knowledge for each culture that he comes into contact with, including Australia’s.
While Firdaws has a scientific background in microbiology, his intelligence doesn’t end there. As a natural athlete with good hand-to-eye coordination, Firdaws tends to engage in very physical and active fitness, being able to play almost any sport. On stage it has translated into an excitedly developed sense of his work ethic, being adaptable to the demands and rigors of any given skill-set, and staging direction.
He has been trained in the revolutionary biomechanics of Meyerhold Technique, drawing attention to his symbolically aggressive and seminal acrobatics. Resulting in heightened reflexive dexterity through working with partners and physical objects, and increased awareness and nimble agility in ensemble work, Firdaws has achieved the ‘arming’ of his imagination, in a famous phrase originated by Igor Ilyinksy, a Meyerhold student. Indeed he can play a suave and ingenuous lothario as much as a rugged and endurable warrior.
A recent graduate from ACTT appearing in theatrical highlights such as “Two Noble Kinsmen”, “Angels in America”, “Death & the Maiden” and “Miss Julie” as well as a feature film “Two Brothers and a Girl”, Firdaws is logical, focused, grounded, expressive and thoughtful. He can take direction and has an ambiguous look that suggests a range of different ethnicities, reading like a laundry list of Venezuelan, Mexican, Brazilian, Spanish, Portuguese as well as Latin American, Hawaiian or even Japanese and ‘half-Asian’!
As the face of “Manesia”, Firdaws made national circulation on the front page of MX – the only daily commuter newspaper in Australia (which attracts up to 663,000 people daily). He is also featured in TV promotions. Not bad for someone who can speak six languages and dissect microscopic organisms!
Florian ‘Flo’ Tarpinian is an award-winning 21-year old male singer, musician, actor and model currently living in Sydney, Australia. Originally from France, he initially moved to tropical Queensland in 2007 in order to pursue his dream. Music has always been a fundamental part of his life and he first discovered his set of soprano lungs and plucked a plectrum on his guitar from the age of 10. Some of his biggest musical inspirations include Jason Mraz, Justin Nozuka, Amos Lee and Michael Jackson.
In between, Flo has lived among the strikingly cerulean blue waters of New Caledonia. That time was crucial as a springboard for his maturing, rustic and tanned looks with a smoky, pop and unpredictable voice, shaped by a mix of charming and affable French influences and remote paradise with a rich and earthy history. Although he spent his teenage years being exposed to ceremonial and traditional Kanak culture (inspired by reggae music of the 80’s), he prefers to be defined by contemporary peers.
Flo’s lifelong goal is to become a recognised, active and head-turning artist with genuine brand appeal, simply known as Flo Tarpi Music. He is carefullybuilding up an assortment of his covers that do not pinpoint to a specific sound but rather one that opens his listeners up to an ingenious, intriguing and tantalising experience like no other. No wonder, he’s already garnered a largely loyal following through self-promotional presence in social media.
Young, easygoing, dedicated, professional, intelligent and giving 110% with integrity and value – “iCCAM” believes that Flo will not only meet his own expectations and earning a living from what he truly loves, but also surprise and shatter everyone else’s in the process.
Brisbane-born and bred Gemma Hansom is a bubbly and talented actress and musician. Raised from a rowdy Australian-Irish family, she has been exposed to a wide range of activities since from a young age. From farmyards to family yarns, all aspects have shaped her into the charismatic, quirky, versatile, driven performer/story teller she is today.
With her formal training beginning at the Australian Dance and Performance Institute (ADPI) at the ripe age of 17, studying ballet, commercial jazz, tap and acting, Gemma’s ambition and passion for Musical Theatre led her on to further studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (QCM), graduating with a BMus (Musical Theatre) in 2014. A quirky, versatile personality has seen her play leading roles such as Kira in Harvest Rain’s 2015 production of “Xanadu”, Carrie Pipperidge in “Carousel”, Rapunzel in “Into The Woods”, as well as featured roles in “Hair” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. She has also featured in masterclasses with noted professionals such as John Bucchino, Neil Rutherford, Leontine Hass and Paul Sabey.
Aside from being on stage herself, Gemma takes pride in aiding the development of new, upcoming theatre. In 2014 she starred as the main character Zwante in Matthew Samer’s reading of” Hell and High Water”, which has since been taken to London for further development.
As a qualified high school teacher, (when time permits) Gemma also enjoys encouraging and supporting teens in developing their skills and love for performing too.
Gemma’s unwavering commitment and determination sees her going from strength to strength as she continuously seeks projects and opportunities to grow as a performer and artist.
George El Hindi is best known for his hilarious turn as a gay husband in a forced marriage with a lesbian in the phenomenally successful web series “I Luv U But”. This two-season run was nominated for a Beirut’s Social Media Award in Lebanon (which can be viewed here: http://iluvubut.tv), had a social media blitz and received unprecedented hits across the Middle East and Asia among the LGBTIQ community.
George has a personable, handsome and open presence whose affinity with the camera suggests self-assurance and an unexpected sense of comic timing contrasting with his ‘straight man’ persona. Other than his impressive skills in martial arts, circus, sports and activities, his ability to mimic any accent also gives him scope and creativity to perform dramatic material and/or physical comedy on stage and on screen.
Well spoken, a good communicator and eager to learn, George is a well-rounded artist who has a tendency to make audacious, risky decisions that usually pay off, and an attitude for reinvention and return to form.
Blessed with a potent mix of Mediterranean and European ancestry, Georgina Lloyd is not only a talented emerging artist, but also a captivating burlesque performer. She is very much a juggler for the camera: she can straddle worlds between bubbly, showbiz transparency, timeless, old-world classicalism, the ‘good twin and evil twin’ archetype with a slightly twisted, ambivalent foible and the domestic goddess but imperfect mother/girlfriend.
With the help of experimental director Matt Burgess, the lead actress has called forth gothic, haunting, Lynch-like facets of her psychosexual bravery, cross-cultural enigma and multi-disciplinary vivacity in “Hysteria” (2008), “Facets” (2009) and “Cherry” (2009). Equally at ease on stage, she has reinvigorated Oscar Wilde’s satirical and timeless commentary on politics, morals, love, honour and scandal in “An Ideal Husband” as well as chewing up the scenery with art, rigour and imagination in “Passion on the Prairie” (2011). While Georgina might look like a belle of the ball who’s stepped back into period times, it takes all sides to polish a diamond as they say.
But that’s not where her talent ends. Thanks to illustrious training for Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Western Sydney Institute of Music and Fantastiques Performing Arts Academy, in the last 15 years Georgina has shone in jazz, cabaret, musical theatre, belly and flamenco in addition to world, which comes from her interestingly ambiguous heritage. She is as resourceful as in sport and martial arts: a glance at her skills shows that you may fear for your life on the field!
Indeed if there was one word to capture this Australian-born actor, dancer and singer – or the triple threat as they call it – it would be ‘effervescent.’ And the lights agree with her as well.
Hailing from the fashion capital of Milan, Italy, Giovanni Piccolo is a ‘triple threat’ actor, model and dancer. He can read from a telephone directory with golden, electric vocal conviction and can put John Travolta’s dance card to shame. Equally blessed with a combination of rugged, brooding yet boyish and manicured looks, he approaches his craft with affability, charm and compassion.
Having strutted his stuff in professional theatre across Melbourne and country Victoria, Giovanni feels as strongly about ‘doing it for a good cause’, mental health issues and social commentary. Career highlights have included dancing for cancer as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival; “Harkins” (2014), a contemporary dance theatre peace based on the Shoebridge massacre; “37 Ways to Say I’m Gay” (2012), chronicling 37 stories about the fears and hopes of coming out, all told with humour, drama and heart; countercultural patriotism and racial tensions in “UnAustralia” (2010) based on the Cronulla riots, and more.
Giovanni also hopes to put himself on the radar on screen and expand his portfolio, He has been featured in several TV commercials on national television, and also made the short film rounds including “Game Changer” (2013); “The Locker Room” (2013); “Funemployed” (2012) as well as a black comedy web series “Tiger and Dog” (2013) about crime and the downfalls of mafia life.
Already sharing the namesake with a famous Bollywood actor, Guv (aka Gov, aka Govinda) Kesar is an enthusiastic and competitive artist with a can-do attitude. He has always admired the glamourous, flaunting and edgy idea of runway men's modeling and has been doing photo shoots/runway modeling events for three years. Needless to say, his charitable and down-to-earth side has also earned him valuable support and representation of local designers through some of the fashion shows such as the “Diwali Indian Festival of Lights” and “Worn Wild West”.
Having been told that he has a very natural, fluid approach to acting since high school, Guv has been actively pursuing his studies at The Australian Film & Television Academy. His approach is like a cultural and character sponge – he readily absorbs personas and archetypes, playing on the hijinks of a soap opera narrative and the classic good and evil duality. But he appreciates confident depth and smouldering subtlety, crafting a meld of his Indian heritage and Western customs into his portfolio.
Guv debuted on national television in 2012, starring in SBS’s “Bollywood Star”, a four-part series which gave ordinary Australians to win a life-changing prize: a role in legendary Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt’s next Bollywood movie. Despite a formal lack of training in acting or dancing, he made to Top 20 beating out 1,500 hopefuls. In the process, he also observed the prevalent and economic nature of martial arts films in Indian cinema, something of a provenance which has historically been overlooked by the Western counterpart. However – step by step – being the trendsetter that Guv is anyway, he plans to change this entertainment landscape and bridge the two worlds closer together: he sees that each is more alike than apart.
Overall, Guv is a man of solid foundations and has no greater wish than personal and career growth. The experience he gained from “Bollywood Star” was uplifting and motivated him to be a better actor. He has an equally ambitious view to explore viable opportunities within the fashion industry and give it a full time focus.
Hakan Manav is a martial arts artist, instructor, actor and lead performer/choreographer of the X-Treme Team, which he also founded. After his breathtaking roles in the film “Dying Ice” (New York City International Film Festival & HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood) and success on the hit talent competition series “Australia’s Got Talent”, Hakan has gone on to take part in a number of film, TV, commercial, corporate and modelling projects. He was a gladiator in the multi-million dollar stadium-sized production “Ben Hur”, narrated by Russell Crowe. Hakan has also performed on a live spectacular in Dubai, on multiple shows spanning over 5 weeks.
With a 5th-degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and a World Martial Arts Champion, Hakan has been training in the martial arts for over twenty years. He is a 2 times NASKA World Champion as well as 3 times Australian Taekwondo Sparring Champion and 8 times NSW Taekwondo Champion in Full Contact Olympic Taekwondo Sparring. He was once undefeated between 1993-2004 at state level. A former member of the Australian Taekwondo Team, he travelled the world in competitions.
Hakan was invited to the USA to complete a 5-volume martial arts instructional DVD series titled “Modern & Creative Kicks” produced by Century Martial Arts (the world’s largest martial arts supply company). In 2011 he was inducted into the ISKA Martial Arts Hall Of Fame as Sportsman of the Year. Hakan also created the RESPECT Clothing Apparel.
His X-Treme Team, a performance-based martial arts team made the Channel 7 finals “Australia’s Got Talent”, performed on “Saturday Disney”, “The X-Factor” and “Weekend Sunrise” as well as 9’s “Morning Show with Kerri- Anne” both on several occasions. The team was invited to perform exclusively in Abu Dhabi for the Sheikh.
Hakan regularly conducts seminars, camps and private tuition and is in high demand around the world. He is a University graduate with a degree in a Bachelor of Commerce double majoring in Finance and Management, from University of Sydney. Upon finishing his HSC (Higher School Certificate) he received a score of 99.25 and held a Sydney University Elite Athlete Sport Scholarship for four consecutive years.
As Head Instructor at the Australian Martial Arts Academy, which was founded by his father Ridvan Manav in 1982, Hakan is a popular and well-respected instructor who brings out the best in his students. His extensive knowledge, experience and achievements in the martial arts industry give him the ability to teach at any level.
From the age of 16, Henry Vo has begun to make the leap from high school projects into the sprawling, exciting world of stage. He made his debut in a collaborative effort with an all-ages and ethnically diverse cast for BYDS & STC’s “Look the Other Way”. As part of the ensemble, he played a security guard who, through a touch of levity, reveals insights into difficulties of working class, culture and religion. He is also no stranger to live re-enactments of colonial times such as “Quay to the City”, vividly and ruggedly painting a world of ragtag gangs and bloody rivalries.
In addition, Henry co-created a dance crew called Spin Dynamics, which has been in several festivals and events as well as running private shows and street performances around Sydney. Training in breakdance at Bankstown PCYC every Friday night, he has been honing and infusing hip-hop and breakdancing skills with his acting in student productions.
An early career artist who wants to focus on both film and theatre respectively, Henry is an extremely hard, Zen-like worker with clear, articulate goals and a ‘fire in the belly’ sense of direction. Although he is ingrained into the Vietnamese community of Bankstown, he is developing his skills through iCCAM in conjunction with dancing. Already, feedback has pegged him as a ‘great little talent’ who’s going to ‘develop into an impressive actor’.
A business student who has spent a great deal of his time living, studying and working overseas, Hugh Pham has truly found a passion for acting, dance and improvisation. Despite his day job, this does not stop him to fully pursue this craft, and he has begun by constantly learning about the entertainment industry and enhancing as much of his knowledge as possible. Since he understands that for every beginning as an actor, he has decided to be completely dedicated to the power of inhabiting a character that is not his own.
Other than a few small productions when Hugh was younger, and being able to feel the joy in performance, he has decided to take it more seriously in 2015. One of the highlights of his short but impassioned career was cracking the Top 20 in the fiercely competitive “So You Think You Can Dance Australia” in 2012.
What Hugh lacks in experience, his humble attitude and consistently, thriving, osmotic quality makes him ideal for the leap into the professional world of acting. He is thankful and understanding that “interCulture” is perhaps the place to give him a chance to improve and follow his dreams.
Irene Sarrinikolaou is a Sydney based Dramatic Soprano, Director, Producer and Educator, with a performance background in opera and musical theatre. She trains in the Bel Canto tradition with Arax Mansourian and Glenn Amer as well as having previously studied with Reginald Byers and Dallas Watts.
Since 2005, Irene has been running her own production company called ANGELVOICES, which specialises in live vocal and theatrical entertainment. It was formed in 2005 to provide performance opportunities for aspiring producers, directors and performers. Since then ANGELVOICES has produced major outdoor festivals and events including the “Strathfield Carols by Candlelight”, “Victor Trumper Day @ SCG” and “Australia Day Festival” at Parramatta. Other activities include co-producing and lending her voice to the Verismo Studio season of “Pagliacci”, “The Renaissance Players” at Runnymede concerts, “the Peoples’ Proms”, “Gabriel” a gothic horror fantasy film as well as collaborating with other professional singers of opera, musical theatre, world music and jazz.
In 2014 Irene created two original ANGELVOICES productions staged at The Vanguard: “Quite Continental” and “Swingin’ It” (which will have a return season in 2016 at Red Rattler). In 2015, Irene produced and sung the principal role in the Sydney premiere of Konstantine Koukias’ opera “Kimisis” and worked on the inaugural Hellenic Theorem Festival, performing the lead in the Yiannis Ritsos’ dramatic monologue “Moonlight Sonata”.
Jacek Dusznik studied acting at Bull Alley Theatre. He achieved Distinction in both Theatre Performance and ATCL Diploma at Trinity College London. The ex-boxer and rugby player speaks fluent English, German and Polish. In 2010, the Irish public discovered him in Focus Theatre’s first production, “Scent of Chocolate” directed by Anna Wolf. He also was set designer for PTI’s devised piece of “Chesslaugh Mewash”, which was part of ABSOLUT Fringe 2011.
Jacek had the pleasure of working with Irish comedy legend Tommy Tiernan in “Dave’s One Night Stand” show as journalist Tomek. He memorably appeared in the highly-acclaimed TV series “Ripper Street” on his deathbed alongside Matthew Macfadyen (“Anna Karenina”) as well as Stephen Don’s “Faraway” feature, Daniel Corcoran’s short film “Promised Land” and “Death Waits” feature by Redmond Fitzpatrick. He appeared in plays “Henry V” as Charles VI, by Katherine Murphy and in “Street Scene” as Kaplan, by Neville Caryle Style. Jacek is proud of his work on “Blink”, a short film directed by Conor Maloney (“Ayamé”), about how destinies can be shaped in the blink of an eye. Written by and starring Gavin O’Connor (“The Tudors”), Jacek acted opposite IFTA nominee Róisín Murphy (“What Richard Did”) and Luke Griffin (“Band Of Brothers”).
Two beloved career highlights come to mind: one was touring primary schools across Ireland promoting environmental awareness through “Turning the Tide” for Down to Earth Theatre Company. The other one was 2013’s “The Vikings”. Jacek found it to be special, brutally rewarding and well paid work and even spent more time on the set than some of the main actors. Gleefully amongst some of the fiercest fights: a whack to the face, riding roughshod on a warhorse, blood-splattered nevertheless had endowed the Polish emigrant with priceless insight into how to deal with large-scale professional productions.
Since the mid-2014 move to Germany, Jacek was able to obtain a UK Channel 4 job in Stuttgart. Apparently he has no qualms in getting undressed for 3 hours in a Bigest German brothel! Indeed, he is nothing if not endlessly optimistic, facilitating, driven and honest about his services with the soul of a searching artist as seen in his favourite poem below. Inspired by Terry Gilliam’s “The Fisher King” he is more at home with a crazy, mad and roguish glint in his eye, with fashionably up-swept locks so as to avoid looking like ‘every third guy on the street’!
Jack Godden (then John Goddin) was a stalwart in the late 70’s and throughout 80’s, starring in numerous hit movies, notably “Kokoda Crescent” (1989) about police corruption and drugs; an ‘Ozploitation’ piece “Vicious” (1988); “The Empty Beach” with Bryan Brown (1985); both “Crime of the Decade” with John Jarratt and “Fast Talking” with Steve Bisley in the same year of 1984, and “Midnite Spares” about car thieves (1983).
In addition, Jack cut his teeth in children’s entertainment for ABC as well as the long-running urban soap opera “E Street” (1986) with Alyssa-Jane Cook and Marcus Graham; superb legal drama “Rafferty’s Rules” (1987) set in a local magistrate court with John Wood and Andrew McFarlane, and “Sons & Daughters” chronicling class-based family relationships with Peter Phelps.
Despite the trappings of showbiz and venturing briefly to work with director/actor Hugh Keays-Byrne (of “Mad Max” fame) in 1994, Jack took a long break to raise his family and lead a fairly sedate life. In recent years, he has now been able to realise his comeback into the world of acting, and to reinvent himself in a rather subdued fashion as long as he is attracting interesting and relevant material once more. For his efforts, he was reunited with director Jane Campion (whom he worked on “A Girl’s Own Story”) for “Top of the Lake 2” in 2016 on the small screen.
Brimming with hidden, gritty, darkly gifted depths, Jack may be a little rough around the edges but is also generous and softhearted to a fault.
Born in Australia, Jack Ngu is a self-styled Chinese-Vietnamese performer and multimedia artist. He is also a super versatile actor, presenter, model and filmmaker whose forte lies in comedy and improvisation.
Graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts and Media Communication degree from University of New South Wales, Jack also studied theatre and acting, which has helped him to ‘practice for life’. By osmosis, his curiosity for and exposure to all facets of productions – behind the scenes and on camera – is only rivalled by his people skills – from elders to children, from celebrities to pets and mentors to juveniles. By switching from four accents of English to the Cantonese and Teochew languages, he has been able to break language barriers, bridge generation gaps and thus widen the social scope in his world.
Everybody who has worked with him considers him to be creative, technical, adaptable, funny, charismatic, educated, intellectual, childish, geeky and random. He applies aspects of this philosophy with varying depths: in the spiralled, corruptive ambivalence of “Gangs of Oz” and “3 Men, One Dice” (2009); neo noir worlds of “Callabona Red” (2009) and “Rain Dog” (2013); the dreamy, wise and romantic connotations of “Mr Bench” (2012) and of course, the scatological practicalities of “Ultimate Guide to No Toilet Paper” (2010). In addition, he has worked with Rumble Pictures as a stuntman, actor and assistant.
Off screen, Jack’s characters are idle and idiosyncratic: from skating (heelys) and snowboarding to travel and spiritual journeys, as well as video games and ‘robots in disguise’. In other words, he is the ‘most dynamic person you may ever meet’.
You may find Jack equally down to earth, with an award-winning imagination that is this planet! Very quickly, you are convinced that entertainment is truly his passion.
Jade Alex is a disciplined actor, singer and director raised in the Blue Mountains, NSW. She graduated from the Australian Academy of Dramatic Arts with a Bachelor of Performance. With over 10 years of acting training through NIDA short courses and continuous Acting/Movement workshops, she refined her skills as a director under mentor Helmut Bakaitis as well as observing director Damien Ryan in the rehearsal room during her placement program. In 2013 Jade devised and directed her own work: “The Butterfly and the Black Dog”, first performed at the Pilgrim Theatre, then later at ICE (Information and Cultural Exchange) in Parramatta as a fundraiser for The Black Dog Institute.
With a passion for physical theatre and Theatre In Education, Jade teamed up with Blue Theatre Company to direct the coming of age story “Akio!” Written by Matt De Haas and performed at Hayes Theatre Co in 2015, Akio! pays homage to Japanese popular culture with a combination of humor and playfulness to be enjoyed by all ages. The show was met with wonderful acclaim and fantastic reviews!
Jade's acting works include Nina in “The Seagull”, Mary Contrary in “Mother Goose” Eva Jackson in “The Rimers of Eldritch”, Nell Gwyn in “Playhouse Creatures” and sexy Irina in “Chekhov In Hell”. She is also active in the film industry, having played Vicky in a feature film “Memories of Michael” and Wendy for Orkward Pictures’ “State of Affairs”, amongst several other short films.
Originally from West Australia, James Wong was born in a household full of accomplished martial arts practitioners and circus artists. For this reason, he has a storied passion for conveying layered drama through acting, martial arts and modelling. After graduating from Perth Film School, he headed to the Eastern States, where he thought he would push his luck in Sydney. Coming from a mixed Asian Australian background and being able to adapt to any accent, he has a diverse knowledge of cultural idiosyncrasies and can bring their tensions into his performances.
As a lifelong and impressively quick-learning martial artist, choreographer, manager and instructor James has intuited a wide range of dynamic and energetic action poses. Since the age of 6, he has performed yearly at the family-owned Wong's Academy of Chinese Martial Arts annual dinners, Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstrations, public events, university balls and professional association functions. In total, as choreographer and performer he has notched over 12 theatrical fighting performances between 1995 and 2015. He has also been drummer/conductor to many of the Chinese Lion dance in private and public gigs between 1995 and 2014.
James also trained in the AMEB classical musicianship and sang with Collegium Symphonic Chorus, a premier large-scale choir. He played first violin as part of the orchestra during primary and high school for yearly performances and competitions. He won a scholarship for Churchlands Senior High School, premier WA music school in 1990.
Likewise as a model, James’ portfolio showcases a self-possessive flair across the genres of glamour, fashion, corporate, wedding, comic and Asian hip/cult styles.
Now firmly entrenched in the new adventures of Sydney, James is adding another feather to his cap in acting. Having been inspired by the intricate, visual power of storytelling through film, he is eager and dedicated to developing himself as an actor.
A staple of Australian film and television for over 30 years, Janet Foye has been very blessed to work under the directorial lens of Philip Noyce in “Heatwave” (1982); Alex Proyas in “Knowing” (2009); George Miller on both “Babe” movies (1994, 1998). On the smaller screen, she held her own in guest roles against heavyweights John Wood on “Blue Heelers” (2001); comediennes Jane Turner and Gina Riley on “Kath & Kim”; heartthrob David Wenham and self-assured Sigrid Thornton on “SeaChange” (2000) and Ian Rawlings on “Sons and Daughters” (1982) as his bad boy’s therapist in one very memorable scene that was a little too intimate for her liking!
Janet, indeed, has played memorable exceedingly well in rural settings, having appeared in multiple arced episodes on “Bed of Roses” as a South Gippsland townsperson Lorna Lincoln who is an integral part of Kerry Armstrong’s character’s ‘new normal’; on “Something in the Air” (2000) whose town is revived by the preserving presence of a radio station, and on “A Country Practice” (1982-1990) whose personal relationships are as important as those of doctors and nurses’ with their patients.
Such as is the breadth and depth of Janet’s career that it has taken her to play in many sandboxes of bogan satire, apocalyptic doom, unbelievable melodrama, quirky pastoralism, action with both fantastical and felonious elements and uplifting coping mechanisms in the face of grief and loss.
