Lighting up the Stars of Jo’burg!

Hello my friends,

It is no secret that I have made a very real and personal connection with the masterpiece that is #StarlightExpressSA, its cast and #newmedia! It therefore gives me the greatest of pleasure to invite you to participate in a competition to spend Wednesday evening, 21 August 2013 enjoying this MEGA show by answering one simple question.

1. The winner will receive two tickets to #StarlightExpressSA at @Joburgtheatre.

2. Tickets need to by collected on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 between 7pm and 7h30pm from the Box Office.

3. The winner has to answer the question correctly. All correct answers will go into a hat, winner drawn… and it may just be you! The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 6pm.

4. Only answers posted on my blog will count. No Twitter, Face Book, You Tube, Instagram, Smoke Signal or even BBM answers will be in the running. STRICTLY blog entries only! 🙂

Simple right?

The question is:

Who is the official sponsor of #StarlightExpressSA, that made it possible for @Joburgtheatre to bring this Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacular to our stage?

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

…and then life whistled at me. @Lifeology #StarlightExpressSA

An old friend, Fi ( @figs_home ) wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers for years now. She often mentioned that we would really like each other. For some reason it just never happened….. until I replied to a tweet regarding the @Joburgtheatre and Jodene @Jodenecoza ) responded. We instantly clicked!

I have had two professional role models in my life Jyoti Moti who worked very closely with me at AForbes, a kick ass perfectionist successful consultant, and my x brother-in-law, Kevin Trudgeon who is one of the top Tax Lawyers in the country…. and here I literally clicked onto the third that would take me to a place where I knew for sure, THIS is what I wanted to be when I grow up.  Jodene Shaer of @LifeologySA .

Jodene invited to an event or two, @NocturnalWenchy was alive and well, tapped into her resources and for once I was allowed to be on my phone all I like! Small part of heaven. Even @SirNoid and @ZippyFairy helped tweet. Thank you. I appreciate the support endlessly!

I had been wanting to get more involved in Social Media. I wanted to analyse, manage accounts, review, visit events, wear glitter, write and dabble in photography, walk in soft lighting – so ….when @LifeologySA presented me with an opportunity to freelance, I grabbed it with both hands, holding a phone in one, a camera around my neck and a Galaxy pad in the other! (… and currently begging @SirNoid for his old one when he upgrades as I need more “hands”.)

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Jodene & Wenchy

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity, and the beautiful people I have met, the twitter followers who keep on coming and share my excitement and the Face Book friends who are so supportive and always encouraging my growth as a person, especially my BFF, Wil, Charms and Vicky, I love you… and my Mammie and my two sisters, Mary-Ann and Rentia. Also, a huge thank you to the small business accounts I am assisting with Face Book and Twitter. You mean so much to me. THANK YOU!

HUGE thank you to @SirNoid who is getting use to me not being at home every single night and my greatest thanks goes to @Jodeansa and @ohgodknows for taking a chance on me. (Abba playing in your head yet….?)

The greatest experience in these few short months has been getting more involved with @Joburgtheatre and the amazing non replica production of #StarlightExpressSA.  I have followed the journey from the first reading, to watching the TV advert being filmed to rehearsals and technical rehearsals and having loved theatre before…. I am now safely in love with the red curtain, the glitter and the truth that music speaks to your soul.

In my personal experience you have to see #StarlightExpressSA as the MEGA musical ever to come to the South African stage because as a regular theatre lover, I have never seen anything like it. The performers are in top form – singing, dancing, performing – all on rollerskates, the music is Andrew Lloyd Webber, need I say more? The two performers that I really connected with is Weslee (Dustinsee my previous interview with him, https://twitter.com/WesleeLauder ) and Bongi (Poppa https://twitter.com/Bongi_Mthombeni ). That man has a velvet, unbelievable voice and has been my Mammie’s BBM picture since yesterday!

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Wenchy & Weslee (picture taken by @ZippyFairy)

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Weslee & Bongi (picture taken by the fabulous @NocturnalWenchy hehehehe)

Starlight Express can be seen at the Jo’burg Theatre during the week at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm and runs until 1 September 2013. Prices range from R100 to R380  – Children as well as adults will be left wanting more!  You can purchase tickets on their web site.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel…. (the music never stops!)

