Understand the Method workshop by Peter Kalos

By Kerrie Pacholli

For more information &  bookings ; Understand the Method workshop

I am not an actor, professional or otherwise nor aspire to become one. None-the-less tonight I found myself attending the first night of Peter Kalos’s weekend long acting workshop Understand the Method at the Alex Theatre.

I first met Peter Kalos a few short months ago while working with colleagues who set up shop within the Alex Theatre arts hub. I was instantly refreshed by Peter’s presence and his desire for honest connection and to cut to the chase. This I like. Among my endeavours, I create media content and as he had not long moved his acting school Actor’s Lab and theatre company Lab Theatre into the Alex, this is exactly what he wanted.  We immediately had a common thread.

A couple of days later he seized the opportunity and invited me into one of his method acting classes being held in Theatre One, the biggest theatre. There were about 30 of his students draped around the theatre in various configurations. Peter was feverishly  pacing up and down the aisle continuously guiding his devoted congregation. They had their eyes shut and appeared to be in their own zones. They were to enact his seemingly random and often contrary suggested scenarios.  He quickly ran up the aisle to where myself and a colleague were observing and eyeballing me, a few inches from my face, said ‘watch this’.  With a particularly emotive suggestion the sound of authentic and hysterical wailing women and men started filling the room. He turned to us and winked. I felt the goose bumps and immediately saw the potential of a reality show on the drawing board. I thought this guy is an ultimate trip master.


Some say the mark of a true creative is to have the ability to inspire others. Peter is a true creative.

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Act-II, Scene-VII of the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare.  Never truer words.

So tonight we had a similar scenario going on but in a different studio setting with the same dedication and iron clad resolve from the 20 plus students. Eyes shut, in the zone. I started doing what I do, which is welding the camera, spying on others doing what they do.  I’m watching these individuals being guided to other dimensions. All the time Peter was fuelling this collective flight with his seemingly irresistible words.  The allure got the better of me and I put the camera down and joined the multiverse. We were even guided to the moon at one point.

What is fuelling this incredible communion? I am not entirely sure but tonight Peter shared some very interesting stories about his personal experiences with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio as a cameraman during the auditions for Gilbert Grape in LA, and what he witnessed on the set between Robert de Niro and Sharon Stone during the filming of Casino. Gripping and tantalising stories which are seemingly never ending.

Peter Kalos knows his business, every which way and is gifted with an insatiable ability to share it with his students.  All are welcome to come along to experience the extraordinary world of Method Acting.

For more information &  bookings ; Understand the Method workshop

UNRESOLVED by Sonia Serin album launch

For a number of years, I’ve known Sonia Serin personally to be warm and soulful. Professionally as a resounding singer / songwriter/ musician and composer.

It was an absolute privilege to be part of her gathering to celebrate her latest album launch of UNRESOLVED in a live performance at Bakehouse Studios in Richmond earlier this month.

Sonia Serin @ Kerrie Pacholli__2097
Sonia Serin

Over her professional life, Sonia Serin has had the opportunity of performing with an impressive list of musicians.

From her early days of playing at the Fret Festival [Brisbane]. Sonia has supported Pete Murray, Diana Anaid, Hyske, Gorgonzolla; and shared the stages with artists Nikolaine and Nathanael Martin, Matt Nelson, John Langham, Steve Morrison, Robert Michael Kay (London) and The Mason Rack band. She has previously performed at Woodford Folk Festival, Camden Calling (UK) Kirra Music Festival and the Gold Coast Folk festivals. In addition to this Sonia has previously headlined many venues throughout her time living in the, UK/London: The Ronnie Scott Bar, The Spice of Life, Camden Callings: The Enterprise, The Courtyard and The Stage Door.

Her new album UNRESOLVED was completed over two years exploring relationship cycles of beginnings, endings, and the sometimes sense of incompleteness that comes in between.

