Kids Television

The start of what I consider my professional career commenced on 7th July 1973. Mainly because I was paid to stand in front of a camera five days a week live to air and host a kids afternoon cartoon show. Cartoon Corner with Greg was what is known in the business as ‘my big break’.

I have a saying when asked by my acting students in regards to auditions and getting the role. “Right place, right face, right time”. This played an enormous part in me landing this highly sort after, take over host of an enormously successful show. My naivety to the business also contributed greatly.

At a time when my friends were back at school at the start of their senior years, here I am sitting among a room full of seasoned actors, NIDA* graduates and former television hosts with only one thought: I can get this.

I remember being led into the studio and seeing the all familiar Cartoon Corner set that I had seen so many times, for so many years every afternoon. This was also the first time I had ever set foot into a television studio. Whether I was daunted by this fact, I can’t remember. There were too many emotions going on to distinguish one from another and they were all holding me together.

The reality, this was now my first introduction to a process: The audition. A process that in subsequent years I was going to become very proficient. In fact I would have it down to an art. An art that gained me many a role.

I was introduced to a short, stocky, rotund man. He looked and spoke like a favourite Uncle. You know, the one that cracks silly jokes and always had time to play with you. This was Jim Badger or ‘Badge’ as I would later call him. My number two mentor in this crazy business and the man I certainly thank and recognise as the one that started my professional career.

So there i sat listening and watching as my competition joked and laughed about their last job, this job, that job. Bitching about one thing or an other involving the business. A type of conversation I would hear many times over through out my career. A conversation that I’m ashamed to say, I contributed to in the early years as I was caught up in the moment. A conversation that later years I despised and made me very tired of the whole business.

One of the most boisterous and flamboyant of this group was a young, well relatively young, actor: Grahame Bassett. He owned the room. Everyone seemed to know him whether they wanted to or not.

(To be continued)

* National Institute of Dramatic Art

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Notes

Well I did say you will come on the full journey with me as I write this autobiography. So here you will be able to view my brief notes on what I may include, the chapter ideas and content. All in all this page will be my think tank. It’s much better here than  scraps of paper on my desk, floor and wrapped around a sausage roll!

Chapter structure ideas: (in no particular order)

Television

  • Kids: Cartoon Corner, Carrots, Wonderworld (Simon Townsend)
  • Soapies: Class of 74/75, Glenview High, Son’s & Daughters
  • Comedies: After the beep (June Salter)
  • Telemovies: Mama’a Gone A-Hunting, When good Ghouls go bad (Christopher Lloyd)
  • Guest spots: Country Practice
  • Commercials (main) BASF (Dear John), Lotto, NSW Lotteries (Mothers Day) Continental soup (Wendy Craig) Mitch Mathews & Associates (Casting agent)
  • Lifestyle: Weekend Sydney

Theatre

  • Kids: Independent Theatre, James Kemsley, Land of Fol, PCYC, Pantos (Andy Gibb, John Paul Young)
  • Adult: Old Tote, Drama Theatre Syd Opera House, Old Bill
  • Touring: Arts Council NSW Country
  • Shopping Centres: Humphrey B Bear Shows, Road Runner Show
  • CabaretTheatre:
  • ATYP: Richard Wherrett

Teaching

  • Keene kids
  • Johnny Young Talent School
  • Axis Acting school
  • PCYC
  • Thunderbolt

Flims

  • Bullamakanka
  • Garage days
  • The Clothes

Radio Shows

Agents : Jean Cinis, Bedford & Pierce, Carolyn White

School

Growing up

Casual (Non Theatrical) Jobs Resting

Celebrity Who I have worked with

Writing, Directing,  Producing

Actors Equity Boooooo! What a waste of space!

Bands I have played in

Charity Work


Preface

There’s nothing funnier than a rubber chicken. A phrase I coined many, many decades ago and still use to this day. Initially it was a statement to mean exactly what it says. I defy anyone not to smile or laugh at the sight of our yellow rubberized friend with the startled look. He has been used as a sight gag in comedy over countless centuries, back as far as the eighteen hundreds. It is always introduced at the right moment of a situation purely for the laughs.

Then over the years it’s meaning for me changed. Our friend became a metaphor for all the unexpected humorous situations and events in my life. This is what this book is all about. My life according to the rubber chickens.

As I begin this autobiography I must admit I could use a rubber chicken right at this very moment to make an entrance and take attention away from the my huge intrepidation. But, forty years in a business that no sane person would every take on as a career, has taught me one thing. If you don’t put it out there, if you don’t go for it, how will you know if it works!

(to be continued)

Here we go!… You’re welcome on my journey

After forty years as an actor, writer, director & producer in this totally insane business, there comes a time you feel the need to write it all down. Mainly due to the fear that age is creeping along and all your life stories and the people you have work alongside, maybe lost at any moment.

An autobiography seems at the moment to be the answer. So this is your invitation to journey with me as I draft it out. Feel my pain and frustration as I try to put these forty years of, I hope, funny antidotes into some form of entertaining reading.

Will it be a tell all, warts and all, naming names exposé both on and of the stage and film/tv set? Hmmm… nice thought. There are certainly a few ‘well knowns’ in there. I guess we will have to wait and see what transpires.

I do know one thing. This will certainly not be in chronological order. In this initial draft we will be journeying back and forth through the decades. Just like the prophecies of  Nostradamus you will need to do that yourself.

You will also be able to follow as chapters are edited or maybe even completely deleted. Only you will know what didn’t make it into the final book.

So why a rubber chicken? We all have them but I guess you will have to wait for the chapters that follow to find out what they are.

So please fell free to come with me on this journey and comment along the way.

Final Note: To all the spelling police out there.   I’m Australian and this will be written in english with the correct ‘english’ spelling. And to the grammar police… IT’S A DRAFT! 😉

Cheers, Greg Bepper