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South African Interviews

Tamika Interviews Richard Lothian


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Arriving at Newport Market & Deli in Mouille Point, Cape Town, I can’t miss the big smile & exuberant energy from an old friend who is now making waves in the Cape Town film industry. Approachable and friendly, Richard greets me and we waste no time before getting down to blog business 🙂

Tamika: So where are you from originally?

Richard: I’m originally from Natal…. But I’ve lived in every province in South Africa in the last 12 years! Now I find myself here, living near Rafikis….. aww yeah! 😉

Tamika: Ha! Where did you go to school?

Richard: I went to Camps Bay High for a while and ended up matriculating at Boston House College.

Tamika: What did you do after school?

Richard: I spent three months travelling around Europe. Then I came back here and was managing a bar for about a year. It was called ‘Velvet Lounge’. I did that for a while until I decided that I wanted to be an actor.

Tamika: What kind of training did you do for acting? And do you have training for any other skills?

Richard: Well since primary school I was always in every school play! I did 3 years at City Varsity and graduated with a Higher Diploma in Acting in 2006. After that, I focused on Stunt work at “DSS” – Dimensional Stunt School. That was 4 months. I graduated in 2007 and after that I continued drilling myself in martial arts training and honing my skills. I joined a circus school in Mowbray for 6 months and specialised in silks and aerial acrobats. Oh, and the trapeze! At the circus school I trained with a guy named Keith Anderson who all but brought the circus to SA. After that I was employed by Circus Sideshow – my first professional stage production. That was 3 weeks of rehearsals and 1 month at the Artscape.

Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily –acting for theatre or for film?

Richard: I was trained in film and I love the medium. It’s very natural and real. But I also love the theatre. I would recommend that any actor gets involved in the theatre at some stage of his career!

Tamika: Name some of your most memorable roles.

Richard: Well, a recent film I did in 2011 stands out for me. It was a re-enactment of Gettysburg, produced by Riddley Scott and directed by Adrian Moat. I had a lead role in that, ‘Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes’. It was shot here in Cape Town near Stellenbosch. Safehouse last year was also a great film to be part of! It wasn’t a big role but it was great to be on set. A play I did in 2009 was also an unforgettable experience – It was The Jungle Book and I played ‘Baloo’. It was at Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Finally, a musical I was in during 2010, called Assassins, was a memorable experience for me. It was a musical by Steven Sondheim and was directed by Fred Abrahamse. I played ‘John Hinkley’ and it was to commemorate the opening of The New Space Theatre here in Cape Town.

Tamika: Have you done any commercials? If so, what?

Richard: Yes I have. A few that come to mind are ones I did for the Homemaker’s Expo, Hi-Q, Miller’s, KFC – where I got slapped in the face repeatedly – and a Weetabix ad where I spent 3 days dressed as a giant peanut!

Tamika: Haha! Have you won any awards?

Richard: Yes I have. I graduated top in my class at City Varsity and won the award for ‘Most Promising Actor’.

Tamika: What is the most recent you have done?

Richard: A Miller’s Commercial.

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?

Richard: Coming up are 2 theatre productions called Trains. I’ll be playing one of the leads. It’s physical theatre which involves puppetry. They’ll be at Theatre In The District in District Six. Also, a kid’s show is in the pipeline for me. It’s called Cooked and it’s an incredibly fun, messy show! That will be at the Kalk Bay Theatre before we take it to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Other than that, continuing my work as a casting director. I’m mainly at Catalyst Casting these days. I’m between there and Loop Street.

Tamika: Who is your agent?

Richard: APM.

Tamika: Do you also model?

Richard: No.

Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?

Richard: District 9 and Skeem.

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Richard: Rafikis!!

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Richard: My surf board and about 12 changes of clothes!

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Richard: Yes I do; a younger sister.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Richard: My father is an entrepreneur – at the moment he teaches English to French students online. And my mother is involved with the Education Department.

Tamika: What is your health routine like?

Richard: I definitely try and surf at least twice a week. And I also love Parkour – free running. It works well for me with my gymnastics background.

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Richard: Having made some kind of an impact or change in the South African film industry. I believe we are part of a generation of young future talent………….. And if I end up being a household name, that’s fine also!

Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?

Richard: I just about never stop singing.  And I can Beat Box like a demon!

