Thursday, August 12, 2010

London - New York - LA

Ok so I am now in LA after having the best last few weeks in London and New York. Here's whats happened...

I saw Blood Brothers in London which was really cool and ended up going to the A Team after party. Thanks Rhi! I had a few meetings with agents and casting agents which was really cool. I hadn't sung in such a long time (well it felt like a long time, 6 weeks!) so i did a really big warm up before hand and went in there and did my best musical theatre audition. Not for anything in particular, just let them know that i'm around if something comes up. It gave me such a buzz.

Went for a few more runs around Hyde Park, had a few more moments just staring at Royal Albert Hall, just trying to picture what it would be like to perform at the awesome venue. I also had a similar moment in New York just staring at Carnegie Hall. But i'll get to that a little later.

Met up with some more friends and finished my second book of the trip, Tim Winton's Breath. Really cool story of life and the choices you make. Now reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and i'm completely hooked. No book has got me like this since Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.

So after cooking dinner for my mates Trav and Jade, bless their hearts for letting me doss on the couch for that long. I promise to repay the debt ten fold one day. Thanks also to Chris as well...

So New York with Wendy started off really cool, a yellow taxi driving (with awesome driver) over the bridge and looking onto Manhatten. We stayed in the Upper East right next to Central Park which was just perfect. I took the couch, Wendy took the bed. Good move Mills, there was a bit of traffic noise in the morning that i didn't get. yesss. We changed positions a few nights later. I'm a good boy.

I went for a huge run the first morning around the park and ended up catching the last bit of Black Eyed Peas for GMA in the park. So cool. I think i ran around and through the park 3 times in the week that we were there.

The best thing about New York for me was that i got a chance to see some new cool shows. The first was Memphis which was spectacular. It is quite possibly the most polished piece of musical theatre that i have seen. A must! I can't see it coming to Australia so get to it people.

Next To Normal - Is the one everyone is talking about in New York. It was a really cool story and had a sort of Spring Awakening type vibe to it. Rocky riffs (which were not mixed well at all, i hate bad mixing) and some really emotional moments but i think only one memorable song.

American Idiot - Just brilliant. It was mixed like a rock show so you could feel the music deep in your body but still had the vocals up loud to get all the lyrics and story to your ears. It was like moving art. I really enjoyed this and hope it comes to Australia. Would love to play the best mate in the show.

In The Heights - The best dancing/choree i have ever seen. The songs and story a little lack luster. But all the performances were incredible. I can see why it won all those awards. It took musical theatre to a new level.

Lend Me A Tenor - This was my favourite of the week. It is a old play which was brilliantly cast and acted. Check the website for the details. It is a must see and i would love to do this show in Australia. I laughed the whole way through. Genius.

So they're the shows and i also went on a bike tour, well i can't really say it was a whole tour of people, i was lucky enough to be the only one on the tour, so i rode around Manhatten with my tour guide Rob. He was a Belgium guy who had been in New York for 7 years and worked about 30 different jobs. He was working three at the time i met him. I suppose you just have to keep yourself busy to stay afloat in that city. He was a really top bloke with his head screwed on right and full of awesome information. We rode for a bout 3 hours, checking out Time Square, Madison Square Garden, Wall St, Brooklyn bridge, Ground Zero and the new awesome riding track up the west side of Manhatten. Free Wi-fi in the parks there!

Also checked out MOMA and a little bit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They had the coolest moving sculpture on the roof. Beautiful sunset up there too looking over Central Park. Oh and went up to the Top Of The Rock. I think the best views in the city.

Went to the east village and the west village a couple of times for dinner and drinking. Both amazing places, so many bars and restaurants. Went to one bar which i had to enter through a telephone booth. Ridiculous. Good Cocktails though.

One thing about New York in Summer... It's so MUGGY! Hot and Sticky is not cool for travelling to meetings when you're all dressed up. Loved the vibe there though and would happily move there in a second.

So now, in LA, had a few meetings and have a few more to go... Went and saw B.B.King and Buddy Guy last night at the Hollywood Bowl which was awe inspiring. Such presence and warmth and generosity from both artists. And all of the muso's on stage were so tight. Awesome mix too. Had a great time and caught up with an old mate after.