Now, reinvigorated by an iCCAM radio interview, Janet is about to enter the next and most exciting chapter of her life in Melbourne that she currently calls home.
Growing up in Mount Gambier, South Australia, Jaylee Waters has been dancing since she was four, training in Jazz, Ballet and Tap at MJ Dance Studio, as well as having private singing lessons. After completing High School, she moved to Ballarat, Victoria and began her Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) degree at the Arts Academy. While at the Arts Academy Jaylee performed in: the original workshop production of “Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face: An Apocalyptic Musical” (Penelope Tupper), “The Pajama Game” (Dance Captain/Ensemble), “The Addams Family” (Marie Antoinette/Featured Dancer) and “Into The Woods” (Rapunzel). Jaylee has also worked in collaboration with La Mama Mobile Theatre, performing in the original short play, “Confide”.
Jaylee is a 2016 Music Theatre Graduate from Federation University’s Arts Academy.
Jean Judith Javier is a singer, musical theatre performer and a film actor, who is unstoppable in bringing her heart to her audience, while she draws courage from them. As a soprano, she sings for opera and musical theatre but never limits her capacity by performing pieces from world arts songs. As a film actor, her roles are unconventional that manifest her embodied inner strength and mystical persona.
Jean Judith learnt how to sing at an early age of 9 performing in the church and villages. Coming from humble beginnings, she captured the skill of fine singing from her mother and her sensitivity for the arts was nurtured by being deeply connected to the expressive musical cultures of the Philippines, her motherland.
Her tenacity to work as a full-time actor and the faith that she puts into her craft has given Jean Judith opportunities to perform in major cities and provinces in not only the Philippines but also South and East Asian countries like Indonesia, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and various cities in China. She assumed self-titled roles from many original musicales that had impacted the history of Filipino contemporary theatre.
In opera, Jean played Sisa for “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera”, which was a difficult role. In spite of that, her portrayal of an iconic Filipino fictional character and deranged woman prompted standing ovations and critical acclaim. Furthermore, she offered impassioned command of the stage with her depiction of Gulnara for “Orosman at Zafira” where she earned admiration from theatre aficionados and audience alike.
In short Jean Judith's sheer talent has allowed her to work in almost all major theatre companies gaining admiration from her native and most respected and outstanding theatre directors abroad. This woman of inspiration, integrity and excellence with the uncompromising spirit of an artist’s can only hope to bring her vocal prowess and acting craft as an oblation for the world's cultural and social transformation.
Jennifer Lu is an all-round, sporty, upbeat and brilliantly passionate actor, singer and model who believes in absolute integrity of storytelling through the honoring of great writing. Hailing from Canberra, ACT, she developed a steadfast work ethic from a young age, with the view to meet and surmount professional challenges in any vocation that she chooses. She possesses the technique to immerse herself in any platform whether it be theatre, film, TV or music industry. She is able to take excellent direction whilst always willing to take risks and test one’s mettle demanding highly of oneself and scrupulously transform her mind and physique into any character.
Most recently, Jenny was honored to be part of Season 2 of ABC’s miniseries “The Code” working alongside Australian screen legend Anthony LaPaglia and director Shawn Seet. She found the set to be an engrossing experience and got to watch the fine intensity and technique of a veteran cast and crew.
Exhaustively taught by world-famous institutions AIM, ANU and NIDA in theatrical and voice training as well as dance, Jennifer remembers vocal coaches, tutors and directors as paramount to her education. By looking up to these mentors, she considers her long-term relationships with them as conducive to the most solid and eclectic building blocks of a career.
Jennifer’s ultimate aspiration is to be a sensitive, powerhouse artist who can hit the high notes, equal the likes of Jennifer Murphy, Louise Page, and Anthony LaPaglia acting organically against the very best.
2016 will see Jenny Wu starring in her first US action movie lead role, playing the antagonist in an all-female martial arts tournament feature film, directed by Chris Nahon.
Jenny is also seen in a role in Foxtel’s new political thriller TV series “Secret City” alongside Anna Torv; a feature film about the Chinese Cultural Revolution; a television show starring alongside Chinese mega-star Liu Xiao Qing, and a German production of a film noir short filmed near Berlin.
Jenny has had the privilege early in her career to work and learn from some of the greatest in the industry, from legendary Jackie Chan, Liu Xiao Qing, to John Cusack, Adrien Brody and Martha Coolidge.
Graduating from Australia’s most prestigious acting school, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) with a Bachelors of Dramatic Arts Degree majoring in Acting, Jenny is an accomplished multilingual actress fluent in English, Mandarin, and Shanghainese.
In 2013 Jenny was “Miss Sydney China” Beauty Pageant finalist hosted by TVB Australia.
That same year, she was selected out of 70,000 candidates as a finalist for the "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction – Search for Actors” competition held in Beijing, organised by Paramount Studios.
In 2014 Jenny received the Art Start Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts.
Passionate about the arts, Jenny is unafraid of a challenge.
Jip Panasot is a self-proclaimed lover of life in entertainment or to be more specifically—a perfect, diamond, self-assured expression of life and its value across acting, presenting, modelling, music or even martial arts. Even more so she is ever eager to explore and expand her potential and its continual reaffirmations in the eclectic and transparent variety of the characters that she plays.
After spending much of her childhood in USA since the age of 6, Jip unsurprisingly slipped into a natural accent.
She traveled the world to pick up some of the languages including German, French and Portuguese as well as kicking arse and taking names in all tremendous manners of fighting such as Silat, Savate, Taekwondo, Kali and Muay Thai to name a few. She eventually settled down in Australia right at the turn of the millennium.
Action acting is a passion especially for Jip—the ultimate poster child of combat and performing arts. The former has placed her in exceptional steed for lethal fight choreography and film stunts including competency in swords(wo)manship.
Of course, she has a more artistic or ‘softer side’. From horse riding and fire twirling pursuits and intuitive grasp of Thai instruments such as a xylophone, flute and dulcimer to traditional classical dance, Eurythmy and capoeira, she is a welcome presence on stage that can incorporate two or more disparate elements together into one engrossingly paradoxical performance—as long as you remember who will always win in a fight!
Overall, being an insanely motivated and quick learner, Jip often seeks diversely dynamic and experimental challenges all in the name of exciting adventures and endless possibilities ahead.
Originally from Queensland Jizelle Ellul is a dedicated performing artist who has been training as a triple threat performer since the young age of 4. She discovered her intense love for the art after her first performance on the stage as a 4 year old dancing and singing to Animal Crackers by Shirley Temple. Her training in different dance genres (tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, contemporary, ballet) and singing continued, with her completion of several ballet exams (up to her intermediate RAD ballet exam), singing exams and her advanced silver CSTD tap exam. She has always enjoyed immersing herself in all aspects of performing arts. With an ear for music she started playing the piano at age 4 completing up to level 5 AMEB as well as picking up the flute at the age of 13 where she developed a love for ensemble playing.
Jizelle moved to Sydney in 2016 to pursue further training focusing on singing, dancing and acting with industry professionals, graduating with a diploma of Musical Theatre at Brent Street. She’s passionate, hardworking and determined to pursue her love for all areas of the industry. Her friendly, disciplined and down-to-earth character are traits she highly regards as well as her desire to always learn and improve her skills. She believes in the power of communication through music, dance and acting and that it has the ability to move people and potential to encourage change in different ways of life. She is enthusiastic about diving into the industry and discovering ways of using and sharing her passion for the performing arts with others.
Joanne is a 2015 graduate of ACTT (Actors College of Theatre and Television). Whilst at ACTT she performed in “Coriolanus”, as Brutus directed by Sean O’Riordan; Joan in “Breezeblock Park”, Lizzie in “Wolf Lullaby”; and one of the demeaning cheerleaders Danielle in “SLUT: The Play” at Belvoir St Theatre, directed by Maeliosa Stafford.
Joanne loves to explore the topics that deal with issues of the society, morality, human psychology and philosophy with different forms of art. She has a strong belief in the ability of theatre and performance in affecting people through the use of storytelling to allow audience to have deep thoughts and opinion upon the topics and issues.
Joanne also has had experience in working as TV Presenter at the Sydney branch of the biggest Cantonese TV channel TVB, making herself well known to the Chinese demographic.
Apart from having a great passion in acting and performing, Joanne also loves to draw and paint in different forms of techniques.
Joaquin Pedro Valdes (aka JP) started out on the professional stage at the young age of 11 when Philippine Theater icons Baby Barredo and Zenaida Amador discovered him. After being part of the 1995 Philippine staging of “Evita”, those veteran thespians asked him to be launched in Repertory Philippines’ “Pinocchio” in 1996. From then on, he continued to live on stage through different leading roles in both adapted and original musicals and straight plays, several of which he was nominated and won awards for respectively.
Joaquin also proudly received plaudits by U.P. Film Institute and New Beijing International Movie Week for his directorial debut called “Bulong (Whisper)”. A 30-minute speculative fiction short narrative, it starred Sid Lucero, Maita Ponce, Juddha Paolo and Paolo Contis.
During his teen years, Joaquin had ventured off into the recording industry to be a part of the pop/R&B boy band 17:28 under Star Records. There, he performed and composed a few of the group’s hit singles as well as various jingles. His rigorously stunning vocals have also been heard at various private/corporate/personal events, debuts, weddings and functions.
Theatre, however, always remains his first love, so when he is given the chance to sink his teeth into a compelling material, he doesn’t pass it up. While he is now known behind the camera as one of the country’s more recognised film, concert and digital content director, he will never forget his humble beginnings.
In his spare time, Joaquin enjoys a good workout at gym and gets to weave through the endlessly chaotic traffic jams of his hometown on his own electric scooter.
Born in Houston, Texas, John Reed moved to Melbourne in 2004 and studied at the May Downs School of Dancing under Renie Ann Martini and Centrestage Performing Arts School under Ian White. TV credits include: “Dead Gorgeous” (ABC3) and “Angry Boys” (ABC).
John recently graduated from Federation University Arts Academy (Ballarat) with a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre). Performance highlights at Ballarat include: “Smash Hit” (MC 2), “Urinetown” (Officer Lockstock), his self-devised cabaret “OZMERICA: The Beautiful”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Speed Tappist/Ching Ho Understudy) and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Co-Chairman/Associate Choreographer). Upon graduating, John portrayed the role of Jack in the Melbourne premiere of “Connected: A New Musical” by Alanya Bridge at Ruby’s Music Room.
Jonathan Hickey's performance journey began at the age of 9 where he was classically trained as a boy soprano for the St John’s Cathedral choir. In 2010 he received a 12-month scholarship with AFS to live and study in Italy; during his exchange he learnt how to speak fluent Italian.
He then went on to study musical theatre at Queensland Conservatorium. His university credits include Billy Bigelow in “Carousel” (2013), Mrs Mead in “Hair” (2013) and Rapunzel's Prince in “Into the Woods” (2014).
He is a multi instrumentalist having attained his Associate (AMus) diploma on violin in 2010 and also enjoys composing music and playing guitar in his family band Chinatown Carpark.
Jonathan gained national prominence this year with his breakout performance as Fabrizzio in “The Light In The Piazza” at the Victorian Arts Centre.
Josephine Flores Tam, or Josie is a pianist, violinist, opera singer and theatre singer. She is enthusiastic, energetic, active in salsa dancing and easy to work with. She loves working with people, music, dancing, photographing and acting, jazz dancing and tap dancing.
She is currently a Master student as Répétiteur at Sydney Conservatorium, under direction of Stephen Mould. She has accepted the The Australian Collaborative Pianist Full Scholarship in Munich for Bel Canto Summer Voice Program. She also studied under Christopher McMullen, Lorne Richstone, Ted Ganger in Music, Dr Gian- Franco Ricci,Mrs Ann O’Hearn, Dr Susan Collins,Dr Jennifer Barnes and International Australian Opera singer Ghillian Sullivan, Glenn Winslade, Claudia Visca, Stephen Delaney, SharolynKimmoley.
Josie has been in HK TV commercials having debuted at the age of 10 in 1993. She also shot advertisements for Hong Kong Institute of Education, as a commercial promotionmodel.
Josie has been involved in Australian productions such as “Bernstine’s Mass”, “Messiah”, “Carmina Burana”, “Little Women the Opera”, “Avenue Q”, “The Gondoliers”, “Trial by Jury”, “Trouble in Tahiti”, “Thoroughly Mordern Millie”, “Magic Flute”, “The Merry Widow”, “Patient”, “Lucky Stiff”, “Spelling Bee”, “WonderfulTown”.
As well as a pianist originally based in Newcastle, she was the lead role Kim in Opera Hunter’s 2009 production “Miss Saigon”; “Fiammetta” in Newcastle Festival Opera’s 2010 “The Gondoliers” written by Gilbert and Sullivan as well as Musical Director for “Double Bill” and “Christmas Eve”. In Pantseat Productions’ 2011 “Avenue Q”, Josie earned a nomination for Best Actress in Leading Role in Musical at the 33rd Conda Awards (City of Newcastle Drama Awards). Josie is also a member of the Ecology Choir since 2008, which was the winner of Channel 7 “Battle of the Choirs” TVshow.
Josie would like to expand her career, based on her classically training in music in piano and voice into modern art, which are stage, screen and musictheatre.
When it comes to Joshua Tieu’s earth-shattering fists and kicks, they neither know boundaries nor infamy in stunts and choreography among many of Australia’s martial arts film aficionados. Whether it’s taking names or making fashion statements out of our plucky heroes (or dying trying), he relishes playing type—gangster type, that is. From primarily stirring in an action, fantasy and comedy mish-mash in hit series “Atomic Kingdom” (2013), “Whoopa-Chow!” (2013) and more recently, “Maximum Choppage” (2014), to indie, self-funded martial arts films such as “Enter the Dojo“ (2012), “Hit Girls” (2013) and “Fist of the Dragon” (2014) he has worked alongside impeccably gutsy filmmakers Maria Tran and Adrian Castro as well as lauded fight choreographers Trung Ly.
Joshua was humbled to re-enact a warzone during the 1968 Battle of Coral and Balmoral for ABC’s “The Crater” (2014), working with award-winning documentarian David Bradbury. It took him back to his spiritual roots—that everything he is, today, has come out of both the combative horrors and fragile resoluteness of Vietnamese history. On the outlandish side, Joshua chews up the scenery, utilising parkour and intimidation in “Fat Pizza vs. Housos” (2014), “Hidden Peaks” (2014) and play “Monkey: Journey to the West” (2015).
Joshua is an active member of Dong Thanh Alliance and Head Tricking Instructor of Team 9Lives. He has elevated his latter team to nationwide renown in Australia Hip Hop Championships, fundraisers and many various weddings and festivals.
Jrisi Jusakos is one of Australia’s most recognised and influential oriental dance artists. With extensive experience in cross cultural and traditional dance forms, she has carved out a unique style that is both captivating and recognisable. She is the artistic director and creator of Hathor Dance Theatre, a sought-after master teacher, performer, producer, choreographer and international sponsor.
Separating her from other performers, Jrisi is also one of the only professional oriental dancers in Australia to hold a Bachelor of Dance from UWS, majoring in choreography. She trained extensively in Western dance styles like contemporary, jazz and ballet, fusing this experience with Oriental, Flamenco, Latin and Classical Indian movement styles, which makes her one of the most experienced and sought-after artists on offer. She’s an award-winning dancer receiving 3 choreographic dance commissions in Contemporary/Oriental Fusion works.
Jrisi’s belly dance career spans 25 years; in that time she has flown around the world developing, training and researching the dance with master teachers. She is one of Australia’s first belly dance artists to obtain an Australian Council for the Arts dance grant for professional development in both Oriental and Western Dance forms in USA, Egypt, Lebanon and Germany. Her primary mentors throughout many years have been Dr Mo Geddawi, Mahmoud Reda, Mdme Raqia Hassan and Yousry Sharif.
Most recently Jrisi has invested in international sponsorship to bring master teachers to Australian. Giving opportunities for Australian dancers to further develop and experience different techniques and performance skills. She has sponsored international guests such as Jillina, Bozenka, Tamlyn Dalala, Hadia, Kaeshi Chai.
She has also produced ground breaking International Bellydance Theatre shows such as Bellydance Evolution’s “Dark Side of the Crown” and Bellyqueen’s “Journey Along the Silk Road” (Sydney Tour). This adds up to 25 theatre shows that she has produced since 2001.
Adding to her range of experience Jrisi had the opportunity to work closely with talented Arabic Musicians for the last 15 years and has produced 3 training DVDs which feature original compositions and have sold worldwide. She has taught in Singapore and toured 3 cities in Japan for workshops and performances.
As a versatile dancer, Jrisi is invited as featured artists in 3 live music ensembles such as Davood Trabizi and the Far Seas, Flamenco Red and Masha’s Legacy which have composed an original piece written especially for her, titled “Safe Haven”
Jrisi is a passionate instructor and performer who has devoted her life to the art of Oriental dance and hopes to continue to raise the profile of this beautiful art with mainstream audiences.
Jun Manuel Tuason is an accomplished Filipino performer, producer and director on account of his many theatrical appearances in highly acclaimed shows and relevant charitable works.
He was involved in a number of productions worldwide: “Miss Saigon” on Germany and North America tours (Engineer u/s, Club Owner); “Aida” (Zoser / Pharaoh u/s); “The King and I” (Lun Tha), “West Side Story” (Bernardo, Pasadena Pops Orchestra); “Imelda” (Guest Artist, Workshop, East West Players; Los Angeles Opera (Actor); “Nagraland” (Prince Anshah) Japan Hongkong, Singapore. Prior to these stints, he had the privilege of working with Singapore’s renowned composer, singer and music producer Dick Lee and Hong Kong’s pop music sensation Sandy Lam. Jun’s involvement in all these is an affirmation of his enormous professional experience as a performer, joining the roster of highly esteemed Filipino musical theatre actors to date.
He is also recognised among Philippines’ contemporary Christian luminaries. He was a featured solo artist on Pat Robertson’s million-dollar project dubbed “The Answer” campaign (CBN Asia) as well as at a Christian Businessmen Convention in Germany, among others.
He has proven himself to be not only an ardent and conscientious theater performer but also a key figure in supporting worthy causes internationally. He produced and directed “The Reason We Sing” in Germany to benefit impoverished children in Asia and Africa and put together a segment in one of the “AIDS-Hilfe” benefit concerts in Suttgart, Germany featuring the Stuttgart Ballet. On August 29, 2011, Jun reprised his sold-out The Reason We Sing Concert at the Ebell Theater in Hollywood showcasing some of the finest Filipino performing artists in America (raising funds to help the evangelical churches in the remote areas in Cam Sur, Philippines).
Jun also taught performance art alongside Miss Saigon Alumni at Vivace Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles – a school for aspiring young musical theater actors in the Asian-American community. He was a featured dancer/actor on Showtime’s “Resurrection Boulevard” and played one of the monks in Adam Sandler’s movie “Anger Management”. He is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Actor’s Equity Association.
During his time in Sydney, Australia he was a valued student at Hillsong Leadership College under TV and Media Stream.
Born in Saitama, Japan Junko Hirabayashi started learning Japanese traditional dance, Nihon-Buyo, in Tokyo under direction of Kanoko Fujima, a dance expert of the New Fujima school. She learned not only long classical repertoire but also short pieces for stage performances.
After traveling through the world including a stint in America, Junko came to Sydney in April 2006 and took lessons from Ms. Yoke Chin Kham, a renowned teacher. She left and spent two years in Toronto, Canada soaking up and entertaining a very different culture. Upon her return in March 2011, she resumed taking dance lessons from Yoke. She subsequently advanced to the point where she now can teach and organise Japanese dance workshops with her teacher.
Junko regularly performs at charities, community events, student recitals and private functions across New South Wales in bilingually Japanese and English. Her specialty, of course, is thrilling her audiences as a geisha-style dancer in a traditional dress called a kimono—with sashaying class and propriety. She was schooled in the ways of art, hosting, games, dance, music and playful, demure conversation.
Meanwhile, Junko has ongoing classes in ballet and jazz—the former of which she has rigourously trained for over 10 years, and the latter by about 5 years, and is a mezzo-soprano singer in her own right. She is also a taiko (Japanese drumming) player, and has the 1st dan for Japanese traditional fencing called Kendo. She is equally decorative on screen, having starred in numerous videos, films and commercials.
Hailing from Hobart, Karen Ireson started dancing at her mother’s dancing school at the age of 4. It was growing up in Hobart where she had the opportunity to perform with Peter Coombes on his tour (Myer, Carols by Candlelight), as well as The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Gala Ball (Hobart City Council) and 10 Days on the Island Festival (Hobart City Council).
In 2010 Karen went overseas to New York where she did the Summer Holiday Intensive at Broadway Dance Centre. Upon coming back to Australia she received her Bachelor of Music Theatre at The Federation University, (Ballarat) Arts Academy in 2011. Highlights include: “Parade” (Britt Craig), “42nd Street” (Anytime Annie) and being asked to perform her cabaret “The Karen War" at The Ballarat Cabaret Festival.
Since graduating Karen’s highlights have included: “Singing with Clare Bowdich”, “Ricercar” (Present Tense), “The Full Monty” (StageArt), “I Won’t Dance”, (Choreographer, GoldenAge Productions) and “Like a Version” (The Rihanna Patrick Program, ABC).
Karen enjoys every aspect of the performing arts, from writing songs to choreography, and looks forward to all opportunities.
As an early-career artist at “interCulture”, Karim has already captured the attention of notable theatre critic and blogger Kevin Jackson. He elevated that the fast-talking high school student’s ‘twinkle-eyed, twinkle-toed magnetism’ in The Voices Project feature shows charismatic potential, only paralleled by his rough-hewn observatory vignettes for ‘gritty, everyday reality’.
Arguably one of the standouts in an AYTP (Australian Theatre for Young People) monologue, this young actor philosophises the themes of belonging, identity and place in a refreshing, cheerful and energetic fashion: a paradoxical muddle of urbaneness and panache. In addition to his apparent passion for theatre and the screen, Karim is a dedicated musician whose skills in piano such as his signature “River Flows in You” are met with aplomb and technical deftness.
Through “iCCAM” Karim has been cast in his commercial debut, an Egyptian swashbuckling mystical fantasy/adventure with an ethnically diverse flavour “Gods of Egypt”, honoured to work with Hollywood and local mainstays Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush and director Alex Proyas. Recently he was cast as Bilal Folouk in the SBS four-part drama miniseries about the lives of difficult and troubled students in Sydney’s south-west and worked closely with Alex Dimitriades. Exciting days ahead for this youngster!
Kate Hood has had a full career as an able-bodied actor, writer and director, which lasted for over 20 years. She has performed in everything from classics to musicals, working for major theatres (Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company Adelaide, Hit Productions)and commercial production companies(Gordon Frost, Everyday Productions). Some of her credits include “Pygmalion”, “BigRiver”, “Buddy”and “Hotel Sorrento”. Her film and television credits include “Prisoner”, “Dancingin the Dust”, “The Flood”and “Blue Heelers”and she has worked as the main promotional voice-over artist for the ABC. She has directed for Melbourne Fringe, the Brisbane Festival, Opera Plus and Jane O'Toole Productions.
As a wheelchair user, Kate reinvented herself as a disabled actor, has worked extensively as a voiceover artist, working commercially and winning awards for her audio book narrations forBolinda Publications. She now writes and performs her own work, which includes monologue, short story and spoken word. Some examples are “Queen Esme of Collingwood”, “Growl, Motor Neurone” and “The Girl with the Blue Hair”. She collaborates with others as director, mentor and dramaturge (Quippings, Theatre on Wheels) and has become a strong advocate for actors with a disability, sitting on the board of Arts Access Victoria and Actors Equity's Diversity Committee as Deputy Chair.
Kate has been awarded a mentorship with Writers Victoria to work on her play“Ruthie”. Her most recent credits include Quippings: “Freaktastic Fringe” as part of Melbourne Fringe 2014, Newstead’s “Short Story Tattoo”, Quippings: “Hares and Hyenas”and a spoken word performance for the Words in Winter Festival.She is working on her show“That's Why the Lady Needs a Ramp”.
In 2015 the Australia Council funded Kate to participate in the Jo Verrent Sync Leadership Intensive, which is a course from UK disability/arts company No Limits. It is designed to find and train potential leaders within the Disability Arts sector in Australia.
In 2016 Kate formed the production company Raspberry Ripple Productions, and plans to collaborate with disabled and non-disabled performers to create work which dissolves the divide between the mainstream and disability arts sectors. Raspberry Ripple’s first production of “Enunciations” was supported by the City of Yarra, Arts Access Victoria and Footscray Community Arts Centre, and was an in-house production at FCAC in August 2016.