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

#Starlight Express – Finding Dustin

Finding Dustin - Weslee Swain Lauder
Finding Dustin – Weslee Swain Lauder

Weslee Swain Lauder  stars in #StarlightExpressSA  at the Jo’burg Theatre as “Dustin” – A Big Hopper

Dustin is the largest of the freight cars, a large hopper. Sometimes he carries gravel and sometimes he carries aggregates.  He’s the largest, but he’s also very self-conscious of his size, so he’s cutely quiet and shy. Dustin also dreams of being a great racer, but because of his size, no engine wants to take him. He’ll just slow them down. Dustin does not really have a song to himself either, but he does have a song he sings counterpoint to Rusty.

Weslee was kind enough to answer a few questions for Da Wench:

1. Describe Weslee in three words.
Just three? Hehe… (PS. I would have said exactly that – Wenchy!!!)
 Humorous. Intelligent. Perseverant.

2. What was your first job in theatre?
First Professional job? As Ensemble in “Buddy. The Buddy Holly Story” at the State theatre.

3. What is your personal greatest challenge in your role as Dustin in #StarlightExpressSA ?
Finding Dustin’s physicality, because I didn’t want to do anything stereotypical.

4. Will you ever wear a pair of skates again after hours and hours of #StarlightExpressSA – for fun!?
OF COURSE!!!! I’m wearing them right now.

5. How do you personally measure success?
In the consistency of result.

6. What do you do for amusement?
Eat, read, retail therapy, play Xbox, tease my best friend, sleep, watching series and researching interesting ideas on the web.

7. What is your favourite meal?
Toughie,… food is my favourite meal, but if had to choose, I’d say curry (any curry).

8. Please share a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
I’m not fat; it’s actually a body suit. LOL

9. What would be the ultimate role to play?
Uhm, at the moment: Hedwig in “Hedwig and the angry inch

10. What has been both the best and worst day in your life? Yip, same day.
The worst day is behind me and the best day is yet to come.

Weslee Swain Lauder

As I rush off to the theatre, let me just thank Wesley for taking the time to answer my questions and for being such a treat in person and fabulous in the show. I am now a fan… but more a stalker….

Tickets for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Starlight Express can be purchased by visiting the theatre online, or contacting the ticketing call centre on 0861 670 670.  It is an awesome family show!!!

I wish you enough,Wenchy

#StarlightExpressSA rehearsal turn into sentimental mush. Me. Not them. They professionals. The script did not say cry here.

Wenchy, Oups Mike & my sister, Rentia
Stel (Wenchy), Oups Mike & my sister, Rentia at Oupa’s 80th birthday Party.

My dearest Oupa Mike,

Today I sat in the rehearsal room at the Jo’burg Theatre being included (no Shirley Bassey, “nose up against the window pane” for me!) in the very first rehearsal for the magical Andrew Lloyd Webber musical yet to take our beautiful land by storm, #StarlightExpressSA – Star Light Express.

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I looked at the YOUNG, beautiful, young performers, I listened to them change accents, so much talent, projected voices (remembered that one from the drama classes? I never had an issue with that…. hheheheh) but I thought of you my Oupa. I was there representing the world of social media. You would have LOVED just saying those words to any person who would listen. Even the guy you bought budgie food from. It may not mean much to many, but Oupa to me I just clicked my heels. Never felt so at home so instantly. I feel in love.

I love you like allot, but I am NOT even gonna try explain social media to you.  You will forgive me, anyway – you singing hallelujah choruses all day maybe dance to a bit of harp music? Trust me, it beats taxi kwaito. Please get the pan flutes banned before I arrive. Asseblief! I am totally against it!

Anyway – I was thinking of my piano lessons and the stupid mice that kept eating the felt, the tap dancing I adored, the dramatics of it all… how far my drama lessons was from one side of Potchefstroom to the other….. how you would wait in your little Datsun bakkie for me to finish pretending I am Judy Garland, before I even knew I WAS Judy Garland. All those sports events you attended. Running up and down the netball field. I never forget.

