Big Fish Camp

This past weekend the Holiday Actors cast of ‘Big Fish’ headed out bush to Brucknell Scout Camp for two days of hardcore rehearsal. Everyone made great progress and now we can see the show growing and truly coming to life! Camp is the quintessential tradition for Holiday Actors as it gives the cast, directorial team and committee a chance to spend time together away from the Dennington Church, bonding and truly getting to know one and other – not to mention the fact that the directors can work the cast to the bone and there is no chance of escape.

Aside from the hard work, the cast made sure to have their fair share of fun and giggles too.

The Junior Committee decided that the theme of camp this year was ‘Harry Potter’. The cast was then divided into teams (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) and competed for the House Cup. Good deeds and hard work earned the teams points, and in the end it was Slytherin that took home the prize thanks to a tremendous effort from Caitlin Garner and Phoebe Sloane.

The Red Faces talent show on Saturday evening was interesting to say the least! Technically the directors were the champions with their performance of ‘Falling Slowly’ from ‘Once’, however they were disqualified due to the fact that they are professionals (sorry, not sorry). So Keelan Mast and Dante Zadwazki-Colliton or “The Unknown” took out 1st place with ‘Tears of a Rapper’ followed by Annabel Ziegeler and Vanessa Parkinson’s rendition of ‘For Good’ from ‘Wicked’ in 2nd place. The girls from “My Room 5 2.0” with ‘Payphone’ placed 3rd. Other stand out acts included Ryan Quinn on the recorder, the sweet acoustic sounds of Tom Kelly and James Hickman, and ‘The Chinese Dragon’ was definitely unforgettable.

As usual, everyone had an amazing time at camp and are looking forward to the last few weeks of rehearsal. ‘Big Fish’ is a such special production to be a part of and the 2016 Holiday Actors team are making incredible bonds that will never be broken!

– Vanessa Parkinson, Junior Committee secretary

Meet the Cast: Wade & Lyndon

12299485_10153156554957617_2076451723_oWADE FULLERTONAMOS CALLOWAY

Tell us about Amos!

Amos Calloway is a very business oriented man who runs a travelling circus and is always on the lookout for the next big thing to draw a crowd. He leads a very secretive double life which he hides behind his loud, showman like attitude. Although at first he seems to be rather cold hearted and stingy, with Edward’s help he realises that he doesn’t need to be ashamed of his other side and is able to cope with his secret (that he’s a werewolf!)

Tell us about rehearsals!

Rehearsals so far have been very full on and jam packed with content. There’s never a dull moment to be had at a HA rehearsal! This is probably the most singing and most intense acting I’ve ever had to do for a show.

Tell us about your HA experience!

This is my 5th (and sadly final) year performing with Holiday Actors and I have loved every minute of it! Everyone is always so welcoming and friendly, and it’s always fun getting to know the new cast members as well as working with old friends from previous shows.

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Big Fish… it’s something else really. An exciting and captivating blend of romance and comedy with just enough fantasy to tie it all together. There are times when it makes you laugh, put a smile on your face and times when it hits home and makes you think about what really matters.

Come and see BIG FISH!

There is no doubt about it, Big Fish is truly THE show to see this summer! I am wholly confident that the cast and crew will really bring it all together and put on the biggest and best show in the history of Holiday Actors. With all of the captivating songs and dance numbers, the passion and the heart and soul that is poured into each and every performance (and it being the Australasian premiere!) this is truly a once in a lifetime event that should not be missed!

12295167_10153156554762617_1496966450_oLYNDON HURLEY – KARL

Tell us about Karl!

Karl the Giant is an interesting character in Edward’s stories. Living by himself in a cave near the small town of Ashton, Karl has obviously never had many friends before. People have always seen him as abnormal, freakish and terrifying. However, underneath the shaggy beard and imposing appearance is an intelligent, thoughtful and almost gentle personality. Only after Edward discovers him and reunites him with the world does he begin to realise his true worth and potential (and hilarity). This eventually leads Karl to reciprocate Edward’s kindness by helping him in his time of

need. Karl is an example of someone who is often judged by first appearances and misconceptions, but instead simply needs to be seen for who they are.

Tell us about rehearsals!

I have been having an absolutely fantastic time being a part of this show. It’s been great fun alternating between performing as a part of the ensemble, with all its singing and complicated dance numbers, and practising my lines as Karl. One of my biggest challenges so far has been trying to master my stilts. Not only do I have to keep my balance in check, but I have to focus on dialogue, singing, stage movements and footwork at the same time. Although the rehearsals at HA can be long and difficult sometimes, there’s nothing else that compares to the feeling you get when the group finishes putting together a musical number, or when I manage to perform a scene correctly. It’s definitely the highlight of my week!

Tell us about your HA experience!