Sonia Serin, Tim Elliget bass, Chris Wright sax & James Rance drums image © Kerrie Pacholli
Sonia Serin, Tim Elliget bass, Chris Wright sax & James Rance drums

It is a seven-track album mixed by Rolling Stock Studios, Alexander Jackson, Andrew Robinson, and Lillith Lane; featuring the cellist Francesca Mountfort and second guitarist Oliver Paterson.
The final track ‘Unresolved’; is a memoir of honoring relationships ending prematurely and as she quotes in one of her songs ‘Sometimes no closure is the only closure we ever get’ and finding peace within this process.

Francesca Mountford @ Kerrie Pacholl_1954
Francesca Mountford

Launch night at Bakehouse saw Sonia’s live performances supported by musicians including Francesca Mountfort on Cello, Chris Wright on Sax, James Rance on drums, Tim Elliget on bass and backing vocals from Michelle Keely; collectively succeeding in delivering a poignant sense of beauty to a cycle of songs about acceptance of life’s mysteries and the gentle surfing of what the album calls ‘tidal waves’ of grief and relationships.

The multi-talented Sonia Serin is not only an accomplished singer/songwriter but is known as a ‘stellar guitarist, emotive piano player and a bit of a technical whiz behind the drum kit’.

Great night and great album.

 Click here to purchase UNRESOLVED


One of the most frightening scenes in Fred Schepisi’s 1978 film adaptation of Thomas Keneally novel “The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith” is sodomy and murder of blackfella Harry Edwards. This character was played by a young and talented aboriginal actor named Jack Charles.

I came across Jack Charles again while researching Jack Hibberd’s play “Dimboola” for the anniversary season to be produced at La Mama Theatre. This was a film again, but vastly different in tone and character. An even younger Jack Charles appears playing the energetic (and mainly drunk) Mutton in the Pram Factory’s 1973 film “Dimboola: The Stage Play”.

They say that good things come in threes, well this was certainly the case in 2014 when in front of a live audience I interviewed award-winning filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson whose intimate documentary “Bastardy” (2008) chronicled the life of Jack Charles over seven years. The film’s tagline boasted – ‘Addict. Homosexual. Cat burglar. Actor. Aboriginal.’ Really, there was no need to boast, the film itself stands alone – although its starts fairly heavy handed. But what follows is provocative, funny and profoundly moving. He was now Uncle Jack Charles.

“If I hide anything it wouldn’t be a true depiction,” says Uncle Jack, as he plunges a needle of heroin into his vein. Simon Foster, the SBS Reviewer wrote: “The most significant achievement of “Bastardy” is its confidence to allow the viewer scope to interpret its intentions. As a portrait of a damaged man, ravaged by substance abuse and poorly exploiting the natural gifts bestowed upon him, the film is insightful, personal and candid; more broadly, Courtin-Wilson invites the viewer to see his film as a commentary – society’s shameful disdain for the homeless, Australia’s disregard for its fallen artists, the inexplicable invisibility – to all but those that know him – of an old man junkie. “Bastardy” never demands you consider these themes, but it trusts you will.”

“I sleep in the ladies toilet because it smells nicer, ” says Uncle Jack smiling. How can you not watch a doco about this roguish actor and thief? I was intrigued, curious and wanted to know more about Uncle Jack and so I did. He was born on 05 September 1943. One of the many victims of the Government’s forced “assimilation programme” (called the ‘Stolen Generation’) which forcibly took him from his Bunurong mother when he was only a few months old. He was raised in the Salvation Army Boys’ Home in Box Hill, the only Indigenous child, where he suffered sexual abuse and was told he was an orphan.

Uncle Jack has always been searching, trying to find out who he was. The isolation and loneliness that he experienced over those years had a devastating impact on Uncle Jack that endured long after he found his stolen identity. A few years ago after reconnecting with his Aboriginal roots he discovered who is father was, and that he is a Wiradjuri man, a Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta.

