|Articles on this page with permission from GREG WANE, are taken from the Barwon Heads,Ocean Grove, and Wallington news .||Issn 13290371|
Published by Whistler Publishing
PO. Box 358, Ocean Grove
Editor Greg Wayne
Barwon Heads features on national television
SEA CHANGE, the 13 part drama series star Sigrid Thornton, David Wenbam and Jobn Howard premieres on the ABC on Sunday 10 May at 7.30pm. Much of the location filming was done at Barwon Heads and centered around the bridge, estuary shore and fishermen's pier. The Whistler was invited to attend a special launch of Sea Change at the Port Melbourne Yacht Club during April and to see excepts from the series that was devised and written by Andrew Knight and Deb Cox. The pair have worked on many collaborations over the years including acclaimed productions Simon de Beauvior's Babies and Kangaroo Palace. Andrew and Deb said they wanted a different series with Sea Change. "We are looking for a series which viewers can almost escape to. Not conventional television, but not nauseatingly comfortable either. One which fuses slightly surreal comedy with the real stuff of life." Deb said.
'Whilst the characters of Sea Change are fictional, most are easily identifiable, said Andrew.
Two of the younger actors who appear in Sea Change- Cassandra Magrath and Kane McNay talked to The Whistler about their careers, their acting and the characters they play in Sea Change.
AS far back as she can remember Cassandra Magrath has always wanted to be an actor. "I can't remember wanting to do anything else but act and I just kept bugging my mum to take me to drama classes."
Cassandra, 16, said she finally got to go to drama classes when she was 11 and shortly after went to her first audition for a professional role. she got the part playing 'Zoe' in the television production of Ocean Girl in 1993. The following year she played the role of 'Jane' in an episode of the ABC produced drama Janas. In 1996 she played 'Suzi' in the film motet de Love and later that year was cast as 'Charlene Wilson' in the Artist Services production The Wayne Manifesto. "Oh and I also did a McCains potato chip commercial too!" Cassandra added.
In Sea Change Cassandra plays 'Miranda Gibson' alongside award winning actors Sigrid Thornton and David Wenham which, she says, has been a special experience. "They are both really cool people. Sigrid helped me heaps, she has had so much experience and she just loves to share it with young actors and David is a very, very funny guy."
A Year 11 student at Kingsford College in Box Hill, Cassandra, is a teenager with a cheeky confidence, bubbly personality and an infectious laugh. According to her peers, her acting ability is very much a natural talent.
During a break in filming at Barwon Heads, Cassandra talked about acting and her other main goal - passing Year 12 next year. But you get the impression the schooling is a formality, but the acting is a passion. So how much is there of Cassandra in her role as Miranda? "Miranda is everything I am not - she is uncool,and she wears dorky clothes!" Cassandra laughs. "Miranda is quiet, a bit withdrawn, yet inside she is an angry person. She doesn't want to move to this boring little town, she is very much at home in the big city. There is about 1.5% of me in Miranda." Cassandra said playing a girl like Miranda is "not too difficult" to slip into character, but she declared she still needs to concentrate. 'There are so many people on set, and if I need to hold an eye-line [look directly at another actor] when saying my lines it requires a bit of concentration. There can be crew crawling around putting down marks, people fiddling with my hair and make-up and in between all this you cannot be distracted and you have to act. Sometimes I just totally forget where I am and I get all worked up and forget my lines. But mostly I just ignore it and relax."
Cassandra said she is not much interested in playing any sport, although she enjoys roller-blading for fun. Preferring in her free time to indulge in creative writing, declaring that English is her best subject at school.
Since production of Sea Change began last November, she has spent a lot of time in Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove and has been impressed by local teenagers."The locals here are so funky! I wish I could be like the chicks that live down here. They've got blonde hair and it is all sandy and 'oceany' and I've seen them with their boards on the beach. I hear there is a surfboard club totally for girls, it sounds just so cool !"
An immediate acting ambition at the moment is to play a different role: "I ' d like to play someone really nice - I keep getting parts playing the typical mean, angry teenager with a chip on her shoulder. Typecast already at 16. she jokes.
PLAYING the role of 'Rupert Gibson' in Sea Change has been a lot of fun according to young actor Kane McNay. "I've got Rupert's sense of humour and he is energetic, like me. I am drawing on my life experiences to play this part, but Rupert is only 12, and I'm actually 14." declared Kane of his alter-ego.
The 14-year-old actor said he "grew-up" in the Melbourne suburb of Yarraville and began acting in school plays in Grade 2. "We had a teacher who really encouraged us a lot to act. What I mean is we did more acting than school work." he quipped. But that encouragement has paid off for Kane whose has scored many led roles and awards and is in demand as a young actor. In 1996 he had guest speaking roles in Last of the Ryans and State Coroner and played the lead role of 'Tim' in the short film It Never Rains. Kane won Best Male Actor for this role at the International Short Film Festival. In 1997 he played 'Darren' in Blabbermoath & Stickybeak, a film produced for British television.
During the filming of Sea Change, Kane is shadowed by his chaperone, Nicholas Boseley, and between takes and set calls, Kane is required to do school work with the tutor provided by the ABC. "Every break I get I am into the school work, but I don't mind that much. "We still get a bit of time off and Cass [Cassandra Magrath] and I have a bit of fun on set. There is a lot of waiting around when you are acting so we play footy and stuff." Kane said.
A strong interest in archaeology also fascinates this mature 14-year-old who declares that one day he would like to fossick among ancient ruins or explore the sea floor around the wreck of the Titanic. "You must realize that acting can be a tough business and I would like to qualify in some other profession when I leave school. Something I can fall back on if I have to."
Kane praised the help and guidance of fellow actor Sigrid Thornton who plays Laura Gibson (Rupert's mum) in Sea Change. "Sigrid has helped me a lot in my acting. There were times when I couldn't get the lines quite right and she would give me words of encouragement. Other times I would look to her for little mannerisms and acting tips, she was really great."
A Year 9 student at Williamstown High School, he enjoys football and cricket and this year captained his church's under 14 cricket team. "I do a lot of reading, mainly Christopher Pike books. And when we wrap [finish filming for the day] we like to look through the shops in Ocean Grove or Barwon Heads. "I really like Barwon Heads, it's a place where I'd like to retire one day." Kane declared.