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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Triple Threats

This year I have met a lot of talented people. Last year, too.

At the end of 2011 I was introduced to the term "triple threat." Apparently, this is someone that can sing, dance and act.

However, I have met people that are multitalented and creative in other ways that deserve the recognition of this coveted title.

Let me introduce you to a few.


 Sarah Cosstick has been singing and dancing onto our musical theatre stages for years! I first met Sarah during the rehearsal period for The 39 Steps, directed by Trevor Dhu, where she portrayed Margaret, the crofter's wife, and Mrs. Jordan. She also sang live and choreographed not only her own original dance piece for the West End Music Hall scenes but a two person dance for herself and her on-stage husband, Christopher Kenworthy. Sarah ensured the quality of her performance by rehearsing before the show started each evening and raised the morale of the cast by baking delicious cupcakes for us! Sarah was directed by Trevor Dhu, again, in West Side Story, starring as Maria and received great reviews for her role as Cosette in Les Miserables, directed by Eileen Frith.


The 2007 WA Screen Award for Directing was awarded to Christopher Kenworthy for Some Dreams Come True. Christopher has two Master Shots volumes to his name, with expert cinematography techniques and tips. He has written screenplays, plays, short stories, poems, novels, instructional guides, online tutorials and blogs. He also draws, sculpts, paints and photographs. Oh and he's a magician, he performed in a whole bunch of magic shows with Matt Penny at The Blue Room over the years. The first time I met Chris, he told me he worked with software. At that point he was portraying Edward Rochester for a Nicola Bond directed production of Jane Eyre. He went on to portray Professor Jordan in The 39 Steps, along with dizzying array of other characters. He is a professional freelance creative.


Meet the director of my latest short film and the make-up artist that created the creepy zombie face that scared the wits out of the children I live with. Natalie is an ECU film student and a director, videographer and self-taught make-up artist. (Natalie is gorgeous and I could have shown you that, but this photo demonstrates her FIRST attempt to do zombie make-up, on herself, and I wanted you to see the impressive results.) She will pursue her career in London and South Africa, where she is interested in creating promotional documentaries for local industries. As a director, Natalie is very aware of the camera and her actors. She balances team work and leadership. As an actor you always feel like you're in safe hands, working with Natalie. If you want to see what she can do with a camera when left to her own devices visit her blog.

There are so very many more people that I want to introduce you to, and I will. But I need to get their permission first so you will just have to wait. But trust me, this town is brimming with talent and these people are a pleasure to work with, I hope you will be as lucky as me in the near future as you indulge your passion for performing and creating. 

Saturday, 20 October 2012


The affectionate nicknames I received from the little people that I live with includes the devastating title Jar Jar Binks (the clumsy Star Wars alien).

It was well earned. I have a bruise the size of a twenty cent coin on my shoulder from running into a door frame. I am the victim of countless inanimate object attacks. The first kitchen item to be dropped and smashed in this house was a glass filled with water that I somehow knocked over from about a metre away by waving my hand slightly.

Yesterday, I was shooting a zombie scene for a student film in a kitchenwares store (they were a really accommodating store and deserve a box of chocolates). I had make-up and cloudy eyes that made me a driving hazard, and I was gurgling my spit in my throat to get into character, even though no sound was being recorded. I started limiting my thoughts to "brains, brains, brains, br..."

The first AD gave us some facetious directions. He jokingly told us to be more aggressive in our attack of the hapless protagonist. My acting instincts kicked in and I gave it a go, before I even knew what I was doing, I was swiping at the actor, growling and thinking, "Eat brains, get in the head, eat brains, eat brains, eat..." when out of nowhere, a cookbook flew off the shelf and landed on the floor with a thud.

Was that me?

Yes. Yes, it was me. I had swiped the book off the display shelf and everyone froze in disbelief at my stupidity and then groaned. I picked up the book, inspected it and then held it up triumphantly declaring, "Look, it's not at all damaged."

"Moron," came the reply from the shop owner.

Oh, how we laughed (and I died a little inside).

We all recovered quickly and finished the very well organised and stylish looking shoot.

This morning, one of the younglings (a very talented young actress) decided to show me how she can shoot me with a bow and arrow in the throat. As she pulled the imaginary arrow out of her hypothetical quiver her elbow went back and knocked over one or two ornaments on top of a bookshelf that she was standing in front of. I giggled. Then I shared the above story in communion with the young actor.

It's nice to know that accidents like these are just the natural consequence of having committed and enthusiastic actors on set. I am working on my spatial awareness but I prize my imagination and commitment over my ability to not disturb things. I don't ever want to be responsible for damaging equipment, that would be heartbreaking, but I more often get away with my enthusiasm than not.

