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Journeys : Oct Nov 2010
October / November 2010 41 Tony McKendrick Tony McKendrick But I must admit I'm discovering that most of our mainland visitors seem to have explored more sections of the Apple Isle than I have. I simply just don't get out enough in my ow n State. Part of the reason is that I am a bit of a workaholic who doesn't believe in taking a holiday. In fact every time I have been out of Hobart, it has been for work. If it wasn't for touring the state with various shows, corporate gigs and footy club revues, I wouldn't have seen my home island at all. We need to get our act together! I was bor n and bred in Geilston Bay, on the Easter n Shore of Hobart. My parents ran a shop there, as all good Greek parents do, for about 50 years, only recently retiring at the ages of 84 (Dad) and 77 (Mum). They worked far too hard for most of their lives to take regular holidays, which meant that I didn't start to see Tasmania until later in life. So my slice of the island, if you like, became the Easter n Shore. I love it and I constantly use the old gag about how "It's two degrees warmer over here." Perhaps it happens to everyone, no matter where you grow up. Maybe people in Sydney and Perth and Albury/ Wodonga feel the same way. But we do take things for granted here in Tasmania. We get used to it. Some of us don't have anything else to compare it to. It's all we know. We see it every day -- Tasmania's beautiful landscape is always there, no matter what. Like our sun and sky and wind, it's a given, and you don't really miss them or John Xintavelonis is a Tasmanian actor who has perfor med in over 100 local productions, including TV, radio and film. He has appeared nationally in The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Jekyll & Hyde, The Threepenny Opera and most recently in The Boy From Oz. He is soon to produce and appear in the 2010 Bawdy Panto ALICE IN UNDERPANTS at Hobart's Theatre Royal. properly appreciate them until they are taken away from you. This is what happened to me the first time I went away to Sydney in 2005 to do The Lion King. Yes, it was exciting, a dream come tr ue, a near-perfect experience -- but I was missing something. Things like the view of Mt Wellington from my parents' cor ner store. Things like my Mum's Greek roast lamb or her 'to die for' tzatziki dip. Now, every time I come home from doing a show, my brother picks me up and we drive along the highway towards Bellerive, where we now live. As we cr uise along the road, chatting, catching up, the mountain slowly comes into view. It instantly calms me. I am filled with a feeling of well-being and that all is at peace with my world. It would have been easy to move to Sydney with its warm weather and beaches, or Melbour ne with its awesome shopping, great food, coffee and easy-going lifestyle. But it just doesn't seem right. It's not me. I feel like I am visiting. I have yet to find another Salamanca Place. I love sitting there and watching thedaygoby.Onanydayoftheweek,I can be sure of bumping into at least a dozen people I know. Everyone seems to end up there at some time or another. The dow nside is that it's damn near impossible to get a park! Most of my time back in Tasmania is spent at the Theatre Royal. In past years it was for musicals and the annual Uni Revue. These days I'm mainly performing and producing the annual pantomime for Bawdy Pantos. I love the fact that it's the country's oldest working theatre and we locals have had the privilege of performing there for as long as I can remember. I adore it so much that my wife Cassie and I called in and had wedding photos taken there between the Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches. That's my slice of the island! Clockwise from top left: As Mitch in THE THREEPENNY OPERA earlier this year; Chelle Burtt-Kowaluk as Reno Sweeney and John X as Lord Evelyn Oakley in ANYTHING GOES (2000; Cassie le Fevre and John at the Theatre Royal on their wedding day; John X as Spider with Belinda Wollaston as Lucy in JEKYLL & HYDE The Musical (2009)
Aug Sep 2010