Pay No Attention to the Singing Crab

Canberra play centreKids’ movies lie all the time, and I’m not happy about it. You think you can just pop them into the DVD player and you get ninety minutes of respite from the busy job of child-minding, but no! You have to stay vigilant the entire time, just so you can check that all the wholesome ‘messages’ are actually as wholesome as they appear.

That little green crab can sing as catchy a tune as he likes; I still don’t want him singing about how the economy is actually better when people give up their dreams and pursue a minimum wage job. I want my kids to reach for the stars, not be satisfied in the gutter, thanks very much.

Golly, everything has to be political nowadays, doesn’t it? If it’s ‘educational’, that raises the red flags that they’re teaching my kids something with an agenda. Give it ten years, and you’ll be looking around Canberra for an indoor play centre where all the climbing equipment is plastered with statistics about the effectiveness of socialism. All the balls in the ball pit will be printed with fun facts about progressive values and such. And the children won’t UNDERSTAND any of it, of course. I asked Lena what she thought of what the green crab was singing about, and she said that she thought it was a pretty tune. Still, you can never tell what’s going into their young minds. That’s why I like play centres and party venues and the like. At least, the ones we have now. All neutral imagery: blue elephants and bright, non-clashing colours and pirates with swords that have clearly never been sharpened and are thus clearly for effect. You know…neutral stuff. Things that will cause my children to make their own decisions in life. And I’ve never seen them use copyrighted material at any kids party venue near Canberra, so there’s no danger of corporate brainwashing. Not yet, anyway.

-A.M.

Unstable Dancing in a Ball Pit

indoor play centreI’m acting, and getting paid for it. I don’t care that it’s low-budget, I don’t care that it’s only a miniseries and I DON’T care that I have to portray a put-upon young mother. I got myself a job, and I’m going to do it so well that it’ll be the crowning piece of my highlight reel.

We just wrapped up on our first day of shooting, and I’m totally exhausted but running on joyful adrenaline. Sure, my ‘makeup’ is actually just designed to make me look tired, put-upon and at the end of my rope, but have you seen the Oscars? They give them out like candy to actors who destroy themselves for fame. And yep, I DO look pretty terrible, so I think this is going to look pretty great in the future when I show it to guys in suits who make dreams come true.

So, this scene. A lot of singing and dancing, and a lot of travel time since it was at some indoor play centre in Jandakot. Where even IS Jandakot? After the plane landed, I had to hitch a lift in the truck carrying all the filming equipment and there was a set of boom mics blocking most of my window, so I have no idea how we got there. Could’ve been Aruba for all I know, but I was glad to get out of there and onto the set. All the people who worked there were really nice, even though they had to give us a full safety demonstration. I suppose dancing in a ball pit is pretty dangerous, and difficult for the record. I went to a dance academy and we never covered how to dance in such a weird environment, so I was sort of making it up as I went along. Still, our choreographer seemed to really like the performance; the appearance of us struggling “really added to the realism.” That’s what playing Sandra is all about, you see…because she’s a new mother struggling to balance her entire life, and sometimes she doesn’t  know if she’s coming or going, or dancing around on a climbing frame singing a song about how exhausted she is and how everyone keeps trying to give her well-meaning-yet-conflicting advice.

We’re back tomorrow in Jandakot, birthday party venue primed and ready. Man, this schedule…if it keeps up I won’t even be needing makeup to look exhausted.

-Lana