So it’s been around 18 months since my last blog post. I’ve never been great at keeping written diaries or blogs, especially when keeping busy with other work! I made the decision in late 2015 to get back into acting as a serious career, and since then I’ve been focusing on getting back on set of films (mostly short & independent productions) and building up my screen credits and showreel material.
At the start of 2018, I also made the decision to get into crew work. I had previously worked as a crew member on both film and theatre productions, and my background in events management became quite useful as I love to organise things and help people – so I started offering to work on small indie projects, which led me to realising I love to do Production Management. I’ve since worked on a few projects (both paid & unpaid) and am looking to do more of this. Of course, I still love acting, but at the end of the day any work on a film set is where I’d rather be.
I’ve now also decided to start my own podcast – after 20 years of being sporadically involved in the acting industry, I figured I could help others by providing tips, interviews etc. I always thought about having a talk show, but the setup of something like that takes a bit more preparation and equipment. A podcast means I can record anywhere, any time, and I don’t have to put make up on.. lol
So maybe in another two years I’ll be fully working in the film industry as both a crew & cast member on various productions.. in the meatime, check out my podcast either on my page here, or via iTunes – just search for “On Set with Racheal Leigh”.
So after being made redundant from my full time job back at the end of Feb (followed by a lovely 3 week cruise around Indonesia), I have decided to take the opportunity to get back into what I love doing most – acting! I have been auditioning for lots of different things but they are a bit like job interviews, so you just have to do your best and move onto the next one.. but I have managed to start getting some gigs here and there.. I had a day on set back in May for a new telemovie show being produced, and today I was on set for a corporate video. I also performed in my first ever Hindi Bollywood Show, where I played the lead male as Prince Saleem in Salaam-e-Ishq. I am hoping some video footage of that will be on my showreel in the near future!
Between the acting jobs I’ve been completing my studies to become a Personal Trainer, and have been doing lots of casual work in promotions, events and hospitality. I did this sort of work many years ago, and it feels great to be getting back into it. I love the variety and nature of the work – getting to talk to people, promote new products, work at fun events, and so on. The only downside is that the work isn’t regular, and some companies are a bit tardy in paying, so I don’t know how much money I will have from week to week. I am hoping to find something a bit more regular that is casual, but still has good flexibility (and good pay!).. just have to keep looking.
Things have been quiet on the dance side, but I did get to go to Sydney earlier this month to compete with my Bollywood troupe, SARI, in the Indian Australian Singing & Dancing Competition as QLD Finalists. We didn’t win, but it was a great experience, and lots of fun!
I’m excited and delighted to have been mentioned in a review by TheatrePeople.com.au for my role as Mazeppa in Gypsy:
The trio of Wichita strippers (Mazeppa – Racheal Leigh, Tessie Tura – Julia Lefik, and Electra -Shelley Days) was a definite crowd favourite. Their rendition of “You Gotta get A Gimmick” was deliciously competitive, and wonderfully funny. Hats off to Leigh for actually playing Mazeppa’s trumpet – a joyous moment for all.
This show has been one of my favourites (next to Chicago) and I’m so excited to be playing such a fun role! Only playing until this Saturday, 28 November – so do come along if you’re in town!
In other news, I’ve had a bit of a blessing in disguise by recently discovering I’m being made redundant from my full time job… whilst this is a scary prospect, I’m actually looking forward to being able to concentrate on my performing career, as well as make a move into the health & fitness industry – hopefully inspiring and helping others. You can hear more about that on my second blog here: https://youtu.be/NhbQ2D_ARN4
Bollywood Dance classes, performances and Bollycise Costume Hire has taken over Racheal’s time over the past year. Her new dance troupe, SARI, has slowly been developing and has performed at many festivals, events, birthdays and more. With her collection of Bollywood clothing growing month by month, it was only natural to offer the beautiful outfits for others to wear by way of Costume Hire. Bollycise is currently the only specialised Bollywood Costume Hire operating in Brisbane, and now stocks Mens, Ladies & Childrens outfits, along with Decor & Theming items.