Think we are going to check out this Art Walk in Downtown LA tonight. Free music and entry to art galleries. Sounds really cool.

Speak soon


And let's hope the Hawks make the finals... I'm home next week!!!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Cape Town - London - Scotland - London

Welcome back,

As it is a bit of a rainy day here in London i thought what better way to spend the day then to get you up to speed with life OS.

I spent the rest of my time in Cape Town with some cool blokes from Perth. They had had their own "Frothing" tour going for the entire World Cup. Complete with matching shirts, jackets, shorts, you name it. It was very very clever. And by the sounds of it, a lot cheaper then the Fanatics and they stayed in Hotels, not camping in tents! Well done lads, hats off to your ingenuity.

Before i get to London, i must tell you about my time spent in the Joburg airport (waiting for my connecting flight). I sat in the Club room and read my book (The Book Thief) and pretty much wept for like 45 mins whilst finishing the book. I tried to cover my face from all the people in there... I don't know whether it was the sadness of leaving SA after three tremendous weeks or the the way the story was told. Probably a combination. But girls, if you loved the "Note Book", You'll love The Book Thief. Ok, i know that sounds pretty girly of me, but i just really enjoyed the story.

Now once in London, i got myself a SIM card for my phone and headed to one of the other terminals to meet up with The Doff (mate of mine who i travelled with in 06). That all went swimmingly. Went for a long walk through Hyde Park to get to my mates (Trav) place in Paddington and put on my Hawks strip for a kick in the park. It was all going well until Doff kicked one off the side of his boot and the ball and i ended up in the pond in the middle of the park! I grabbed one of the circular flotational devices (can't think of the proper word) which was attached to a rope and decided that we could throw it over the ball and drag it back to the edge. Nice in theory. I think it probably took us about 20 mins to get the ball. Doff with quite an expert throw lured the ball back to safety. We had gathered quite the crowd us by this stage and there was thunderous applause at the end of the saga. Even the copper, who had stopped to watch, seemed to be pleased. She said she would have fined us if we had've jumped in. haha!

I checked out Les Mis with one of the Jonas Brothers in it during my first week in London. It was just simply spectacular. I loved the staging and the darkness of it all. I don't think i would've liked it 4 years ago, but now, i feel i have a better understanding and appreciation for the style. I got fairly emotional at the end with Jean Val Jean, as this was the role that Rob Guest had played for many a year and the lead guy looked alot like Guesty. I urge you all to see it. I would love the chance to play Marius some day.

I checked out Tap Dogs as well here in London which was really really cool. My mate Sam, who you may have seen in Wicked, was kind enough to organise some tickets for me. It was only his second show but damn he was good! They all were. Jesse Rasmus, you're a little freak. And Adam is just spectacular. Make sure you check it out when it comes to Australia. Doff, who is not a big theatre lover, sat spellbound. He loved it, we all did. Had a cool little catch up drink after the show as well and saw some familiar faces from theatre back in OZ. I really like the vibe here and could definitely see myself fitting in ok in the London theatre scene.

Because London often has the stigma of drinking sessions attached to it, Doff and i were unlucky enough to be caught up in one of those sessions the night before our flight to Scotland. Needless to say, after getting home at 4am and needing to be up at 4.30am, we should not have gone to sleep that night. I slept through my alarm and the taxi man who had called to say he was out the front. Not cool. We did our best to try and make the flight but basically were laughed at by cab drivers saying "You'll never make it". They were right. With our heads down, we booked another flight for the next morning and decided to cut our losses. Fast Forward to arrival in Glasgow. We are in the wrong airport to where i had booked the hire car for pick up! Doff and i exchanged a few words and glances. "How was i to know?" i remember was the best defence from Doff. Earlier in the day at Gatwick we were informed that there would be a £20 fee to print our tickets as well. Damn you Ryanair!

Anyhoo after a £60 cab ride to the other airport, we picked up the car and starting driving out with Doff, Cam and some new Canadian guy we picked up in the plane called Greg who had an incredible moustache, to LochLomond to watch our mate Marcus Fraser in the Scottish Open.

