I have been feverishly ferreting away this March-April at my Risk Residency at the Darebin Arts Centre, supported by Darebin Council. It's my first time in 1.5 years back in a rehearsal room getting creative. It's been so fulfilling having this amazing opportunity to take creative risks with such freedom and support from Darebin Arts. I've been exploring themes of overcoming adversity, inspired by my own experience of navigating chronic Lyme disease and the daily struggle for survival this has thrust upon me. I feel art has a powerful capacity to make the experience of invisible illness more visible, whilst magically bringing humanity together through the distance of the abstract. It has been a fruitful period in which I now feel inspired to create my third solo work, which I anticipate will blend contemporary dance and clowning in ugly-beautiful comedic bliss.
I haven't danced for a long time due to chronic Lyme disease but I randomly decided to see how my body might move on a "good day." I experienced breathlessness, muscle pain and exhaustion from this short improvisation experiment. All of these things are probably invisible to the viewer. Hence, I'm currently interested in exploring how an artist with newfound limitations on their body can still find ways to make their art. Watch this space.
Today I was honoured to participate in a compelling Artists' Lab run by Arts Centre Melbourne called The Deep Dive which delved into neurodiversity in art, particularly performance. We learnt and dissected the art, arts practices and creative processes of some of Australia's leading neurodiverse artists and allies. It was wonderfully hands-on and got me challenging the assumptions which conventional artistic expression makes, as well as reflecting on my own work. I connected with some incredible artists and companies who I look forward to collaborating with in the future.
Today, I participated in an awesome Movement Uncovered workshop, run by Frantic Assembly/Arts Centre Melbourne at Dancehouse. It was really great learning the physical exercises and techniques employed by the Frantic Assembly company. They're out at the moment touring The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which I loved. I learnt how to fly just like Christopher and really clicked with movement director Delphine Gaborit who gave me a lovely compliment at the end of the workshop on my performance style. This was the first time in a very long that I moved my body again and it felt so joyous.
I was a Guest Comedian on the super fun news and current affairs quiz show, The Leak Quiz Night which aired on Channel 31 last night. Of course, I was not at all competitive. Not. At. All. I didn't win the prized wheel of cheese, but I was definitely cheesy.
The full episode can be viewed in 3 parts on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
I have recently completed a 6-week clown training course with the Melbourne Community Clown Troupe, headed by the fantastic Liz Skitch at Westside Circus. As a physical performer with loads of comedy experience, I took to this training like a clown to a red nose, literally. I find it so useful as a theatre-maker to experience many different performance styles and clowning is definitely a growing passion of mine. Sometimes, the simple and seemingly silly can reveal humanity on a scale far greater than any complex drama. This is why I find clowning so wonderfully deceiving in its power.
I've been doing a lot of acting role-play work for many years now. Often, I work as a Simulated Patient for various hospitals, universities and institutions, helping to train doctors, medical staff and medical students in communication skills and high stakes emergency or surgery situations. I also do corporate role-play jobs for large organisations and businesses and have this year been doing such work for the State Government of Victoria. It is confidential so I can't share the details, but it is very rewarding work, using my skills as a professionally-trained actor to assist in the understanding of human interactions and ultimately, the development of greater empathy. When you do this type of work, you see the impact of it immediately as the simulations are often so real and believable. It's wonderful work for an actor and I feel very lucky that all my "on the side" jobs utilise my acting abilities. It means I'm practising my craft every, single week.
I've been working rather intensely with staff at the Royal Children's Hospital recently, helping them practise for extreme Code Grey emergency scenarios. This is very rewarding acting work which challenges me to play various characters in heightened states in a live hospital ward set-up. This was today's character.
So it turns out when you dress like the sun you attract attention! Behold this fun interview I did for "Street Seen" featured in today's The Sunday Age. I may have confessed to Hello Kitty being my style icon...
This summer, I've been hired by the University of Western Sydney to do some academic writing on the craft of acting, as well as write educational content for an innovative program they will be launching in 2017. It's currently top secret, so I can't share anything other than this photo of what my desk looks like...