In December 2014, after much difficulty trying to find Uncle Jack, I eventually invited him to be interviewed at Chapel Off Chapel along with another guest rock musician, singer/songwriter Dave Graney. Uncle Jack warmly accepted and it was an absolute hoot, the live audience were enamoured. Acknowledged as the ‘grandfather of Aboriginal theatre’ in Australia, Uncle Jack co-founded the first Aboriginal Theatre Company – ‘Nindethana’ in 1972. His acting career spans over six decades appearing in numerous films and TV series including “Rake”, “Rosehaven”, “Wolf Creek”, “Mystery Road”, “The Gods of Wheat Street”, “Woodley”, “Women of the Sun”, “Rush” and “Ben Hall”. Not to mention the many plays and talks to boot.

In 2009, Uncle Jack was awarded the prestigious Tudawali Award at the Message Sticks Festival, honouring his lifetime contribution to Indigenous media. He was also the recipient of a Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and in 2016 was named Victorian Senior Australian of the Year and more recently he received the Red Ochre Award. Not bad for a former drug addict and petty criminal with a lot of prison time up his sleeve!.

Fast forward to late 2019 and I am in St. Kilda Library flipping through the pages of a book about 9/11 when a flyer is thrusted at me by one of the librarians. Uncle Jack again. This time it was the book launch of his autobiography “Born Again Blakfella” (written with Namila Benson) at the library. So I rock up in the evening to hear him speak to a packed room. I didn’t want to miss it – none of his magic had dissipated and at 74 years he was still alert, warmly political and entertaining as always. After an affectionate embrace and a brief exchange with this pint-sized dynamo, I left smiling, his signed book in my hand.

Uncle Jack Charles is one of the nations most respected and enduring personalities, a strong role model for a new generation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. And thank goodness.

Profile – Robert Chuter

AfterMATH: ASH WEDNESDAY by Roberto Chuter

Its was in October 2014, I recall, at band promoter Dolores San Miguel’s book launch upstairs in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Library on Collins Street when I noticed a male figure completely clad in all black. He was grasping a beautiful wooden and brass-headed walking stick. Perched on a chair at the end of some stacked library shelves with his friend the artist Emily Humphries who was sitting on the arm of the chair close to him. It was almost a romantic, period image bathed in a golden haze.  Their position looked like something out of a Regency masterpiece. I was enamoured with a splash of curiosity. This was my first introduction to the founding member of the Australian punk rock band JAB and pioneer of synthpop. In the late seventies and the start of the 80s, Wednesday eagerly produced a host of highly creative and affecting music. The famous writing technique of the Beat novelist/drug addict William S. Burroughs’ “cut up technique” inspired Wednesday who played around with tape manipulation and synthesiser experimentation.

Flashback to Adelaide in 1976 Wednesday met the UK born former punk rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, Bohdan Roman Kubiakowski better known as Bodhan X busking in an Adelaide mall. Wednesday enquired about what he was doing with the music. “I’m going to be a superstar. People are just like sheep, they will follow.,” Bodham replied. Wednesday was most impressed and suggested forming some sort of band together.

So, in August, the both of them and Janis Friedenfelds also known as Johnny Crash (later of post punk band “Sacred Cowboys” fame) as drummer and vocalist, they relocated to Melbourne renaming themselves “JAB” formed out of their first initials Apparently, their first show was at St. Kilda’s legendary Seaview Ballroom (Crystal Ballroom) – the first ever gig played at the venue. With Bodham left, the band morphed into the short lived rock band ‘Models’ with singer, guitarist and songwriter Sean Kelly joining the lineup.

Wednesday, was a respected musician who became famous for his distinct versions of Uriah Heap’s “July Morning” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Over the intervening years, he continued to experiment with music and live performance, releasing occasional singles and then spending 1992 in Germany playing with the flamboyant actress/singer best known for her theatrical vocals – Nina Hagen. Wednesday also pre-produced and programmed her 1995 album, “Bee Happy”.