Kate is excited at the possibilities opening up in her new career as a disabled artist and creative leader, and feels that her years of experience as an actor, writer, director and advocate will serve her well in her new direction as Artistic Director of Raspberry Ripple.
Katie Swan graduated from Federation University’s Arts Academy, where her theatre highlights include: “Urinetown” (Little Becky Two-Shoes), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Daphne & u/s Muzzy Van Hosmere, Ruth & Vocal Swing) and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Chairperson: Maggie Turner & u/s Princess Puffer). She also wrote and performed her cabaret “Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Everything” in Ballarat and Melbourne in early 2015.
Since graduating, Katie has appeared in “The Songs of Laura Nyro” (Midsumma Festival), Aunty Donna’s 1999 series and has also toured her own music around Australia, with performances in Ballarat, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane respectively.
Passionate about writing and supporting new Australian theatre, Katie comprises half of the composing team: Forrester & Swan. Resolutely believing in artistic individuality, she feels that this medium of composing and cabaret-style singing is the best way to express herself. Her sound has been showcased at Home Grown (Melbourne) as well as being published in the new AMEB Music Theatre syllabus.
Kaylene Pomana Jones is a versatile actor, singer and dancer of Maori Polynesian descent, who excels in hard-hitting, gritty drama with a flair for comic relief. Since 2003, she has conducted scores of sell-out dance performance workshops leading Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”, “Run TheWorld Girls” and “Love on Top” as well as Michael Jackson's “Thriller” and “Beat It” dance groups.
Kaylene is in demand as Host and MC for Hen's (Bachelorette) parties, corporate team-building activities and artistic coaching for acrobatic teams representing Australia overseas. In addition, she has been Swing in numerous professional cabaret and musical theatre productions and rocked the mic as lead singer in R&B, Pop/Rock and Acoustic bands.
Inspired by the USA market, which regularly casts ethnic minorities in their TV shows Kaylene is similarly enthused about Australian writers, casting agents and directors who are consistently proactive about promoting ethnic faces on Australian screens.
Wendy Strehlow, her acting coach for TV/film lead role auditions, introduced Kaylene to iCCAM. Kaylene is honoured to be a part of such a diverse group of talented professionals and is excited about showcasing her skills in upcoming productions.
Kelly Huynh is a passionate and hardworking actor. In addition to speaking five languages she commands immense dedication to her craft, with a particular gravitation towards drama and comedy. She is also in her element tackling Shakespeare, devouring all the classics like chocolate. Kelly not only takes direction well, she also runs further and faster with it, exhibiting a very mature amount of confidence in all her roles. She revels in complicated challenges, possessing excellent intuition for providing realistic and compelling performances.
Growing up in an Asian household where a corporate career was the equivalent to the pinnacle of life success, she broke the mold, instead focusing on achieving her artistic endeavours. This was the only way that she can truly be herself. While an early artist, Kelly performance in the 2015 Australian Theatre for Youth People monologue project “Between Us” has already garnered glowing reviews (quoted in more detail below).
Kelly trained under Billy Milionis in the Meisner technique and accomplished screen acting with Nadia Townsend at Actors Centre Australia. She complements this perspective with her self-defence training in Krav Maga as well as a Bachelor degree in PR and advertising, so she understands the art of self-promotion and visceral display, such as modeling for Ms. Clover Fashion and throwing fights in “Maximum Choppage” (2014).
As is often the catch cry in this profession, Kelly loves to entertain others and wants nothing more than to witness people becoming affected by truthful acting. Indeed, she shows very promising growth and will go far than anyone would have expected of her, including unreserved relocation to where the best opportunities are.
Kenneth Obimba (or Kyne for short) has had an illustrious career in showbiz, both in his hometown and among the African community of Sydney. Whether he is a model showcasing designers’ outfits on the runway for “Elite Models Uganda”; starring as a war victim in renowned playwright Alex Mukulu’s musical “The Journey to SelfRealisation” for the benefit of Queen Elizabeth II during her last visit to Uganda; a minister for Miracle Center Church specialising in music, dance and drama spectacle for an enthused congregation; or even a stint on 2006’s award-winning movie “The Last King of Scotland” with big names Forest Whittaker and James McAvoy, the East African wants to be positioned as one of the greatest inspirers ever.
His capacity for compassion and ability to work under pressure and little supervision stems from Kenneth’s time working with orphans as youth worker. Other than excellent communication skills and a sedate Christian upbringing, it also has informed his associations with the Lord in “Jesus Sings” and “Jesus in Kampala”. But can display a more lighthearted side: he was hailed as one of the ten best comedians in the M-Net reality TV series and caused chaos as a dancer and singer with the Kombat dance group in a dance production “Heartless Desire” directed by admired director and founder of Theatre Factory, Phillip Luswatta and Natasha Sinayobye. A spectacularly and visually driven drama language of broken love and betrayal spliced with dance styles ranging from African contemporary and hip hop to salsa and tango, he exemplified these themes in the role of a troublemaker.
However, with an eye on the horizon, Kenneth moved to Sydney in 2012 and began collaborating with famed Lucky Lartey. Together, accompanied by a guitar, they have produced a mesmerisingly slick and snake-fluid choreographic piece “Meeting Point” in numerous festival venues around Sydney. The message is: when you dance, are you two different individuals or are you simply one conscious movement in sync?
Hardworking, reliable and trustworthy are the three cornerstones that Kenneth always honours, while at once aiming to maximise his creative skills for his employer, society and career in the entertainment industry.
Although at first glance Kento Tago’s portfolio may seem sparse and even lacking in hard knocks, this Japanese-born beginner has a very appealing and patient attitude that has endeared himself to “iCCAM”. For one thing, his willingness to work and adaptability to the ephemeral rigours and ‘luck and success-based’ philosophy of the entertainment industry has already set him apart from other young upstarts. For another, he has both a sharp intellect in social sciences and a sharp hand in fencing, which makes him a worthy adversary in any argument!
Kento’s first ever drama class was on the actual set of “Puberty Blues”, which he viewed as a baptism by fire. Having been brought up in a single-parent household, he had to learn to adapt to unforeseeable circumstances and therefore mature more quickly than most of his peers. He fenced between 2012-2014, progressing to advanced levels but stresses that it is not like in the action movies! The sport taught him how to live in the moment and the importance of repetition to perfection. Similarly in rifle shooting, he emphasises the importance of meditation, learning to focus on one’s breath, be patient and pay attention to detail.
Most importantly, Kento understands that it isn’t simply enough to get a taste for the camera, one must have discipline, longevity and of course a tough skin. Since arrival from his homeland in 2001, he has noticed this battler’s approach among his Australian peers and so this has spurred him onto more lofty heights wherever they take him. Just don’t expect him to be on the wrong end of a rifle’s barrel!
Kento’s career goal is summed up as: ‘To learn a broad range of knowledge and skills in a diverse world’
Kiara Nickson is a well-rounded performer who has grown up in the performing arts world. As soon as she could walk, she has nurtured a strong love and passion for both acting and dance. Her pure dedication and determination as well as a bright personality are what make her stand out from the crowd.
Kiara has unrivalled experience in both stage and screen performing, and skilled in a vast number of dance styles in addition to modelling, acrobatics, and choreographing. She has worked hard to be recognised for her enviable contributions to the entertainment industry, having gained many achievements and awards during her young career. She has been accepted into many different dance programs including Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, despite being the youngest at the audition. Industry professionals have praised her technically flawless talent in statewide and national competitions.
Kiara will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams since is always passionate and fully dedicated to anything that she puts her mind to. As someone who is always willing to learn new things and further herself in every way she can, she is a very quick learner and happy to take on any challenge.
Kieran Rodriguez is an enthusiastic and passionate performer whose practice in dancing, singing and acting started at age ten. Driven by his love of musical theatre, he continued this practice throughout high school, before being given the opportunity to study Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, from which he graduated at the end of 2016. He was featured in many different performances during this period, as well as a segment host for the Channel 10 program “Totally Wild”.
Kieran enjoys expanding his performance abilities, and hopes to continue doing so.
Kulan Farah is an impassioned and reputable 20-year old actor/filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. Born in Melbourne and raised in Tasmania, he discovered his love for acting at the age of 8 years old. With a few screen acting workshops under his belt, he would grow up to join React Drama School in Tasmania. He subsequently spent the next four years at React developing his skills in theatre.
Concurrently, during the last years of high school, Kulan took what he had learned from the craft of acting and applied it to filmmaking. He would eventually move back to Melbourne to study film and television at VCA and Swinburne University. Such world-class institutions taught him to being able to write and direct 4 of his own films as well as acting and crewing in countless productions across the beautiful and inspiring city of Melbourne.
By building a prolific, versatile and motivated background in both dramatic performance and technical expertise as well as a strong belief in social and cultural change, Kulan has extended this skill-set to improvisational and sketch comedy. Thereby he became co-creator and actor of a comedy web series, which he did at high school whilst studying for React.
Kulan loves collaborating and working with other like-minded artists who are interested in telling diverse stories that may not have had a chance to have their day in the sun, especially in today’s political climate. Relating to his father’s story of migrating to Australia after fleeing civil war in Somalia, he is committed to bringing these stories in any form—web series, television, film or stage.
Kurt McCarthy pursues everything in his life and career with boundless, fiery enthusiasm. It was that enthusiasm that led him to leave behind his life in New Zealand. With a single bag and no local contacts, he made the move to Sydney to build his dream of becoming a working actor.
He studied screen acting at The Performing Arts School of New Zealand for six years across nights and evenings while going to university during the day, and his work ethic has always reflected this drive. When opportunities were scarce, he made his own work – forming a comedy troupe and writing & performing in over twenty short films.
Though Kurt is dedicated to the screen, he is no stranger to the stage. After performing supporting roles in several musicals, he landed his first leading role in the theatre, playing Billy Claven in the wickedly dark Irish comedy “The Cripple of Inishmaan” in 2016.
Kurt is now pursuing a full time career in the performing arts, wishing to study further at NIDA, and enjoying the more prolific Australian entertainment industry.
Lap Nguyen is a young actor and theatre maker whose works are primarily based in Australia. He has loved performing since the age of 12 in Vietnam having featured in multiple musicals, most notably “Blood Brothers” (2014).
Lap has recently completed the HSC and is continuously getting involved in shows and producing his own ideas and content. Many of his works are movement-orientated and he prefers to transcend narratives through physical actions rather than traditional text. He is also one of the 20 students across the state chosen by the Arts Unit to perform in their annual company production.
In 2016 Lap debuted his first solo work “Split Spectrum”, which was a part of the ‘To Thine Own Self Project’ in Ashfield and will continue to develop this piece until completion. On a community level, he is a current member of Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) ensemble and has work with companies such as Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Urban Theatre Projects (UTP), Shopfront Theatre. He recently starred in “Suburbist” which has been developing for over a year, before premiering at Powerhouse Youth Theatre then debut at ATYP as a part of their CAMEO program. Lap has recently been accepted into National Theatre of Parramatta’s ‘Page to Stage’ program and is also a member of Playwrights of Parramatta.
Lap has recently started his own theatre company, Perennial Theatre Company, a small platform in which he uses to showcases all his works. He strongly believes in the transformative power of stories and aims to transcend performances that can withstand the test of time.
Larissa Kovalchuk is one of the most unique, accomplished and talented artists ever to grace the international music industry today. Mesmerising, earthy, soulfully expressive and unsurpassed in her use of Bandura, operatic singing and both solo and ensemble performances, they reflect her Ukrainian heritage. As ‘Master of Performance’ and ‘Master of Teaching’, her folk and classical repertoire has always been highly prized on the concert musical stage, but interCulture hopes to make the soloist more accessible to the mainstream Australian landscape.
She is also an exceedingly influential teacher and choir conductor. Currently as Young/Open AIM (Australian Institute of Music) teacher specialising in voice and musicianship, Larissa teaches a diverse range of secondary students such as classical singers, pop vocalists and music theatre performers. Her students achieve high grades in AMEB, HSC exams and have been highly regarded in annual Eisteddfod competitions. Her teaching approach integrates both vocal techniques and performing skills to achieve individual goals.
During her tenure at other schools, she also taught world music, music theory, harmony, keyboard tuition and solfeggio as well as preparing children to perform. Through her efforts the students have gained a broader understanding and appreciation of music in general, covering the classical, jazz and modern idioms. Larissa’s approach was based on Zoltan Kodaly and the Emile Jajues-Dalcroze methods combining both oral skills and body movement in teaching music.
Originally hailing from Brisbane, Queensland, Laura Greenhalgh’s passion for theatre and performing stems back to when she began training at The Fame Theatre Company and Talent Agency at age 7. Whilst involved with this company, she was given the opportunity to perform in end-of-term productions, school holiday fairy-tale pantomimes and to tour regional Queensland with in school Christmas productions such as “Where in the World Is Christmas” and “A Frosty Christmas.” Throughout the 9 years that Laura was pursuing a love of live theatre, she was simultaneously training and competing at a state and national level in Irish Dancing at the Queensland Irish Association.
In 2009 she was provided her first opportunity to perform at The Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the children’s ensemble of Harvest Rain’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” This production played to sold out audiences for a scheduled season, followed by a return season. It was this experience that only solidified for Laura that she was ready to chase her theatre dreams professionally. In her final year of senior schooling she auditioned for the University of Ballarat Arts Academy (Bachelor of Arts: Music Theatre) program and was granted an acceptance letter upon graduating year 12 in 2010, commencing her tertiary degree at the beginning of 2011.
In her 3 years at the Arts Academy, Laura performed in “One Hot Australian Summer”, “Sing Happy: a Kander and Ebb scene study”, “A Little Touch of Chaos”, “Parade”, a self-devised cabaret, “Once Upon a…” and “42nd Street” which was a personal highlight.
Post-graduation, Laura moved to Melbourne to immerse herself into all things theatrical and was fortunate enough to land her first professional gig in June of 2014 as part of the Perform Educational Musical’s team, touring “Worlds Apart” to Victorian primary schools. From there she found great joy in freelancing in children’s theatre/entertainment for The Entertainment Store and she booked her first international contract at the beginning of 2015 at Universal Studios Singapore. After 13 months as one of the “Mel’s Dinettes” she returned to her family at Echelon Productions this time touring “Fair Dinkum” around schools in Queensland in August, 2016.
Born in Turin, Italy Laura Lattuada has been working as a professional actress, singer and educator since graduating from The University of Melbourne in 1988. She has worked for Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, The Malthouse, Red Stitch, Belvoir Street Theatre, Griffin Theatre, La Mama, Theatreworks, Melbourne Workers Theatre, La Mama, Doppio Teatro and the Victorian Arts Centre.
Laura has also had extensive experience working in film, television and radio. As a recipient of two Australia Council Grants, she has worked as a performer and translator for two major companies in Italy—Milan and Bologna. In 1996 & ’97 she was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in The Malthouse’s production of “Emma – Celebrazione!”
Laura has completed both her Bachelor of Education and her Masters in Drama in Education, working as a drama lecturer, theatre director and co-writer when not performing.
Artistic Director, Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival
Principal, Newtown Middle Eastern Dance Centre
Teacher, Choreographer, Bellydancer
Leonie Sukan has been dancing and teaching for more than 30 years and is principal of the Newtown Middle Eastern Dance Centre, which she founded in 1991. The Newtown Middle Eastern Dance Centre provides tuition for students of the dance, coaching for professional dancers as well as a certification course in Teachers Training.
A talented choreographer and dynamic performer, Leonie’s choreographies have been performed by troupes from Townsville to Tasmania.
Family ties in Turkey keep her up to date on the latest costumes, music and dance styles.
Leonie has played a crucial role in the development of Middle Eastern Dance in Australia as producer and artistic director of The Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival. The Festival was the first of its kind in Australia and is now in its 24th year. It attracts dancers and audience from all over Australia and overseas and is the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
In 2006, Leonie pioneered the export of Australian Bellydance to Turkey when she was invited by the producers of Turkey’s “Oryental Star” TV show to teach the contestants and perform on the show. Turkey’s premier bellydancer and international superstar Tanyeli, introduced Leonie on the show as ‘one of the best in the world.’
Leonie’s teaching philosophy is based on enjoyment of the dance. She sees the art of Middle Eastern Dance as a celebration of a woman’s body – no matter what shape it is! Leonie’s classes are equally as popular with students who just want to have fun and improve their fitness as they are with those who want to seriously pursue the dance as career.
Leonie trains professional dancers and specialises in drawing out individual talents and style. She is artistic director of her own troupe of dancers “The Fabulous Turkish Delights” who have successful careers as soloists and troupe members and enjoy a varied and engaging performance life.
As well as teaching at her own successful school, Leonie also teaches popular classes at the City Tattersall's Club and Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL. She is also much in demand as a guest teacher at festivals and schools around the country.
Since establishing Grupo de Danza Montun in mid-2011, Leticia Avila has worn the many hats of director, choreographer, musician and dancer with creativity, panache and masterfulness. She founded the predominantly Chilean folkloric group that also could include and respect the regions of South America’s customs, music and cultural identity. It boasts a popular cast of talented and versatile dancers from different European backgrounds such as Sweden, Scotland, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina, handpicked by Leticia herself.
The name Montun is a native Chilean Indian Mapuche term meaning ‘to liberate or to escape’. This philosophy is none more evident in Leticia and her group’s demonstration of the different styles of dances from Chile’s five main regions as well as other South America countries. Through choreography, costuming and interpretative musical choices, she commands flawless technique and expression, age-appropriated conduct and a professional mindfulness for audience entertainment.
Leticia and Grupo de Danza Montun may perform a very broad and fervent repertoire that usually takes into account the preservation of a native language and culture specific to a region, at the same time relishing in delightful storytelling through either traditional or modern South American music and dance and set design. It may range from ‘Traditional Central’, ‘Zona Porteno’ (a modern version of the traditional Cueca, known as ‘La Cueca Brava’), ‘Mapuche Inspired’ (a story of transition and struggle of both the Mapuche people and indigenous people in South America, accompanied by fire pois), to ‘Danzas de Chiloe’ (demonstrating the lifestyle of the people from Chiloe island) and the upcoming ‘Rapa Nui’ which is sung in the original language as well as ‘Chile Now’ showcasing young Chilean artists interpreting traditional music for modern times).
Indeed Leticia is at once fiercely authentic and colourful, carrying a most personal motto when she successfully performs live at cultural festivals and events around NSW to enthusiastic crowds: ‘Dancing from the heart’.
Libbi Swan is a vibrant and energetic performer who graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre. The highlight of her training was performing the role of Cassie Ferguson in A Chorus Line working alongside West End creative’s Cressida Carré (Choreographer) and David Laugharne (Musical Director). Other roles include Rose in “Working”, Socrates and Dance Captain in “Godspell” and Ballet Laurey and Ellen in “Oklahoma”. In 2014 Libbi was a soloist performing songs by Australian composer Matthew Lee Robinson in his Brisbane New Voices concert. She has also performed roles in “Our Turn”, “Con2theCabaret”, “Urinetown” and Harvest Rain’s “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
Born in Brisbane, Libbi’s love for performing began at the age of 2 when she first started ballet classes. Her love for dance and music was nurtured during her 6 years performing with the Ballet Theatre of Queensland. She also performed with the Young Australian Talent Company throughout her school years. Libbi toured South East Queensland with both companies and performed at many corporate and public events. Libbi also developed a passion for song writing, singing and playing with various bands, vocal groups and choirs. Her all-girl band, ‘Sunny June’ was a regular finalist in band battles in Brisbane, most notably finalists in Nova’s “Rock School”. She also holds a degree in Law/Media and Communication.
Lidia Onufrei, born to a large family of 12, has always wanted to stand out above the rest from a young age. An exceptionally tactile, observant, patient, independent and committed professional, she is constantly and intuitively seeking to learn and improve her craft. She has a worldly instinct and advanced understanding for understated yet nuanced technique and how acting is one of the few crafts to be able to inform, convey and engage her audience with quality storytelling, particularly when it comes to certain preconceived notions of race, popular psychology and culture.
Her time in Bollywood India, Jakarta and LA has opened her eyes to the cross-cultural divide and workforce expectations brought by skewed media commentary, word-of-mouth and xenophobic bias. Lidia believes that Australia has yet to truly immerse itself in all aspects of diversity and minorities, while at the same time adopting a long-term view that nothing comes easy and that there is neither instant gratification nor spoiled victory: just pure transparency, generosity and fairness.
As actor, presenter and model, Lidia has become a practitioner of muscle memory and a very good listener to inestimable industry advice. She has starred in shorts “Infinite Sunshine Salad” (2014) and “SOCIO” (2013) for Tropfest; “Someone’s Daughter” (2014) as the lead; found “Christmas Turkey” (2014) and “Cowboy Mouth” (2013) extremely rewarding in theatre, and was thrilled to be involved with Bollywood productions “Mr & Mrs Khan” and the 2013 sellout “Temptation Reloaded” headlining Shah Rukh Khan for Parramasala. Indeed, she has always been empathetic, articulate and eager about bringing the world to Australian shores.
For Lidia, training does not end at drama school, but is a lifelong journey of attractive energy, growth and mastery. She feels fortunate and grateful to be a part of the wonder, brilliance and magic that is this craft, which attracts so many passionate, artistic and driven like-minded mentors, associates and peers. Through acting, she has a lot to say and give.
Lilliane Moffat lives and breathes storytelling. With a BA in Film and Television production and a collection of acting courses from TAFTA, The Hub, SAA and Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Performance under her belt, you could say that she is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to filmmaking.
Lilliane played Jamie in the award-winning short film “The Bunker”, which screened at the Sci-Fi Film Festival at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. The film took out the top prizes, winning 'Best Student Film' and 'Best Script' at the festival.
Lilliane thrives when her characters are being pushed to their limits and so she feels privileged to be given a chance to have a job where she can journey through so many different worlds.
“iCCAM” welcomes a Jamaican national media identity, Lisa Camille to the artist roster. Now resident in Sydney, she has enormous experience in TV, film and theatre in her native Jamaica, as well as North America and London.
Lisa brings rich, vibrant energy from her famous island-home to Australia. With features that speak of consummation, grace and equanimity, she has a stunning smile only rivaled by her notoriously full laugh and welcoming warmth that draws people in. Lisa has been featured on a billboard campaign for a major clothing retailer, an album cover for Damian Marley and in several commercials and music videos. She has long channeled her powerful presence into dance such as traditional styles of salsa, Jamaican dancehall, reggae and Afro-Caribbean. Her career highlights have included performing at major concerts for top reggae artists as well as being a member of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica.
Although modeling, acting, dance and singing is under her command, Lisa’s true potency erupts as a presenter. Exceptionally professional and spontaneously sharp on her feet, it is no wonder that she began her career as a VJ (MTV lingo for TV host) on Reggae Entertainment Television. She has gone on to gain popularity with her YouTube channel, building a loyal and niche audience, and is now gaining repute as a public speaker.
An all-round performer with an overall hospitable personality and a fit and flexible regime, Lisa makes you feel at ease when she walks into a room. Even more so her articulacy and engaging confidence make her ideal for modelling, dancing, acting, presenting and public speaking roles.
A lifelong passion for acting and the arts was ignited when Louise’s father took her for a trip to see the classic musical “The Phantom of the Opera” as a child. She is an actor with 14 years of experience spanning across theatre, film and television. In 2011, she completed a Bachelor of Dramatic Art at Sydney’s Excelsia College majoring in performance and also attained a Diploma of Theatre Performance from Sydney Theatre School.
Louise is trained in various techniques for stage & screen including: Stanislavski, Meisner, Alexander, Laban, Greek Theatre, Commedia Dell’Arte, Clowning, Shakespeare, Voice (Cicely Berry), Viewpoints and Suzuki.
Her passion for acting has been fueled by her motto that determination plus hard work and perseverance equals success.
Known for her versatility, emotional depth and breadth in playing a variety of roles, Louise’s passion for acting is underpinned by her belief that it is one of the most beautiful crafts to ever underpin human nature as well as a powerful social construct that attempts to make sense of the world.
‘We can see our stories played out on stage or screen and it’s powerful enough to change us. Apart from entertainment, the unique art form holds up a mirror to our humanity be it ugly, interesting, horrific, exciting, vivid, disturbing, moral or crazy. It tells us the truth about our history, present and can teach us perhaps, how to make more informed choices for our future. Through the exploration of human behavior, we are forced to look at ourselves and ask questions. We see what makes us tick and connects us.
Louise’s philosophy is simple: ‘Never give up and live life to the absolute full, enjoy every moment because you never know when it all can change or all you have is taken away!’