I hope you'll still hire me! 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Music Video Vixen Molly

Or so I'm called by Jef with One F in his review of a recent music video that I was featured in.

The music video was for Philco Fiction track 'Help' which was released earlier this year.

Directed by Christopher Kenworthy, the video features me flouncing around the outback chasing a bird. It was a lot of fun to shoot and Chris was, as always, a lot of fun to work with. He had swine flu, was carrying all the equipment by himself up cliff sides and still managed to come up with something that I'm exceedingly proud of.

Earlier this year Jef reviewed another music video that Chris directed and filmed. This one was for Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri's 'Naked.' I was a theatre actor turned gypsy dancer.

"Kerr plays a role to the hilt. While lost in her performance, at times her presence on the stage registers near-orgasmically on her face, but she never loses the edge of fear for a second: Fear of discovery, fear of mockery, maybe even fear of living a life too afraid to ever really stand up and demand a place. She never seems to overcome that fear; she simply incorporates it into her own beauty."

Before working with Chris, I worked with Anthony Vallejos on a Nevsky Prospekt music video called 'Top Marks For Treachery' in which I played a vengeful girlfriend to Aaron Hughes.

Since working with Chris, I was an extra in an End of Fashion music video directed by Kal Englishby at the WA Screen Academy, where I met so many talented actors and was exposed to Capoiera, a really beautiful cross between martial arts and dance.

I recently featured as the girlfriend of Bill Marri in his track 'Hit Ya Baby.'  A bunch of my acting friends agreed to turn up as extras in the street party. The various excuses for not turning up included:
'I forgot.'
'That's next weekend.'
'That's tomorrow.'
'I got my wisdom teeth out.'
'It's too far away.'
(This is why you should offer the incentive of payment to extras!)
But I think that director, Adrian Prospero, was able to create a slick party atmosphere, anyway. If you're interested Bill is planning on shooting a further two videos in November and wants as many extras as possible.

Soon, a friend of mine, Moazam Mirza, is planning on releasing a video for his track 'Aa Bhi Jaa' and he's asked me to feature in it.

So... if you have a video that needs a vixen... drop me a line.

I can also talk. And read scripts. Just in case you've got a role in mind that requires those particular skills. Visit www.mollykerractor.com to view my showreel and stay tuned as we cut a WHOLE NEW showreel together before your tax return is due. 

Crying On Camera

Other than aesthetically, I don't see the point of crying on camera.

I mean, good for you if you can, but crying isn't the point, surely?

A few months ago I filmed a sort of stand-alone scene of a monologue I had written along the lines that the director and editor had prescribed. It was very clear to me that my character would be hysterical under these circumstances. It was equally clear to me that they would cry.

I have never, ever cried on cue before.

I cry all the time when I'm trying not to. I am a huge cry baby. My mum would call me Ophelia when I was growing up!

For a particular theatre production early last year, I spent the whole rehearsal period desperately trying to cry on stage, on cue. I was so frustrated and disappointed in myself when I had to resort to sort-of-sobbing to convey the emotion. I would have preferred to avoid that altogether but it was the director's direction that I break down at that point, regardless of my ability or lack thereof.

For this film, I spent the entire rehearsal period refining the monologue and making character choices. I made the mistake of being a bit precious about my monologue and I think I would have it edited ruthlessly by a third party if I were going to do it again. But that's beside the point. The point is: I didn't practice crying. I tried. I would get the moist eyes and I'd squeeze out the cloud of a tear and then I'd be dry as a cat's tongue. I just couldn't inspire myself in any way to wetly manifest the sense of hysteria, shame and anguish that my character would experience in this scene.

This Magic Troll has more emotional depth than I do!

I drove to the shoot, which was in Mandurah. I spent the entire drive running my lines, even though I got to read half of them off the page as I was performing (makes sense in context). And I screamed. I howled. I sobbed. I thought of every sad thing, every heartbreak, every misery that I could remember (I have quite the store) and when I started to feel sensible again, I would smack myself in the face.

Yes! Extreme, but I was a character performing a heinous task under duress. I think a smack in the face is the least I could do to inform my performance.

I listened to melancholy or angry music and then I pulled up at the hotel and parked. I had to ask the hotel staff where to go for the shoot and I must've looked a right mess!

