January in a nutshell

— 28th January 2013 —

January was a month filled with recharging, relaxing with the family, trying to keep cool in unrelenting 40+ degree weather, avoiding bushfires, planning and running a summer school drama program for kids in central west New South Wales, catching the Sydney Festival, networking, mapping out 2013, and late-night tennis matches.

Facilitated by staff from Melbourne, Sydney and Canada, the Dubbo Ballet Studio Performing Arts Summer School covered Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Improvisation, Break Dance, Fusion, Acrobatics and Drama. For kids living in the country, a program like this is incredibly enticing. Over 80 kids ranging from 7 – 21 years of age enrolled for the week-long summer school, and boy, did they bring it! Having grown up in that very region, I found it pretty special to be back home, passing on knowledge to a group of budding young performers.

While in Sydney last week, it was great to catch Songs for Nobodies again, this time in Sydney at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. After the show, I managed to catch producer Harley Medcalf along with director, Simon Phillips, and the star herself, Bernadette Robinson in the foyer.

On Thursday, I saw School Dance at Sydney Theatre Company as part of the Sydney Festival and was thrilled to interview writer/performer, Mathew Whittet about the creative development of the show for Aussie Theatre.

In addition to this, I enjoyed the stunning Sydney weather, caught up with some buddies from acting school and my admin days and also took the chance to write and reflect each morning at Balmoral Beach.

I arrived back in Melbourne just in time to camp out with thousands of friends and watch the Australian Open final on the big screen at Federation Square. A lovely way to wrap up the first month of 2013.

It’s easy to let days pass without giving much thought to what it is you really want, and how you’re going to make it happen. This year, I have a number of big dreams and plans marked on a yearly calendar, as well as a ‘Go To’ list devised by my highly motivated brother to eliminate any chance of boredom. Ever.

What have you got planned for 2013? Feel free to keep in touch via the Contact page, or by following Bethany Simons on Facebook and Twitter.

New Year News!

— 1st January 2013 —

Happy New Year to you all! It has been nice to take time out to reflect on all of the wonderful (and challenging) elements of 2012 and to plan for the year ahead. I hope that you achieve great things and remember what is important in 2013.

I'm currently based in Dubbo, NSW with family whilst running some summer performing arts programs and doing some writing, but will be back in Melbourne at the start of February. I can't wait to discover what this year will bring!

For now, here is an excerpt from my latest Aussie Theatre article - an artist feature interview with Bernadette Robinson, one of Australia’s most versatile performers, and producer Harley Medcalf regarding the return Australian season of their smash-hit play, Songs for Nobodies.

"If you haven’t yet heard of or seen Bernadette Robinson on stage, the simple fact is, you’re missing out. In the critically acclaimed one woman show, Songs for Nobodies, created for her by playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Simon Phillips, Robinson proves (to everybody lucky enough to secure a ticket) that she is, in fact, a fully-fledged ‘somebody’.

From her early days of imitating voices in the kitchen for her family, to training in classical voice at the Victorian College of the Arts, Robinson has spent many years successfully performing cabaret-style gigs on the international circuit that incorporate her incredible abilities as a singer and impersonator. But it was the dream of what would eventually become Songs for Nobodies that motivated her towards a brighter spotlight.

When I spoke with Robinson about her Songs for Nobodies journey, I was inspired to hear how she saw an opportunity, took action and literally made the show happen. It seems the necessary ingredients were a perfect combination of timing, bravery and a belief in her performance ability".

Read the full AussieTheatre article here
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