AuthorJeffrey Anderson

Music: Promoter Defends R Kelly’s Australian Tour Amid Backlash

A tour promoter has defended its decision to bring R Kelly for an Australian tour next year, despite multiple sexual abuse allegations that the singer is facing.

Today Kelly announced his first ever tour in Australia for February, with scheduled performances in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The tour is organised by promoter Big Music Tour, which has spoken in its defence.

“We can confirm we are bringing R. Kelly to Australia. Our focus remains on his incredible music and bringing the show to his Australian and New Zealand fans,” said the company. “Mr Kelly was cleared of all allegations and in our view, you are innocent until proven guilty.”

Kelly has been accused of multiple sexual misconducts dating back to 2000, some of them involving minors. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of creating child pornography. In 2017, Kelly denied claims that he was holding numerous women in an “abusive cult”.

In May, Spotify introduced a policy to remove controversial artists such as Kelly and XXXTentacion from the service’s sponsored playlists following the #MuteRKelly social media campaign. This policy was later rescinded due to accusations of racial bias.

In July, Kelly released a 19-minute song titled “I Admit” where he admitted to have had sexual relations with “older and young ladies” but denied allegations of sexual abuse.

Photography: 2019 Nikon Surf Photo and Video of the Year Awards Open for Entries

Hitting the beach this summer? Might as well win a new camera kit at that.

Nikon is partnering with Surfing Australia to hold the Nikon Surf Photo and Video of the Year Award, honouring the best works from surf photographers and videographers.

The award is open to Australian residents, and the images can be taken anywhere in the world in 2018 across the categories of action, lifestyle/portrait and scenic photography.

The winners will be picked by a panel of judges, including seven-time champion of the Women’s World Surf League Tour and Nikon Ambassador Stephanie Gilmore, based on the following criteria: innovation and creativity; dramatic affect and sensory impact; uniqueness; and composition of the photo.

“Surfing is in the DNA of every Australian – even if you can’t actually surf yourself, there’s no way that you don’t get a thrill from seeing the incredible untamed power of the ocean,” said Gilmore. “As a photographer myself, I look forward to seeing how Aussie’s capture the surf for this year’s competition.”

The winner of the Surf Photo of the Year will get a Nikon Z 7 kit, and the winner of the Surf Video of the Year will get a Nikon Z 6 kit.

You can enter up to three photos and two videos until submission closes on February 15. For more info, visit the website.

Life Skills You Can Earn through Drama Courses

Enrolling in drama courses is a great way to learn acting and get exposure to practical experiences like reading and auditioning. But throughout the lessons, you can also find life skills that can help you navigate through the world. If you’re still considering on taking up a course, check out the following list of things you’ll learn to help you make the decision.

Communication Skills

By practicing voice projection and physical expressions, students in drama courses can develop their verbal and oral communication skills and learn the best ways to convey their ideas.

“Many actors are naturally introverted, which people are often surprised to hear,” said Glen Hamilton, head of acting at the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television. “In such cases, these people have deep and rich inner lives and imaginations but prior to their training, find it hard to express these parts of themselves. Acting gives them the confidence to be heard and to say what they feel, share their thoughts.”



Drama courses put students in a setting where stage acting meets screenplays, directing and cinematography. All of these put an emphasis on storytelling, which is an especially valuable and transferable skill in today’s attention economy. A good story is something everyone can appreciate, and learning the many different components can help you master the art of stringing one.


Understanding of Human Nature

Through character study and immersion, you can learn a lot more about what drives human behaviour: needs, wants and fears. With this, it will be easier to understand and empathise with other people, a skill that will be useful for all areas in life.



While acting definitely requires preparation and memorising, the best actors are the ones who can improvise in character. Writer and actor Dominic Zhai likened acting to combat sports. “Like Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”,” said Zhai.

“To be a good at improvisation, you need to be fully in tune with the other person. Professionals and experts in any field do virtually all the preparation beforehand, so when it is time to perform, they can just relax, focus, and live moment to moment.”

Improvising in acting helps you stay prepared yet flexible in dealing with unexpected situations, which is always useful in your day-to-day world.

Event: The Newsagency’s First Airbnb Experiences Concert, Sydney

World-class jazz duo Some Of Two Parts is bringing their music to the famous Annandale music venue for its first ever Airbnb Experiences concert.

After Airbnb launched its Experiences program in Australia last month, allowing locals to offer activities and experiences, Some Of Two Parts is finally joining the party with the Newsagency to play the venue’s inaugural special concert.

Featuring Loretta Palmeiro on soprano saxophone and Mark Isaacs on piano, the jazz/contemporary duo has performed at the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival.

Tickets are $25. For more information, visit the Airbnb page.

Sunday, November 18 | The Newsagency, 74-76 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Annandale

Exhibition: Are We Alone?, Sydney

Do you want to believe? So do these three Sydney artists, as they explore the belief in intelligent alien life reportedly held by 61% of the world’s population through this art exhibition next week.