I felt fragile, I felt broken, I felt goddamned annoyed that I couldn't find a place of solitude to maintain my sense of loss and isolation. Instead, I had to snap out of it as I asked about costume choices and make-up. I talked to the crew in a sort of bad tempered way which made everyone skittish or grumpy around me, because I started to get into the zone again. I started to shake. I couldn't manage a smile. I felt thoroughly and genuinely depressed. And my throat hurt from all the emo singing (and the flu I'd caught that day that was incubating in my glands). I sat down to perform, not sure if I could quite manage the hysteria and suffering I'd summoned on my trip down to the shoot.

Then as I delivered my monologue, I cried. Actual, wet tears fell from my eyes and I blubbered like a woman condemned to die. I couldn't quite believe it. I had done it. I cried on cue. Right when I wanted to cry, I did.

I couldn't help but be pleased with myself for accomplishing something I never thought would be personally possible. I was immediately a lot friendlier to the crew upon the director calling 'cut!' They were a nice crew, too.

It doesn't matter that you can't tell that I was actually crying in the scene and it seems like I'm fake crying. Okay, it matters a little. But only aesthetically, for future reference. So I can figure out how to approach the camera and adapt my performance to suit it. It doesn't matter because in the process of trying to cry on cue I actually learnt a lot more about how to access emotions, that for reasons I don't understand yet, are very heavily protected when I'm on stage or screen.

Here I am. Willing to look silly for my craft. 

I have such incredible armour when I'm performing that I find it hard to recall genuine emotions. I'm always at risk of indicating or having a rather limited range, because I can't remember how I feel when I'm sad. My imagination, which works overtime when I'm anxious or excited, becomes utterly remote from me when I am acting. Until that shoot. The preparation I did for that shoot somehow damaged that armour so badly that now I can access my genuine emotions, connected to my imagination, very easily. (There is still arduous preparation and psychic skinning before filming but I feel relaxed and I'm not result oriented.) I can cry on cue, but I don't have to. The crying isn't important. If I can't cry, that's okay, because I have found a way to express deep emotional experiences to my other actors and to the audience, anyway. I am not seeking a particular result anymore, which inexplicably makes it easier to follow my whims, and cry.

Whether or not I have tears, I have organic emotion.

Nonetheless, how great is it that I can cry on cue now, huh? 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

So much to tell you!

Yep it's been a while. Lots of stuff to tell you. But I won't.

I will tell you lots, eventually, whether or not you care to read it. The beauty of the blog.

But right now I want to do a call out to other actors about a possible networking idea.

It goes something like this:

I have a file full of business cards of make-up artists, actors, writers, directors, technicians etc. I would like to enrich this file with head-shots, showreels, portfolios and CVs. I will contact those featured in this file and ask what projects they would have an interest in being involved in. Would I have permission to circulate their details to various production companies, whether professional, commercial, student or independent? Would they forward on the contact details of more industry-related persons who would like to be featured in this file? Once the file is validated with everyone's consent, I would copy it and provide it to the universities, most of which currently have no system for storing such information. One file would be a useful resource for each head of Media and Film. I would offer a copy to the two main casting agencies, who already have access to represented actors and accept the details of unrepresented actors, but who may benefit from a resource that would include references, reviews and other feedback from peers and colleagues who have already worked with these actors.

It would be a bit like a casual staff list. A no-obligation compendium of casts and crews who can be called upon to help out if they are inclined. Actors could access the file to review a crew they've worked with. Crews could access the file to review an actor they've worked with. This could lead to petty grudges but hopefully, ideally, would actually lead to people lifting their game. No doing coke in the toilets the night before a shoot. No turning up two hours late because you wanted a latte. No saying you'll go to the audition and then forgetting to let them know you can't make it because you're too busy trying to cast your current project!

That last scenario would be completely avoidable because your producer would have a file with a whole city's worth of actors and you wouldn't be required to do the producer's job.

It could be copied and added to at each project, with cast and crew submitting their professional portfolios to that particular file, with a central database to update your copy of the file so that everyone always has FREE access to who is working locally and how they are working.

Or it could just be one file that one person (currently me) looks after and updates but that is borrowed by actors and crews so that they can find that special someone to make their production smashing. Directors, writers and producers and casting agents looking for actors would have a section in the file so that they can make their general interest known, or they could submit casting calls for long term projects.

I think it would be beneficial for actors to have access to other actors who are willing to curry favour and work on their projects at short notice for no pay and little credit and great inconvenience just so their production doesn't get cancelled. This charity will no doubt be returned when the need arises. If not directly, then at least in a karmic sense!

I see a lot of potential in this concept. It is a baby-concept and needs to be refined beyond the point of recognition, perhaps, but I want feedback. If this idea appeals to you, if you have any suggestions or if you think you might just like to add your name to the list of contacts that I have, please get in touch.

Contact me here or Facebook