It was wet, windy and pretty miserable to tell you the truth. But watching Marcus was very very cool. He ended up -1 for the tournament and finished in the top 20. We headed into Glasgow and drove around for a bit (with Greg the moustached Canadian) looking for a hotel. After comparing a few we dropped off our bags and i parked the car. I was left to share a room with Greg. Thanks boys. He was harmless, although just a little strange. I never trust a man with a moustache, unless he's my Dad.

We found a pub near by to watch the World Cup Final but didn't stay out too late... To tell you the truth i think i had driven for about 2 hours that day, walked for a bout 3 hours and had been up since 6am... It was nice to have a quiet one. Just not what i had invisiged for the Final after being in SA for the lead up to it. Not one person did the Waka Waka in Glasgow that i saw. And i couldn't hear one Vuvuzela (not necessarily a bad thing).

After dropping Greg back in Loch Lomond and deciding not to go to Edinburgh (i'm still a bit shattered about that. I was out voted 2-1) we started the big drive back to London. We did however have a stop over at Anfield Stadium for Doff. And we had a really awesome pub meal at a local pub near the Stadium. We given a few dirty looks as we sat in the pub by the locals mind you. I guess judging by our teeth they could tell we weren't from around there.

I have spent the last few weeks here in London just seeing some cool sites and doing a bit of shopping. I went and saw Get Him To The Greek which is ridiculously funny. I also saw Inception which is definitely worth a look also. I saw a great comedy act called Vinegar Knickers as well which was hilarious.

I had a really cool Xmas in July party with my mates friends in little Venice on Saturday and am now ready for a few meetings and a few shows this week.

I watched the Hawks play the Saints live on TV at a Walkabout pub last friday morning which was quite devastating. A DRAW!!! Bring on Extra Time i say.

Oh and a friend of mine got me tickets to the Knight and Day premiere last Thursday night which was a bit of fun.

Speak soon everybody.

Rob x
Inside Soccer City in JoBurg watchin Brazil vs Ivory Coast. Incredible atmosphere.
Soccer City. It looks like a Space Ship.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cape Town

Well, It's been a while and i apologise for my absence on Twitter as well. It seems it would've been best for me to take my iphone all along. There is so much free Wi-fi here in London.

Let me start by saying that Cape Town is one most beautiful city i have ever been. I should also point out that it's still quite a poor city once you get outside the main parts. However, it has a great layout and everything is very easily accessible. I spent my remaining time in Cape Town doing a bit of sight seeing on the Hop On Hop Off bus which was cool. Checked out the markets and the District 6 museum. I still can't believe that happened. They just took people out of their homes and moved them to these Townships! Check out the movie District 9 by Peter Jackson, it pretty much sums it up.

I was lucky enough to have met a cool guy called Dan who worked on SEN and we had dinner with one of my favourite commentators/journalists Francis Leach. That guy has a super brain and is an absolute champion. Thanks Dan.

Took an afternoon drive up to the Stellenbosch region and went to Ernie Ells' Winery. Some very tasty wine and quite the spectacular view. We ended up heading to a food and wine festival which was a bit naff, they were teaching oldies how to latin dance on the main stage, which was hilarious. However the food was delicious and so was the boutique wine.

Ended up going to a few different night clubs with some Aussie boys i had met in Nelspruit. One of them had a full Cirq show, acrobats, fire breathers and almost burlesque type stuff. It was quite a cool club. I even saw Mick Jagger watchin the show from the balcony above. Big shout out to the "Frothing Team" for putting me up in their apartment. And also a big thanks for sending my camera over to London, i thought i had lost it for good.

Oh, i also went Shark Diving with a few of the lads. It was a long cold tiring drive up the coast, but we managed to get there, even with a few a misdirections. haha, thanks Spud. We saw 5 sharks that morning as we were hanging from the cage, pushing our bodies under the water. Man they are the scariest creatures i have ever seen.

I met a cool chick who took me down south to see the penguins and check out the amazing coast line of Cape Point. I literally sat on a rock talking to a penguin. So cool. I will post some photos so you can see just how beautiful the coast road is. Thanks Gabbs for the day trip.