Everyone here has been very welcoming and fun to work with. Despite being a newcomer, it didn’t take long for me to feel at home, probably because everyone is just about as crazy as I am! I’m so stoked about being given the opportunity to play a principle role alongside seasoned HA performers. There’s such an amazing amount of talent in the cast, and it’s been great to work with people who are as excited as I am. The various directors have been really helped me to develop and explore my character to see what works best. It’s been an awesome experience so far.

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Well, where do I start? Prior to joining HA I had never even heard of the movie or the stage show. It took me a while to wrap my head around what exactly the show was about. Big Fish is all about the stories someone tells and the stories that they live at the same time. There’s so much overlapping between the stories and reality, yet it isn’t too hard to follow what’s going on. There’s always a new and exciting tale waiting around the corner to keep the audience engaged. It’s a very unique and interesting show.

Come and see BIG FISH!

Big Fish is an amazing show, filled with epic numbers, a great storyline, and a very emotional core. Those who haven’t seen the show before will definitely be blown away. I think some will appreciate how it can relate to real life relationships. In between the music and the drama there is a really moving story. You’ll either be leaving the theatre speechless, or in tears. It’s definitely worth watching, whether you know the story or not. Just prepare to be amazed!

Meet the Cast: Toby & Annabel



Tell us about Will!

Will Bloom is Edward’s only son. He has listened to Edward’s elaborate stories his whole life and has always questioned the truth behind them. As he tries to find this truth, Edward’s responses frustrate him and as a result he often clashes with his father, which affects their relationship. Now that Will is in a relationship of his own and expecting his first child, he is trying harder than ever to connect with his father.  It’s not until Will sees the inspiration behind Edward’s stories that he finally accepts his father for who he is and they truly connect in the final scenes.

Tell us about rehearsals!

There is a lot happening during rehearsals, with so many cast needed in so many places! My character mostly fits in the middle of the big cast numbers in the more serious side of the show, so our blocking workshops are very focused on embracing everyday emotions. It is also great to watch the big numbers develop to help my characterisation, as these are the representations of Edward’s stories, the stories that Will struggles to understand.

Tell us about your HA experience!

It’s hard to believe this is my 5th HA show! When I first came to HA I really enjoyed meeting so many great people, and with so many new faces this year, meeting and connecting with new people is still one of the best parts of HA. It is great to be a part of such a fantastic company where we all work together to create something really worthwhile.

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Big Fish has so many levels. You’re never quite sure where it will go next, with so many different characters and concepts. The ‘reality’ side of the story is vastly different from the ‘fantasy’ side, and both sides give us the opportunity to give our audience a really full experience. When all the dots join together at the end, hopefully everyone can see the inspiration that Will finally sees.

Come and see BIG FISH!

You definitely want to come and see Big Fish! It is a great show with an awesome cast. The music, acting, singing, choreography and ideas for staging are all going to combine to become a brilliant show with great local talent.

Josie (1)


Tell us about Josephine!

Josephine is in some ways an outsider, but at the same time she’s so central to the plot! She’s not from Alabama, and although she is close with Edward, Sandra and Will, she doesn’t quite know the extent of Edward’s crazy fantasies, so it’s amazing watching (and performing) her as she hears all his stories for the first time. She’s caring, sweet and so utterly in love with Will (it’s gorgeous, really), and I think that makes her just a really down-to-earth character for the audience to relate to.

Tell us about rehearsals!

Rehearsals, as they always are at HA, are hectic but most of all crazy exciting and fun. There’s never a dull moment, everyone is constantly involved and we’re all the best of friends.

Tell us about your HA experience!

HA is the best place to meet new friends, and I can say that from experience: some of my closest friends are the people my older brothers and sister met during their time at HA! When I first started HA years ago, I was so nervous but I say now without regret that it was the best decision of my life. 

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Well firstly, it will be the Australasian premiere and I have no problem saying that it will be spectacular. The amount of work going on behind the scenes is extraordinary, as is the effort at rehearsals. It’s a show for everyone; there’s romance, drama, action and even crazy, fantastical creatures for the kids so I can promise that no one will leave that theatre uninspired; we expect they will be, at the very least, blown away. 

Come and see BIG FISH!

I think the sets and all the technical aspects of the show will really be amazing, as it’s going to be an even bigger show than ever! I’m really looking forward to Warrnambool seeing what we have up our sleeves. 

Meet the Production Team: Tyler Hess

12242779_10153142985492617_2030945957_oTyler Hess – Director

Having performed in 5 Holiday Actors productions (many moons ago), Tyler is incredibly excited to return to the company to work with a new generation of performers! He is looking forward to having an absolute ball with the committed and inspiring artistic team and HA committee – working on such a wonderful show! Since relocating to Melbourne, Tyler has been fortunate to work with a number of local Musical Theatre companies developing skill and expertise in both production management and creative direction. Most known for treading the boards, Tyler has played a range of principal characters and is consistently recognized by the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria and Lyrebirds for his on stage performances. Some of his highlights and Guild nominated roles include, Benjy Stone in My Favorite Year; Dodger in Oliver!; Britt Craig in Parade; Laurie Lawrence in the premiere of Little Women; Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors; Jack in Into The Woods; Finch in How to Succeed and Dennis in All Shook Up.

