Tribute acts have always had a bit of a stigma attached to them by some members of the public. While tribute artists make up a huge sub-section of the music industry, there are still some audiences who refuse to see a tribute show, as if attending a concert by such a performer is to somehow besmirch the reputation of the real artist they’re honouring.
Justine Clarke is a legend of Australian stage, screen and music. She began her career at age seven and has since spent three decades working in the industry. Most recently you may have seen her in the miniseries Hoges or as Diane in the 2016 film Red Dog: True Blue. Now she’s about to release a children’s album alongside with her new children’s show, Justine Clarke’s Ta Da!
What is your new show Justine Clarke’s Ta Da! all about?
I would say it’s about all the excitement and joy of putting on a show. It’s set at the five minute call. In each episode I’m getting ready for a show [then] something goes wrong and we have to fix it because the show must go on. And at the end of every episode there’s a new song.
Tim Draxl has been enchanting audiences both onscreen, for his roles in A Few Best Men, Swimming Upstream, A Place To Call Home and the new tele-movie, Molly – as well as on stage, with his one man shows, Freeway – The Chet Baker Journey and Cabaret, since the tender age of 16. Now at 34, he returns to the stage with his new show, Once Upon Another Time.
You recently returned from America – what were you doing over there?
I try and go over once or twice a year. I have a green card, so I have to keep it active and I have lots of friends over there, because I used to live in (Los Angeles) – I lived in LA for seven years. I went to LA for a couple of days, then Aspen, then New York and then back again. It was a bit of a quick trip. I was only gone for two weeks, but it was good fun.
You may recognise Ben Nicholas from his days playing Scott “Stingray” Timmins in Neighbours 10-odd years ago. Ben just recently finished the mock-reality web-series Footballer Wants A Wife. I spoke to Ben about this exciting new project, reality television and the death of Stingray.
You’re currently working on Footballer Wants A Wife. Where did the idea come from?
Well, after a really bad trip to LA in search of work, I decided to take matters into my own hands and write my own show. Naturally, I wrote myself as the lead [laughs].
If you haven’t heard of New Zealand actor Emmett Skilton then you probably have yet to discover the brilliance of the kiwi comedy-drama series The Almighty Johnsons. If this is the case, find it on Netflix, buy the DVDs, hell – illegally download it if you must!, however you can get your hands on it – it’ll be well worth your while! Emmett, who plays youngest brother Axl Johnson in the series, speaks all things TAJ and more below.
Please note: There are some slight spoilers from the series in this interview!
Firstly, you’ve been in Los Angeles for quite a while now. What have you been up to?
Sure have. I originally came here for The Almighty Johnsons’s SYFY promotion last year and since then I have worked on various projects, a favourite being a feature film called Bella, being released later this year/early next year. And I have, of course, been exploring this giant country as best I can – Central Park in New York in the snow is a definite favourite so far!
All photos taken by me with my HTC phone or Sony Camera
BEWARE: This post is VERY photo heavy!