Aptly held at Mothership Art Studios in Marrickville, Are We Alone? is a collaboration by live artist and painter Lara Colby, textile artist Katarzyna Niedzielak, and award-winning signwriter AJ Nelson.

Colby has performed live art and showcased her paintings at major music festivals such as Void (2015), Regrowth (2015) and Psyfari (2016, 2018).



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Niedzielak, also known as Art by Amoeba, has exhibited her three-dimensional objects, wearable art and textiles at Modern Artifacts, Psyfari and Space Gallery.

Nelson, who specialises in 3D pattern creation on wood, will be producing works to evoke crop circles using CAD software and CNC router.

The exhibition will open from November 10-15. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

Saturday, November 10, 6pm | Mothership Studios, 18-22 Sydney Street, Marrickville

Music: Post Malone Announces 2019 Australian Tour

Post Malone has announced that he will be touring across Australia next year for arena shows. Among the cities that the multi-platinum rapper will be hitting in April and May are Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Malone’s sophomore album Beerbongs & Bentleys broke Spotify’s streaming records with 78.7 million streams on its release day earlier this year, beating Drake’s More Life.

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday, October 30. For ticketing and more information, visit the Ticketek page.

Perth: Friday, April 26 | RAC Arena

Adelaide: Sunday, April 28 | Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena

Melbourne: Tuesday, April 30 | Rod Laver Arena

Brisbane: Saturday, May 4 | Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Sydney: Tuesday, May 7 | Qudos Bank Arena

Music: NZ’s Salina Fisher Shines in the US

New Zealand composer and musician Salina Fisher has racked yet another achievement – having the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra play one of her compositions.

The 25-year-old, who is currently taking a master of music in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, said the request from the orchestra also came as a surprise to her. “I’d just moved to New York to experience what the music scene was like and I really wasn’t expecting to get a call from someone organising this concert,” Fisher told Newshub.

The composition, titled ‘Tōrino’, was co-created with Rob Thorne and features Māori instrument pūtōrino.

This wasn’t the first recognition for Fisher, who has been composing and playing piano and violin since childhood. In 2016 she won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for her work ‘Rainphase’, being the youngest person ever to receive the honour. Her music has been performed by ensembles across the world, including in the US, Russia, Canada and Germany.

Fisher is due to finish her study in May and return to New Zealand afterwards.

Writing Poetry: Tips and Tricks

Everyone can write a poem – but it takes craft and practice to make a good one. If you’ve never written a poem, or want to revisit the form after dabbling in it in school, there are a few tips worth trying to help you begin (again) on a solid foundation. Here they are…

Read More

Expand your references and read a lot of poetry. This will help you understand the craft better and figure out the styles and structures you like (or dislike). Check out the Poetry Foundation’s website for some of the world’s best poems.



The only way you can improve is by practicing and developing your portfolio. If possible, make a habit out of writing every day. Experiment by following new forms or sticking to reliable favourites. You can also take notes throughout the day of inspirations and observations on a journal.


Be Intentional

Before you start a poem, think about what you want to say. What message, theme or idea do you want to get across? Why do you want to write about it? With clear intentions, your poem will have a direction for the readers/audiences to navigate.


Count on All Senses

Rather than simply telling a message as is, use imagery and action. Besides sight, leverage other senses (smell, touch, taste, hearing) to create a more vivid reading experience.


Get into the Rhythm

In poetry, the rhythm and pacing are as important as the words. It doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme, but every good poetry has an identifiable flow and/or musicality. To enhance the poem’s rhythm, try using active sentences (“I hold the pillow” rather than “the pillow is held by me”) or breaking the passage in different ways.


Team Up

It’s time to take your poetry out to the world. Join a poetry community, watch readings, participate in workshops, and get some feedback on your work from your peers. Afterwards, you can go back to writing with redrafts and revisions.

Event: Japanese Film Festival Classics at AGNSW, Sydney

This month, the Japanese Film Festival Classics is returning to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

With the theme of Passion and Obsession, the festival is screening 16mm and 35mm films from the Japanese Golden Age and New Wave eras. These films not only represent the vision of cinematic legends such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yoshishige Yoshida, but also offer glimpses into different faces of Japan throughout the decades – from star-crossed lovers divided by class in the Meiji era to early modern feminists fighting against the societal status quo.

The screenings run Wednesdays and select Saturdays and Sundays for free. For the full program and more information, visit the AGNSW’s website.

October 3-31 | Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney

Photography: Melbourne’s VAC Gallery Calls for Submissions for October Exhibition

A chance to showcase your photography work has arrived – the VAC Gallery in Melbourne is calling for submissions for its upcoming exhibition.

Set to launch in October, the exhibition Moving Melbourne: Cities don’t stand still will be highlighting “a Melbourne that’s always in motion”. Photographers are invited to submit up to three images of street photography (not posed or studio) that pay homage to the theme.

Submissions are open until Wednesday, September 19. For more information, visit the website.