With several sold-out shows and wonderful reviews, I've now completed the Melbourne Fringe season of my latest solo show, Déjà Vu (And Other Forms of Knowing). Below are the reviews:
"Sublime to watch... An eerie and fascinating physical exploration... a truly original and exciting show." - Myf Clark, Aussie Theatre
"Nightmarishly funny... with a special talent for mischievous humour. Déjà Vu is dreamlike and will leave you mystified." - Cameron Woodhead, The Age
"Truly beautiful... (Snelling) is never less than an engaging presence... It's like something out of Beckett; an Endgame for one." - Tim Byrne, Timeout
"Dance theatre at its best." - Anne-Marie Peard, Sometimes Melbourne
"Snelling is spellbinding... a master chameleon of movement, a physical provocateur, - Jo Daly, Weekend Notes
"A spectacular performance... her acting talent is phenomenal." - Penny Stephens, Milkbar Mag
"Brilliant... a piece that allows the audience to take away different perspectives." - April Brenner, BCause Arts
"An exciting piece that will have you working from beginning to end." - Amber Bock, The Plus Ones
"Every scene is visually striking... Andi has such incredible control of her body." - Keith Gow
My hotly anticipated new solo show is tearing up the rehearsal room and almost ready to go! Ticket sales have rocketed away, with Opening Night already 50% sold! After the huge success of #DearDiary - a show which is still on tour as we speak! - I am excited to be returning to my dancing roots and taking my work in a completely different direction. I've thrown out the pages and am diving body-first into my subconscious mind in this dark physical theatre exploration of all those things we only know subliminally. Through warped physical movement, I explore the realm of déjà vu where dreams and intuition collide. From smoke and darkness, a mysterious creature will emerge to draw you away from reality and into the vacuum of déjà vu.
Yesterday, I performed the show with a Q&A for VCE Drama students at Shelford Girls' Grammar School. Sharing the teenager bits of the show with actual teenagers was even more special than finding $4 in Timezone back in 1995. Thanks for having me, Shelford and good luck with your Solo Monologues!
First stop on the #DearDiary tour was the Howard Fine Acting Studio. I performed the show with a Q&A (which almost went longer than the show itself!) to the Studio's full-time and part-time acting students, as well as members of the public who also turned up for the joyride. Once again, it was a full house and a special night. There was even a man there who had seen the very first preview show at Melbourne Fringe 2015 and had decided to come back to see where the show was at now!
Once again, #DearDiary has enjoyed sell-out shows and further critical acclaim during its June encore season at The Butterfly Club. The Age's Entertainment Guide even featured the show in its Top 20 Things To Do in Melbourne. Click the links below to read some of the interesting articles and listen to radio interviews of Andi talking about the unique nature of the show and its extraordinary ongoing journey.
Schoolgirl's diary shared on stage via Herald Sun/Whitehorse Leader
#DearDiary in The Shortlist Top 20 via The Age
Five Pearls of Wisdom from Andi Snelling's Teenage Diary via Scenestr
#DearDiary Interview via SYN FM
#DearDiary Interview via WYN FM (click on 19th May)
#DearDiary Interview via The Australia Times
Meet Andi Snelling via Scribble Creative
I have begun filming an exciting new project by innovative game-makers, Pop-Up Playground. They have leased an old bank in Preston and transformed the entire building into an interactive bank heist experience, Small Time Criminals. As part of this experience, players will watch footage of some of the bank's employees to get clues. A concurrent webseries will also run featuring this motley crew of bankers and their office antics. Cue my character - Sally...
I have just MCed Human Habitats: High Density as part of The City of Melbourne's Melbourne Knowledge Week 2016. It was a sold-out event, with speakers from diverse fields exploring the opportunities and challenges of living in a high-density future. I love MC work because of the wide variety of industries I get to experience through it. I can say without a doubt that urban planners and architects are fun people! Here's a photo of me on the night. Hands gestures come free! #habitats16 #MKW2016
Due to popular demand, my one-woman existential joyride, #DearDiary is having an encore season 1st - 5th June, 7pm at The Butterfly Club. I am delighted to have been asked back and can't wait to share the show now that it's even bigger and better, following the sold-out season at Adelaide Fringe. Tickets went on sale 24 hours ago and are already disappearing! Bookings here.