NEWS!

11th December, 2023.

Hello and welcome to my final occasional update for 2023.

The last one of these was back at the start of August, and a few things have happened since then. So, where to begin? Well, apart from auditioning for (and not getting*)…

  • A role in a zombie movie starring Daisy Ridley,
  • The role of the protagonist’s brother in a biopic,
  • A role in an action movie starring Liam Neeson,
  • A role in a horror movie where I would have played an American wrestling coach who survives a plane crash, only to get eaten by a shark,
  • A superannuation commercial,
  • A real estate commercial,
  • An insurance commercial,
  • The role in NCIS Sydney that went to William McInnes,
  • and the voice of an animated bee,

… I’ve been pretty busy.

I don’t think I’ve told you this, but my one-man Comedy Festival show from earlier this year Letters From My Heroes… if they’d actually bothered to write back has qualified for support from Regional Arts Victoria, which means that I’ll be touring the show throughout regional Victoria in 2024! I’m excited about this – I’ve never toured a one-man show before and I look forward to taking it on the road for a series of performances at smaller venues all over this great state of ours. Dates and venues are to be advised, but I’m very much looking forward to this brand-new challenge!
Apart from that, I’ve been doing a few podcasts: another episode of Confessions with Sam Petersen & Dave Warneke, an episode of Dave’s own podcast Book Cheat (again with Sam Petersen), And I was absolutely honoured to be part of the live recording of the final episode of Damian Callinan’s fantastic Bodgy Creek Community Podcast

I’m at around the 54:17 mark, playing the ghost of Etienne Gascard, a French ghost who’s having a bit of an existential crisis… Naturally.

And speaking of podcasts, have I mentioned that my friend Bill Ten Eyck and I have an occasional podcast called The Funny Thing Is… ?

Well, we do.
Each episode, Bill brings two funny things to the table, and so do I, the idea being that we may be able to introduce each other – and of course, the dear listener – to something funny, which they may not have been aware of before. There are four episodes up there so far. So please consider having a listen, if you think it sounds like something that may tickle your fancy.

The Funny Thing Is (http://thefunnythingispodcast.com/)

Work continues to proceed on my comedy whodunnit play A Madness Most Discreet… After finishing the second draft, I organised a read-through with eight fantastic actors back in October, to get a better idea of how it all played, how the characters were working (or not), how the story was working (or not) and how the gags were working (or not).
I was delighted with the read-through and so grateful to my actor friends who all gave BRILLIANT performances. A lot of suggestions came out of the read-through; I received loads of feedback and also had a lot of new ideas of my own on how to make parts of it better. So I set about incorporating all of that new information into the script – tweaking and honing, tweaking and honing, tweaking and honing – which resulted, a week ago, in this:

Now I’ve sent that third draft off to my agent so that we can collectively work out what the best next steps may be. Will it ever see the light of day? Dunno. But in the meantime, I’m soldiering on, because I believe in this thing, dammit!

And now that that’s with them, I’ve cleared the decks and finally, finally begun work in earnest on the sequel to my novel Symphony Under Siege. I’ve had various ideas for a sequel story over the last couple of years; a story that grows organically out of the events in the first novel… and I now feel confident enough in the story I’ve got to begin planning it out. I’m excited about travelling back to the world of the Symphony, and am looking forward to finding out what all those folks have been up to! So my first (self-imposed) deadline with this project is to get the whole thing thoroughly planned out, chapter-by-chapter, by December 31st.

And that’s just about it for now… and for 2023. And now, for no particular reason, I’ll leave you with a pic of that time on Mad As Hell when Tosh, Christie, Emily & I got to be The Young Ones.

Man, I loved that job…

Merry Christmas everybody, and a Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Stephen

*Ah, the life of an actor, eh?

3rd August, 2023.

I hope you’re all well on this very sunny Thursday afternoon. (Well, it’s sunny where I am, anyway.) I have three things to talk about today… because this is turning out to be quite a chockablock, jam-packed week.

Firstly, last Sunday night I was lucky enough to attend the TV Week Logie Awards as a guest (for the first time since 2007!) rather than its writer, because Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell was nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy Program AND Most Popular Comedy Program!

But we lost both of those. Ah well, C’est La Logie…

Shaun was also nominated for the Gold Logie and Most Popular Presenter… but unfortunately, he didn’t get to take home either of those trophies either. Despite all this, we all still all managed to have a great time at AustralianTelevision’sNightOfNightsWhenTheBrightestClichesComeOutToShine…;

Then, the very next night (Monday), I found myself on stage at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall in front of 2,300 people, doing a John Cleese impression… for John Cleese.

Hmm, perhaps I should provide a bit of background to this…

Back on July 19th, I was one of the writers – and one of the roasters – on The Australian Roast of John Cleese, a live event at Crown Palladium that was shot by Channel 7, and which will be airing sometime later this year, as a 90-minute special. (Don’t worry – I’ll tell you exactly when as soon as I know. Just try and stop me!)
Anyway, after that show, I got talking to John and to his tour manager, and John invited me to come up on stage with him on the second of his Melbourne shows! It was a truly joyous experience, where I reprised some of the stuff I did in the roast. It got some good laughs… including some from the man himself!

Of course, taking photos at this event was strictly prohibited.
I’m so glad my friend took one anyway.

Me making John Cleese laugh on stage, in front of 2,300 people. Whatever you do, don’t tell 14-year-old me; this will blow his tiny mind.

And finally today, I wanted to tell you about an exciting thing I’ll be doing this Saturday night (August 5th) in North Fitzroy. It’s a Variety Night to raise funds for refugees, and I’ll be doing a 10-minute slot, in which I plan to condense my 50-minute Comedy Festival show Letters From My Heroes down to a very abridged, pared-back, stripped-down 10-minute version.

… but still with a Big Musical Finish.

Can I do it?! Am I crazy to try? Is it even possible?! To find out, please consider coming along on Saturday night. It should be a great gig and it’s all for a very, very good cause.

Tickets and information can be found right HERE!

And that’s it for this update! Thank you for reading this far, and I’ll talk to you again soon (if I don’t see you on Saturday night). And if I DO see you on Saturday night, please come over and say Hi. I’m generally quite friendly, as a rule…

Cheers,
Stephen