Meet Australia’s very own Von Trapp family—naturally taught at home!
Lucca B. has a powerful and tuneful voice, and seems to have picked up the skills of his sisters, Cassidy and Alexis Bonnor. He made the last round of auditions for the recent Australian Tour of “Les Miserables” for the role of Gavroche. His sister Cassidy was cast as young Eponine, so he is not too far behind in the footsteps!
A polished cut of a personality above the pack, he has danced steadily for the last few years as part of his committed but fun theatre training. He also takes his instructors seriously and is an enthusiastic, confident participant in all performing arts opportunities, no matter how big or small.
Like his other brothers and sisters, Arden B. is a budding performer who is keen to stand out from the organised chaos of home, having already taken dance lessons for two years. He also has a tuneful and strong voice, which continues to improve in leaps and bounds thanks to his ability to listen, adjust and take direction well.
While Arden looks up to his older siblings, he will emerge as a trailblazer in his own right. Overall, both the boys and their sisters are a stronger and formidable force on stage, not a step out of tune—they definitely like to make a lasting, delightful impression on the audiences, letting their talents swing in rhythm and ring out for themselves!
Most of all, under their supportive and gently encouraging parents, these Bonnor individuals know that they were born to do what they love: ‘If it feels good and if it makes people happy, do it!’
Lucky Lartey (aka Patrick) is one of Australia’s most dynamic West African performers and is well known for his versatile and high-energy dance style. Since March 2011 Lucky has taken with him this sense of African culture to Australia, wowing audiences and inspiring dance students ever since with his traditional West African Dance, Afro Contemporary and fusion choreography.
As an accomplished and kinetic African dancer in Ghana and Australia, he has more than 15 years of training in Traditional African dance, Afro Contemporary, salsa and gumboot dancing. Lucky brings visually charged sensibilities – togetherness and unity – into his performances with countless dance and music groups from Ghana and other regions, with plenty of stamina and resilience to spare.
Lucky is a sought-after choreographer having created a number of contemporary African dance routines for Ghanaian dance ensembles including the Salaka Ensemble, Susuma and Riclils Entertainment. His knowledge of dance incorporates routines from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa and other parts of Africa, which are all as daringly different as one another
Primarily, “Unique Afro” is Lucky’s Ghana-based group. Throughout 2010, he developed a number of choreographies for Unique Afro to perform on the Ghanaian reality TV show “Boogie Down” (Ghana’s version of “So You Think You Can Dance”) as guest performers for the whole season.
Whilst Lucky’s skill-set may be fun, carefree and vibrant with an emphasis on exercise and holistic health, it also attaches a humanitarian and historical edge, which is a commentary on war, cultural tolerance, displacement and healing. In 2012 he mentored young Africans aged 10-20 in the Sydney-based “Dancing in Harmony Project”. A community development initiative of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), the project brings together these Africans from refugee backgrounds to train in Traditional African and Afro Contemporary dance.
Lucky founded “Lucky African Dance” in May 2011, quickly becoming the leading tour-de-force teacher in both traditional and contemporary African dance and fusion styles to students of all ages and abilities across Sydney and Australia. His ambition is to bring people together, creating understanding across all cultures by sharing the beauty and natural power of African music, percussion and dance.
In short, he mimics and channels the daily life, customs, animalism and natural phenomena of African people. Therefore his philosophy is simple but passionate: dance with feeling and connect to the beauty and spirit of African dance.
Indeed, Lucky is living up to his namesake that he’s been stuck with since birth.
Lucy Clough has been pursuing a career in musical theatre since 2008. She was the first 17 year old to be accepted into the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre course and was the first student to receive the newly named Bachelor of Musical Theatre (BMT). During her whirlwind, bright-eyed time at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (QCM), she has performed lead/featured roles of the Witch in “Into the Woods”; Julie Jordan in “Carousel”; Dionne in “Hair”; Sarah/Bella in “The Wishing Well” and Jane in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”.
Mentors at university include Dr. Jessica O’Bryan, Megan Shorey, Kate Wilson, Melissa Agnew, Helena Moore and Paul Sabey. While studying, Lucy was a soloist at the QPAC American Music Club, the annual QCGU City Hall Recital and the Queensland Tourism Awards. Outside of campus, further credits have included originating the role of Belijtgen in Matthew Samer’s “Hell and High Water” and most recently Go to Hell Kitty in “CHICAGO”.
Lucy has also attended master classes with Larry Moss, Elizabeth Kemp, Neil Rutherford, Leontine Hass, John Bucchino and Matthew Robinson, all of which have indisputably inspired her to practice her craft on a daily basis.
An accomplished pianist, she has completed AMEB and ANZCA exams and was awarded honours. At 17 years of age, she reached a CMus in contemporary piano performance and Grade 5 in Music Theory. In turn, she regularly conducts musical theatre and mock audition workshops for aspiring performers, teaching music/drama classes as well as private singing and piano lessons.
Luke Hodgson has had a love for the arts for as long as he can remember. After being introduced to the Gene Kelly musical “Singin’ in the Rain” by his grandmother at the age of 8, his passion for singing, acting and dancing blossomed and it was then off to private lessons to hone his craft and give life to this showman’s spirit.
A graduate of the Talent Development Project in Sydney, he was accepted as one of the first cohorts of the Musical Theatre program at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (QCM) under Paul Sabey’s guidance in 2011. He credits this program as being one of the most wonderful and rewarding experiences of his life. He found it to be dreamy collaboration with some of the most prestigious performers and teachers in the country.
During his time at university he was cast as a lead in every production, some of which included “Summer of the Aliens” (dir: Sue Rider); “Fiddler on the Roof” (dir: Brendan Ross); “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens“ (dir: Kate Foy) and “Miss Saigon” (dir: Michelle Miall).
Upon graduation Luke was privileged to work on “Hell and High Water”, a new Australian musical about the cutthroat journey of the ship, Batavia and the people aboard. He relished the opportunity to develop and interpret the villainous character Cornelisz as his own. After that Luke travelled to Singapore with the Australian company Pen2Stage to eponymously sing, dance and act as Santa in the pantomiming show “Santa’s Magical Toyshop”. It was a fulfilling experience for him to be able to don such an iconic red hat and bring joy to the children and their families. Seeing their faces light up with excitement was a reward in itself.
As a classically trained singer, he also loves to perform in big band and jazz styles, gaining inspiration from the greats: Bobby Darin, Mel Torme, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. In the future Luke hopes to continue his journey in the performing arts and never stop growing as a performer, entertainer and artist.
At the age of 3, Mackenzie Pinder started developing her dance skills in Ballet, Tap and Jazz. After completing her Tap and Jazz CSTD exams she began teaching all levels of these genres. Since a young age she has had singing lessons and sung in school choirs. In 2008, she began involved in the arts department at her high school studying music, dance and drama.
Mackenzie performed in Creative Generations State Schools on stage for 3 years as a featured dancer and featured actor with Zen Zen Zo’s Physical Theatre Company. She then performed in Zen Zen Zo's teaching and events team at various functions across Brisbane including Brisbane's Matilda Awards as part of a tribute to actor Billie Brown.
Mackenzie also performed in their production of “Medea: The River Runs Backwards” in 2013. At Federation University she has performed in “Vincent: An A Capella Opera”, “The Pajama Game”, Pugsley in “The Addams Family” and Cinderella’s Mother in “Into The Woods”.
Margarita Smirnova (or Tyshchenko) was born in a small village near Yekaterinburg, Russia. Whilst she studied acting and music, she worked on a boxing ring as a presenter in her hometown, as well as performed in a club as a professional background dancer with local pop singers.
Margarita immigrated with family to Australia in 2003, where she subsequently settled in and learnt to fence with coach Frank Bartolillo, a famous Australian competitor of the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. On the acting ladder, she appeared as an extra on the long-running soap opera "Home and Away" in 2015, a period drama miniseries set in an inner-city maternity ward "Love Child" and a Qantas advertising project.
In the same year, Margarita went to acting school at Darlo Drama and graduated on two levels with teachers/actresses Deborah Jones and Amanda Stephens-Lee. At the end of each course, she performed in theatre with a monologue and a standout scene.
With great relish for learning and the view of continual improvement, Margarita is on course as a faithful, restlessly determined and long-form performer!
Based in Melbourne, Maria P. Afanador is a Colombian-born actress. She started studying performing arts in 2007 at the Charlot Academy, and continued on at the National Theater Housein Bogotá, Colombia. She played Bella in “Beauty and the Beast” for a year at that venue. She graduated in 2013 and travelled, before settling down in Australia by November of the same year.
Maria has worked in plays such as “44 Minutes to Recover Love”, “The Trojan Women”, “The Real Inspector Hound” among others. In the meantime, several of her distinguished professors had encouraged her passion for theatre and film through twice-weekly scene study courses. She has also worked on renowned Columbian television like “Also Mom” (Telest), “Popland” (MTV), “Infiltrados” (the Latin American version of “The Departed” by Caracol TV) and short films like “Belle & Sebastian”, “Heads & Tails”, “The Street” and “Victoria Klaus”.
Maria has also a professional model now for over 5 years, having gained significant and progressive experience in international fashion shows, photo shoots and commercials. Some of the highlighting contracts were for Lacoste, Virgin Mobile and appearing in high profile international fashion shows such as Colombia Moda and Bogota Fashion Week.
Since arriving in Melbourne, Maria resumed training and has performed with the Spanish Theatre Company presenting “Erotica Alleluia” (an adaptation of the play by Federico Garcia Lorca). At Bridge Latin Theatre, she performed “Women on the Verge” as the Woman Alone (from the 8 Monologues by Dario Fo) and as Lucrecia Borgia on “The Mask of Beauty”, both productions presented at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne.
Keen to act around the globe for the rest of her life, Maria is a chameleonic, symbolic, romantic thespian alternating between a fresh, cheerful, glamourous, liberal Latino and a forbidding, torrid, dark streak.
Born of two distinct disciplines in both screen and stage, aspiring and passionately intrepid actor Marina Ivanovic has struggled with her look due to her Serbian heritage. However, iCCAM’s values and diverse industry-led approach have resonated with her.
Marina attained an Advanced Diploma of Theatre and Screen Performance at Sydney Theatre School, which involved devising contemporary and Shakespearean performances. These experiences have pushed her to develop her skills in acting, voice and movement.
Similarly, from NIDA and Screenwise acting courses respectively Marina was able to learn and refine skills in screen performance by working closely with a variety of exemplary professionals. She continues to be active in her pursuit of student and short films, with the aim to break into a larger-scale production. Having been an extra the Home and Away and First Dates set, she had been able to further work and observe acting in the professional context.
Marina is currently co-hosting a radio show The Madhouse on 100.1fm, where she has had great opportunities in interviewing, hosting and discussing pop culture. One of the highlights of this experience was interviewing Australia’s current talent in the music industry at the Arias on the red carpet.
Marina is excited and determined to not only strengthen herself but also hopeful in changing the rules of the game in this entertainment industry.
Originally from Western Australia Mark began his BA at Federation University after completing his Cert II (Musical Theatre) at WAAPA in 2013. During his time at the Arts Academy he has been delighted to appear in “Into The Woods” (Rapunzel’s Prince), “Vincent: An A Capella Opera” (Vincent van Gogh) and appearing in the ensemble for “The Addams Family” and “The Pajama Game”. Mark also had the opportunity to write and appear in his original cabaret “Gossip Makes the Town Go Round”, with seasons in both Melbourne and Ballarat, as well as participating in master classes with Natalie Gamsu (2016) and Australian theatre veteran Nancy Hayes OAM (2015).
Marlaina Curtis (M.A., B.A., Honours, Cert Ad Tchg Dip.) boasts over twenty years’ unparalleled experience in TV, film, theatre, the arts and major advertising poster campaigns worldwide with a larger-than-life personality and voice to match. She holds an exceptionally positive attitude to life, which usually reflects what she has managed to achieve in her life. She is the eponymous host of a cooking/fashion hybrid show Marlaina’s Kitchen’s “Food in a Flash” for TV Prime, New Zealand, which aired for six weeks in 2013. On the back of a successful reception, she is selling the concept into other markets while working on the second series.
But that’s not all: she has written, produced and directed children's programs, a youth-orientated chat show “Teen Talk” as well as a quiz program for family. Marlaina backs up her brains and an imaginative, editorial flair with a diploma in novel writing, certificate in creative writing, two of her theses for her degrees, a Woman's Day write up and various magazines for the UK and South African markets. She has choreographed musicals, dance and fashion shows and has been a teacher in modeling, theatrical productions and numerous, evolving dance styles. She has given lectures and vital talks on cross cultural identity, black history and visual arts.
Due to Marlaina’s impeccable taste for styling and makeup artistry, she has demonstrated to her friends in how to make the best of their wardrobe. No wonder, she was named as the best-dressed person in the region of Christchurch and wrote an information pack for perusal, titled: “How to Dress to Impress”.
Marlaina has won dancing many competitions in freestyle, contemporary and Ceroc (a fusion of Salsa and Jive, also known as Modern Jive), exceling in improvisation. She also happens to be a WCOPA (World Championship of Performing Arts) USA 2011 medallist in four gold and two silver, as well as bagging two overall champion plagues. She was voted as Best Catwalk Model in the UK. She was recently a guest on the web show “Thestylish” and won a beautifully shameless ring for the most embarrassing story (which won’t bear repeating on here). She has curated her own exhibitions, some of which received a European tour for her efforts.
They all reflect Marlaina’s very direct approach to life and her love of living it to the fullest. Her motto is to take life by the horns and enjoy the ride. As the mother of three, however, her greatest success is that she has set a brilliant and unstoppable example for her children to follow—and for anyone else in this life.
While Martin Astifo’s ethnic background is Syrian/Iraqi, he was born and raised in Australia. As someone who has come from both war-torn countries, he appreciates the breathtaking level of sacrifice and arduousness that his family had to endure to journey to Australia and other European countries in search for that ubiquitous ‘better life’.
Martin has studied full time acting/theatre making for 4 years. He trained for 1 year at Swinburne University before achieving a further 3 years at the National Theatre Drama School in St. Kilda.
His career highlight was performing John Proctor in Arthur Miller's classic “The Crucible”. Such beautiful writing, beguiling new worlds and character values resonated with him in a way that he felt he was truly embodying the role.
Martin’s big goals in this industry are to create and impact a future of non-discrimination and colour-blind casting. He hopes to tell his story and other stories in the form of web series that revolve around those themes so as to develop a deeper audience understanding of different backgrounds.
In other words, he wants to set an example and be a trailblazer for those who may otherwise struggle to get a leg up on the mainstream ladder. He already taken steps by becoming involved with the MEAA diverse equity to help shape this country as a more inclusive society with more diverse actors playing roles on the same peer level as that of an Anglo’s.
Martin is proficient in martial arts such as kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu, which makes him a dangerous opponent to cross. He enthusiastically applies this same approach to all kinds of sports as well.
Mathias Olofsson is a Sydney based actor with international training and work experience in the areas of film and theatre. Currently, he is collaborating and performing with Hurrah Hurrah Co in their latest show “Trade” which received great reviews at The Bakehouse Theatre at Adelaide Fringe Festival in Feb/Mar. It will also be performed at Old 505 Theatre 4th-15th April.
He has previously performed at Sydney Opera House in their latest program Creative Play, worked alongside director Sarah Vickery and composer Maria Alfonsine in their interactive performance art project “Babelism: Love & Memory”, which was performed at Metanoia Theatre at The Mechanic's Institute as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival in September 2016. He starred together with Alicia González in the installation “Lemon Tree” at blank_space Gallery, Surry Hills, and in Archway1 Theatre Company's production of Jean-Paul Sartre's “No Exit”. Short film credits include “Old World” and “Abyss”, directed by Jermaine Yuen. The latter gave Mathias a nomination for Outstanding Performance in the 23rd Sydney Film School Festival screening at the Chauvel Cinema 2015.
2015/2016 also included work with Opera Australia in “The Eighth Wonder”, “Cosi Fan Tutte”, “Turandot” and Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour's “Aida”, as well as “Sound Of Music” at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney.
Mathias graduated from Wendelsberg's Theatre and Drama School in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2012 and has since honed his skills through Acting Techniques at NIDA, Michael Chekhov Technique with Natela Dzuliashvili, The Showreel Course at Screenwise and Contemporary Bouffon Workshop with Jo Turner.
Originally from Wagga Wagga, Matt Barron feels privileged to have trained with such a passionate and talented group of performers at the Federation University Arts Academy. He has been acting from an early age and fell in love with singing during his teenage years.
His highlights at the Arts Academy have included “Vincent – An A Capella Opera” (George Seurat), “The Pajama Game” (Ensemble), “The Addams Family” (WW1 Soldier), “Into the Woods” (The Steward) and his own self-devised cabaret “First Impressions”.
Matt has also performed his cabaret at the Melbourne Short+Sweet Festival 2016/2017 where he won the prize for Best Male Cabaret Performer. His experience in working with the Short+Sweet team as well as being directed by the respective hands of both Fiona Scott-Norman and Rainer Pollard has made him very keen to extend his cabaret and write more of his own works.
Matt has also recently performed with the Australian Army Band (Kapooka). His time at Federation University has given him a new perception of the theatrical world that he is keen to immerse himself in.
Matuse is an up-and-coming international actor, musician and surrealist artist. Impactful from the beginning, he won Best Male Actor for his inaugural acting role in the award-winning short film “Between The Flags” for one of the world's largest short film festivals Tropfest, in 2007.
During 2009, Matuse featured in the cinematic release of the feature film “Cedar Boys”, playing the character of Hamdi. He also contributed to the soundtrack with three original songs making the final credits. This led to securing a highly coveted supporting role in the hugely successful Australian primetime television series "Underbelly: The Golden Mile" in 2010, playing the role of Shaka, a dangerous but charismatic gun for hire and drug dealer.
Matuse successfully ventured into theatre and was signed by renowned STC (Sydney Theatre Company) for the leading role in the STC produced play 'The Other Way” in 2013 following the success of the first run of the original show in 2012.
During 2014 Matuse released his debut album 'Third Eye King', and toured alongside his DJ. In 2015 saw him furthering his theatrical portfolio both in New York (“Cherish Every Moment”) & Sydney (“RED”). This led him to tour as part of the major live production “Clusters Of Light”, playing sold-out shows to royalty in Dubai and presidents in Egypt, as well as being screened on mainstream channels across the Middle East.
Matuse spent 2016 setting up an independent production house, alongside upcoming director Al Mayahi, with two short films “Wallpaper” and “4:19” for planned release mid and late 2017.
Matuse has also expanded his craft into surrealist paintings and drawings and is set to debut his exhibit both in Sydney & New York late 2017. Through the talents in multiple areas of artistry, he continues to transcend stereotypes and blur the lines of expectations of a modern day artist.
Melanie Araya is an actress well described for her confidence, quirky character, indistinguishable looks and barefaced passion. She has played a variety of roles ranging from naive, curious interns to awkwardly outgoing call girls. Her personal favourite roles involve anything extreme, from suspenseful thrillers with an unexpected outcome, to situational comedies that spiral out of control.
Melanie began her on-stage endeavours at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT), which inevitably hooked her into production roles for both theatre and film. Whilst attending her final years in high school, she also completed a certificate in Technical Theatre at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).
Upon graduating high school, Melanie co-founded and produced Mon Sans Productions from 2012 to 2014. Mon Sans Productions chartered itself as a youth theatre company devising works for and by young emerging artists. Melanie’s determination to engage within the industry extended to providing similar opportunities for other artists. Throughout 2014, she delved into filmmaking and graduated that year with a Diploma of Screen and Media from Metro Screen. Melanie interned at the Australian Theatre for Young People where she tapped into development and business of arts funding, administration, liaison, crowd funding, logistics, sponsorship and events management.
After resigning from Mon Sans Productions in late 2014, Melanie’s focus changed to solely branching out her performance skills and projects into other areas. Working as a production assistant on “Burlesque Idol” and “Noir Revue” (2014) had inspired Melanie to take up contemporary and pole dancing, which she first began while studying for her HSC. Her passion for retro, vintage and pin up eras lead her to be daring, adventurous and excitingly burlesque. With a founding love for traditional and conventional dance forms, she loves being the sensuality and cheekiness that are innate in the practice of pole dancing.
Melanie’s energetic persona is reflected within the truisms of everyday life, while being hell bent on flexible acting. Mostly known for her oddball and ‘no filtered’ way of being, Melanie goes for things that tend to be both headstrong and challenging. She is particularly drawn to stories of persistence, failure and absurdity.
Melinda Nassif was born in Sydney, Australia and comes from a Lebanese background, growing up in the North/West of Sydney. Having worked in the TV and Entertainment Industry for over 10 years in various roles, she has established a great understanding of the industry professionally.
As an actress, Melinda has a depth and understanding of what it takes to transform into character. Her naturalism as well as technique always brings a captivating performance. With her interest in dramatising social and cultural awareness to the audience, she has performed in theatre productions co-staring with Mamdouh Habib, (Egyptian/Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner) in “Waiting for Mamdouh” and “661: Mamdouh Habib” performed at the NIDA Parade Theatre and at the Bakehouse Theatre for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Other credits include Greek/Australian play directed by Tony Nikolakopoulos “Baraki” at the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Melinda trained at the Sydney Theatre School completing the three year full-time Advanced Diploma in Arts (Acting). She also has previously studied in the Meisner technique and attended various screen test workshops.
Her love of performing has also led Melinda to the band The Mezcaltones, which perform Tex-Mex Tarantino-esque music. She dances, plays percussion instruments and is a backup vocalist. They perform in the Northern Beaches and Inner West at various venues and have played at the Narrabeen Lakes Festival. They have recently been invited to play again at the 2017 Tamworth Music Festival in January. You can visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheMezcaltones or website: www.the-mezcaltones.com
Melinda also has a passion for movement dance and teaches Nia, which is a holistic practice, incorporating the joy of movement within healing arts, dance arts and martial arts. She currently is a Nia Blue Belt & Nia 5 Stages Instructor.
Born in Paris, Melissa Barbe was inspired by the economically intellectual and geopolitical sensibilities of the climate having obtained a Master’s Degree in Business/Commerce & International Affairs. Upon graduation, she worked as a communication assistant in social network management and press relations for Campagnes TV.
Since coming to Australia in 2014 however, Melissa struck passion gold with acting and modeling in Sydney. On a friend’s introduction, she gradually participated in a few photographic shoots, which she found very rewarding and emblematic of her burgeoning creativity in front of the camera.
On the other hand, Melissa’s experience in high-calibre hospitality (Hotel Edward Seven, Paris; Croquembouche Patisserire, Randwick and Fruiticilicous, Bondi respectively), taste for travel, adventure movies and novels has provided her with invaluable skills in the art of communication – an asset that feeds her on-set acting!
Michael is a producer, actor and performance maker. As an actor he has worked with Sydney Theatre Company, American Repertory Theatre (Boston), SITI Company (New York), master clown Philippe Gaulier (Berlin), Baz Luhrmann, Taylor Mac (NYC), Kate Gaul and Australian Theatre for Young People. With assistance from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Michael was Programming Associate for Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival (2013) in New York City as well as performing with Taylor Mac and the Tony Award Winning American Repertory Theater in Boston.
As a Producer Michael has toured shows to festivals around Australia and of course internationally. He programmed ATYP's Under the Wharf forums and has been involved with ATYP’s Young Artist Program and World Interplay (2009). He is also the founding Chair of Sydney Theatre Company's Youth Advisory Panel (STC YAP), providing theatregoing experiences for those under 30. Overall he is an active member of both the Australian and international performing arts scene; at present he is working with autistic youth and their families to create an interactive environment for a 2016/2017 Festival Season.
Together Creative Producer Michael Cutrupi and Associate Producer Skye Kunstelj have launched the producing service Fat Boy Dancing, as a platform to connect local and international theatre makers to create engaging, innovative and fresh experiences for their audiences, with a specific focus on ongoing local and international collaboration.
Michelle Mary Schaefer hails from the United States where she has been performing (dance & music) since the age of 4. Born and raised in Maryland, she began her career as an actress at the age of 12, graduating from community theatre to children’s theatre, dinner theatre, college theatre and of course, professional theatre. She is Deaf but never allows her Deafness to prevent her from obtaining roles in which she is known for her amazing job in bringing her characters to life. She is of the view that her life is a book… And an open one!
In all of her productions, Michelle Mary has the ability to communicate her characters’ dialogue either in American Sign Language (ASL) of which she is fluent in, to speak the lines or even signing and speaking at the same time depending upon that character’s circumstances and the director’s preferences.