1997 saw Wednesday included as a touring member, completing several worldwide tours with avant-garde/experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten and on many other recordings from their 2004 “Perpetuum Mobile” Tour”. He returned to Australia in 2013, settling in Melbourne continuing his working with many other bands.

In 2013 he was to perform his brilliant solo performance “The Ash Wednesday Effect”, a spontaneously performed audio-visual experience, in which improvised soundscapes triggered entrancing visualisation, which were in turn projected onto the physical form of Wednesday himself. The performances at North Melbourne’s Club Voltaire were continuous three hour compositions, throughout which audiences were free to come and leave as they wished.

This year, after battling a debilitating illness, Wednesday returned with a performance entitled “AfterMATH” which was three new striking and unique works combining electronics with the famous Melbourne Town Hall Organ. The audiences responses ranged from “spooky” to “evocative”, from “majestic” to “spectacular”.

I have managed to catch up with Wednesday numerous times over recent years – sometimes at a soiree, or a launch or the impromptu visit to him. Recently, I was curious about Wednesday’s life and himself, and so I fed my curiosity eagerly and asked:

What did you do before you became a composer/musician?

Listened to a great deal of music. Radio and records. I grew up with the British beat of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Small Faces, etc. I fell asleep with a transistor radio under my pillow. A little later I discovered the white man blues, the electric sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Bluesbreakers for example. I was able to trace this thread to Delta and Chicago blues and discovered the essence of contemporary American music in the process.

How did you become a composer/musician?

It was inevitable that I was going to play. Bass guitar looked easy because it only had 4 strings (lol). I had a few lessons which were awkward and unproductive. Learning to read music bored me. I wanted to play not study. An ‘undergroundʼ tutor showed me how to play a 12 bar blues and I was in! I could work out everything from there. I played a lot to records and then with longhaired friends. Practiced scales for countless hours. Became dexterous with the instrument. Taught myself what I needed to know AS I needed to know it. Oh yeah, I had dropped out of school by this time. The stage was set… I later dislodged convention further when I ‘gave upʼ being a musician as such and began experimenting with a reel to reel tape recorder and whatever stage sounds I could conjure up, through whatever means. An analog synthesizer was in the pipeline.

Why do you do the work that you do?

Because Iʼm being true to myself. I have lived in a timeframe where I could find a way around convention. A luxury of sorts. Retrospectively one that I was obliged to pursue.

Which people or what inspires you to work in music?

Some of the people that I have worked with have been an inspiration to me. Initially my dear and departed friend Johnny Crash (the J in the ‘punkʼ group JAB). Apart from being a tremendous drummer, he possessed a synthesiser before I did. He would delight in turning it up really LOUD and creating the wildest sounds youʼve ever heard while laughing his head off. We had so much fun together. Hours and hours of it.

On another tack completely, the individual members of Einstuerzende Neubauten are intriguing characters. The sum of the components (the group) is greater than that of the individual constituents of course. Just being in a rehearsal room with those guys was a privileged experience. Not all of the time, but some of the time an artist or particularly a group of artists are able to produce a form of unique, reciprocal magic with an audience. One which is uplifting for all concerned. This is why we do it I believe, having experienced this ‘entrainmentʼ from both sides.

You have suffered a number of personal setbacks. Do you think these are explored subconsciously in your work?

Not so much. I have enjoyed playing an improvised solo or two with my left hand rather than my right. Naivety in motion.

What do you think have been some of the negatives in your work?

Hmmm…. Models breakup. Apart from that maybe chopping and changing too much for people to follow.

Whatʼs been some of the positives in your work do you think?

Both of the above! Oh no really I would say staying true to ‘a path with a heartʼ. I have always possessed instinctive, unquestionable self-belief.

Whatʼs been your favourite achievements up to this point?

