Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Here's a roller coaster that won't make you sick
When I first met Michael Wilkop, I was welcomed with a balloon dog (homage to this year's Adelaide Fringe logo) that he somehow constructed with poise in less than a minute!
Michael is a phenomenal individual who has an upcoming kids show by the name Abrakaboom, which will be starting its season next Saturday. Now, while I'm not one to jump at the prospect of a kids show, I do like to branch out and see what the kids shows are like nowadays. Described to be a bit of fun, a bit of magic, and a bit of education, this show is going to be a roller coaster of the best kind!
Returning to Adelaide Fringe 2018 are successfully hosting sold-out shows over the last 3 years, Michael has joined forces with Boomstars, who are renowned for their catchy tunes, dance moves, and eye-catching costumes that will definitely get your kid(s) moving!
I recently interviewed Michael to learn more about the story behind this popular show - have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell me a bit about the people who are involved in this show?
Michael: Michael Wilkop (AKA: Mickster the Trickster): a young, fun, cheeky and witty magician. Michael's journey started back in 1996, when he was inspired by the first Adelaide Fringe show he saw. From there, he gained inspiration to develop his magic skills and become a master in prestidigitation.
The first time I saw a live magic show, I was in awe with feelings of wonder and excitement. I wanted to create that same experience for others and bring a smile to people's faces. This drove me to become a magician."
Boomstars: Talia, Elyse, Charlotte and Josh. Young, fun and trendy. Their original music was nominated for two MusicOz – Australian Independent Music Awards – for their Youtube Video 'Dancin'. They have also launched themselves onto the iTunes Children Music Charts with their singles "Platypusmania" and "Christmas Day". With a new song released specifically for the Fringe, you can't afford to miss Abrakaboom.
Ghita Prey: The producer. She is as lovely as she is talented, songwriter and the mum that holds the show together!
Tema: What elements are encompassed in the making and production of this show?
Michael: Adelaide artists - THE BOOMSTARS and MICKSTER THE TRICKSTER - have been performing separate sell-out shows at the Adelaide Fringe since 2014. This year, we have decided to collaborate. Boomstars are singing and dancing professionals and Mickster is a professional magician. When two different groups of artists from different professions come together for collaboration, much work is at hand. I personally like to follow a method I created called the STERCH method as follows:
S – Strategy: You need someone to develop a strategy and action plan to transform a show being rehearsed in a basement, to magically make its way onto the stage. This person has to be the 'mum' so to speak. In this case, it's Ghita - our producer! T- Teamwork: It's so essential. If one person doesn't pull their weight, communicate their ideas or have selfishness, this will reflect in the final performance on stage. This is extremely important in a cast with many people. E – Enthusiasm: A show can't work if the artists aren't enthusiastic. You are only as strong as your weakest link. An enthusiastic team of artists leads to better productivity, which ultimately leads to a better show.
R – Rehearse: Rehearsing and practising your skills leads to a polished production. As simple as that! C- Creativity: Is key. All artists need to come together and throw all their different skills in one room to create an original and authentic show. This usually involves wine (laughs). H – Have Fun: The most important part is to HAVE FUN and make it an enjoyable experience. If you have fun on stage, so will the audience!
Tema: What inspired you to attempt the Guinness World Record and is anyone free and able to watch you attempt it on March 10?
Michael: I have always been fascinated in records. My mum used to buy the Guinness Book of World Records book for me every year and I loved the TV show. I always wanted to have my name in that book! Since I love making balloon animals, I put 2 and 2 together and started training for the balloon records.
During the Fringe season, I am also aiming to break various world records in entertainment, including the world's fastest modelling balloon dog, fitting perfectly in line with the 2018 Fringe 'balloon dog' logo. I'll be attempting this publicly on the 10th March at Gluttony, Rymill Park at 1:30pm
Tema: Who is the ideal target audience for your show?
Michael: Not only is the show fun and exciting, these talented artists pride themselves on keeping up with the latest trends in children's entertainment. The show is aimed for children 3 – 9, but the songs are so catchy and the magic is so much fun that it can really be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age and/or gender.
Tema: How would you describe your show in a nutshell?
Michael: Get ready to fasten your seatbelts as the Boomstars take off on a bumpy ride from Boomtown to the Adelaide Fringe. Things are fantabulous until their Boom-mobile breaks down! But never fear, Mickster the Trickster is here! After appearing out of thin air (literally), wouldn't you know it - his magic wand starts misbehaving. To help the Boomstars make it to the Adelaide Fringe, he will need the help of ALL the children in the audience along with their enthusiastic delivery of the special magic word 'ABRAKABOOM'.
"Packed with MAGIC, DANCE-CRAZES, SONGS, BALLOON ANIMALS as well as an interactive storyline to back it up, Abrakaboom promises to set a new benchmark in children's entertainment" Mickster the Trickster (AKA Michael Wilkop) says.
Tema: What can people expect from attending your show?
Michael: Apart from having a fun and entertaining time, children will learn that everyone is special and amazing in their own way, it is important to work hard at your goals and MOST importantly, as the show is extremely interactive, so, it will help build their confidence as they become part of the show. They will walk away with their head high upon their shoulders.
Tema: What inspired you to get involved with the Adelaide Fringe?
Michael: Being born and bred in Adelaide has made me come to realise that South Australia is truly the festival state. It is an honour and makes me feel proud to be performing at my home ground for one of the largest and best annual arts festivals in the world. Our state is full of amazing people that pay respect to the performing arts and it is a pleasure to perform in front of them.
Tema: How have you felt that you and the Fringe season have evolved since you started in 2014?
Michael: I can not highlight enough how great it is to be representing our home team here in SA. I, specifically, have performed all my shows at Gluttony. They are such an amazing and encouraging venue and they always have your back. Each year, they have helped me grow as an artist, giving me the confidence to perform in bigger and better venues.
Tema: Have you been involved with other Fringe festivals around Australia or overseas?
Michael: Not yet. I have an aim to get to Edinburgh by 2020!
Tema: Can you please tell me a bit more about the charity organizations that you are involved with? Why did these organisations in particular capture your attention?
Michael: I spend much of my time providing FREE magic shows for charity events including and raising money for organisation's such as Can: Do 4Kids, Starlight Foundation, Headspace, the House of Grace for Children with Disabilities and Kickstart For Kids. You will notice a common occurrence that the charities I focus on are children's charities. I had a best friend pass away when he was 10 years old. He took his own life due to being bullied. For this reason, Headspace is a high priority. They help with adolescents experiencing emotional hardship, mental illness and bullying. I wish that there were these types of services available for my friend. In general, I have a soft spot for children. After all, I am just a big kid at heart!! It is the starting point in life, and a child's developmental years.
Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like our readers to know about your show?
Michael: As a further treat, Mickster's highly trained doves, Snowflake and Marshmallow Junior, will also debut in 'Abrakaboom', mesmerising young and old alike with specialised tricks. And rest assured - they are both given star treatment - on and off the stage!