Although Michelle Mary had several disappointments including a 4-5 year sojourn from showbiz due to being told that she wasn’t ‘deaf enough’ for a prior role of “Children of a Lesser God” (ironically, she often got mistaken for hearing!), fortunately, she came back with a vengeance! She subsequently starred in Mark Medoff’s “Children of a Lesser God” as the lead Sarah Norman several times and loved it even more than the last. She got many positive reviews including a Best Actress of the Year by Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC Essex). ‘The female lead is very powerful and remarkable which is better than the film version,’ a local reviewer notes.
Acting has always been Michelle Mary’s passion and in fact it was Marlee Matlin in the 1986 film that would create an indelible impression on her. Bitten hard by the acting bug at an innocuous age of 4, she announced to her parents that she wanted to grow up to act like her (who by the way, went to win a Best Actress Oscar!)
Indeed, being spurred on by positive role models representing the deaf community and more so by those who thought that it might be a ‘phase’, this has also emboldened Michelle Mary to invert gender casting conventions. In this case she lobbied—and beat out other deaf male actors—for the coveted part of Billy in Nina Raine’s “Tribes”. This makes her the first and only female deaf actress ever to play the traditionally male role of Billy, which often has landed the audience in disbelief. ‘Schaefer does the character of Billy justice even though she’s a female playing a boy’s role,’ director Macey Mott, who was blown away by her, remarks.
Michelle Mary looks forward to more theatrical, film and television projects on the upcoming slate to challenge as ever her acting ability that can make her characters as utterly inhabitable as the person standing next to you. In her spare time, she develops feature-length films, of which she hopes to produce, film and star in!
Of her showpiece turn in Tribes and beyond, Michelle Mary says: ‘I never thought I could but it did surprise me. [It] made me proud! [It] made me realized I can do anything— why limit or hold myself back?’
Growing up in Ballarat, Molly Fisher has always been surrounded by theatre. Her credits whilst studying at Federation University included “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Miss Florence Gill/ Royale Dancer), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Miss Dorothy Brown), directed by Nancye Hayes in “Riches, Romance and Rebellion” (Jane Martin), “Urinetown” (Soupy Sue), Smash Hit (Julie), as well as writing and performing her self-devised cabaret “Going Overboard”.
Molly performed in “Anonymous”, written by Rachel Powis, showcased in collaboration with the La Mama Mobile Season. She has studied voice with Constance Coward-Lemke for the past 8 years and recently completed her 8th grade AMEB classical singing exam. Most recently, she traveled the country playing the role of Lucy in Life Like Touring’s Australian production of “Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom – Live on Stage”.
Molyka Bin worked in the “Loy9” production team between 2011and 2013 as TV Assistant Producer. “Loy9” was the name of a multimedia project implemented by BBC Media Action (an international development charity) and funded by UNDP and Sweden. She worked closely with the TV Producers, Directors and Head of TV to produce TV outputs (drama, magazine, events, public service announcements, promos, web content and reportage). She helped to successfully spearhead an entertaining and inspiring mass media campaign on TV, radio, online and print, that any young Cambodian could take a part in. Her project used those outputs to provide civic education and community service activities to young people in a hometown as rustic, endurable and spiritually rich as hers.
Molyka’s duties included generating concepts, developing scripts, filming and editing, budgeting and planning. She provided creative, technical and logistical support at all stages of production and performed as cameraperson, sound operator, production manager and editor. In addition, she translated scripts and relevant documents in both Khmer and English, and provided advice and insight on topical matters pertaining to Cambodian youth lifestyle, camaraderie, attitudes and behavior as well as sociopolitical issues.
Molyka used highly organisational and in-depth capacity in research, feature news reporting, scriptwriting and interviewing to produce “Recaptured”, “It Burned Me”, “Disaster Risk Reduction” and “Landmine Victims” about acid attacks, Khmer Rouge and landmine dangers. She worked with an independent researcher to find and analyse information, translate languages and to engage Khmer Rouge soldiers with the project. She received many laudits for her efforts.
Overall, Molyka was responsible for maintaining the team spirit and liaising with third party vendors, production companies, individuals, actors and contributors so as to change the ‘mediascape’ of her country. Now, with an eye on the bigger picture, she hopes to convert her time-honoured and team-orientated vision towards acting
Monroe Reimers is a seasoned actor, voiceover artist, teacher, newsreader and screenwriter who can quietly boast over thirty years of experience in the performance industry, going back to his 1979 feature film debut on “Hoodwink”, which was nominated eight times by the AFI Awards. As a NIDA graduate who has a pragmatic view on the three decades-long growth of the industry that he loves, his ambiguously portrayed ethnicity (whether it be Indian, Polynesian, Southern European, Hispanic or even Eurasian) often took a backseat to the authoritative yet gentle veracity of his talent. In fact, he has often played a doctor throughout his career.
Monroe takes a similar grip on the adventurous, semi-biographical, coming-of-age element in “Race the Sun” (1995) sharing the same space as Halle Berry, James Belushi, a young Eliza Dushku and Casey Affleck. He also has acted opposite local luminaries the likes of Jack Thompson, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Judy Davis and Michael Caton. Based on J. M Coetzee’s novel, Monroe’s latest feature “Disgrace” (2008) was a significant sociopolitical piece on racism, rape and cavalier abuse of authority in post-apartheid South Africa with John Malkovich. He was on the right side of the law in “Better Man” (2013), integral to the outcome in the real-life case of Van Nguyen’s crime as a drug mule in Singapore. At times, he’ll go for more lighthearted fare, such as popular children’s TV series “Spellbinder”, “Time Trax” and “The Girl From Tomorrow” in the early to mid-90’s.
He also has brought his firm, savvy, dexterous and glossy gifts into theatre, notably having worked with Melbourne Theatre Company and NIDA. Indeed when you look at his works, this Sri Lankan-born Australian finds value in the ingenious, histrionic collaboration and zeitgeist-like filmmaking that is arguably ahead of the times.
As teacher, Monroe also has been able to pass his hard-won lessons onto actors of all levels, as well as those in the corporate and migrant world. Fifteen years as a Radio 2RPH and ABC Radio National newsreader has enabled him to specialise in developing voice and speech in the workplace and speaking English with a neutral accent, all the while never losing sight of ethnic self-identity.
Moreblessing Maturure has thrived on the creative energy of performance from a very young age. With a plethora of accents, languages, and musical skills under her belt, Moreblessing aims to further explore the arts world while creating greater opportunities for other Artists of Colour.
Alongside her studies in psychology and business management, Moreblessing has committed herself conscientiously to projects she passionately believes in. She has participated in separate play developments with Candy Bowers, Emele Uguvale and Playwriting Australia for new Australian works that will reach new audiences. She begins 2017 as the Creative Director of FOLK Magazine, a platform dedicated to showcasing Artists of Colour and their work while writing and developing new plays; including the next Mongrel Mouth show set to premiere in mid 2017. She has worked with this company extensively over the last 3 years as a performer and writer, including playing the lead role of Bette the Bee in “The Bee and the Tree” (2016). Her next performance role will be in She Said Theatre and Sport for Jove’s production of “Fallen” a new Australian Epic by Seanna Van Helten.
Moreblessing’s past work includes ATYP’s VOICES PROJECT of 2016, the new Australian play “Fallout” by Lauren Pearce and sell-out seasons at the New Theatre in “The School for Scandal”, “Money and Friends” (The Theatre on Chester), “The Producers” (Rockdale Musical Society), “Twelfth Night” (UNSW NUTS), and “Fame: The Musical”. Furthermore, Moreblessing has procured some on-screen success in Television Series “Deadly Women”; music videos like Julia Why?’s “Just One Night”; short films “The Last Men”, “Searching for Babel”, “Packed Lunch”, “Undefined Black Beauty”; web series: “On Patrol” and government initiative videos including “Young People’s Rights” and various ACYP initiatives such as “Count Me In” and “Seen and Heard”.
Natascia Berardi is a young Italian-born dancer, choreographer, instructor and actor who graduated in 2008 from Academy Stresa in Italy with commendable coursework in dance, acting, and theatre studies. Since then she has lent her talents as visual merchandiser, dancer, choreographer and producer to houses of “Versace” and “Guess” in Milan. For those events, she excelled in customer ‘meet ‘n’ greet’ service.
Since arriving in Australia and living in the most celebrated beach-side town of Bondi, Natascia has steadily been supplanting her skill set, featuring in fashion shows, various event promotions, presentations and performances in Sydney. Having previously graduated with high distinctions in architecture and décor from State Institute of Art in Italy, she has sculpted an overall sophisticated and trendy worldview into her art.
Natascia is an accomplished personal instructor with several years of experience in the fitness industry. Having worked as a professional dancer for most of her life, she is highly motivated and has first class experience in performing and teaching people of all ages and competency levels, from young beginners (around the age of five) to more professional dancers a variety of styles include hip-hop, modern jazz, ballet, drum dance, contemporary, lyrical and others. She posses a unique understanding of different strength and conditioning techniques, with a proven ability to develop and implement advanced training methods and programs.
Natascia is a hardworking, passionate and respected teacher of young children. As a leader of creative teams, fitness studios and acrobatic troupes, she possesses great people skills coupled with an eagerness and literal flexibility to adapt to any job. She lists the following traits as uncomplicatedly definitive of her magnum opus: attentive, motivated, reliable, organised, inspiring, honest, energetic and with a good, unaffected attitude.
Overall, she is looking to further develop her fitness, health and choreographic portfolio in not only helping people meet their personal goals and achieve general well being but also in the entertainment industry in any field.
Australian-born with entertainment in his genes, Nicholas Allan Li has been educated in some of the world-class institutions with the best teachers. He graduated Newton High School of the Performing Arts (NICA) in 2010, before studying full-time ballet at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy. There, he performed with Sydney City Youth Ballet for 2 acclaimed seasons.
After finishing his studies, Nicholas was accepted Into the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA), excelling in Contemporary dance. He soon received a contract to work on a larger scale for Disney’s “The Lion King” as Ensemble, which became a highlight of his career. Following the national tour, he joined Celebrity Cruises liner as a production dancer/aerialist performing on board the Equinox.
Nicholas’s credits include performing for “So You Think You Can Dance Australia”, Bangkok’s “New Year’s Eve White Party” and “Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras” After-party respectively. Thriving on the audience’s palpable, organic energy, he has developed essential people skills in tandem.
Nicholas’s personality is every inch as colourful, honed, zesty, confident, bubbly and precise as the gliding artistry and showstopping worldliness of his body-strengthening movements. However first and foremost a dancer, he has been known to belt out a tune, which works best in a group, and can play flute or piccolo competently. He is also keen to branch out into acting.
Nicholas Foustellis is a graduate of AADA, having completed B.A. Performance in 2012. Michel’s Patisserie sponsored him to be an on-air spokesperson and barista for the Channel 7 breakfast flagship program “Sunrise where celebrity guests like Guy Pearce, the Wayan Brothers and of course the Sunrise team got to taste his amazing coffee. He was chosen for being able to marry hospitality and spruiking with an amusing flair for showmanship with the Milk Cow mascot! Despite being contracted for 12 months, people sometimes still spot him on the streets!
While Nicholas is happily grounded, fairly traditional and modest, his sweeping, lustrous mane would give the romance novel cover model Fabio Lanzoni a run for his money! He tends to attract outlandish and philosophical to straightforward and fresh roles in AADA’s productions like “The Tempest” (2012) and “The Skriker” (2011) as well as informative voice-overs for Eastside Radio.
An obstinate, self-disciplined believer in creating and appreciating one’s own success by virtue of hard work, patience and kindness, Nicholas’ values resonate with vital industry professionals, mentors and peers. Similarly, he learns as much behind the scenes as stage manager notably for “Howie the Rookie” (2014) and in 2015, “Masterclass”, “Freak Winds” and “The House of Ramon Iglesia” all for Old Fitz Theatre. He owes his family’s love and generosity for food, inclusive friendship, community and the theatrics to starting his major passion in the arts/entertainment industry, which continues to this day.
Whatever platform Nicholas chooses, he is always developing and refining his craft/technique with the goal of being not only a great actor and performer but also a resilient, pragmatic and indelibly surprising one. He forecasts the bigger picture in the interests of emotional unity, stressing the importance and alignment of likeminded solidarity, guidance and common ground.
Nicole Kaminski’s desire to entertain began under the training of her wonderful teacher in Perth at the Valerie Heston School of Dance. She soon discovered that theatre was the way she wanted to channel her talent, and so in 2011 completed a Certificate II Musical Theatre at WAAPA. While living and training in Perth, she was privileged to work not once, but twice under the direction of the late great John Milson (OA).
In 2013, Nicole relocated to Ballarat to complete a BA in Musical Theatre, graduating with credits including the title role of Millie Dillmount in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” as well as ensemble roles in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, and “Urinetown”. Studying at Ballarat also gave her the incredible opportunity to be directed by an Australian stage legend Nancye Hayes.
In 2015, Nicole participated in New Voices workshop with Matthew Lee Robinson, and this year was cast in “Motormouth Loves Suckface”, a new Australian work by Anthony Crowley, which has helped to solidify her passion for new and exciting Australian theatre. It is her hope that her performing career will include the opportunity to work with many more creative and innovative art makers!
Once upon a time, Sydney-based Nikki Malvar’s mother took her to the theatre to see “Miss Saigon”. That night, her ten-year-old bravado declared that she too would be on Broadway. More than a decade later, the passion has not waned, seeing her take on the stage with an ever-growing and delectable list of credits. Nikki is now a well-rounded musician, actor and live performer with an extensive history of vocal training in musical theatre, classical, jazz and contemporary as well as in film and TV. Teaching herself to play the guitar was tantamount to the birth of her songwriting spark.
In late 2013, Nikki's band Thyrsday released their debut single “Skin” through A&R Records, commencing their place in indie blues-grunge culture with a launch gig at Oxford Art Factory. She also records with an indie folkpop duo Tulane. Having lived in four countries - The Philippines, Thailand, USA and Australia, Nikki is no stranger to change. In fact, she thrives for a fairly nomadic lifestyle.
She has had a very close brush with reality TV fame, having been shortlisted with her father for the Filipino version of “The Amazing Race” and was also asked to audition for “The Bachelor Australia”. However, when this People’s Choice Award winner of Australia National Youth Week commands an audience of over 10K subscribers through vlogs, music clips and skits on her Youtube channel, it’s evident that she prefers her time in the spotlight to be more impactful, meaningful and long-lasting.
Nikki is a dynamic, professional, creative, family-orientated and irresistibly open-minded vocalist/songstress who is keen to expand her throaty, lustrous sound and entrepreneurial ability for the better. Please feel free to contact “iCCAM” for projects and assorted whims that more than suit her sensibilities with an equanimous, acquired sense of humour to boot.
Nobuaki Shimamoto (or Shimmy as Australia affectionately likes to call him) was born in Toyko, Japan. He left his family when he was 15 years old, being a homeless person for a few months. He couldn’t find a job due to his underage status but turned his luck around when he met a restaurant owner who offered him employment and board. From that point on, that was how his life began and he learned the true value of pragmatism and unbridled optimism. All these life experiences lead him to move to Sydney, Australia in 2003.
Shortly after Nobuaki moved to Sydney, he traveled to Melbourne. He met some amateur filmmakers, whom he got on well with. They decided to make a short film, utilising him as a main character. Half a year later in 2004, he got a phone call declaring the completion of the script. He returned to Melbourne and shot the short film; that sparked his new career path as an actor in the film industry.
Although Nobuaki was only a casual actor in Sydney, he procured a lot of extras work for “The Wolverine” (2012). Counting his first experience on a major Hollywood blockbuster, he felt very lucky to be on set alongside director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman. His amazement and passion at such a large-scale environment galvanised Nobuaki’s approach towards acting and the film industry. He has moved on to stellar feature films like Jonathan Teplitzky’s “The Railway Man” (2012), “Unbroken” (2013) with Angelina Jolie and Christopher Sellers’ “A Prince” in 2013 as well as TV series “A Place to Call Home” with Ian Barry (2012), “Atomic Kingdom” (2013-2014) with Jimikpop Pictures, shorts such as Martin Grman’s “2 Graves” (2012) and Nathan Colquhoun “Abandoned” (2014) just to name a few.
Meanwhile, Nobuaki had been training in the use of Japanese traditional weapons such as Battou Jutsu for a long time. In 2015 he began Kyokushin Karate, parkour and acrobat in order to complement and improve his acting skills. Indeed, acting has become the thing that he can’t live without, as much as breathing.
Odette MacKenzie has lived on three continents, studied a BA at The University of Melbourne, and has toured extensively has a performer with Redfoot and BYTE (Backyard Theatre Ensemble). In 2014 and 2015 she travelled across Australasia and Europe with BYTE’s critically acclaimed production of “Nightduty”. She is a vocal artist with professional gigs at The Adelaide Cabaret and Fringe Festivals.
In 2017 and early 2017 Odette worked as a performing and vocal artist for the Theatre in Education company Blue Whale Theatre (www.bluewhaletheatre.com). The company’s mission was to provide exciting and engaging dramatic excursions for schools from Early Years to Key Stage 3 in Australia. She toured schools with “A Bright Light in the Darkness”—a living history project—bringing characters to life through the power of theatre and song. She played the part of Catherine McAuley—foundress of The Sisters of Mercy.
Odette has flexible work with the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA, www.ista.co.uk). With ISTA, she toured to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Hong Kong in 2016 with her one-woman show “Mothers and Daughters”. This show focused on the complex relationships between a series of women all bound by the joys and heartbreaks of family.
Odette works as a busker, singing A Cappella Irish Folk music. She has been busking since she was a child, utilising her voice to make a living. While this continues to be an artistic challenge, she finds it both engaging and excitingly unpredictable.
Paige Easter is a vibrant 20 year old who has been performing since she was 3 years old. In her time at Federation University she's played: (Piper) in Anthony Crowley's world premiere of “Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face: An Apocalyptic Musical”, (Virginia and Mabel’s cover) in “The Pajama Game”, (Alice) in “The Addams Family” Musical and most recently (The Witch) in “Into The Woods”. She also performed Melbourne and Ballarat seasons of her self-devised cabaret “Beyond Belief” featuring original songs. Notably she also released her first EP in September 2016, within acoustic duo Jimmy and Paige, produced by Doug Brady and Production Alley Recording Studios.
Growing up in Melbourne, Patrick Schnur always had a very musical background. However, his love for music theatre first blossomed when he became sick of being in the orchestra pit for his high school musicals and decided to take to the stage instead. From Melbourne, Patrick went on to Ballarat to study a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre at Federation University.
Theatre credits at the Arts Academy include a workshop of “Motor-Mouth Loves Suckface: An Apocalyptic Musical” (Motor-Mouth), “The Pajama Game” (Pop/Hines understudy), “The Addams Family” (Lurch) and “Into The Woods” (Wolf). Patrick also performed his own cabaret, “You Had Me At Cello” – Opus 20: A Little Klaus Music, where he sung and also played his cello in both Ballarat and Melbourne seasons.
While he is primarily trained in the cello, Patrick is an avid multi-instrumentalist and also studies the guitar, ukulele and piano.
In December of 2016, Patrick made his professional debut with the Australian Shakespeare Company in their production of “Twelfth Night”, playing the Officer as well as being the Male Understudy.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Paulo Valentim had been infatuated with theatre for as long as he could remember. When he turned 9, he enroled into amateur theatre groups, attended festivals in state theatre before going to Wolf Maya Acting School to study performing arts at the age of 18. At this school, he sat through 3 years of lectures, standard theatrical practices and close analysis of soap opera scene recordings and film language. In addition, 6 months of dance classes, musical techniques and TVCs were central to his growing skill-set.
At the same time Paulo started working for Satyros, an experimental and alternative theatre company. It was one of the first companies in the city where these ‘alternatives’ had produced an original show "Roberto Zucco" (2011) written by Frances Bernad Marrie Coutes. He was involved as an assembly member. He was also able to work with the most influential of directors in Brazil, such as Marco Antonio Braz in the spectacle "Full Steam Ahead" and Jair Assumpcao in two of his spectacles "Ordinary Stories" and "A Drop of Bitterness ". The latter is a tragedy inspired by Paul Bridges’ “The Medea of Euripides”. They were all classic and mythical in places, yet daring, cutting edge and neo-traditional texts of Brazilian theatre.
After 2 years of trying to enter the main theatre research centre in Brazil, persistence finally paid off when historical stage director Antunes Fiho took the young thespian on. He participated in two shows " Stations " (2013) where they had authorship of texts and direction of the scenes and "Marguerite Duras" which offered a French intensive study into one of the greatest writers and film director of all time.
Paulo performed in a main Antunes production, adapting from the Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" classic. It received the award for Best Show and Best Direction in São Paulo. He also featured in advertisements for "Mastercard Show Pass " and “Subway” and numerous others , as well as short films in his hometown.
Now he has come to Australia – an entirely different beast – since mid-2013, with the same mindset of resolve, commitment and sumptuous-lover sensibilities to make it big, if not bigger than back in his country.
Pepa Molina is a professional Flamenco dancer, choreographer, director, choreographer and producer of her own Flamenco dance company called Compañía Pepa Molina. She has had a successful, elegant, fast-paced, impassioned and comprehensive international career in the last 25 years.
She spent the bulk of her career in Spain, firstly training with the best in the Flamenco world as well as training in classical and classical Spanish dance. She worked her way solidly with all the acclaimed Flamenco companies, tablaos and institutions so to be regarded as one of the most sought-after and, of course, award-winning trailblazers of this genre.
Pepa founded Compañía Pepa Molina in 2004. Under this mandate, she produced and choreographed 4 productions which she mounted at a wide variety of theatres and major festivals across Spain and the rest of Europe, America and Asia.
In 2014 Pepa moved back to Sydney with her family, where she was originally born.
Philip John has an artistic desire to create meaningful and sometimes offbeat messages through music, film and photography, showcasing the best of human nature. He also likes to make a point of familial and cultural unity even in the face of dysfunction and discord. He left a career in corporate marketing for the reason of his love for storytelling with the aforementioned mediums. He has always nurtured a passion for working in front of and behind the camera, from directing to editing to music composition.
Philip is a musician who is best known in the India Bollywood market for his number one hit “Q Funk” from an album called “Oorja” with a recording label Magnasound during mid to late 90's under the duo name Phil and Jerry. He also composed jingles for a string of local commercials under BPL/Real Image and individual tracks for Chase Records and Pyramid Audio, as well as Indian movies, which can still be heard today.
Since coming to Sydney, this all-rounded performer has been undertaking acting classes, shooting music videos and shorts, and starring in ‘black box’ theatre for Short+Sweet. He made his debut with a large-scale ensemble production of “August Osage County” in 2013. Philip was in a Guy Ritchie-esque feature about three mobility-impaired employees who decide to rob their own bank called “Scratch of the Surface”. In this manner, he dispenses a flair for genre-bending, dry comedy and crime mixed with transcultural friction.
Tiger Cub Media Productions is Philip’s personal venture into the film and media world. He set this up to collaborate with other creatives to push the boundaries and forge new perspectives. Tiger Cub Media’s three main areas of focus are film, music and photography. Engaging, active and entrepreneurial with highly developed people skills, he shows this finesse through directing and collaboration with his cast and crew. Similarly, he does his best work in post-production at his very own state-of-the-art studio facilities.
‘To write a story that moves the heart, to film the scene that creates an emotion, and to leave a legacy that everything we make is done with resolve and determination.’
Phillipa Russell was diagnosed with profound deafness since from a young age, but can speak English and is fluent in Auslan. Despite everyday challenges associated with her hearing impairment, she remains strongly committed to honing and pursuing her craft for the performing arts.
While at primary and high school, Phillipa developed her love of acting by appearing in various repertory group plays. At the same time she studied dance for 10 years, specialising in jazz, tap and funk. She completed her training at Children’s Performing Company of Australia (CPCA) in 2005 and furthermore undertook vocal training at Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) from 2007.
After graduating high school in 2008, Phillipa was accepted into a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama) at Deakin University. During this course, she performed lead roles in three final-year performances “Muck”, “Attempts on her Life” and “Filling the Silence”.
Following graduation from Deakin University in 2012, Phillipa performed three lead roles in short films “Here in Silence” (for which she received a Best Actor award in), “Catching Tuna” (seen here in full: https://vimeo.com/98068162) and more recently “No One is Perfect”. Some of her other works include a sold-out show at La Mama called “Missfits “and “Wish 3 More Wishes” in both Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
Phillipa’s other credits include participating in benchmark events Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Deaflympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Australian Deaf Games Closing Ceremony with Australian Theatre of the Deaf (ATOD).