Bollywood Dance also saw Racheal choreograph a 15min segment for the Sandgate Theatre’s Variety Show, “Time Out” in May 2011, and in October, Racheal was selected to audition for SBS’s new realty show “Bollywood Star“. Sadly, whilst she made it through to the judges round, she was not selected for the Top 20, although Racheal is very happy with how far she did get considering the tough competition in Bollywood (and the fact she is probably the complete opposite of what perception of what a “Bollywood Star” should look like!).
Racheal is looking forward to 2012, and is currently looking into some exciting projects for the new year! Check out the SARIor Bollycise Facebook Pages to be kept updated…
After months of Bollywood Dancing and discovering her love for teaching, Racheal decided it was time to start her own Bollywood Dance Class: Bollycise– Bollywood Dancing for Exercise. Still using basic beginner Bollywood dance steps, Bollycise aims to
keep you moving rather than teaching you an actual dance. Bollycise classes are currently run every Tuesday at Sinnamon Park. Children’s & Adult’s Bollywood Dance classes also available. Click on the link above to find out more.
Racheal also decided it was time to get back into acting – she recently completed filming “By Night” a Griffith Film School Student Production, and is currently looking for a new agent.
Now that the Eisteddfod season has finished for the year, Racheal has been jumping back into film productions, as well as rejoining Ignatians Choir for their second Showstoppers Concert, to be held in November.
It’s all been quite for the first half of 2006, with Racheal spending a fair bit of time on set of a new Sci-Fi Feature Film being shot around Brisbane. Due to wrap mid 2006, Racheal has had little time to work on much else.
However, she did accept a small role in John Wikman’s latest production “Soundsations” which is currently performing at the Wonargo Cultural Centre, Northgate, until Saturday 03 June. She also had her photo in the Northside Chronicle (check them out at www.newsphotos.com.au) , although was not credited!
Racheal has returned to Beenleigh Theatre’s stage to play Pongo in the not-so-well known musical – “Footrot Flats”. After a successful opening weekend, the show is likely to be a sell-out!
Also, at the end of August, Racheal was involved in a short film called “A King’s Mistage”, a story set during the war about two sisters. Filming went well, and it currently in editing. It will be entered in film festivals around the place, so stay tuned for more!!
If you also keep an eye out on TV for the new Dreamworld commercial, you won’t see Racheal, but if you see Wags The Dog (from Wiggles) then you can guess who’s behind the mask!
Well, as you can probably guess, the first half of 2005 has been rather quiet. After a quiet season of “The Popular Mechanicals”, Racheal has taken a short break from performing. She is now getting back into auditioning and it probably won’t be long before she’s back on stage!
In a fantastic end to 2004, Racheal finished performing with Qld Theatre Company in their last production for the year – “Far Away”. Although this was a volunteer role, it was a great opportunity to meet those behind the scenes and work with a well-experienced cast and crew. We can only hope this is a sign of bigger and better things to come!!
In the meantime, keep an eye out at the Brisbane Arts Theatre (again!) where Racheal will be performing the role of Robin Starveling in their early week production of “The Popular Mechanicals”. The show opens on 21 February, and is likely to be a sell-out season so if you’re going to book, get in early! Check out their website for further details.
Have a safe and happy Christmas & see you in 2005!!
In the true spirit of “It never rains – but pours” Racheal has recently been involved with two theatre shows and two short films. Her latest show, ‘The Fifth Elephant’ will be performed at the Brisbane Arts Theatre from 6 – 23 of October.
Racheal recently finished performing Emilie in ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ at the Brisbane Arts Theatre. Also a small role, it is quite a revealing one!! Check out the StageDiaryreview (It’s in the review section for the months of April – June, 2004).
She has now gone into rehersals for another fun Terry Pratchett show – ‘The Fifth Elephant’ which will be performed at the Brisbane Arts Theatre in October. Racheal will be playing Lady Margolotta – a reformed vampire who looks like she stepped out of the fifties!