1991: Commercial radio being forced to play Crashlandʼs Boom Boom, a demonic reworking of a John Lee Hooker standard. Released on Regular Records, it was recorded at Sing Sing studio for a sum total of $100 and was way outside standardised quality control for ‘thoseʼ sorts of radio stations. The kids just loved it and voted into the ʼTop Eight at Eightʼ. Kiss No. 1 Crashland No. 2 Aerosmith No.3 ha! 2004: Playing a concert in the former headquarters of the GDR in Berlin with Neubauten. By that stage it was a huge cavernous structure. Two floors of concrete and iron with a 10 second reverb time. Best to listen outside as the building itself became the instrument that we were playing

What are you currently working on?

Having fun with a diminished sense of responsibility.

If you couldnʼt do this anymore, what career path do you think you would have followed Ash?

Thatʼs hard to say. It is only retrospectively that I see a career path. I didnʼt think in those terms.Okay getting back to Boom Boom in 1991. I awoke in a pitch-black room. Through no fault of my own it happened to be my birthday. All I could hear was the radio.The announcer on 3RRR was phone interviewing John Lee Hooker – the man himself. He must have been close on 90 years old. At one point in the interview the announcer proclaimed something like “local band Crashland have been high on our playlist for the past year or so with their reworking of one of your tunes, Boom Boom.” And then she naively asked: “Have you heard it?” JLH of course had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about…. more than a few moments silence… and then he stumbled on the sentence: “‘Err… I wish them all the best!” So… I had awoken from a dream into the real world, where before I had a chance to think the legend was wishing me all the best on my birthday. Ha!

Ash Wednesday is still wonderfully creative and prolific. A ground-breaking pioneer, an icon of Aussie music and an accomplished musician that is as inspirational as ever. We are most lucky to enjoy his unique talents.

Profile – Robert Chuter


BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out opening 2019

2nd November – 2 December

by Open Media

There was a whole lot a BIG smiles and BIG love flowing at the official opening of the inaugural BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out competition on the 10 November 2019.

Co-curators’ Adrian Spurr, Mariella Del Conte and Rob Taylor and their team of volunteers have worked for the last eight months scrupulously tending to every detail and polishing every leaf at the magnificent Veg Out gardens in the lead up to this most presitigious art happening.

Curator Adrian Spurr © Pation Pics_1554
Co-curator and MC Adrian Spurr

Co-curators Rob Taylor and Mariella Del Conte © Pation Pics_1491
Co-curators’ Rob Taylor and Mariella Del Conte

There were 40 entrants bidding for a position with 19 of Melbourne’s finest sculptors’ works selected, currently on display and available for purchase.

Local dignitaries in the Honorable Martin Foley Minister for Creative Industries, Judith Jackson (Aunty Jacko), Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross, Counsellor Andrew Bond along with the three Judges in Max Delany Artistic director and CEO of Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Cameron Macindoe from Fundere Fine Art Foundry and the Espy’s Matt Mullins joined forces to select, announce and present the prize pool to the winners.

Judith Jackson 'Aunty Jacko' © Pation Pics_1524
Judith Jackson ‘Aunty Jacko’ with Welcome to Country.

The Grand ‘BIG Sculpture @ Veg Out’ prize of $5,000 was awarded to Mark Stoner for his 2019 stone piece ‘Geolife-1’ .

Mark Stoner & Martin Foley © Pation Pics_1621
Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner & Martin Foley

Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner with Martin Foley & Max Delany © Pation Pics_1625
Grand BIG Sculpture winner Mark Stoner with Martin Foley & Max Delany

The Fundere Fine Art Foundry award of $2,500 went to Salvatori Lolicato for his 2019 ceramic piece ‘Metamorphosis’.

Cameron Macindoe & Salvatori Lolicato © Pation Pics_1638
Cameron Macindoe awarding Salvatori Lolicato.

The Espy prize of $2,000 was awarded to Craig MacDonald for his 2017 piece ‘She Spins’.

Matt Mullins & Helen Addison-Smith © Pation Pics_1660
Matt Mullins and Helen Addison-Smith accepting on behalf of Craig MacDonald.