Phillipa enjoys travelling the world, and spending time with her friends and family, whilst harbouring hopes to step up in her career free of social assumptions and covert discrimination. Currently she educates other young deaf people to be confident in their disability, make their voice heard and to turn such perceived flaws into treasured advantages.
Pia Frangiosa discovered a true desire for Musical Theatre at the age of 8, originating her performance experience through Fame Theatre Company based in Brisbane, Queensland. Touring both professional and amateur children’s theatre productions, Pia’s performance experience led to the completion of her Certificate IV inMusical Theatre in 2012.
Continuing down the path of tertiary education, Pia was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre program. Here, she performed in productions such as Roger and Hammerstein’s classic “Oklahoma!" (Laurey Williams), Schwartz's "Godspell” (Anna-Maria) and under international direction, Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers (Mrs Lyons). Her experience through the university extended to events such as The Queensland Tourism Awards and The Brisbane Festival as well as developing new work under collaboration with the university. Fresh out of the Conservatorium, she performed in Wax Lyrical Productions "Carrie" the horror-tragedy musical (Frieda) at The Brisbane Powerhouse.
Piphallari Champa has worn many hats during her young but prolific career in the entertainment, arts and media industry. She quickly cut her teeth working by beginning as a personal assistant to KMY Films, a premier film agency purchasing rights of international content for distribution within the Kingdom of Cambodia. There, she organised committee meetings and worked in administration, accounting, logistics, scheduling, support, purchasing and guest/public relations. She moved onto Capetoste SRL, a production company from Rome in the same role plus an on-set translator in both English and Khmer to the director and actors.
Carrying over the all-important role of translating on “The Invisible Highway”, which shot on location in Siem Reap, Piphallari later became production coordinator. In addition to obtaining film permits through ASPARA Authority, she oversaw logistics (import & re-export) and coordination of the film crew and equipment. Recently, in 2014 she worked with Archibald Nemesis Films to produce their documentary “1001 Nights”.
For BBC, Piphallari was an assistant to both 1st A.D. and 2nd A.D. on the popular and savvy youth-orientated series “Loy9”. A multimedia initiative aimed at increasing community participation in public life, she considered it to be an inspirational highlight of her career. By sourcing talent and operating auditions on top of an existing skillset, she simply added another feather to her cap.
Since coming to Australia in 2012, Piphallari served an internationally recognised Sydney-based artist Simryn Gill in day-to-day production of her artworks. She also scheduled programming, rostered volunteers, fielded enquiries and prepared stock market and weather reports for Radio 2RPH for the Print Handicapped.
The worlds of film, television and radio may be one beast. But her specialty for communication and quality customer service, proficiency with Microsoft Office and business documentation, and effective time and workflow management in a high-functioning and demanding team environment while being independently driven and goal-orientated has made Piphallari another beast altogether.
Her exposure to these production companies from the likes of Dubai, Italy, the UK and America has already prepared Piphallari for the best, which is yet to come – and that is to leap into the front of the camera.
Born in the tropical isle of Sri Lanka, Prema Smith was adopted by an Australian family at a young age. Growing up in Tasmania, he was introduced to a variety of people from many creeds and cultures. This would bolster his development as an assertive yet emphatic character throughout life.
Initially pursuing grassroots businesses, Prema became the proud owner of a restaurant at age 20 and started his own landscaping company at 22. During his time as a propriety business owner, he often hired individuals with mental disabilities in an attempt to provide them a life free from prejudice while vicariously attaining a deeper understanding of the human condition.
With over a decade of frontline customer service and hospitality experience, Prema has developed a natural aptitude for adaptability as well as a polished work ethic. Whether it be intimate corporate dinners, exclusive lunch events or even Mercedes fashion week, he will host each event with the finesse and charisma synonymous with the best in the industry.
To further broaden his repertoire, Prema moved to Sydney to pursue a career in both music and acting. Having received his further education at The Actors Pulse in study of the Sanford Meisner Technique, he was cast in a supporting role in the feature film “Bad Day In Belgrade” (2014) and in that same year claimed a supporting role in the play “The Couplet of Bengal”. He has also released 5 singles and clinched a role in a web series.
Using an experiential knowledge in phonics, Prema is able to understand and execute a variety of accents and acting ranges which stands as a testament to his versatile quality as performer, songwriter, presenter and actor juggernaut.
Indeed there’s no stopping the success-hungry Prema when he has his mind set on gradually building his career in an empowering, spiritually aware, entrepreneurial and for-the-people way. By 2017 he aspires to be the number one Pop/RnB artist in Australia.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Ramy Jajo is the oldest of five siblings and moved to Australia in 1999. During high school years he realised his passion for the unpredictable but purely adrenaline-fueled world of acting and decided to pursue it further by attending Sydney Theatre School quickly after graduation. He is of Chaldean/Assyrian (West European, East European, Middle Eastern, European) background and currently resides in Sydney.
As Swiss Army Knife master of international languages and accents, Ramy is flexible when it comes to crossing geographic borders and believes in going an extra mile just to reach his goals. He enjoys new challenges and experiences, as this is the only way that he can be tested by adversity before he can truly build his character, while bearing strong faith in his own path. Therefore Ramy will never stop trying, no matter how many times he fails, because you will never know how close you may have gotten to the finish line.
Indeed, he was born to entertain others. Ramy also believes in standing up for others and questions injustice and ethnic marginalisation on a legal and social level. For this reason, he joined the committee of AntiDiscrimination Board of NSW, dedicated to not only make a difference but also bring order to disaffected youth’s lives and give them a clear purpose in life.
He is a holistic and attentive filmmaker and enjoys all footy codes, keeping himself fit with the following: rugby, swimming, AFL, ice hockey and surfing, to name a few. Ramy stands by this mantra: ‘If you enjoy what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.’
Randall Berger grew up in Santa Barbara, California, studying drama, vocal and instrumental music. He performed in school, rep and summer stock productions since age 13, mainly musical comedies. From there he did a lot of work with local theatre companies, namely Youth Theatre Productions (1967-1972) and Alechama Productions (1972).
In 1973, wanderlust got the better of him and he migrated to Australia by himself at age 19 ‘on a lark’ to follow close childhood chum, actor Lance Strauss (“Elton Jack”, “Chucky”) across the Pacific Ocean!
Following the course set in his early teens, Randal went into professional theatre, namely musical theatre in original Australian casts of Broadway and West End shows, as well as broadening into more dramatic roles. He married drama educator Helen Sandercoe in 1977 and settled in Melbourne with three cheeky and creative adult daughters, Sarah, Rebekah and Matilda.
Randall began a parallel career as a professional, award-winning copywriter and freelance scriptwriter in radio, multimedia and advertising, as well as taking extras work and small roles in local TV productions. In 1983, the first film role of note was as a reporter in the film “Phar Lap”. As a ‘portly’ character actor and an American expat, roles were few and far between at the time.
While only doing a couple of roles a year, Randall still had the opportunity to share some celluloid chemistry with a lot of incredible people, notably James Coburn, Reb Brown, Anthony Hopkins, Ron Leibman, Heather Thomas, Joe Bottoms (an old Santa Barbara chum), Barry Bostwick, John Savage, Steven Berkoff, Art Malik, Noah Taylor, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Laura Brannigan, Peter Graves, Paul Hogan, Cuban Gooding Jr and so on, not to mention the amazing rage of directors and DOPs.
Randall might have finally come out of the closet as a screenwriter but has fond memories of his highest profile role, which was as as violinist Isaac Stern in the Geoffrey Rush classic “Shine” (1996).
Raoul Craemer trained as an actor at the Arts Educational Schools in London on a UK Dance and Drama Award. In addition to English, Raoul speaks fluent German as well as passable Hindi, having been born and brought up in Bonn – then West Germany – and India, where he spent five impressionable years as a teenager. He found India and Germany to be two extremely different yet altogether exhilarating cultures, and with true Eurasian vigour took great pride in integrating the best of both worlds. Having graduated from St Stephen’s College in Delhi, Raoul went on to study economics at Oxford University and an early career as an economist.
Raoul discovered his affinity for acting by accident, attending drama classes aimed at settling his nerves and improving his public speaking. Acting quickly moved beyond therapy-of-sorts to a true discovery of the joy of transformation – being able to experience extremes of emotion that one rarely gets to reach in daily life. Little would Raoul have suspected, however, that only ten years later he would have over 25 professional productions to his name and receive the peer-rated Equity MEAA Green Room Award as Professional Performer of the Year in the ACT.
His material has ranged from plays aimed at children and comedic pieces to historical and political, as well as allegorical, classical and scientific pieces. Gentle and unassuming with everyman appeal, he is another beast on stage that occasionally courts controversy – for all the right reasons. Raoul is also a presenter and writer and believes in the synergetic process.
After more than a decade in the UK he moved to Australia at the end of 2003 with his partner Emily and their first daughter Leila. Raoul lives in Canberra with his family, which now includes a second daughter Tara who was born in 2005. In his spare time, he plays doting father!
Fresh from high school at the age of 18, Raphael Moubarak is a multi-linguistic actor and musical theatre singer. Already he has shown early signs of leadership potential with goal-oriented and task-focused capabilities. Yet he is equally capable of being an organised and highly motivated team player that is very easy to direct. With a tendency to ask all the right questions and take all advice on board, he has a well-presented, friendly, cheerful and relatable nature with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
By establishing an immediate rapport with the audience and resourceful with the scenery, it is clear that he is suited to the stage. Raphael has tolled his time being noticed or winning talent quests with his soothing, honeyed and declarative voice but is also serious and laser-focused on his long-term prospects. In other words, he is a crooner. Proud of his biracial heritage, he can adapt to the use of European languages due to his background in Latin-based classes.
As a ‘master of disguises’ with a captivating demeanour, Raphael will flourish exceptionally and create a successful, self-sufficient and long career under the development and support of “interCulture”.
Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Rayesh Gunasekera emigrated to Australia in 2008. Graduating in 2012 with an Advanced Diploma in Acting from The National Theatre Drama School, he had gone on to work with innovative theatre practitioners, both local and Sri Lankan. Being fluent in both Sinhala, and English, he has made it a necessity during his creative journey to explore both cultural backgrounds and thereby bridge the gap towards creating a greater understanding among his audiences.
To this effect Rayesh worked closely with National Theatre Drama School to perform in groupthink, rollercoaster dynamics from “The Conquest of the South Pole” (2010) to the serving-of-hate-crime-injustice in “The Laramie Project” (2011) and fatalistic love set in Ancient Greece in “Orpheus & Eurydice” (2011). Equally as importantly was highlighting the bicultural setting of his South Asian ancestry against the spectacular American waterfall setting on screen in “To Niagara with Love” (2012).
Aside from acting Rayesh has taken a step towards honing his craft as a screenwriter and director, studying at RMIT University. Through this he has greater hopes for creating stories that would transcend cultural barriers, and also help him find his unique artistic vision. He has already begun to make this stride by directing 2016’s “The Marriage Proposal” with Performing Arts Circle as well as “The Bear & the Proposal”, which were both received enthusiastically.
Other than his days on track and field and captaining a team during his high school days, Rayesh is fairly proficient in mixed martial arts including Wing Chun and karate and can adapt to any style quickly.
Rebecca Nash was born in Australia to a Chinese mother and English/Welsh father. Whilst she has grown up speaking Cantonese as a second language, she does not read or write in that language. She cites persistence and consistency as central to her blossoming and fundamental skills in screen acting, martial arts (including boxing and taekwondo), or fight action training. In fact her love for conceptual modeling has led to her persuasion of acting, by building and interpreting complex, esoteric story and emotionally vulnerable characterisation around her roles.
A career highlight so far has been working on “A Current Affair” as a re-enactment actor with director Dan Nolan. Rebecca recreated a very violent attack including a fight scene, with the presence of actual victims to assist with filming. In finding the story to be a fight for justice, it was a traumatising and physical scenario to shoot but ultimately rewarding in being able to tell and share other people’s stories inspirationally and truthfully. Similarly, filming “Abnegation”, a short film about damaged love and suicide informed her tendencies to go for deep, dark and mysterious depths.
Rebecca counts legendary choreographer, coach and action heroine Maria Tran as not only one of her contemporary peers but also role models whom she looks up to. Through Screen Acting Essentials and Fight Action, the super-excited protégé has drawn invaluable direction and advice from Maria on a weekly basis. She is also influenced by visual poems, much in the vein of Terence Malick, with a hallucinogenic aspect. Rebecca’s overarching goal is to join a film production in Hong Kong one day. Their filmmakers’ fast-paced, creative and dynamic production process, especially in action drama has always fascinated her. In the meantime she will be learning and honing her portfolio in Sydney in preparation for the life-changing move to the Hong Kong industry.
Rebecca is very passionate about people’s health and wellbeing as well as animal welfare and the environment as a whole, working and volunteering in these areas. In addition she has 5 years’ ballet experience and enjoys yoga and Tai Chi in her spare time.
‘I love telling stories and helping others do the same. To imagine and create what could be, is a beautiful way to pass on a message.’
Rebekah L. has trained in a broad range of dance disciplines since she was 4 years old. For the last 5 years she has shown an immense passion for singing and has excelled in the areas of Musical Theatre and Drama, with a remarkable and consistent string of awards across Eisteddfod competitions, talent shows and festivals as well as within her own school Penrith Anglican College.
Rebekah currently attends weekly private vocal tuition and guitar classes, and has taken drama and music as elective subjects at school. In her spare time she enjoys writing song lyrics, which relates to her worldview—youthful, family-orientated, fun, animated, with maturing traces of an old soul and sometimes a relevant snapshot of the issues-based, socially conscious movement. One day she expects to turn this strength into a living as well.
Rebekah is currently working through AMEB singing grades, achieving high distinctions in all exam results to date. Having established leadership qualities at her school, she is keen to explore both areas professionally and to follow her idols’ footprint with consummate initiative, even relating to the circumstances of her audition and callback rounds—and of course her successes—as an optimistic learning curve. Either way, she is quickly discovering the very high standards in all the disciplines and spectacles that she has to strive towards.
Red Concepcion is an exciting and dynamic performer. With more than a decade’s worth of shows under his belt, he has portrayed a wide array of characters and has consistently churned out electric performances.
Red has recently won two of the most prestigious theatre awards in his homeland, the Philippines. He won the Aliw Award Best Actor in a Musical and the Gawad Buhay! Award for his star turn as Adam/Felicia in “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert”.
Red’s strong voice, expressive dancing and unique flair for comedy has made him a much sought-after actor in Manila, where he has appeared in such hit musicals as “Cinderella”, “West Side Story”, “Hairspray” and a number of original works.
Red has also been lauded for his work in plays such as the Manila productions of “The Normal Heart”, where he played Tommy Boatwright, and “Equus” where he made waves as disturbed Alan Strang.
Red is just as comfortable in front of the camera as he is on stage. He was most recently seen as the tough but loveable dishwasher Sam in “The Boston: The Kitchen Musical”, a musical comedy series which aired around Asia and in the United States on Myx TV.
Red hopes to reach a wider audience, and intends to be able to perform on a global scale one day.
First impressions count so as soon as you see a lustrously blonde Eastern European beauty, you’d be forgiven for mistakenly thinking that you were walking into a Belle Époque café and spotting her ferreted away into a golden stucco corner, an aromatic espresso in one hand and a gourmet meal in the other, delicate yet grand features lit up by beautiful chandelier light from the alfresco ceiling. That was Reka Gavaldi’s life in her birthplace of Hungary, in between meetings with producers and casting directors: lingering, cosy, sedate, efficient and blustery, much like her characters.
Sure enough, platitudes have come hard and thick after punting on her electric potential on screen: ‘professional… positive… focussed… talented… gifted… a joy to be around… energetically released and expressive’ (Jonas McLallen, Producer of Dynamite Productions; Janet Tobias, Filmmaker of Sierra Tango Productions; Eduard Grau, Cinematographer of “No Place on Earth”).
Now Reka has come to Sydney chasing two loves: romance and film. Prior to her worlds-apart arrival mid-2014, she has been engrossed in the Stanislavski method from 2010-2012 in Budapest and was coached by lifetime member Doris Hicks at the famed Actors Studio in Vienna, Austria. Having taken up a sizeable chunk of NIDA space, she has incredibly adapted to the English language and host culture like a black swan to the sky.
If you look at her pictures – in many ways, Reka is more suited to the timeless, monochromatic Hollywood era than today. That said, she is equally an anachronism, suited to carefully pensive colour bursts and contrasts – royal purple, passionate red, neutral white and of course, that pervasively ominous black – as well as visual umbrage and motherly trauma and determination. Indeed, every time Reka is on screen is a transcendent window into her soul. Perhaps Hungary has never really left the girl.
Aiming to be an accomplished actor and screenwriter, a study stint in the US beckoned for Rex Rere. Quitting his 9 to 5 job at the time he headed off to LA, enrolling in acting lessons with Lorry Hull in a classroom environment and private acting lessons with Diane Hull. Both Lorry and Diane Hull had been tutored by Lee Strasberg. This approach was taken in an effort to understand how best to develop meaningful characters from both an actor and screenwriter’s perspective.
‘Great actors and screen writers as part of their research to character interpretation and building, have the innate ability to strip down the flesh of the characters to bare bones and rebuild it again adding their own emotional and physical content, nuances and voice.’ This was an approach that made sense to Rex and which he completely understood and found it to be rewarding for his professional development.
After LA, Rex moved onto New York for further studies at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. His time spent there gave him a top-shelf artistic education, further confirming that he should definitely pursue a career in acting and screen writing respectively.
Patient, self-disciplined, determined and mentally fortified, Rex believes that once proper training is achieved—which is method acting—it remains an evolving gift for a lifetime. It simply dissolves and permeates into everyday living activities thus becoming a perpetual artistic working tool 24/7.
In the future, Rex plans to expand his career to being as a movie director and producer.
Rik Stowman is a dedicated actor, writer, singer/songwriter, musician and humanist. Trained in Stanislavski, Meisner, Method and Viewpoints, he has a deep love of the performing arts and considers them central to the human experience. He thrives best when he is tackling authentic and engaging work, owing his broad awareness of the world due to his parents of a multi-ethnic lineage.
Similarly Rik possesses a director’s deft and detailed eye for values-based theatre, particularly those which when placed within the legally complex If not larger context of indigenous history, can expose an individual’s tendency for both personal and systematic prejudices, flaws and interpretation of truth. Teaching his actors this very same sentiment, he therefore holds the arts as a vehicle, if not as a rustic impetus for moral change.
Based in Melbourne, Rik is a family man with a dash of the wanderlust and percipient eye for society’s fault lines. He believes in the fluidity and evolving journeyman’s process of discovery informing the true timbre of a performance-focused piece. All his works, particularly in his own plays and lyrics have tended to deal with man’s untapped potential to convert pain and robustness into those of beauty and immersive sources of strength and recovery.
Rollie-Ann Serrano is willing to get her hands dirty, at least when it comes to both being in front of and behind the camera. She likes her process to be full of creative spark and chemistry, refined, messy, thrilling, inspired by the masterful auteurs (Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan most notably), evolving, alterable and challenging. The most important aspect is that it all has to come from the heart, where the Filipino-Australian has got in spades and in desire.
A writer, director, editor and actor, Rollie is beginning to test the limits of all four crafts, yet she acknowledges that they are all big, unknown steps to take. The steps have been linear yet unquantifiable, having moved from nearly making a career in sports medicine into the unpredictable seas of filmmaking, yet she loves every second of it. Ever since Rollie began training to be the ultimate acting warrior from NIDA and Actors Centre, she is up the ladder in a much more functional sense, and that is to make films with the most bemusedly eclectic talent she’s ever worked with so far, from Macquarie University.
She wills her mind to expand, to explore, to prod, and to enter into the enlightened realm of a world that ought to be. She has already willed her family to back her, and now she’s got to back herself for the long haul. Sydney is becoming her oyster, the world an exquisite pearl bracelet to slip reverentially her hand into.
A Melbourne based actor with years of acting experience and schooling, Rubi Balasingam loves collaborating with anyone with creative purpose. She has a plethora of unique talents from Classical Indian Dancing to advanced Martial Arts, talents she hopes to bring to your projects. She has hopes of one day changing the face of Hollywood.
Since the mid-1990s, Japanese-born Ryuichi Fujimura has extensively studied contemporary dance technique, improvisation and choreography in Sydney and overseas on an ongoing basis. Within his spontaneously natural, gentle, hypnotic, abstract and inventive dance style, this level of his commitment, engagement and self-expression is as much as a commentary on his body as on his life.
Over the last thirteen years, the dance artist has collaborated with both emerging and established dance/theatre artists in various theatre, opera, musical productions and installation spaces. His past collaborators have included Danielle Micichi, Xavier le Roy, Tess de Quincey, Jim Sharman, Vicki Van Haut, Alan Schacher, Kate Champion, Kate Sherman and Kym Vercoe.
Since 2003 Ryuichi has regularly performed in Sydney’s improvisation nights including “Rushing for the Sloth” and “Blind Date” at Omeo Dance Studio. He is currently a co-curator of “Whip It”, a regular forum of improvised performance. Through workshops by local and international artists including John Britton, Julyen Hamilton and SITI members as well as weekly dance classes, he is continually honing his craft as a ‘mover’ of the times.
Finnish Australian Saara Lamberg is an actor, director, writer and producer. She has received several awards for her work, including Bronze prize at the Beverly Hills screenplay contest (Hollywood 2013), Best Actor at Comfy Shorts (Melbourne 2014), Best Drama at the Connect Film Festival (Melbourne 2014) and Best Actor (Lithuania 2004). She lived in England 2006-2010 and studied in the critically acclaimed Dartington College of Arts, graduating with a BA (HONS) degree in Theatre and Choreographic Practices in 2007. She moved to Melbourne in January 2010 and received a Distinguished Talent Permanent Residency in 2012 and citizenship in 2014. In 2015 she started directing and producing her first feature film “Innuendo” which she wrote and in which she plays the lead.
Safiye Vurdu began singing training at eight years old with Nancy D’Agostino, and, through this, discovered her passion for all things performing arts. Before studying a BA in Music Theatre at the Arts Academy, Federation University, Safiye was the lead singer and co-songwriter of Melbourne band Vacant Skies. Safiye has also worked as a sessional vocal recording artist for musicians such as John Trager. During her time at the Arts Academy Safiye’s highlights include “Urinetown” (Little Sally cover), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Bun Foo), “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Helena Landless cover) and her self-devised cabaret “What Would James Dean Do (WWJDD)?”
Sally Alrich-Smythe graduated in 2016 from the Diploma of Musical Theatre at The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). The diploma course provided intensive training for acting, singing and dancing, amongst other particular skills. At NIDA, Sally’s full-time teachers included Philip Quast, Tyran Parke, John O’Connell and Anne-Maree Macdonald. The training emphasised a process of bringing ‘filmic acting’onto the stage, and creating truthful connections with given texts and fellow actors.
Since graduating, Sally has played a lead part in Chamber Pot Opera, an original, all-female production that has toured to Adelaide for the Fringe Festival in February 2017, and will tour to Edinburgh in August 2017.
Sally has been mentored and taught by a range of singing tutors, honing her voice in classical singing and musical theatre. Sally has been able to pass on some of what she has learnt throughout her career to HSC Music students, whom she tutors in preparation for their practical and theory examinations.
While performance is her strong suit, Sally is a trained musician, having studied Music 2 and Music Extension at High School. She was the recipient of the 2014 Joan Sutherland Scholarship, and has performed extensively with the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs.
Sally’s Bachelor of Communications and Media from UTS has provided her with a high level of proficiency in writing, networking and people skills. A qualified theatre reviewer, Sally is passionate about the arts. She considers herself a full time artist, frequently acting in the Sydney Independent Theatre Scene.
Salvatore Gulinello is an Italian-Australian actor, based in Melbourne. He trained at Federation University Arts Academy Ballarat, recently graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Acting). His theatre credits at Federation University include The Wolf in “Company of Wolves” directed by Cheyney Caddy; Shamraev in “The Seagull” directed by James Wardlaw; Young Waverley in the “Woman Hater” directed by Ian Scott and Peer Gynt in “Peer Gynt,” directed by Justine Campbell. During his time at university, he co-devised a new work called “The Durnagee Effect”.
Sammie Grumley’s love for the uplifting, quirky acts of theatre compliments her strengths as a youthful, bubbly performer! Since 11 years of age she trained classically in voice with various teachers, as well as training in styles of dance including jazz, tap and ballet. This is when her performance journey began.
Gaining more stage experience, Sammie found that she was quite successful in her craft leading her to appear as not only an ensemble member but also in lead roles. Other highlights include being featured as a choral member in the Australian Youth Choir in her younger years, as well as achieving her teachers in dance training in 2012.