Tamika: Name a place you love.

Richard: A quiet quarry just at the top of Vredehoek where I can go to sit and think.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Richard: Yes. Although nothing through any groups. I used to work with an organisation called ‘Hope’ and quite recently, a group called ‘The Up’ – they are an upliftment group for kids in hospices, mainly. I like spreading hope and smiles.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?

Richard: To take the lessons from any mistakes I made forward, into the next audition.

Check Richard out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596170832

❤ My Work, My Life in Africa, On-Camera

The J&B Met in Cape Town


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Okay so  the last 2 weeks have been crazy. I did the 8 hour road trip back from my hometown Port Elizabeth seem to have been running around since then. Something I went to last weekend which was a cool event here in Cape Town was called the J & B Met. It’s a horse-racing event where gambling and fashion meet. There are hundreds of people who attend, to show off innovative garments and to place bets on the horses.

My uncle Pierre Strydom was one of the jockeys. He did very well on the day – he placed in three races and and had one win. The horse he rides is ‘Gimmethegreenlight’ – number 15 – and he came 3rd in the main race! So I was very proud.

My outifit was given to me by the very popular Longstreet Fashion Boutique. And let me tell you, walking around in those heels was another story (the price us girls pay!)

It was a lot of fun! We arrived after lunch and left at about 7pm. I made a few bets (it pays to have an uncle in the know) and won! so I walked away with a smile on my face. Work wise, I’m doing a job for a SKYY Vodka application on the iPAD where my hands and voice will be used for the tuturiol of their new ‘Mix-a-cocktail’ application. Hmmm, sounds fun!

Talking about my voice, I recently did a radio advert for Axe Deodrant.

As you may or may not know, the Axe campaign is “It Will Make Angels Fall”

I read somewhere that this commercial was banned in many countries (including South Africa) because Christians were offended at its satirical nature. They said that angels aren’t depicted in the Bible as scantily dressed or even female for that matter. One male Christian viewer wrote in that he was upset by “the suggestion that God’s messengers could literally fall for a man on the basis of his shop-bought fragrance.” Because of this, the country’s Advertising Standards Authority moved  to ban the ad on the presumption that other viewers would also be offended. “The problem is not so much that angels are used in the commercial, but rather that the angels are seen to forfeit, or perhaps forego their heavenly status for mortal desires,” the ASA ruled. “This is something that would likely offend Christians in the same manner as it offended the complainant.”

On the acting scene, I’m shooting a commercial Monday for the very popular Thorpe Park, U.K. It’s regarded as being amongst the Top 6 amusement / theme parks in the U.K. It’s the nation’s ‘Thrill Capital’ with over 30 extreme rides & attractions.

My last experience of a theme park was in Johannesburg’s Gold Reef City. I remember going on the ‘Golden Loop’ and I was terrified! I’m doing this shoot in a bikini, so here’s putting all the Quality Streets I have stashed in my kitchen away 🙂 Think of me this weekend as I rediscover the glories of the Virgin Active’s ‘Stepper’

❤ My Work, Microphone, Modelling, On-Camera

On-Goings in the Film Industry


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Blue Bikini + Blonde Hair

So things in the film world have certainly heated up and I’ve gotten quite a bit of work as well as gone to a great deal of castings and auditions in the past two months. One thing about being an entrepreneur in this industry is you have to keep networking and keep going out and creating your own opportunities. Getting to castings through agents is awesome, but you can’t only rely on them. You have to get to know what’s going on in your city in your industry, and make sure you are attending those events and passing around your business cards! You have to use social media to spread awareness of your brand and your services. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth. You have to keep up communication with old contacts and build up relationships with new ones.

  • Network
  • Create your own opportunities
  • Know what’s on in your city
  • Research
  • Business cards
  • Social Media
  • Communication
  • Relationships

For those of you who are wondering what a casting looks like, well this is it. In Cape Town, there are different casting studios around town.

Casting

I booked a commercial for Fortuneo bank in France which I shot two weeks ago – the product is a credit card. I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to more!

What I’ve also recently been busy with is shooting for “Death Race 3: Inferno”, the new instalment of the “Death Race” feature films. It’s directed by Roel Reiné and the screenplay is by Tony Giglio. The production company working on it here in South Africa is Moonlighting Productions (http://www.moonlighting.co.za/). My role in the film is a member of Olga’s Pit Crew. I met some of the actors starring in the film including Luke Goss and Danny Trejo. What great guys!