It did not matter if I walked out of my lessons or sports field feeling depleted or elated, you told me how those emotions, good and bad will stand me in good stead. I think you were right, at the time I thought you were just making the drive go faster. I understand MANY emotions and it has helped me be a more REAL person. I don’t fake emotion.. – family trait – if I may mention….not the great pretenders we are. I am sympathetic, I have empathy and the words to go with the hugs – we all know I give the best hugs in the world!!!

Ek het Oupa soooo vreeslik lief en verlang elke dag, maar some kyk ek vir Oupa se klok wat langs my bed staan en ek dink ons albei glimlag dieselfde typd. Send my deepest love to Ouma Chrissie and give her a Crunchie that goes brrrrr in her mouth… and THEN….  do that boeredans where you gentle throw her around the corner and lift up your leg van lekkerkry!! Where you throw your head back and laugh from your stomach. THAT is how I remember you most and when first seeing you after time apart (regardless of age), the outstretched arms, the smile that meets the eyes a million times over and the absolute lekker kry at seeing me. Thirdly, the night my father died. The open arms, the tears and a frail eleven year old falling into you and feeling safe. I wrote the night you died that it was the loneliest night of my life. It remains so.

Never. Not once, was I not proud that you were my grandparents. I do not write that easily and I have thought about it plenty…. I lived with you for eleven years – you never embarrassed me. I was VERY proud *I* am part of you and Ouma. I know I have caused many upsets (met die baie weddings en kinders by dosyne en so………..), many heartaches sometimes doing incredibly stupid stuff  in my life because YOU made me so stubborn (haha!) but Oupa, ek dink ek gaan dit nog seker n hele paar keer doen…. Thank you for always making me feel enough. Everything I needed was already within me. Thank you for making me feel I was all good, accepted and loved beyond my wildest imagination….I know it was a true love. Unconditional. Never earned. Freely given.

Although I did not end up entertaining professionally as a dreamt when I was little, I give a pretty good private performance on a good day. Actually, I have given quite a performance of a life…. and today I got to give it all a look from a different perspective. It was so good Oupa. There is this one dude Bongi, he sang these two lines and I closed my eyes…. a tear just ran over my cheek. It was beyond purity. Beyond beauty. I was so privileged so even hear that. I am so grateful. I wonder if these young people know just HOW talented they are. I will still write a proper blog, but I had to say, thank you Oupa… I owe you one, yes another box of Turkish Delight!

We well all miss you more than much. Mammie is lost… I worrie about her allot, Dad tries to keep her sane… Rentia, Johan en Tayla … ek en Dion en al ons baie kinders, Toy en al hom se kindersn en hulle kinders, Denise en al haar kinders and Elijah James… Oupa sou even van ons derde sussie, Mary-Ann gehou het, sy is classy en blerrie mooi! Ek weet nie hoe mens Oupa nie kon ken en  nie mis nie. DAAI MENSE IS MAL, ek en Rentia is dood normaal. No bi-polar here.

I think you would have been proud of me today. I touched a tiny bit of my personal cabaret, my unending need to write, taking pictures and wait for it…… and I paralleled parked. 🙂 Touch that!

Ek is lief vir jou,

Stel xxx

PS. I am a paradox. Oupa, I think you already know that. I am turning 40. I want a HUGE PARTY, TRUCK LOADS OF GIFT, LOADS OF FLOWERS, CLASSY SERVIETTES….. you know Liberace, but in overdrive, for my birthday………….. but I shy away from the attention at the same time while they sing happy birthday and you cut the cake and make a wish. Is funny that hey? I don’t understand it myself.

Sometimes my spirit feels to big for the body that holds it. We are NOT flush with cash (we just moved) and you of all angels would know how I love to plan a party. I think my Mammie may say my father would have agreed! You know my Mom takes after your sister and doesn’t like people. hahahahah!!! God may tell you what I end up doing for my 40th birthday if He is in a spoiler mood since he knows things before it happens and He is a reliable source… because I think God has a sense of funny. He made Jaco Zuma you know. I think he dreamed nicer things for Hitler. Free choice is a bugger. Sorry if you have like really annoying people in heaven. We have trunk loads here on earth. I will stop marrying them now.

Oh, about the second world war and all, did I mention I am a pretend Jew now? Another day? *sigh* I understand. 🙂