Upon finishing year 12 Sammie made the audacious decision to take her love of performing to the next level after being accepted to study a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) at the Ballarat Arts Academy. She has since graduated in 2015. Her university credits include performing her self-devised cabaret “Sorry!” for Ballarat and Melbourne seasons, playing the role of Alice in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” as well as Co. Chairman in her final production at the Arts Academy “The Mystery Of Edwin Drood”. She also flew to Perth to perform at a Musical Theatre Conference under the sharp direction of Miss Nancye Hayes.
Samuel F. Lee (birth name Samuel Lee Fujian) was born to Malaysian Chinese-Japanese parents in Ipoh, Perak in Malaysia. He came to Australia to pursue his tertiary education. From a young age, he was exposed to foreign film and music—all thanks to his housemaid who was looking after his grandparents back then. She only favourited foreign movies outside his heritage; from short Hong Kong TVB series to lengthy Spanish telenovelas, so he had always been glued to the TV while completing his homework.
However it was at the age of 7 when Samuel’s passion for Bollywood began. He would sit and watch subtitled Bollywood features for 2-3 hours without knowing what the dialogue really meant. Instead he was entranced by elaborately colourful and gaudy sequences of good-looking leading actors and actresses, illogically dancing around palm trees, doing their best ‘peacock mating ritual’ in order to woo each other’s hearts.
It wooed Samuel’s heart, for sure. As an openly gay man, his favourite onscreen gay couple is ‘Chrolli’—which stems from a famous German soap called “Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love)”. That laid the groundwork for some self-taught German as well as a fancy for good-looking German men.
Clint Eastwood once said: ‘Whatever you do, do it well. Be humble, work hard and be a man’.
So began Samuel’s foray into filmmaking and acting, which did not blossom not until his second year at the University of Adelaide where he became sick and tired of academic based assignments. As a matter of fact, his volunteering for film as an extra and behind the scenes got his first foot into the door of creativity and entertainment, which also extends to contributing to Hollywood films as a donor or producer. In 2011, he auditioned for the SBS Bollywood Star Search in Melbourne. Although he was not shortlisted, the experience was memorable, providing him with glimpses into how much effort was needed to pick up the choreography (within a tight time frame) before a Bollywood dance sequence was shot.
Samuel undertakes Bollywood classes every weekend and have performed Bollywood dance at various major community events in Adelaide including the most recent International Cricket Cup 2015.
He has also participated in various flash mobs both in Sydney and Adelaide, dancing for Australia Day, Adelaide Fringe and so on. As an avid Beyoncé fan, he completed a dance workshop and flash mob at the Adelaide Fringe with the Bey Dance group from Melbourne.
Samuel regularly dances and performs at the annual Credit Union Christmas Pageant—the largest of its kind in the world.
In 2013, Samuel scored an amazing opportunity to play the Chinese acrobat on the dystopian suspense thriller “The Rover” alongside Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. He found Guy to be a well-grounded and protean actor whereas Rob was definitely pushing his limits with his first role on an Australian film. He recounted a ‘Cedric-Diggory-meets-Harry-Potter-moment’ when during a break Rob had came over to say hi, due to the fact Samuel was sporting a gunshot wound on his forehead!
Samuel has a very sneaky, tongue-in-cheek streak with a sexually playful and self-deprecating sense of humour that tends to put a smile on people’s faces. He is known to have a running, ‘people-watching’ commentary on the who’s who of all the gorgeous men in the film and fashion industry! While quite the extrovert and often expressive about his feelings, he can also compartmentalise an incredible degree of professionalism, courtesy, empathy and a helping hand for others.
Samuel’s ultimate mission is to star in a Bollywood extravaganza and dance for his life alongside some of his favourite Bollywood legends such as Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Prabhu Deva. Moreover, he would like to work full time in the film and fashion industry and reap rewards for doing what he is passionate about. His dream is to travel round the world and meet many different people one day, speaking more languages and learning about other cultures. On the business end, he plans to set up his own film production and event management company in the near future.
In 2015, Samuel was one of the organising committee members for the Miss/Mrs Australasia & Pacific Islands Pageant in a bid to create awareness about violence against women. In recent years, he has mainly focused on his Bollywood gigs, and has so far performed at more than 20 different corporate, festivals and community events!
Samuel’s motto is: ‘I always believe in myself, live my life to the fullest and will strive to treat everyone with kindness and respect.’
A classically trained singer, songwriter, musician and artist at the ripe age of 18, Sandy Hsu knows one thing or two about being a high achiever. One glance at her secondary education portfolio, you’d be forgiven for thinking that she’s compressed several lifetimes’ worth into a few short years on earth but she has. A scholar by strategy, a leader by nature, a songbird by calling and a writer by competition, she commenced her career by formally playing on both the clarinet and saxophone’s mouthpieces, and working her way up through the choral ranks with Australian Girls’ Choir for 7 years.
Although Sandy can straddle most styles, her strengths lie in pop, indie, folk, rock and country, and self-taught in the use of any instrument. She has headlined live shows at bookshops, school bands and twilight performances as well as chronicling her own YouTube channel with covers and original songs. One such highlight was tearing up the stage with Catchment Players of Darebin and got an electric thrill out of musical theatre.
Individually, Sandy has developed a marketer’s eye for detail having released an eponymous self-funded debut EP “Sandy” at 15 years old as well as a demo album two years later. Her works can be seen through http://sandyhsu.bandcamp.com/ – which also shows off modelling veneer: right down to floral crowns and charmingly dove-like vintage clothing.
Though Sandy is confident in her musical styling, she eventually wants to expand into film and television and will try anything. Indeed, by taking a cannonball run at the stars, she is maturing into a young, active, polished and perfectionistic woman with a plan.
Serag Mohamed is an Australian actor who is of Egyptian descent but who can also pass for an international look. Born and raised in Sydney, he studied and graduated from acting at NIDA in 2010. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2012, he has been in multiple feature films and productions. He was thrilled to work with veritable Hollywood talents like Vivica A. Fox, Tom Sizemore and Eric Roberts while continuing to study improvisation with Groundlings.
Serag is currently training with Casting Director Scott David (“Criminal Minds” and many more hit shows). Commuting between Los Angeles and Sydney, he is always keeping his craft sharp and at the top of his game with many different respectable industry professionals. Tall, thick-jawed and intimidating hiding moral complexities, unexpected depths and a spiritually soft heart which can play both straight man foil and the gritty, he hopes to establish mainstream protagonist status in no time.
In a previous life, Serag’s occupation in Sydney before moving to the States was a Correctional Officer in a maximum-security prison. He is the youngest of three brothers in an action-packed and rambunctious family.
Growing up, when Serah Nathan wasn’t watching films in her Father’s independent cinema, she was spending time with her Mother recording celebrity impersonations onto a Dictaphone. She found self-expression through writing at an early age and begun to take performance classes as a teen. She trained thoroughly during her early and mid twenties and is a proud film geek.
After completing a degree in creative arts majoring in performance and writing, Serah learnt the ropes behind the scenes, taking on a role as an Associate Producer on children’s television program, “Kids WB”. She has since worked on a variety of productions that have given her a great appreciation of the holistic process of film & television.
In 2017, Serah created and featured in the satirical web series debut “Lucky Country”, a passion project that has been years in the making.
With a meticulous skincare regime and laser focus on excellent acting, Serah continues to set high her aspirations of contributing her weird, witty and introspective voice to the industry.
Everyone who has worked with Serena Del Prete knows her by the moniker: ‘Earth animal’. She has a terrifyingly admirable reputation for throwing herself into any role and inhabiting it completely, connected to both the chaotically and sensuously psychological depths and the upward, ecstatic hopes of her character. At the same time, she believes in a holistic, naturalistic approach: in the evolution of a character’s journey which is occurring in tandem with her own development, in fits and starts, in surfaces and layers, but never within the straight lines.
Indeed, Serena has been always fascinated by art, beginning with ballet as a little girl. Eventually, her true passion for acting transported her to Naples at nineteen years of age so she decided to finish the University as soon as possible. She subsequently moved to Barcelona in order to study performing arts at “La Casona” Academy where she discovered her other passion: singing. There, she took baby steps in video clips, theatre, musicals and television but made wider, consecutive strides when she moved to Rome to experiment with new genres such as the ‘commedia dell'arte’.
Armed with interregional discipline and culturally evocative mannerisms, Serena returned to her beloved Spain with an Italian musical, to much success. Her sense of adventurous spirit and great, worldly curiosity took her to Australia in 2012, which has already paid off in wonderful dividends, as usual. She joined the Spanish Theatre Company of Melbourne, where she now identifies as an Italian actress, bringing to life Spanish texts in an arguably predominantly Anglo-centric culture of Australia, in addition to being a singer, dancer and circus artist. Thus, her work could be labeled as being without borders.
Sergio Paez is a young actor who is known for his versatility, a democratic attitude and an exciting ‘international look’. He began at the age of ten, performing in no less than fifteen productions, both large and small. Sergio became skilled in improvisation and comedic acting as well as dramatic styles, where he believes that portrayal of conflict and pathos can be both personal and large-scale. Originally Sergio was taking part in light-hearted, comedic projects but has since developed a strong inclination to more serious, dramatic roles. Either way, he is big on family and credits his close-knit community for the strength and resolve of ethos that he carries forth into all parts.
Coming from Latino/Hispanic decent, he a roguish yet seamless ability to slip in and out of different
Shaniz Del Rosario hails from the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, growing up with an intrinsic love for music, theatre and the arts. Focal points from her time at the Arts Academy include being cast as Florinda – one of the pantomimic step-sisters in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, her comedic role as Bride in “The Addams Family” and being a part of a workshop premiere season of “Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face: An Apocalyptic Musical” written and directed by Anthony Crowley. In April 2016, she performed her self-devised cabaret “Mysteries of My Orient” where she was able to playfully discuss her identity in juxtaposition of the image she portrays.
Shayan Salehian is an actor, director and writer based in Melbourne. He has been acting for as long as he can remember. Other than featuring in many short films for Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), he threw his weight into the Hollywood blockbuster “The Water Diviner” directed by Russell Crowe. More significantly, he was upgraded to a major role in a feature film “Ali's Wedding”. The latter, due for release in 2017 is about inter-regional Middle Eastern arranged marriages, perseverance of real love and escalating white lies.
Originally from Iran, Shayan moved to Australia with his family in order to pursue his dreams as not only as an actor but also a director. Since then, he felt his way through many blackbox theatre shows and gained a confidence boost through acting classes for Foundation of Film and Television at VCA – both academically and ‘in the field’. In addition, he has gained an intellectual appreciation of both creative and technical processes through Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University such as how to hit one’s mark and how to light a room!
Shayan has embraced his love for controlled storytelling by writing and directing four short films of his own to date.
Dazzling chameleon Sheba Williams is a truly unique performer. As one reviewer noted: ‘You would be hard-pressed to find anyone comparable in the world.’ She has enchanted audiences across the world with her unique brand of stage spectacular. She cavorts, struts and shimmers on stage in her many glittering guises.
Originally from New Zealand with a Caribbean heritage, Sheba commenced her vocal training on scholarship in Switzerland, and went on to complete the first year of her degree in jazz.
Sheba brings a high level of intelligence to her craft via her experience as both producer and performer. She has graced stages throughout Europe and Asia, as well as “The Big Day Out”, “Red Bull Live to Air”, “Jazz on Sunday” and the award-winning “Josephine Baker Show”. She sings in several languages including French, Mandarin, German and Patois. She has recorded a solo album of original music, and read book Shanghai Sheba for Radio New Zealand.
Sheba has worked in film, television and on the stage. She produces her own one-woman musical shows, emcees and sings for international festivals and corporate events, and her sparkling personality and cheeky sense of humour shine through all that she does.
Shanghai City Weekend: ‘A strong charismatic performer … singing and strutting with energy, enthusiasm and exuberance’.
Shiela Valderrama is a seasoned theatre performer and singer who grabbed two citations as Best Actress in a Musical and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Princess Fiona in “Shrek” and as Catherine Lyons in Sandbox Collective’s “Dani Girl”. She was a Best New Female Recording Artist winner in the prestigious Awit Awards for her featured song "That Time of Year" in Jose Mari Chan’s “Going Home to Christmas” album.
Shiela performed the role of Kapitana Mary Jane and Madre De Dios and in the critically acclaimed Filipino Originals "RAK of Aegis" and "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady" respectively. Other works include The Baker's Wife in Upstart production of "Into The Woods"; " Resorts World Manila’s 9 month run of "The King and I", playing the lead role Anna Leonowens (garnering Best Actress Nominations in Broadway World Philippines and Aliw Awards) and Atlantis Production’s “Carrie The Musical” playing the role of Miss Lyn Gardner, where she was chosen to record for the show’s original cast recording.
Shiela's international theatre credits include Broadway Asia’s Asian tour production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Cinderella Cover) where she was among the 3 Filipinos in the cast along with Lea Salonga. She was on Hong Kong Disneyland’s Original Opening Team performing 3 years in Disney Stage Shows “The Golden Mickey’s Show”; a Cantonese speaking lead role in “Bebe” and “Tarzan Singer”, and was also the first Asian to perform the role of “Nala” in the Disneyland Park Show “The Festival of The Lion King”. She likewise appeared in several Disney Special Events performing with the Disneyland Orchestra.
Shiela made her professional stage debut in Rep’s Children's Theater 46th season staging of “Cinderella” (Cinderella Cover & Green Fairy) and “Aladdin” (Princess Mei Ling). After taking a hiatus to complete her Business Degree in De Lasalle University – College of St. Benilde, she returned to Stage with Repertory Philippines for the productions of “The Secret Garden” (Mrs. Shelly/Ensemble), “Miong” (Kampuput); “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” (Snow White); William Shakespeare's “Much Ado About Nothing” (Ursula); “A Christmas Carol” (Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Ethel Cratchit), “Fame” (Serena Katz) & “Noises Off” (Belinda Blair).
Other credits include The Philippine Opera Company’s “Hansel and Gretel” (The Dewfairy); Metropolitan Theater Guild’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Helena); a Stages-abridged production of “Mama Mia” (Donna Sherridon); Trumpets' abridged touring shows of “The Little Mermaid”; Atlantis Productions of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Marcy Park); 9Works Theatrical’s “Sweet Charity” (Nickie Pignatelli); “The Wedding Singer” (Julia Sullivan) Resorts World Manila’s “The Sound of Music” (Baroness Elsa) Shraeder and Ryan Cayabyab’s original Filipino musical “Lorenzo” (Rosario Ruiz). Shiela also performed for the Pagcor Theater show “Flow” at Genting Club in Resort World Manila and for “Aawitan Kita”, a Filipino Folk Opera.
In addition, Shiela launched a self-titled debut album and is set to do Album promo tours and film a music video. She is likewise very active in performing and hosting corporate events in the Philippines and abroad. She also does film and TV work and has done several radio, print and television ads: Marby Bread, Palmolive Soap and Shampoo, J&J Lotion, Royal True Orange, Athena Milk, Globe Telecom, C-Lium Fiber, Rustan's & KFC.
A rising star of the Opera World, critically acclaimed Actor and Singer Shoumendu Schornikow joins “iCCAM” with the goal to further diversify his already established performing arts career.
Shoumendu completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Classical Voice in 2011. He has since performed with many of Australia’s leading opera companies including Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera and the Lyric Opera of Melbourne, as well as appearing on recordings for ABC Classics and on National Radio. Most recently, he has performed with Opera Australia in productions of “La Boheme”, “The Barber of Seville”, “The Pearl Fishers” and “Don Carlos”.
Roles include Don Inigo Gomez in” L’Heure Espagnol”, Simone in “Gianni Schicci”, Walter Wilkins in “Merrie” England (Lyric Opera of Melbourne), Jaquino and 1st Prisoner in Fidelio, Fiorello in “The Barber of Seville” (Melbourne Opera), Tranh in “The Parrot Factory”, Soloist in “Assembly” (Victorian Opera), Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata”, St Brioche and Cascada in “The Merry Widow”, Obstinate, Demas and Envy in Vaughan Williams’ opera “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, and Count Almaviva and Antonio in “Le Nozze di Figaro”. He also appeared as Mr. Alexander in Four Letter Word Theatre’s production of “A Clockwork Orange”.
Shoumendu has appeared with Melbourne Opera as a soloist in numerous concert settings and as the Baritone Soloist with the Melbourne University Faculty of Music Choir in Vaughan Williams’ “Five Mystical Songs”. A past residential Choral Scholar with Trinity College, he has toured to America and New Zealand with the Trinity College choir and has sung on their CDs, “Mystical Songs” and “Angels”.
Sidique Swaray was born in Guinea West Africa in 1998, and moved to Australia in 2004 with his father. Eventually he was reunited with his mother and sister, who followed suit down under in 2008. He has grown up with a great interest and creative expression in the performing arts industry, and has been involved in several performances designed for the school community nationwide.
Sidique has been dancing for as long as he can remember, having been involved in various competitions, festivals and youth events. He has busted hip-hop and breakdancing moves with an amazing ensemble of boys for School Spectacular for 4 years in a row. In addition, Sidique was involved in a prestigious competition called Wakakirri Performing Arts, versing other schools as both dancer and public speaker. He performed in an ensemble in front of an audience nearly totalling 8000 people at Sydney Entertainment Centre.
For Refugee Week, Sidique was proud to be school ambassador in a team that was key to raising awareness about the struggles faced by refugees and asylum seekers. He also served the student council as a representative, where local political matters are close to his heart.
On the acting side, Sidique’s only but life-changing screen credit to date was to work alongside Australian veteran Alex Dimitriades and award-winning director Krive Stenders of “Red Dog” and “Kill Me Three Times” fame in the SBS’s gritty 2015 drama “The Principal”. It has inspired and furthered his engagement within the entertainment field, giving him a chance to build upon his dramatic skills while learning more about the fact. He counts his parents’ support as being integral to his pursuits during and outside of school hours – and beyond, both professionally and personally.
Silvana Lorenzo de Shute is a hard woman to pin down: her Uruguayan heritage, that is. While she proudly bills herself as an Australian citizen by birth, she attributes her artistic and literary influences as well as a soothing, inspiring love of people and music to her ancestors who are also from Spain, Italy, France, England and Nigeria – phew, what an eclectic, potent melting pot!
This all has given Silvana a leg up in showbiz; while she has made a self-assured and bold name for herself in ‘black box’ theatre from “In the Company of Ants” (2010 and 2011), “Mikey” (2010), “A Mouthful of Birds” (2009), “Songs in the Speed of Love” (2007) and “Rocket to the Moon” (2007), she is no stranger to the screen as well and is always ‘audition ready’. Her spirited assistance on student short films and documentaries alongside filmmaking stalwart Katherine Davis and ACTT mentor John O’Hare in “7 Days of Sydney – Eastern Beaches” (2010) and “Barry White Saved My Life” respectively has pushed her to commit her studies by correspondence for BA Stage & Screen Performance at UNE.
When Silvana isn’t too busy devising, producing, acting and singing, she is a doting mother to two beautiful, infectiously positive children.
British born & raised Chinese, with a quintessentially British accent of Received Pronunciation. Simon Tse left the UK and had been travelling around Asia and Australia since June 2014. He was a part time model in the UK & Singapore in 2010/2011 and did some adhoc work during his travels around Asia. He notes greater diversity abroad compared to the UK market that fails to cast any Eastern Asian personality for anything within the media such as billboards, adverts and magazines.
Simon notes that beauty is simply based on perception and is not subjected to limited guidelines, but that it can ‘be found everywhere, in the most different of faces’. He has been told that androgynous features have more of an ‘high end’ look.
Although Simon is more experienced in modeling he is willing to have a go in acting, having completed two terms for Sydney Drama School. He was thrilled to be cast as a WW2 soldier for the Japanese frontline in Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” in late 2015.
Beyond these industries, Simon is fun, daring, charismatic and sophisticated and has a strong, hardworking passion for the industry, which brings its own sense of style.
Simon volunteers with St. Vinnies in Martin Place, NSW as he believes in giving back and helping those in need. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and does smile in person—honest! Either way, he is happiest when he is able to express himself and be creative with like-minded individuals or by himself.
More examples of his work can be found on: http://www.modelmayhem.com/1697246.
If Simone Neviani’s pin-up poster boy looks are anything to go by, it’s that still waters run deep. He made a fine, collaborative living as a model in Italy in calendars and underwear for “Hellboys” and “Eros Veneziani” respectively since 2013. Eventually he wanted to turn his dark and sensual appearance into acting so he decided to pursue a more substantial career when he relocated to Australia for more daring opportunities in an ethnically diverse society.
Since his 2015 arrival in Sydney, Simone has managed to nab a score of featured roles on beloved national TV shows such as legal dramas “Rake” and “Janet King” as well as more lighter fare like beachside “Home and Away” and love-seeking “First Dates”. Getting a taste of the Australian entertainment industry, he is also treating his experience in film and short films as invaluable, attentive lessons to his overall portfolio.
Simone’s studies with renowned Suzi Dougherty at Harry Jensen Centre in the first half of 2016 have seen leaps and bounds across his styles, including Grotowsky, Shakespeare, Stanislavski and Alexander Technique to name a few. He also has been developing mindfulness of his body and meditative breathing, which can only strengthen his portrayal – on screen and off screen.
Sonia Marcon has been a performing arts professional for 18 years in Perth and Melbourne as an actor, singer, writer, producer and director. She has appeared in a number of award-winning and award-nominated theatre productions including “Cry Havoc” (Best New Play, Perth Theatre Trust Guild Equity Awards), “Serpentine”, and Heartstring’s widely acclaimed all-female production of “Coriolanus”.
Sonia embraces new challenges, whether it is taking on musical composition for the Perth comedy show “You Only Rent Twice”, or learning Spanish dancing to play an interpretation of Death in Federico García Lorca’s “Blood Wedding”. In 2016 she wrote and performed in the Channel 31 sketch comedy series “What’s Wrong With You”, and she continues to develop and perform self-devised monologues and movement works for the Melbourne-based Quippings performance group.
Sophie Stephens is a young and accomplished performer. In 2011 she competed at the Dance Worlds in Orlando, Florida, winning 4th place in the National division. After successfully auditioning for entry into the QCGU Musical Theatre course, she has had the pleasure of playing roles such as Jack’s Mother in “Into the Woods”; Edith Middleton in “The Wishing Well”; Mrs Mullins in “Carousel” and Rose Ritz in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. Sophie also sang the iconic song Aquarius in the production of “Hair”. Sophie is excited to enter the world of Musical Theatre and aboard.
With an Irish-English background, Sophie grew up in a large, boisterous, cricket-watching family with three brothers and a sister. She began singing from a very young age in school choirs and performed at various carol gigs with artists such as Normy Rowe, Rikki-lee Coulter, Paulini and Shelley Craft over a 3-year period. Most of all, she is a huge Beyonce fan and actually got to meet her in 2009.
If Sophie were to describe herself in one word, it would be quirky. She never misses a chance to have a laugh and make jokes. She believes that she is exactlylike the character Chandler from the TV show “Friends”! Her crazy dream in life is to star in an action movie and play Wonder Woman (though any superhero will do).
However Sophie often can also be deep in thought, understated and studiously apprised of current affairs, pop culture and youth issues. For instance, she ran a radio show on 4ZZZ called “Alphabet Soup” in 2011, where they basically had a letter for each show and played an artist or song starting with that letter, before discussing topics on whatever letter it was. Running on graveyard fumes (from 2am till 6am) and going to school straight afterwards, it’s no wonder that she has the work-life balance down pat!
With a British passport, Sophie plans to move to London later on in life as she loves everything about the scene.
Born in Newcastle, Australia from Macedonian parents, Stefo Nantsou has written over 50 plays and co-devised a further 65 productions worldwide. His ethnically ambiguous look has enabled him to play roles such as Lebanese, Greek, Indian, Italian, Anglo-Australian, South American, Samoan, Spanish, Russian and of course his own – Macedonian!
He co-founded the Ship-O-Fools in 1980, was an ensemble actor/writer with Freewheels Theatre (1983-84) and a full-time ensemble member of Sydney’s Sidetrack Theatre (1985-87), and founded Zeal Theatre in 1989. The latter became a touring international enterprise, which saw him act in over 45 productions alone, some of which received critical acclaim and deserving awards on his ability to deliver relevant social commentary with biting humour and empowering truthfulness in equal measure.
Under Stefo’s close and accomplished directorial attention to detail, Zeal has created over 40 original productions, notably “Joyride” (over 600 performances throughout Australia & New Zealand 92-96) and “The Stones” (performed with co-writer Tom Lycos over 1200 times worldwide, also translated in more than 20 countries). Zeal Theatre received the prestigious ASSITEJ President’s Award for ‘outstanding services to the theatre for young people industry’ in Montreal in 2005.
