HOME » NEWS » ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE — VALE BILLE BROWNAll The World’s a Stage — Vale Bille Brown15th January, 2013 | Written by: Bobbi-Lea Dionysius | No Comments Yet and 1 Reaction
The arts community is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Australian theatre legend Bille Brown on Sunday, January 13.
Bille lost a secret battle with cancer, aged 61. A great actor and mentor, Bille touched many lives both on and off-stage with his talent, wisdom and generosity of spirit.
At age eighteen, Bille got his start through QTC’s Theatre Residency week and had his first mainstage production in 1971 withWrong Side of the Moon. He has since worked with QTC on twenty-nine productions and produced four of his own written works over a period spanning four decades.
Bille performed extensively in Australia at all the major theatres including the Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Bell Shakespeare Company, Company B, La Boite Theatre Company and at the Sydney Opera House.
Bille’s talent also took him abroad where he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years and toured throughout Europe, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and Munich. He also performed on the West End and on Broadway.
Last year, Bille was nominated for a Helpmann award for best male actor for his performance in the STC — Malthouse production of The Histrionic.He also nominated for an Olivier award as the gender-bending Wicked Witch inThe Wizard of Oz.
For the past few years Bille was the Industry Ambassador for the Actors’ & Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund of Queensland.
In 2001, Bille was awarded the Centenary Medal “for distinguished service to the arts” and in 2011, Bille was named as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List, “for service to the performing arts as an actor and playwright, and to education”.
In recognition of his contribution to the arts in Queensland, QTC officially opened the Bille Brown in July 2002. The space is currently home to QTC’s Greenhouse program; a place for emerging artists, new works, exciting ideas and constant debate.
QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch said this was a time to remember and give support to each other. “The artistic community of Queensland and Australia has lost a true gentleman. We are part of Bille’s legacy,” he said.
Every actor, playwright, director, stage manager, designer, musician and all the teams who work in theatre in Queensland owe Bille a huge debt. He brought a sense of adventure, love and respect. His talent and love survives in us all.
- QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch
A fitting tribute, Bille aptly recites with seeming self-awareness of his own ‘stage’ in life, the famous piece, ‘All The World’s a Stage’ from Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
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REEL DO’S and DON’TS
Posted: 7th Jan 2012 09:39 AM PST
REEL DO’S and DON’TS by Helen Abell
The basic purpose of a reel is to grab the attention of the agent or casting director by putting selections of your highest quality material together to put your best face forward and then leave them wanting more.
If you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t have enough material,” Don’t worry! You can put together a speed reel of short clips of your work or even selections of (professionally taped) recent student films.
Important DO’s to remember:
*Know what you are auditioning for and to whom you are marketing towards.
*Always! Lead off with your strongest, most recognized, professional quality material. Then finish up with your second strongest piece of work. Give it a nice bookend.
*It must be focused on YOU! The first face they see should be yours.
*Know your type and focus your material in a way that highlights your type. As your reel continues on you can diversify away from your type and show them how you can stretch, but you want to begin with how you are most easily cast. You want the casting director or agent’s first thought to be, “Yes. I can see that. I know how to cast this person.”
*If you are submitting for a particular audition and your dominant type presented in your reel doesn’t necessarily match what you are auditioning for-it is better to submit good material rather than nothing at all. Who knows! They may consider you for another part or cast against type! Stranger things have happened!
*Always choose Quality over Quantity. One clip of strong professional work is worth a lot more than 5 badly edited, badly lit scenes.
*Make sure your finished reel is posted on the casting sites! It gives you a leg up. Your submission is more likely to be seen if it has a video attached.
How long should it be?
*A professional reel, which includes network television and major film credits, should not be any longer than 5 minutes.
*If you do not have a legitimate number of credits, it is a good idea to keep it between 1 minute and 30 seconds minimum and 3 minutes maximum.
*If you don’t have a lot of material the best thing to do is to create Speed Clips instead of a reel. 30 seconds to 1 minute of good quality material from one project is better than throwing a bunch of mixed quality things together. Break it up and showcase yourself with the little clips.
*Most importantly, the first 30 seconds are the most crucial!
Putting it together
A title card at the beginning of your demo is a great way to start out. It should include your name and your web address.
If you are putting it on your website or into an email, it should be embedded or no more than one click away via youtube or vimeo. You don’t want to make Agents or CD’s have to chase you down. They don’t have the time, so make their lives a little easier.
Each clip should be well edited and it should not over show you. You don’t want to show the entire scene/show/film/etc, you want to give a glimpse and leave them wanting more.
Remember: The point of a reel is to:
Be proud of your work, but be realistic about what you have done. If the quality is bad or sound, lighting, and editing is not up to par, then it should not be used no matter how good the acting. If it distracts from the performance, then it is not good and it won’t help you.
Good quality footage from Film and Television is the best business card you can have; it gives you credibility. Short and really good is better than long and pretty good.
For Theatre: all of the above applies.
*Most theatre auditions are in person and a reel is not necessary. However, on the occasion you have to send a reel for an out-of-town audition, or if one is requested of you, it is a good idea to have one ready.
*Make sure it is an accurate representation of your work.
*Performance footage is awesome, but not always easy to obtain and this is understood in the industry.
*If you are taping a song, dance number, or scene:
1. Make sure it is project specific. Ask yourself: What do they need to see if you can’t be in the room?
2. When compiling material for a specified audition, do not cut together the best portions- it should be shown in one take.
3. When compiling material for a theatre reel: same rules apply as in film and television.
Written by Helen Abell with interviews from Vince Pisani, A-List Atlanta Actor, & Vic DiMonda, Associate Producing Director of the John W. Engeman Theatre
John O'Hare M.F.A.