Repeat the following words as fast as you can:
Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig.
Okay, now repeat this and it doesn’t have to be quite as fast as the first time:
Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash.
How did you do? You probably didn’t get past the third Peppa Pig in the first test before the words ran together and had a head on collision in your mouth. The second version, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash almost forces you to enunciate much more slowly in order to get the words out in the proper order.
Okay, then… you have all passed the test, which means that you are all eligible to go see Lib Campbell in the live touring show of Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. We knew you would be happy about that; we certainly were when we passed the test. In fact, we ran out and immediately bought tickets for the show, which is what we suggest that you do too, because Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is selling out in every city in its United States tour.
Yes, you can bring family members and friends even if they didn’t take the test. Okay, yes, you can bring them even if they took the test and (sorry about this word) failed it. We like Lib so much as Peppa that we actually want everyone to go, but most of the other 7 billion people on the planet will have to wait until she travels to their area. You know how it is…the theatres that Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is playing in usually don’t hold even three quarters of a million audience members, so you can imagine trying to squeeze in 7 million all at one time. There just aren’t enough seats.
However, the people in the U.S. are truly lucky. They can sit in comfortable chairs in air-conditioned theatres and watch Lib maneuver Peppa (in large puppet form) as she sings songs and talks sweetly to Peppa’s family and friends on stage. The whole experience is heavenly and we recommend it to anyone who has kids and to anyone who is a kid, even if they are an adult.
PHOTO COURTESY: Arklin Wendel
How and when did you first get into performing?
I started at the age of 16. I had my first feature film “Different for Girls”, directed by Richard Spence, starring Richard Graves and Steven Mackintosh who I played in his school days. It was a very tough role for a 16 year old to play, where I was beaten in a shower and put through some tough scenes. One was walking through a corridor with hundreds of school kids who were abusive and throwing stones at me, which really hit me hard. I remember thinking at the time, being so sensitive to my characters struggles and challenges didn’t make me a good actor. When they were casting the hit film “Beautiful Thing” my agent told me the director thought I was not emotionally strong enough to handle the lead role. I was crushed, but I know now this sensitivity is what makes me the actor I am. As all actors know, rejection is part of the game we choose to play.
What type of training have you had, if any?
I was awarded a working scholarship at well respected drama school in London, formerly known as Corona Academy, that’s where my inspiration to act continued. Ravenscourt Theatre School has trained and turned out many inspiring performers on Stage, TV and Film.
At stage school, in the mornings we were taught all the normal academic lessons and my afternoons were taken up in the joys of training – acting/dance/mime etc and all aspects of theatre. As the school was attached to various casting agents, my week would also be spent being chaperoned to numerous castings. I learned from an early age how to present myself to agents, casting directors and how to perform in front of and behind the camera.
I was fortunate that I was selected for dozens of TV commercials, voiceovers and films which took me around the world. My first job was as a Kool-Aid Kid, I remember running in a harness hanging from the ceiling till I got dizzy to the point of fainting, but I was not wanting to disappoint the director. However, it makes me laugh to think about it now. After that, I was often cast in TV commercials, for McDonald’s, to the cool Heinz kid on the skateboard, or diving into a football sized margarine tub for St Ives Gold. I was on the set of Four Weddings and a Funeral at 14, Andie Macdowell told me I should model and gave me the confidence and encouragement to see some agents, which led to more photographic work.
I performed on stage in the theatre production of “Once upon a Mime” and took the lead as Bugsy in ‘Bugsy Malone’. At 16, I left Ravenscourt Theatre School as my interest in dancing grew. I was awarded a Scholarship at the renowned Urdang Academy of Dance. I was trained in all aspects of dance and graduated at 19. This is when I started my career on my own. I was a regular on shows like Top of the Pops which was a childhood dream of mine and CD UK. I have also appeared on stage in many UK venues such as; Royal Albert Hall playing the lead role in Adam and Eve and I toured with Girls Aloud on 3 UK tours as a backing dancer -this is where I found my lifelong friend Nadine Coyle (who I am now godfather to her beautiful baby girl Aniya) and performed with them at all the biggest venues in England, including Wembley Arena and the O2 and also touring around Europe. I also worked with Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls and many other great stars.
After many years working as a dancer and still hungry for my knowledge I trained at The Actors Temple in London. I rekindled my love and desire to become an actor and following further training I landed my first feature film “Wedding Most Strange” which was shown at the Montreal Film Festival.
My career took off internationally when I was offered to star in “Word on the Street” with my sister Ashlie. This was a BBC Worldwide Language Program which has been aired around the globe. It takes a fun way of combining drama with real life, helping foreign students to become more familiar with the English Language. Three series later and our fans of over 150 million viewers in 40 different countries are eagerly awaiting to see if it will continue into a fourth series. So, watch this space. Most recently “Obscene” directed by award winning Director Fred Olivieira was shot in Portugal at the end of 2015 and is an International short film which is currently picking up gold and silver awards across Europe and at the Film Craft Lusos Awards, Lisbon.