I’ve MC’d a couple of events in the past few weeks – one for a selection of up-and-coming designers in the “FCM Fashion Show” at the trendy ZAR nightclub here in Cape Town, and another for a Varsity College function. It was a group of students who were completing their final year practical assignment. For those of you who don’t know what “MC” stands for… it’s short for “Master of Ceremonies”.

Tamika Doubell

I really love MC’ing – I love organisation and structure, so overseeing that an event runs smoothly is my forté! It’s a very rewarding experience. For fashion shows specifically, I love helping the DJ select the playlist for each designer. I also love the research aspect of each designer and their label – their influences, their target market and how they got where they are. I enjoy communicating that to an audience as the models walk by. The welcome is my favourite part of the event, as it’s my job to set the mood for the night. What really works nicely is if the organiser has something to offer the guests such as canapés, cocktails, gifts or a raffle later on. I must say that being part of these events makes me want to be involved with event management! Looks like sooo much fun (although stressful, I’m sure) You can view all the pictures from the events here: FCM Fashion Show and Cutting Edge Fashion Show.

Tamika Doubell

On the modelling front, I recently did the summer shoot for the Longstreet Fashion Boutique here in Cape Town. I don’t think there is a more iconic street. They’ve just got new stock for their summer collection this season. One of my good friends, Nella Coetzer, took the snaps. You can click here and view them. What I love about the Longstreet brand is that it’s sassy, fresh, stylish & dynamic! It’s very colourful and vibrant..beautiful pieces for daytime. We shot in Longstreet and Kalk Bay. Shortly following the Longstreet campaign, I shot an editorial at a beach in Cape Town with local photographer Seagram Pearce.

Tamika Doubell

Blonde Hair Longstreet Cape Town

Windswept Cape Town

Sunset Beach Cape Town

❤ My Work, Microphone, Modelling

What ‘Season’ Means to Actors


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So we’re at the end of the year and I must say I’m quite excited for season to start here in Cape Town. That’s when a huge deal of castings and auditions happen every week, as filmmakers – local and international – flood to the mother city and start prepping for films and commercials they want to shoot over the summer months and even into next year.

On the voice side of things, I did a great voice over recording in a place called Milestone studios last week and I have another one this week for MWEB. The recording at Miletsone was for a new website where people can book online for restaurants. A very cool idea and the project is called “Come Dine” (www.comedine.co.za).

On the modelling side, I have a photo shoot coming up for a truly Cape Town brand of clothing called “LongStreet Fashion Store“. They are shooting for their new summer collection. I’ve done a shoot for them once before for their winter stuff and I really loved the pics!

My Life in Africa

Auditioning for a Slasher


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Today I auditioned for a slasher film.

Really, seriously? Does this kind of thing still tickle the fancy of film buffs everywhere? That was so 90’s. According to Wikipedia, this is the definition of a slasher movie:

A slasher film is a type of horror film typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe.

Hmmm. Yes, very appealing.

Let me fill you in on a quick history of Slasher films.

#1 The Psycho Age 1960-1978.

Apparently this is attributed to the Hitchcock classic Psycho; The father of all slasher movies.

#2 The Halloween Age 1978-1996.

This age focused primarily on two things: The Unstoppable Killer Movies and the Holiday Slashers.

#3 The Scream Age 1996-present.

Basically people lost interest in the Slasher genre and Scream kick-started it again. As I was paging through some movie posters, I had a good laugh at this one:

Apparently Halloween was the first major box office success in the genre. It’s tagline? “The Night HE came home…” One could laugh out loud at such a genre, but it does have commercial value — slasher villains have been such popular characters since the 1980s that merchandise such as the Jason model kit (Jason from Friday the 13th), are common.

What is it with society’s fascination with slasher movies? Is there something enticing about the sound of the local neighbourhood babe being mercilessly hacked by an angry freak?

I auditioned for the lead. I had to do the whole thing in a British accent which was fun! I think mine’s pretty good. Bold statement, I know. Anyway, hold thumbs for me….. For more info on slasher films check out this link:

http://lordnasebyblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-ages-of-slasher-film-or-slasher.html