A year isn’t a long time, but a lot can happen. My life so often is about things I dream up to do. I am not somebody who waits for things to happen, I actively seek out adventure. 2015 was a year of major triumphs and disappointments, sometimes hand in hand on the same project. This then is my reflection of the year that was and the three creative projects I worked on.
The first Anderson Project 2015, Andy Warhol Fifteen Minutes of Fame, a play written and directed by me, played to full houses at the Jewish Museum of Australia… this was definitely a proud, stand alone moment. It was inspiring to see my work on the life of Andy Warhol (a childhood idol) standing alongside his exhibition of Famous Jews of the Twentieth Century. I could never have imagined when writing the piece that it would be performed someday with Warhol’s paintings and the Q & A afterwards ignited my passion for performance, reminding me that at heart I’m a show-off and there is still a performer kicking inside me, somewhere. I enjoyed the experience, and was flattered by the love and affection from the audience towards my work.
Following Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame success, I directed Price Check, an Aussie musical set in a suburban supermarket. Now I’ll say this up front, musicals are a tough gig to produce independent of a major company…but it was a musical I had a lot of faith in and a little history so I wanted to do a good job.
Price Check had a winter rehearsal and I got incredibly sick with the flu, losing my voice which made things very hard on the cast and me…this and one actor being rehearsed into the show late, toss in a few tricky personalities, a large team and a stressful bump in, and you can imagine how exhausted I was. The show did settle in nicely but generally wasn’t supported by audiences as I had hoped…some people loved what I did, some people didn’t, but I guess that’s the nature of theatre, everyone’s a critic and so they should be. I believe Price Check is being semi staged in Adelaide in 2016. I’m glad, as it deserves a lot more love than it got.
My final project for 2015 was an eight year commitment (you get less for murder these days in Australia) a musical I co-wrote/directed at the Melba Spiegeltent called Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. There is something soul destroying and character building about putting on an original Australian musical, the two are inseparable in my eyes. In fact its like going to bootcamp. First you battle a total lack of support from everyone in the country…you watch people roll back their eyes as you say the words – Original Australian Musical! Even regular theatre goers eyes pop as you approach them, which I always thought odd, as there aren’t that many Australian musical out there on stage. I guess people just want to support what they know, generally musicals from overseas. Still as hostile as the Aussie artistic scene can be towards new Oz work, you do end up learning a lot of things. Every now and then of course, during a lesson, you want to scream at the top of your lungs I’M CREATIVE GET ME OUT OF HERE!…I certainly had many moments like that. Thankfully Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets was blessed with an incredibly supportive cast who really believed (in pink) and I am grateful for the experience I had with them.
As I cruise through 2016 (I’m currently on a plane bound for Melbourne) I remember 2015 full of nothing else but damn hard work and a little disappointment. I’ve learnt that no matter how delicately you handle a situation you are going to disappoint someone, somewhere, somehow. So best to stick to your guns and try and at least please yourself. I also learnt without drive and determination there is no reward. But perhaps the biggest lesson learnt from the Anderson Projects 2015 is dreams don’t come true, and that there is a price paid for dreaming and you better have thick skin, a strong sense of self and penchant for the unexpected to survive. I wish everyone a creative year ahead from 10,000 feet. Best of luck landing in 2016. Cheers Noel Anderson (Creative Wreck) xxx
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson has directed too many theatrical productions, performed in The Real Ghostbusters Show in shopping centres, written well into the night when in pain, worked with a helluva lot of people and had the odd breakdown. He believes in the power of pop music and Campbell’s Soup. Noel’s written work includes Hello Little Man (Melbourne Writer’s Social Anthology 2016), Kylie Kastle Throws A Party (performed in schools across the country), Germ Warfare, The Carer, Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame and the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets ( fb.me/audreythemusical ) which premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October 2015. You can follow Noel on Twitter: @Randyandy42 or https://www.facebook.com/noel.anderson42
Noel is a member of the Melbourne Writer’s Social