Stefo has also directed his plays for companies around Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hungary, New Zealand & Wales. He has also received two Australia Council Literature Fund grants for “Energy” (1993) and “The Big Tomorrow” (1994), co-founded Melbourne’s The Torch Company, writing/directing “The Essentials” (1997), “Mechtron” and “The Torch” (1999).
Stephanie Adams moved from New Zealand in 2013 to study Music Theatre at Federation University in Ballarat in the graduating class of 2015. While attending this course her theatre credits include “Smash Hit” (Doctor), “Urinetown” (Hope Understudy), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Mathilde, Miss Dorothy Understudy, Alice Understudy, Ethel Peas Understudy). She also performed and wrote her own cabaret “Gingernuts!” which had successful seasons in both Ballarat and Melbourne.
Prior to attending Federation University, Stephanie performed professionally in the Will Martin concert series; was a finalist in the TVNZ’s “Find A Star” competition and was awarded a scholarship from The New Zealand Singing School. There, she received the advantage of mentoring from Broadway performing artist Liz Callaway.
Stephanie is particularly invested in the development, nurturing and inspiration of young talent. For this reason she currently sits in a management position for a New Zealand-based company “Artz On Show”, one of most renowned children’s Music Theatre School.
Aside from musical theatre she is passionate about tea, coffee, good food, cats, red wine and living a very Melbournian-style life that makes her and the people around her happy and fulfilled.
Stephanie Kurlow: Dancer, Actor and Model. The First Professional hijab wearing ballerina in the world.
Advocate for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Stephanie Kurlow is based in Sydney, Australia and has been performing since the age of two. Stephanie’s areas of work include dancing, singing, acting, poetry, writing, art and modeling. She dreams of becoming the first hijab-wearing professional ballerina.
Her passion for ballet and inspiration has gained a lot of attention from the world. Despite criticism, Stephanie advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Stephanie's story was featured in media powerhouses such as BBC, CNN, Teen Vogue, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Independent, SBS, Channel 10 ‘The Project’, SMH etc. Articles have appeared in many countries, including Australia, America, UK, Russia, India, Tunisia, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sweden, Belgium and France. Most recently, she won a competition hosted by SBS and Foundation for Young Australians where she created her own short film, which was broadcast on TV. She has been taking the Internet by storm and has received a tremendous amount of criticism along with phenomenal support. Some of her videos have received more than 6.8 million views and currently, she has more than 30K followers on social media.
Despite all the hype, Stephanie remains a focused and grounded individual, achieving exemplary results in her ballet school. Marrying raw talent with her chosen passion of ballet, there is so much more potential yet to be realised.
Combining her faith and her passion and drive to excel in ballet, Stephanie is doing what no one else has - becoming the first Muslim, hijab-wearing ballerina. She is bridging the gap between how ballet is perceived by people of different cultural backgrounds and how ballet can be accessed on a larger scale and revolutionised beyond the Anglo-centric talent pool, thereby creating new streams to or outside of established dance institutions.
This was recognised when Swedish sports brand Bjorn Borg awarded Stephanie the very first Game Changer scholarship to train in ballet in 2016 and created a short film about her journey.
While responding to the drive to express herself through ballet, Stephanie has become a role model for the youth, especially young girls, as to what can be achieved through perseverance and hard work.
In a climate of Islamophobia, she is one of the few pioneers in sports and entertainment who has reached personal and artistic goals at the tender age of 15.
Stephanie believes that solutions can be seen where others see problems, as evidenced by her dream to open a performing arts school to cater to people of different religious and cultural backgrounds. By servicing an area that has traditionally received little support, she can create an opportunity to inspire others who may not have otherwise chosen dance as a form of creative expression - simply because of where you come from. This will in turn tap into a larger talent pool that can serve both ballet and diverse communities respectively.
Not one to rest on her laurels and continually driving her own initiative, Stephanie plans to open her own performance company as director, dancer and choreographer in the future. She envisions performances in the mainstream space, both across Australia and worldwide, whilst allowing her to retain the integrity of her Muslim faith. This will thereby allow her and others to wear the hijab and still be able to perform in a safe, enlightened and unobjectionable environment.
Stephanie also would like to become an actress. Her engaging, grounded persona, gentle beauty, trailblazing attitude and groundbreaking talent in the performing arts would be assets to the Australian film landscape that is beginning to favour social progress and casting unorthodoxy.
Her dedication to full-time ballet school is exemplary, as are her worthwhile achievements at this early age.
Indeed, this young girl, of Australian-Russian heritage, is poised to perform her chosen art of ballet to a transcendent standard and change the world into a better, more inclusive place.
Stephen Price has raw, inherently calming talent that needs to be nurtured, with a strong drive. He does not want to do anything else. Along with a carer/helper, he has managed to completed two terms at NIDA but did not find its structured, able bodied-focused learning to his liking.
However with the right compassionate support, guidance and access to relevant industry resources, Stephen can achieve great things. He has a sense of humour and enjoys going to musical theatre, and watching a lot of television, which has fed him a good knowledge of television stars as well as an understanding of some human emotions.
At the same time, Stephen hopes that his performance will break through the mainstream ceiling previously denied to his peers. With guidance, he will be a good actor and has an energetic screen and stage presence. While looking for experience in his first professional role, he is able to work through the year. He is very keen and dedicated, with most of his intensity and attention on short basic lines.
Born in Tumlingtar, Nepal, Sudip Sauden’s only dream in Australia was to contribute to the strikingly attractive landscape of its peoples. And there’s nowhere he can achieve this measure than as a model and actor. His best asset lies in a seemingly perpetual state of ‘barechestedness’. Although his homeland is a conservative society, he considers this freedom here to be a lifestyle by professional and liberal necessity. As a model, he owes his various states of undress to depth, poise, fashion impact and fixation within the human gaze, while holding himself to utmost standards. His colleagues share this same philosophy, which is why he tends to view them as birds of the same feather.
During his career as a model, Sudip has been a summer catalogue model for “Leather On”, in leather attire – the quality of his photographs were such that they were used to advertise the corporate website. He also promoted Adidas, Reebok and other individual designer brands for the “Ivy Runway Project”, placing him in high publicity with well-known Sydney fashion designers as well as for the subsequent year’s event. He straddled characters and genres for wedding photo and gothic art shoots associated with Studio 1A. He caught international attention as both a male and female character with an Afro hairstyle modeling for a ‘Body Beautiful Remix’ performance, so as to illustrate a modern take on commercialism.
Just as easily, Sudip has converted his ideology into the world of acting to a smaller degree. Whether he is familiar on the set of a photo shoot, commercial, music video or a short film or on a runway, he strives for the same typical depth: intense, silken-skinned, nonplussed, inscrutable, diligent, comfortable and holding the cards close to his chest – literally.
You can’t find a more dedicated and flamboyant dancer than Suppakorn Chuwongwut, who trains for 4 hours a day, 6 days a week in Ballroom and Latin styles. He is a Ballroom teacher who worked with Thailand Dance Sport Association and had the privilege of extensive training with Marcel De Rijk (former President of the Dance Sport Association in Holland). When Suppakorn moved to Australia, he continued his employment at The Promenade Dance Studio, under proprietor Leanne Bamptom (acclaimed “Dancing with the Stars” choreographer).
Whilst he graduated from accounting at University of Thailand, where he learnt about financial management, his true passion lies in dance. Suppakorn’s leadership skills and choreography of variety of dance styles—both socially and professionally—are faultless, attentive and punctual. Alongside his ageless, leathery smooth and approachable looks as a model, he treats the stage as an intimate and flirtatious partner, which is why people tend to gravitate towards him and all the best moves.
Suppakorn’s performance on “So You Think You Can Dance”, which saw him finishing in Top 100, was his first contact with TV. It wasn’t until at the start of 2015 that he had the great pleasure of acting as Nutt in “Down Under”, a satirical feature about the Cronulla riots. He hopes that the screen will be the start of his lifelong love affair with entertainment.
Taya Orchard is a passionate and versatile Triple Threat performer. Making her stage debut in “Annie” at the age of 8, she has over 16 years’ experience spanning across theatre, film, radio and television.
Taya has extensive training in singing, dancing and acting, graduating with the Chancellors Award for Academic Excellence from Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Bachelor of Music (Musical Theatre). While studying she has performed lead/featured roles in “Carousel” (Hannah), “Hair” (Jeanie), “Into the Woods” (Florinda), “I Love you your Perfect Now Change” and was a soloist at the “QPAC American Music Club”. Prior to graduating she accepted a contract to perform the lead in Brainstorm Production’s Australian Tour of “Cyberia” and “Magic Words”.
Taya feels grateful to be able to travel doing what she loves and has spent the last 2 years touring internationally as the lead in “The Little Mermaid”, “The Magical Beanstalk”, “Dora the Explorer”, “Peppa Pig” and “Jungle book Jive”.
Constantly striving to hone her skills Taya has attended master classes with Neil Rutherford, Leontine Hass, John Bucchino, Matthew Robinson and Tom McSweeney. A talented and disciplined performer with a wonderful work ethic, combined with her warm and open personality, she is an asset to any cast.
Tayfun Yanar is currently completing his final year of high school at Sir Joseph Banks High School. One of the subjects that he is most passionate about is Drama, for which he has received consistently outstanding results throughout his drama course. He most recently performed with a diverse ensemble in “The Way” directed by Stefo Nantsou, which gave him advisable insight into the performing industry.
Tayfun was selected to attend the NSW State Drama Camp. By participating in the program he was able to develop many integral skills in the workshops that he was a part of, such as voice skills and accents, circus skills, script interpretation and improvisation. From these workshops he hopes to apply them to his advantage within the industry.
Tayfun embraces larger-scale, unique opportunities such as SBS’s “The Principal” (2014) citing it as a thrilling highlight to have worked so closely with director Kriv Stenders and Aussie legend Alex Dimitriades, so to extend his performance range. Furthermore, he has worked as Assistant Director (AD) across three school productions. His expeditious attention to detail and excellent communication technique has been used effectively in his role as AD. Tayfun has also worked as Stage Manager using his organisational and leadership abilities towards other school performances.
Tel Benjamin graduated from full time training at Actors Centre Australia in 2014. Highlights from his training were playing the iconic King Lear under direction by George Ogilvie and Jennifer West, exploring the role of Lopakhin in “The Cherry Orchard” directed by Anthony Skuse and getting back in touch with his comedy roots working on “Barefoot in the Park” directed by Adam Cook. TV and film credits include “Kick on Kings” (Dope Source Media), “The Passenger” (Wolf Garden Films, Official Selection St Kilda Film Festival 2015), “Noah” (Chekhov’s Gun Pictures, Official Selection LA Comedy Festival 2015), “The Milky Pop Kid” (Screen NSW, Official Selection Sydney Film Festival 2017) and “The Great Gatsby” (Bazmark).
Teodora A. (aka Tia) is a young actor who is currently enrolled at Wollongong High School of Performing Arts (WHSPA), The Actors Assembly Teens, The Drama Studio and EGTC. She has been performing as an actor, dancer and singer since the age of 3.
Tia is a citizen of both Canada and Australia having been born in Canada and now living in Australia. She is multi-lingual; her first language was English. However she also speaks Serbian (Croatian) and is currently learning Italian in which she has a basic understanding of.
As part of The Actors Assembly Teens, Tia has filmed several scenes for film and television. She is always learning about—and enjoying—the business of acting. By developing her personal attributes and qualities, she continues being the best person that she can be, which is mindfulness.
Tia has many other skills that would enable her to perform in many scenes that may need these talents such as basketball, kayaking and swimming.
As a young aspiring actor Tia has appeared in several performances and tested her acting abilities in several types of acting styles. Appearances include:
- WHSPA productions put on one main stage feature every year. Tia was chosen for a lead role in 2016’s “The Ash Girl” and is playing Mother.
- WHSPA displays students best chosen class works in which Tia has consistently performed every year showcasing children’s classics such as “Rapunzel”, “Matilda” and others.
- As improvisation is a valuable skill, Tia has appeared now twice in the Junior Theatre Sports competition in Sydney as part of a team. They have come 4th overall in 2014 and 1st overall in 2015.
- Tia tries to participate in as many programs and shows as possible to showcase her progress, involving herself both within curricular and extracurricular activities such as Improvisational Eisteddfods, Year 5 Drama Show (Balgownie Public School) and I98fm singing talent contests.
- Finally Tia ensures she maintains her skills in performing not only in English but in Serbian as well. Vidovdan Akademija (Annual Serbian Orthodox Churches Language Schools Performances) was conducted in Serbian.
Tess Branchflower’s noticeable performance history at the Arts academy includes playing the role of MC1 in “Smash Hit”, Penelope Pennywise in “Urinetown” and Mrs. Meers in her third year graduating musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. She was selected to participated in a workshop with American composer, John Bucchino, and in 2015 worked under the direction of Nancye Hayes OAM in “Riches, Romance and Rebellion”. She was awarded grant funding to collaborate, write and perform a theatre piece for Sovereign Hill and more recently performed in “Join the Dots”, and original song cycle by Forrester and Swan as part of La Mama Mobile.
In the world of radio, live awards coverage and general communication, Thara is a woman of many brush strokes. Not only has she been an on-air broadcaster, announcer, newsreader, celebrity and community-based interviewer, voice talent, host, journalist and presenter she has made broad inroads into roles and extras’ work for film and television.
Her credits to date have included “Deadly Women”, “The Matrix”, “Superman”, “The Alice”, “All Saints” as well as “Peugeot”, “Chanel”, “Smiths Crisps”, “Libra” advertisements.
Self motivated, resourceful, quick to learn and multi-tasked with excellent time management, Thara has been able to work in fast-paced corporate settings; prepare and read news bulletins; produce and present for commercial talk-back and lifestyle radio, SBS music and culture shows; and meeting broadcasting and news deadlines.
Her technical skills in sourcing, researching, developing engaging and accurate content and writing news bulletins as part of the 2SM news team have enabled Thara to effectively produce, lead and present current affairs shows such as “African Vine”, “African Hour” and “MultiCult” for SBS Radio. As writer and editor, she has over four years of experience in program scripts and news segments related to entertainment, youth, music and culturally diverse content.
Just as importantly, she views people skills as essential to staff, client, student and public liaison in both radio and music industries. Thara lends her voice as a presenter and host’s warmth in equal measure to commercials, community announcements, narratives for radio, corporate videos and events.
Born in Ha-Dong, Hanoi, Thi Hy Dang (aka , aka Ba – William Le’s grandmother) was a famous TV chef in Vietnam for four decades. She migrated to Sydney, Australia following the decimating horrors of Vietnam War but eventually made a prospective life for herself in the heart of Bankstown, home to a vibrant Vietnamese community. She still gets recognised everywhere from her doorstep to Surry Hills and, of course, as far as her homeland, which remembers her fondly.
During her career in cooking, teaching and presenting, Thi has accumulated an impressive bilingual (Chinese-Vietnamese-English) compilation of 63 DVDs, 84 videos, 48 cassettes as well as some online content, under the name Her cooking and arts & crafts classes are often in demand by the community, which praises her wonderfully eccentric, ornate and equally edible food art showcases. She also is key to many local wedding tributes and festival furnishings such as Chinese New Year.
Whether this food art is a watermelon carved in flowers; a granny chicken enjoying herself in the pot; a ham roast dressed up as an elephant; or a peacock and fish made out of pineapples and chilli – there’s no denying the mad genius behind Ba’s simple and gentle demeanour. Moreover, when she was younger she was apt in Mark typewriting, accounting and shorthand Vietnamese-French-American.
Thi has made a similar splash in the world of screen and radio having been responsible for her contributions to a women’s radio program and television in Saigon. Nowadays she lends her voice to SBS, 2UE, 3UE and a segment for Radio 24/24 and 2VNR called “I Cook Stove” in Sydney. She is a guest speaker for Vietnam Radio Australia (VNRA), which is broadcast not only locally but also in USA, particularly in Virginia, California and San José.
In print, Thi has been featured in editor newspapers: Vietnam Salgon Times (valve Luan-Art, Bell Saigon), California Paper Women’s Forum and The World Today Wichita.
Thomas Justin is a Sydney based actor/model with an eclectic eye for fashion and eye-popping sartorial pieces at a relatively young age. Of Chinese heritage, Thomas is already in demand for commercial TV, catalogues, and presenting. His perfectionist and self-challenging nature has taken him around Australia and around the world for his career.
While he sets the bar very, very high for himself, Thomas is always learning, creatively trying to maintain and improve himself in all facets, hopefully achieving self-actualisation in the process. He also hopes that when he reaches his peak a long time from now, he would like to make other people happy through some of his works, perhaps even to inspire others like he himself has been.
Thomas’ articulated interest in human behavior/health and physical (athletic) development follows on from his career in fashion modeling, print/photography, promotion as well as creative writing and competitive sport. He holds the idea that to tell a story successfully is to maximize one’s potential at that particular time through one’s chosen field.
Recently he has made inroads into acting, applying method acting under the tutelage of renowned and internationally trained Natela Dzuliashvili. Empowered by subtle and nuanced means of a ‘natural, alive state’ whether it is on the runway or on screen, Thomas seeks to flesh out a living, truthful human persona through artistic conception.
Tim Wotherspoon is chuffed to be the Assistant Director of “Evita”, his fourteenth show with Miranda Musical Society (MMS) since 2011. His love of musical theatre began when he was in the ensemble of Evita in Rockhampton (ROCKPAC), Queensland in 1996; his first show after leaving high school.
Tim’s previous MMS show credits include: Mark in “Altar Boyz”, The Heavenly Friend in “Carousel”, Rooster in “Annie”, Charles Guiteau in “Assassins”, Ike Skidmore in “Oklahoma!”, Fop in the “The Phantom of the Opera”, Geoffrey in “Stepping Out the Musical”, a Deltone in Shout, Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast”, the Duck in “Pippin”, the Purser in “Anything Goes”, Greg Gardner in “A Chorus Line” and Mungojerry in “Cats”.
Tim is also the Treasurer for Miranda Musical Society.
Off stage, Tim has represented NSW in men’s netball – winning national championships in 2013, and is owner/manager of NumberWorks’nWords Miranda (specialists in Maths tuition and English tuition).
Trung Ly is one of Australia’s top and award-winning martial arts fight choreographers who started out on short films such as "Enter The Dojo", "Gaffa", "Hit Girls" as well as on Hollywood legend Roger Corman's martial arts movie "Fist Of The Dragon". In 2014, he was the Action Fight Choreographer on ABC's TV series “Maximum Choppage” – Australia's much-publicised first Kung Fu comedy set in Cabramatta. He also choreographed the battle scenes in David Bradbury's ABC1 documentary "The Crater" in 2015.
Trung is the founder, owner and Master Instructor of Dong Thanh Martial Arts Association, Australia's largest and one of the oldest Vietnamese non-profit martial arts schools based in Western Sydney. a he has become one of the influential proponents in this field today.
Trung has studied martial arts since 1984 and is skilled in Shaolin, Kung Fu and Vo Vi Nam, to name a few. He is a current master in Hapkido and has mastered martial arts weaponry such as the nunchucks, staff, swords and hand-to-hand combat. He leads the Xtreme Martial Arts team and also choreographs the lion and dragon dance team, which is renowned for its lively and spectacular performances across Sydney particularly during Chinese New Year Festival.
In addition, Trung has 16 years experience as a QANTAS aircraft engineer and holds a pyrotechnic license, making him very qualified to handle practical, stunts-based effects such as blood splatter, explosions and weaponry.
After falling love with Shakespeare in high school, Uma Kali Shakti went on to study for a double degree BA & MA in Literature with a sub-major in Drama & Theatre, and never looked back since. In fact her career has spanned to 40 years working in theatre, film and TV across Aotearoa in NZ, Australia and England.
She has written, directed, produced, stage managed, performed at over 30 festivals & theatre companies internationally and here in Sydney including International Women’s Day, Imagine, Sydney Mardi Gras, Crash Test Drama, Sydney Fringe and Mamapalooza. In addition she has spent over 12 years with the Short+Sweet Festivals and picked up a handful of awards along the way. She was director of OWN (Older Women’s Network) Theatre Group, which mainly specialised in Theatre-in-Education. Currently she tutors at the Martian Embassy with Sydney Story Factory and direct plays written by children themselves (https://www.mynrma.com.au/living-well-navigator/work-volunteering/the-sydney-story-factory.htm).
TV & film credits include Britain’s TV series “Watch”, Tropfest films “Dance Card” (award-nominated screenings in international film festivals), “Jacob & Esau” and “Cost of Love” to name a few, as well as the Sydney Film Festival selection “Sling Shot.” In 2014, Uma produced, directed and acted in her first short film “Recession” which previewed at the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Holding a Multimedia degree, Uma has been a print journalist and was involved over nearly the same duration in writing, editing and producing journals, magazines, newsletters and newspapers in both hard copy and web.
Verna Amy Mc Clune is a Namibian-born Australian actress, model and bona-fide martial artist. She is passionate about Screen Acting and completed an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Stage Acting at the Performing Arts Conservatory where she realised her niche in action films. She boasts a range of skills, which include Script Analysis, Unarmed Combat Training, Shakespearean Training, Standard American Dialect and Improvisation.
Having competed on a national level in tennis, swimming and track & field, Verna is very athletic, independent and gung-ho about everything to do with sports. For this reason, she often has been cast as a strong, intellectual alpha female in the action genre with many of the fight scenes choreographed by Jiu-Jitsu instructors. To her audiences, she can exhibit a level of vulnerability that at once alternates between down-to-earth and domestically blissful; frolicsome and childlike; ‘everyday woman’ and ‘power woman’, socially enticing and daringly credible.
Her biggest role to date was Special Agent Alisha Foxes in a crime web series “Picture Them Dead” (2015), of which she is proud, as well as satirical web series “Old Bat” (2015) playing none other than the feline thief Catwoman! She was also thrilled to partake of a unique, fully immersive ‘combat survival horror’ gaming experience involving zombies in “IRL Shooter: Lazarus” (2014).
Verna speaks Afrikaans with a competent handle on Spanish. Other than enjoying piano, dancing and cooking, she has been featured in national commercials, corporate videos and print campaigns.
Xavier Fernandez reveals very little about himself—which is important when you’re an actor tackling many different characters over the course of your career. A Spaniard with an Australian nationality, he has been able to walk across different genres, from comedy to crime, from adventure to thriller and from social commentary, navigating through life changes, to the meaningful search for existentialism and cultural synergy.
Xavier starred as a guard in “Rough Stuff”, an off-road adventure about mud, mates, gold and a good oldfashioned lawless romp through the outback where outcasts have to choose between loyalty and selfpreservation. The road scenery with all the cat-and-mouse elements is also central in “Wrath”, where his character Javier Coritz travels with a group of friends through the remote Boanyoo Ranges, only to encounter a dangerous stranger who exemplifies the movie title.
Likewise, Xavier is a “Dark Horse”, a lonely taxi driver who forms an unlikely companionship with a young girl, together embarking on a journey to leave their troubled lives behind. Taking place in a small Chilean town, “Ca-Chi-Pun” sees him as a childhood friend whose bond with one another is tested in surprising ways.
Xavier nails the common, yet complex criminal look in “East West 101”—a highly acclaimed police drama demarcating the difference and reconciliation between Muslim and non-Muslim attitudes. He achieved a similar feat by appearing in two separate episodes of “Water Rats”.
Onto the more light-hearted fare, Xavier has served up a copious amount of “Australian Pie”—which is basically American Pie with an Australian slapstick twist, where the coming-of-age passage is fraught with peril as usual. Similarly “The Loop” takes the dating world through the wringer of off-the-charts hilarity. Xavier is a young, virile, handsome and extremely desirable lead—until he opens his mouth.
Xavier has courage for adventure and fantasy too, describing his work with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey on the tropical paradise ‘set’ of “Fool’s Gold” and with the respected director Bryan Singer on “Superman Returns” as highlights of his career.
Indeed, the body of his work could be said to resemble aspects of his personality: stoic, intense, enigmatic and hawk-eyed. Whether Xavier chews up the screen in a large part or small part, you stop and listen to him. And that’s the best that a working actor could ever ask for.
Yoji Tatsuta started his career in film industry as Set Decorator and Prop Master while growing up in Japan. After moving to Sydney, the Japanese/English speaking actor capitalised on opportunities including being featured as a samurai and army officer in director James Mangold’s “The Wolverine” (2012) and Naoetsu Guard in director Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” (2013).