Since then Tyler has been fortunate to build a number of school production credits as well as direction, set and costume design with local companies. He directed and designed Bye Bye Birdie and 13 – The Musical for the Deakin University Theatre Department, earning recognition for direction, set/costume and production design. He also directed and designed the Australian non-professional premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Monash University, which was recognized with over 10 nominations including direction, sets and costumes (all by Tyler). In 2012 Tyler was awarded the Guild and Lyrebird award for Wardrobe design in MDMS’ How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In 2014, Tyler directed and designed MDMS’ successful season of Guys and Dolls and Babirra Music Theatre’s Production of Crazy For You (The most recognized Melbourne Production by the MTGV in 2014). Earlier this year, he directed and designed MDMS’s stunning production of Funny Girl. Tyler is looking forward to taking a break from his head of Media Studies position at Mount Scopus Memorial College and lecturing in Arts and Education at Victoria University and continuing his H2O triptych in 2016, directing seasons of The Little Mermaid and Anything Goes!

Meet The Cast: Ryan & Maddie



Tell us about Edward!

Edward Bloom is an enthusiastic man filled with stories of his past. Though his stories are extraordinary and detailed they are also shrouded in ambiguity, particularly to his son Will. Filled with large amounts of charisma, determination and stage time Edward is quickly established as a big fish in a small pond waiting to break out into the world. The story requires me to portray Edward in three different stages of his life; from an an idealised teenager to a father and ill elderly man. I am working on my characterisation of all three to ensure that this growth is evident and clear to the audience within my performance.

Tell us about rehearsals!

Rehearsals so far are incredible. It only took a few weeks for me to get to know everyone in the cast and production team due to their friendliness. For me, I find rehearsals to be very hard work, but certainly worth the effort. Not only is Edward a physically demanding role, but he is also a very complex character. To be able to truly understand his motives and actions it requires a lot of studying and thought which itself is very challenging.

Tell us about your HA experience!

As mentioned previously, the challenge this show has brought is really great for me as a performer. It makes me really think outside the box and break down just what everything means. The cast are also incredible people too; I’ve made so many close friends already and have already made lots of memories which will be unforgettable. All the other leads and ensemble members are incredibly talented and very genuine people and it’s a thrill to work with them.

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Big Fish is a true spectacle. It’s a blend of comedy, drama and tragedy which are not easy genres to mix together. This combined with the story, music, set and costumes provide an extravagant experience certain to dazzle any audience member that see our show. The story is truly inspiring once the concept is grasped, the constantly changing time periods and moods can be confusing at first but really do all come together in the conclusion. Not to mention the amazing local talent that has amalgamated to form the cast and crew of the show. The local support for the Holiday Actors is incredible and to see the hard work of so many wonderful people come together is something that is not to be missed.

Come and see BIG FISH!

Big Fish is a show about inspiration and discovery. As the story of the show progresses the audience will discover new things about the characters they thought they already knew. Inspiration also plays a large role as the show tells that the stories and memories we share shouldn’t be to gloat and show off but to inspire others to be as incredible as they can possibly be. To see a show and to come away from it and really think about the message is fantastic and I believe that this show does that in particular. The set, costumes and music are phenomenal and the audience will certainly come away from the show entertained, enlightened, educated and singing along to the songs!



Tell us about Sandra!

I am playing Sandra Bloom, Edward’s wife. She is a charming, very caring woman from Alabama. The audience see Sandra from a young wide-eyed teenager to a mother and a grandmother – who cares wholeheartedly for her husband and her son. Sandra is a true motherly figure, very down to earth; the audience will warm to her positive outlook and empathise with her side to the story.

Tell us about rehearsals!

Rehearsals are very productive. It’s a lot of hard work because there is so much content to learn for the show, but it is also a lot of fun! I am learning so much about my character and other characters within the show as well as how to be a better performer.

Tell us about your HA experience!

The support from everyone is tremendous. There is a part that everyone must play in order to make this show spectacular- the cast, crew, production team. Everyone is 100% committed – which is so important in amateur theatre.

Tell us about BIG FISH!

Big Fish is so different to other musicals in many different ways. There are so many elements of non-naturalism that make it interesting but also give the show some depth, which is often a challenge in a two hour show. There is the obvious storyline, but then there is also an amazing underlying meaning that presents itself throughout the show that will definitely make the audience think.

Come and see BIG FISH!

This show is going to be incredible! The audience will walk away having cried, laughed and fallen in love; the true essence of musical theatre.