What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
If I had to choose it would be “Word on the Street”, Sharing the screen with my sister really was fun and after shooting over five years, the whole crew and production team become a more like a family. Shooting and travelling are two of my biggest passions.
What has been one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Firstly, to be able to do charity work, like taking terminally ill children to Lapland to meet Santa Claus, that was the most rewarding thing that I’ve been able to do. Also, “Word on the Street” has helped so many kids all over the world come to grips with the English language even if they cannot go to school, its always so lovely receiving their messages of thanks and support, knowing that there’s young people all over the world who have benefitted from watching us.
What are your plans for the future?
I am presently looking forward to seeing more of the world and taking on roles that will really challenge me. I’m working on a film called ‘Boys’ which is inspired by losing a very close friend of mine and is being made in his memory. This is a collaboration with Mark Wakeling and The Actors Temple in London.
Who would you most love to work alongside and why?
I’d love to work with the director Michael Christofer, that would be a great honor! Gia and Original Sin are two of my favorite movies. Being in American Horror Story would be a dream gig for me and getting to play different characters every season. I would love that it would be so much fun!
This journey I am on, will be taking me to LA next and It feels right. I can’t wait to meet and collaborate with several of my friends and contact I have out there.
What is your best piece of advice to aspiring artists and performers?
My advice to all aspiring performers is to work hard, listen to instructions, make friends with those you meet along the way, be respectful and look after your mind and body- as it is your instrument. You will have many setbacks, challenges and obstacles and its not uncommon to question yourself sometimes but remember, never give up on your dreams. I was dyslexic as a child and acting was something I thought I would never be able to do. Paper work and scripts used to scare me a lot, now they’re actually helping me to travel the world and fulfill my dreams.
What is Dance Jazzo? Yasha Jacob Michelson would define it as Dance biomechanics, which is basically how the body moves in all styles of dance. He may always mention that the Dance Jazzo slogan is aesthetic resistance to gravity and he would know because he developed Dance Jazzo after years of dancing and studying all styles of dance. Yasha has taken extracts, or the most common ingredients among each form of dance and combined them carefully to develop a new Dance Jazzo technique, which he calls ‘dance without technique’. He claims that he does not teach people to dance, he teaches people to listen to music with their body as well as how to paint with their body.
From this, he has developed even more refined versions of Dance Jazzo, like Jazzo in Slow Motion -meditative aerobics, Jazzo non-stop fitness & workout and also Theater Jazzo, a dance biomechanics performance ensemble. In addition to all of the above, Yasha has created a Jazzo Bodysophy, which is a simplified physical & mental health optimization scheme based on adaptation of dance biomechanics to daily lifestyle. Yasha claims that Jazzo is an open source where everybody has a personal dance style and therefore, Jazzo is actually a dance activity. He recommends when beginning to explore Dance Jazzo in slow motion -meditative aerobics which combines working out with the concept of meditating or concentrating the mind while in motion.
He caters this type of dynamic meditation to people with intense minds and intense lifestyles that are in need of relaxation without stopping or with the need to stop and continue running. His weekly event ‘Vibration of eternity’ is an open space dancing activity for all people that want to explore and enjoy their personal dance technique while engaged in workout and fitness activity. He always mentions that Dance is the only physical form of art and when people come to dance at his studio on Sundays, it is actually ‘going out and working out’ which saves a lot of time combining all of this into one activity.
Yasha is one of those rare people who has remained an artist in everything he does. He has studied photography, fine art, dance of course, wrestling (yes, I said wrestling) and filmmaking. He doesn’t succeed at everything, but he certainly tries – he triumphs in astonishing ways when he sets his mind to something. His first feature film won the Prix Regards Jeune at the Cannes Film Festival and his Dance Jazzo has an established home, the Mimoda Studio where he teaches all of his Jazzo dance techniques and where he and his students and staff rehearse, train and put on warmly received dance exhibitions for the public.
This man, Yasha Jacob Michelson, is a renaissance man, to say the least. Whatever he touches, virtually turns to gold. Whenever he begins to focus on a new concept he breaks new grounds with his discoveries that no one else has even thought of yet. His Dance Jazzo has been a wonderful gift to his students. All you have to do is look at their faces on his website to see that they are happy, healthy and ready to dance – or should we say, ready to live their life to the fullest! When Yasha developed Dance Jazzo he bought the legendary Dancers’ Studio in Los Angeles and made it into his own Mimoda Studio, where all his dancing and theater directing takes place. It didn’t take long before the studio was filled with people who loved the new methods of dancing that provided meditative focus and health optimization systems all in one process. Dance Jazzo, like Yasha Jacob Michelson is a wonder of the modern world.