Acting,  Producing,  Work,  Writing

Shorts Relief is nigh, This Wooden O and Chasing Pegasus is done and Dark Arcadia looms

Its been a VERY busy time since the end of last year, so this update is covering three projects that I’ve been involved in – one of which is happening this weekend in Melbourne and is going to be absolutely huge – Shorts Relief: Flicks For the Fires takes place at The Capitol Theatre, Swanston Street, Melbourne this Sunday March 8 and as Event Producer, I’m deep in the trenches for final prep for that, but more about that in a moment! Let’s do a quick round up of what’s been happening since I last posted here first …

Chasing Pegasus (a play in ten chords)

Some of the 2019 Chasing Pegasus (a play in ten chords) cast: (L-R) Mark Salvestro as “Marc”, Sarah Hallam as “Katherine”, Sally McLean as “Franklin Storey”, Emma Choy as “Yasmine”, Falon Ryan as “Liberty”, Philip Hayden as “Andrew” and Catherine Smith as “Sophie” during the moved reading in December 2019 at Howard Fine Acting Studio, Melbourne. Photo by Craig Fuller.

On December 11th I revisited the first play I wrote, Chasing Pegasus (a play in ten chords) as a moved reading at the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, featuring HFAS Faculty members, staff and Full Time Acting Program alumni including Philip Hayden, Emma Choy, Jessica Martin, Sarah Hallam, Sass Pinci, Sally McLean, Mark Salvestro, Falon Ryan, Gemma Carfi and Catherine Smith.

The night was a huge success, with a full house in attendance and such wonderful feedback afterwards. As writer, director and playing “Franklin” (whom I hadn’t played before), it was both thrilling and confronting revisiting this work 13 years after it was last performed, but overall strangely cathartic and I am so glad I had the chance to do it. You can read the full report about the evening, along with all the amazing photos by Craig Fuller here.

This Wooden ‘O’

Sally as “Chorus” in This Wooden ‘O’ at Howard Fine Acting Studio, Melbourne in February 2020. Photo by Sarah Clarke.

I think I’m a little insane for having even attempted this, but last month I did the Level 2 work for my Playing The Bard called This Wooden ‘O’, where students worked with up to 5 Shakespeare characters each and then presented the work to an audience in the form of an adapted play (which I adapted and wrote) – all over the space of a week. So we ended up with 44 characters from 12 different plays performed by 13 actors over the space of 75 minutes! It was CRAZY! But also – brilliant and wonderful to watch and every actor in the ensemble jumped in with both feet and produced such wonderful work, which was so much fun to watch!

I ended up playing “The Chorus” from Henry V performing the “O for a muse of fire …” speech, which I played as a cleaner in a theatre to set the scene, which was a huge challenge, as I was also teaching/directing the work, but we all got there!

The play is now being looked at as a touring show, so more on that when I can share the news!

Shorts Relief: Flicks For The Fires

A selection of the films and series that will be screening at Shorts Relief: Flicks for the Fires this Sunday, March 8 at The Capitol Theatre Melbourne

I am proud of all the projects I’m involved with and generate, but this one holds a special place in my heart. About six weeks ago, I approached some of my industry colleagues with the idea of putting together a bushfire relief benefit from the Victorian independent film sector. A week later, a group of us were around a table discussing what has become Shorts Relief: Flicks for the Fires – a one-off curated short film and web series festival to be held at the Capitol Theatre, Melbourne on Sunday March 8, which also happens to be International Women’s Day, and will be raising much-needed funds for Wildlife Victoria and the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal to help with the recovery after the devastating bushfires we experienced in Victoria this fire season.

The Capitol Theatre, Melbourne

The program consists of comedy, drama, documentary and animation short films and web series, featuring an array of Victorian talent from the big and small screens including Guy Pearce (Neighbours), Christopher Kirby (The Matrix Trilogy), Ditch Davey (Spartacus), Angus Sampson (Mad Max), Nadine Garner (The Blake Mysteries), Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan, Winners & Losers), Toby Truslove (Koko: A Red Dog Story, Utopia), Scott Major (Neighbours) and Genevieve Morris (Ride Like A Girl, Comedy Inc., No Activity) among others, held at one of Melbourne’s most iconic cinema venues – the Capitol Theatre, Melbourne.

Produced by my production business Incognita Enterprises in conjunction with The Lost Artist and Melbourne WebFest, this bushfire recovery fundraising event is a celebration of some of the best short form screen content available from Victorian filmmakers, showcased in an afternoon and evening of screenings, panels and and entertainment featuring special guests from the worlds of film and television, bushfire relief work and more.

Special Guest Presenters appearing in person at the event include Michala Banas, Alan Fletcher, Toby Truslove, Christopher Kirby, Ditch Davey and award-winning YouTube and Facebook comedy stars Cameralla Comedy, among others.

Some of the actors featured in the award-winning films and series in the Shorts Relief line up

As March 8 is also International Womens’ Day, the program has been curated to include a large selection of films and series featuring female directors, producers, writers, actors and other creatives, to highlight the impressive contribution that women make to our creative screen industry.

Its’ been an action-packed 8 weeks of 2020, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially with Shorts Relief coming up this weekend. I am so excited to share the amazing talents of my fellow filmmakers on the amazing 4k cinema screen at the Capitol (I was just in the venue yesterday doing a tech run, and the films look AMAZING!), but also feel such a sense of purpose and drive to raise as much money as we can for our nominated charities. I am more and more focused on being part of the solution, and a lot of my work reflects that, so this upcoming event is very close to my heart. And it’s been an incredible effort from all the team. We have essentially pulled together in six weeks something that normally takes over three months to create. I’m blown away by the commitment, energy and love for the project that everyone has shown who is involved and so grateful to all of them.

I hope to see as many of you Melbourne peeps there as possible – it’s for such an important cause (100% of profits from ticket sales go to the charities and therefore the wildlife and communities affected by the Victorian fires), everyone is volunteering from the organising team, to the filmmakers, to the special guest presenters, to the panellists, to the technical team, to the front of house team, we have six amazing Event Partners/Sponsors, the Capitol Theatre have waived their venue hire fee to help us out with costs, the caterers are donating a percentage of bar profits towards our final tally – the list goes on. It is truly a village effort and I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful, generous village that has made this event possible.

Tickets are $30 Full/$20 Concession.
Bookings essential.
All info:

I’ll report back after Sunday, and hopefully see some of you there, but until next time – keep shining, keep smiling and take care of you and your world.

Sal x