Michael Simic

Michael Simic

2-week RISE Artist Residency

Artist residency: 2-13 May 2022

Michael was awarded a 2-Week, supported RISE Residency in 2022 to put the finishing touches on the second show in the Balkan Elvis trilogy, Balkan Elvis: It Is What It Is. The narrative draws on a character who has fled the war torn Balkans, seeking a new life in Australia. Battling PTSD and bi-polar disorder, Johnny meets the love of his life and starts a family. Echoing stories from both his own life and his fathers, this show is filled with heartfelt storytelling interweaved with music.

Michael and his collaborators have spent 2 weeks finalising this beautiful show that is already scheduled to tour in 2022 and presented a creative development showing in the Rehearsal Room at Belconnen Arts Centre on 13 May 2022.

About Michael Simic

I was born in Canberra and lived in Belconnen until I left to study Creative Arts at Wollongong University when I turned 18. I grew up in a house where the arts were actively encouraged, especially by my mother, who instilled in me and my siblings the fundamental nature of creativity and self-expression.

Throughout my artistic life and career, I’ve always been involved with an exploration of masculinity. From the absurdist performance art burlesque pop/rock group P.Harness that I formed with Geoff Hinchcliffe as a young man, to my long term mythological musical and theatrical ensemble Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen which began in 2000 and continues to this day. Through my work, I’m on an ongoing journey of mapping my internal world to make sense of the world around me.

Storytelling, music and collaboration has always been at the centre of my multifarious projects. For Balkan Elvis: It Is What It Is I have brought together the core team of accordionist Dave Evans and multi-instrumentalist Trent Arkleysmith, director Benjamin Gilmour and producer Pieta Farrell. I am based in Braidwood and Trent is nearby in Majors Creek. Dave and Pieta are based in Melbourne and Ben in Bangalow, in the Northern Rivers.

As well as being amazing musicians, Dave and Trent have substantial experience performing in cabaret, theatre, circus and variety. They will bring a rich musical palette to the show, along with dramatic and comedic potential to breathe life into the script as actor/performers.

Website: www.michaelsimic.com

Supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, the RISE residencies foster artists development. Artists who are in the final stages of making an original new performance are offered 2-weeks in a space, technical support, a professional photo shoot and 2-weeks of full-time wages at LPA rates plus Superannuation. 

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