The Cape Town stadium was a buzz, as were the streets, for the Germany vs Argentina match. It was hectic how many people were walking to the stadium. It was a full street parade and then everybody just sort of followed along. I had the best time at the game. I kept getting texts from my German mate who was understandably over the moon with his teams performance. They won 4-0! That means i saw the Germans score 8 goals live! That's more than the Aussie's scored in the last two world cups! Almost.

Gotta run, but more to come soon... London to Scotland and back, Les Mis, Tap Dogs and the movie Get Him To The Greek.


P.S Just wanted to say thanks heaps to Jase and all his mates for an awesome World Cup experience. It was one of the best times of my life. Hopefully i will be seeing you all in BRAZIL 2014!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The top of Vic Falls with the footy, two raincoats and big boots. Still got soaked!
At the bottom of Vic Falls with Em and Laurelle, my travelling sisters.

Sunset on the Zambezi River... Magical

Outside Durban match with my mate Jason and The Kanga. He loved that thing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nelspruit - Joburg - Cape Town

So let's pick up where we left off shall we? Nelspruit and headed to the Jock and Java in my Bafana Bafana top to cheer on the boys. A valiant effort but not good enough in the end to progress to the next round. The pub is truly awesome though, good food and great atmosphere, a must for any traveller.

As for the safari the following morning... eeek. Open top Hilux with 9 of us in the back, except me who somehow managed to ride up the front. It was freezing! We got picked up at 5am and drove to Kruger National Park. How's this, before lunch time, we had already seen 4 of the Big Five! Two Lions just walked out onto the road in front of our car and casually strolled up the path. Just breathtaking to see these beautiful creatures hanging out as brothers do. As this was just a day trip we couldn't actually drive off the tracks, so we were limited to seeing heaps and heaps of animals. If i come back i will definitely go to a private game park and camp out for a few days. Time was just a factor. However, i am really happy to have seen Buffalo, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions, Hyena and it's little baby cub, Elephants (one baby), Wilderbeast, and heaps of Springbok.

As for the game that night. Nothing will top the atmosphere and excitement for me for a long time. Our tickets were up the top of the stadium and we watched the first half from there. Luckily some mate had spare seats in front of them pretty much at the edge of the box (Socceroos scoring end). When Timmy Cahill nailed that header, woah, massive, beer was thrown everywhere and there were quite a few men shrieking with delight. It was a shame that we didn't progress to the round of 16 but damn we looked good when we actually had 11 on the pitch. The Aussie supporters showed their true love of the Socceroos by staying back after the match and gave the guys a standing ovation and there were a few choruses of Waltzing Matilda still echoing from the game which was nice.

We had been lucky with transport to and from the game in our last few matches but this one was a NIGHTMARE. The wait for the bus was probably 2 hours. Somehow, Jason, who has a gift, he just makes things happen, organised a mini bus and we were all heading back to the Jock and Java for a night of reminising and maybe a few hugs with fellow dissapointed aussies.

The reply of the game that night on the big screens had everybody feeling the same rushes of emotion all over again It was truly amazing. Later in the evening, after a little bit of encouragement, i jumped on the microphone and sang an ode to the socceroos and the coach. Betterman - Pearl Jam. "Can't find a better man". He clearly was not the right man for the job.

Had a quiet day reading by the pool the next day before flying back to Joburg and having another night out with Ed. We went to Melville, acccidently walked into a gay bar, who were all very friendly (haha) and then ended up a really cool bar called The Catz Pajamas talking to some engineering students about Boston Legal (ha!). It was such a fun night out. After all the media hype about how dangerous it is here, i tend to totally disagree. As long as you're sensible you can meet some really cool, friendly people.

I am now in Cape Town after one more final evening in Joburg at the Fan Fest in Melrose Arch. There was a killer Limbo going on, i may or may not have started it.

Went up to Table Mountain yesterday and picked quite possibly the best day for it. The views were spectacular. I will post photos as soon as i have faster connection speed.

I'm here all week and hope to get the bungy, a shark dive, a trip to Cape Point, The wine region all in before i leave. Oh and check out the markets.

Speak soon....

Oh and i'm heading to the Argentina vs Germany game this weekend! So pumped.