Monday, 10 October 2011

5 Minutes with Sam Longley

Sam Longley has been an important part of Barking Gecko Theatre Company for over 15 years.  Sam stars at Richie the Power Beagle in Craig Silvey’s The Amber Amulet.

Have you had any jobs apart from being an actor?
When I was starting out, between paid gigs I was a bartender.  I bartended around the world including New York, Greek Islands, London and Perth for about 10 years.  I think being an actor helps as it’s social, fun and entertaining.  It isn’t hard to pour a drink but it is hard to interact with clients.  It’s called the hospitality industry because you are supposed to be hospitable.

Any favourite Barking Gecko Memories?
There are so many great memories and shows.  My first show was Frog Opera in 1996.  This was my first professional gig as well as my first show for Barking Gecko.  It was a great show not only because it was set in a swimming pool and we got to do underwater tricks and flips, but also because we got to tour the show to Canada, the US and Singapore.

Currently, working with Craig Silvey is at the top of my list because I think he is a fantastic writer so it’s an honour to be working with something he has written.

What’s it like playing a dog in Craig Silvey’s The Amber Amulet?
I really like playing a dog because dogs to me are pure – they play every emotion 100%.  There is no subtext with dogs.  Not like cats that are all subtext.

Do you have a dog at home?
No I am allergic to dogs and cats, sheep and horses. If a dog licks me I can come up in large welts!

Is the poo real in the show?
The poo is not real.  We’ve gone through a number of prototypes for the show starting from a food-based version using flour, oats, peanuts and cocoa. It smelt like a chocolate cake and looked like poo.  The problem was that it crumbled in the end.  We now have a poo made of wood putty which is working perfectly.

Have you enjoyed working with Artistic Director John Sheedy?
John’s a cracker.  What I like about working with John is that he came in with a very strong idea of what he wanted but he was not close-minded.  He listened to everything you had to say and gave it the weight it deserved.  I think this is the way it needs to be with all art forms.  It needs to be collaborative. You are really a part of the whole show that way.

Sam Longley as Richie The Powerbeagle


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