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Cross Legged - Interview

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by Zarah (subscribe)
Write because you want to, not because you have to.
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(Image supplied by MIchael Wilkop)


The Cabaret Fringe Festival (CFF) has been in full swing since June 8 and with such a short festival period, you want to make sure you make the most of it!

Cue in Cross Legged - a show that has been directed and written by Michael Wilkop. Wilkop was also part of the Adelaide Fringe show Abrakaboom earlier in the year.

Upon hearing about his new show that is part of CFF, I was curious to learn more about this show.

What is particularly outstanding about this show is its cast - there are 12 actors from Sourced Up Talent, 60% of whom have yet to feel the taste of acting on stage, in front of a live audience!

I conducted an e-interview with Wilkop to learn about how the concept of Cross Legged became a reality and took the move about getting involved with CFF - have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Can you please walk me through the show Cross Legged?
Michael: In a nutshell, Cross Legged is a cabaret show 'within' a cabaret show… let me break that down.

We meet Cody, who has been wheelchair-bound for most of her life. A twist of unforeseen circumstances gives her the ability to walk, where she decides she wants to become a cabaret star! The problem is she can't sing, dance or act and can't tell a joke to save her life.

This show is a 'variety show' with a storyline that is filled with comedy, magic, miming, live music, singing and dancing - all in the one show, it gives a compelling insight into the backstage world of cabaret.


Tema: You mentioned you teach at Sourced Up Talent – how did you get involved in that role and how long have you been teaching there for?
Michael: About 8 years ago, I met a now close friend - Mark Cherrett. We were both studying acting and shared the same ideologies regarding the performing arts. Since then, he developed the company Sourced Up Talent and 2 years ago, he took me on board as an acting coach.

Tema: Can you give us a brief snippet of what Sourced Up Talent is all about and how people with the inkling to get into acting can sign up?
Michael: Sourced Up Talent is a performing arts school that is open to anyone with a focus on fun & engagement. We aim to teach craft & technique quickly and effectively. Students are also given the encouragement to be involved in projects including live theatre performance, as well as working on film sets - both on and off camera.

Anyone who would like to give acting a shot or even if you are experienced, just hit us up here.


(Image supplied by MIchael Wilkop)


Tema: Let's talk about Cody (the main character in this play) – who plays this character? What inspired the storyline of this character?
Michael: The character Cody was inspired by one of my closest friends, who has lived with a disability most of his life. Although he is not in a wheelchair, he went through a similar journey that we see Cody go through. Once pessimistic, he now never lets his disability get in the way of his dreams.

Tema: Are you hoping that your show will be able to be a beacon that can inspire people with disabilities to continue getting involved in the field of performing arts?
Michael: We see a huge character shift in Cody throughout the story. Despite her circumstances, she still gives cabaret a shot and remains positive. I am certainly hoping that this story will inspire people to make the most of their life and appreciate what they have in front of them.

Tema: What do you hope for your audience to experience by watching Cross Legged?
Michael: Fun, fun and more fun! Cross Legged (despite being a thought-provoking theme) is full of comedic twists and turns. The audience will experience live cabaret acts from magic, miming and belly dancing to stand-up comedy and singing. The show will also give the audience a behind the scenes look at cabaret.

(Image supplied by MIchael Wilkop)


Tema: How did you get involved with the Cabaret Fringe Festival (CFF)? Is this your first time being part of CFF or have you had shows involved with them prior?
Michael: This is my first time being involved with the Cabaret Fringe Festival. I have always had a love for cabaret, so instead of watching it, I wanted to be behind the scenes.

Tema: How is the team feeling about being involved in CFF, especially given how "60% have never performed live on stage before"?
Michael: Ask them for yourself!

"I'm incredibly excited to be performing 'Cross Legged' in the CFF. It has been an amazing journey and seeing both the show and the cast develop along the way has been inspiring. It is an honour and a privilege to work with such dedicated and wonderful people and I cannot wait for everyone's hard work to come to fruition."
Amber Wilkshire (playing Cody -The Lead)

"Both nervous and excited! Nervous, as it would be my first time performing on stage in a theatre production. However, I'm still excited as I get to perform with a wonderful group of talented people and bring the directors script to life."
Helen Ho (playing Eliza - Cody's Sister)

"Excited, but also nervous. Slightly terrified, because I have never choreographed and performed a 2-minute solo dance before. But, feeling proud that I managed to choreograph a dance piece."
Imbi Mannik (playing Rochelle - The Unpredictable)

"I am excited and nervous about being involved in CFF. The idea of getting back on a stage gives me goosebumps and I'm loving the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people."
Corey Morris (playing Ayreon - The Magician)

"I only started acting at the beginning of this year and I'm really excited to have this cabaret opportunity. It's a fantastic show and it's a privilege to be a part of it!"
Kimberley Hannah (playing Christy - The Waitress)

"I am excited and terrified at the same time, because my character has to sing! I have never done this before, so it's a really big deal!"
Maria Benazic (playing Carlotta - Ms Cabaret)

"I'm really looking forward to performing in the Cabaret Fringe Festival. Both the cast and director have worked really hard, and have been very supportive and professional, even though this is the first performance for many of them. Most of the cast I have known for less than 10 weeks, but I have no fear going forward because I know if I fall, they'll have my back, just as I will have theirs."
Scott Wilkshire (playing Andre - The Host)


Tema: Have some of the crew performed on stage before? Has anyone been a part of your other shows that you hosted as part of Adelaide Fringe (or any other similar festivals that you may have been a part of)?
Michael: Sourced Up Talent have had multiple productions in previous Adelaide Fringe Seasons; however, this is a first for the Cabaret Fringe Festival. I have the best of both worlds. I am lucky enough to have talented cast involved from my previous productions, but also lucky enough to be working with people who have never performed before who have amazing hidden talents and potential.

Tema: What are you anticipating from being a part of ACF?
Michael: I am anticipating a night full of fun!
I want the cast to have a fantastic time and for them to get the applause they deserve. Since most of them haven't performed before, I expect this will open their eyes somewhat to the world of the performing arts. I can't wait to see them return in ACF 2019.


Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like your audience to know about Cross Legged?
Michael: The script was written specifically to the strengths of the cast members. I found that they all had specific talents, which I have incorporated into the show and they will be performing live on stage.

Performing in just 2 shows on one day (June 16) at the Parks Community Theatre in Angle Park, Cross Legged will help channel your inner dreams, passions, and desires and the importance of chasing towards the achievements of these elements for your own self-satisfaction! Book your tickets to Cross Legged here.

Promo poster (image supplied by Michael Wilkop)
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Why? What's not to love about cabaret that inspires and injects a sense of hope?
When: Cabaret Fringe Festival season
Where: Angle Park // Cabaret Fringe
Cost: $20
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