You can also catch her at Able Productions live floorshow of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ on Friday 10 September, at QUT Gardens Theatre. This is a One-Night Only performance and will be a sellout at $15/pp.
Currently in rehersals for ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ with Beenleigh Theatre Company, Racheal is enjoying developing her character, Susan. The show opens 30 April and runs for two weeks only.
She also spent a day shoot on ‘The Shellhole’; part one of four half-hour episodes of ‘Tales of the 34th Battalion’. Her German character, Heidi, only makes a small appearance in this episode, but will be seen more in part two, which will be shot later this year.
Racheal has recently been working on another independent short film, playing Ethel, a single mother who has such a hectic life that her dreams about turning into a robot start to become reality. This was her first speaking lead-role on camera. “Automama” is now in the editing stage, and will be entered in several Film Festivals later this year.
(You may have noticed the director has the same last name as Racheal – however they are not related in any way, shape or form!)
You can catch Racheal over the Christmas school holidays performing in Dreamworld’s upcoming ‘NickToons Live!’ show. She has been busy in rehersals, but has also managed shoot another short film “The Three Snoozes” where she played leading lady, Melissa (in another non-speaking role!).
Since completion of her Diploma earlier this year, Racheal has spent some time travelling overseas. She is now back and pleased to be getting back into what she enjoys most – acting, of course!
Racheal has worked on a couple of short films since her return, but has now been given the opportunity to play Hilary in “The Surgical Entrepeneurs”, a British-style short-film comedy about a girl who desperately needs a liver transplant.
Along with this short film, Racheal is also currently in rehersals for the Brisbane Arts Theatre’s upcoming production of “Carpe Jugulum”, to be performed in October.
You may also catch her at the Sandgate Drama Festivalon Sunday, 7 September 2003, where she will be playing Susan in the one-act Drama “Protecting The Ham”.
After two years of study, Racheal finally completed her Advanced Diploma in Stage & Screen Acting at the reputable Actors Conservatory, in Brisbane. The official graduation ceremony will be held in May, 2004.
The new-look website for Racheal was launched this month. You are welcome to e-mail your comments / feedback on this new site.
Racheal was involved with her first TV production late this month, and although the role was quite small she found the experience invaluable. The episode, ‘Kenny’s Pizza’, will be shown on Hong Kong TV in early 2003.
Racheal was a featured extra in the trailer for a new feature film, ‘Club Spectrum’. The full-length feature will hopefully be shot in 2003, depending on investors.
‘The Circle’ is a short film made this month, featuring Racheal in a leading (although non-speaking) role. The film was made to be entered into the Fast Film section of the 2002 Brisbane International Film Festival. The film unfortunately didn’t make the finals, but they did have a lot of competition!!
Racheal is currently in rehersals for her leading role as Ginny, in the API Theatre’s upcoming production of ‘Relatively Speaking’. The show will open mid November, and will run to early December, 2001.
Racheal was a featured extra in the short film ‘Route 413’. This film has been entered into several film festivals throughout Australia.
Have you ever seen a singing & dancing Banana? How about three of them? The Banana Bunch are the classy nightclub singers in a fridge full of surprises. “Fridge 2000”, written by local talent, John Wikman, is keeping it cool this summer. You can see Racheal as Nana Banana, the ditzy LadyFinger, while this production runs this month at the API Theatre.
Racheal took her first step towards a professional career this month when she worked as a featured extra on the production of ‘Hildegarde’. A year and a half later, this childrens movie finally opened at the 2002 Energex Brisbane International Film Festival.
You can catch Racheal at the API Theatre’s current production of ‘When The Cat’s Away’. This classic ‘George & Mildred’ comedy finds George in a sticky situation with a young single girl, Shirley (Racheal). Will he be able to sort out the mess before Mildred and her sister return? The show runs for three weeks, closing in September.
The official website (www.racheal.cx) is launched, along with the Brisbane Auditions website.