Sunday, June 19, 2011

Disney on Ice ...

One of the coolest things about my career as a journalist, writer and now blogger, is that I can usually manage to work around the kids.

Even better, on frequent occasions, they are either able to come with me to certain events; review movies and books; and enjoy perks of the job, like meeting celebrities and attending concerts.

As a journo, I was never been intimidated by celebrities. I always found your 'average', everyday person, far more interesting than celebrities, who were often over dealing with the media; and sick of answering a zillion questions a day by the time you got to them.

But when I had kids I began to appreciate the benefits of my job, as my kids started getting impressed with some of the work I did.

Attending various Wiggles concerts (both Greg and Sam versions), and special VIP events? Awesome.

Meeting Hi-Five and being cuddled by Kathleen and Charlie? It was like meeting rockstars.

Hanging out with a Bengal tiger in the Big Brother House - cool as.

And don't get me started on the Dora the Explorer, and Spongebob Squarepants years.

I even had mobile phone numbers for all the Wiggles and Hi-Five at one stage, and yes, I was sorely tempted to sell them to Dads and Mums at the school gate. But of course I didn't, because that would be highly unprofessional. Cough.

Recently, my ice-skating-loving kids got to join me when I interviewed the stars of the upcoming Disney On Ice Extravaganza!

As it happened, the press call was held at the skating rink we frequent, so the kids couldn't get their heads around the facts that they couldn't just pull on a pair of skates and do their thing. Oops!

Nevertheless, they were impressed as I chatted to one of the stars Brian Duckworth, who grew up in sunny Australia dreaming of performing on the ice.

An infamous series of teachers' strikes gave him just the opportunity to nag his Mum into taking him to the nearest rink.

Guess what? He was a natural.

Brian is now principal skater with Disney on Ice, and tours the world with his talented principal skater wife, Melanie Carrington, who has been skating since she could walk. (Mel comes from a family of Dutch ice-skating royalty, and travelled the world with her performing parents as a child).

Currently, Brian plays adult Simba the Lion and other ensemble roles, while Mel plays the adult Nala, and Rosetta, one of the Disney fairies.

Incredibly, the couple live, work, travel and practise together. And are still in as much love as ever!

They officially have no fixed address as their jobs performing takes them all around the world! Now it's my turn to not be able to get my head around something. I mean, I love to travel, but I couldn't imagine not having a place to called home.

But the talented duo insist they couldn't imagine any other lifestyle, and there will be plenty of time to settle down one day. Perhaps when they want to have kids. I'm not sure if the presence of my kids was discouraging or encouraging on that particular goal!

Brian and Mel perform alongside Townsville-born, Brisbane-raised fellow ice-superstar Daniel Harries, the only Queenslander in the cast.
Daniel started skating at the age of nine as a way to keep cool during the hot summers in North Queensland. Who would have thought a respite from the Townsville heat would land him in a starring role in a world-famous ice production?

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy is performing at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre from Thursday, June 30 to Sunday, July 3. It's also touring the country. For tickets and more details, phone Ticketek on 132 849 or visit

Miss 8 gets up close and personal with the talented ice-skating couple Mel and Brian.

And here are Mel and Brian in action!
 And in action on stage at Disney On Ice ...



Ms_MotorbikeNut said...

I remember when my daughter who is now 24 yrs old was 5 years old.

I took her to see a small production that a Ice Skating school was putting on here in Brisbane Queensland called Hansel & Gretel on Ice what a lovely time we both had

(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

Thea said...

Wow, cool!!!

We're going next Thursday and I am so excited!

I remember going to Disney on Ice with my family when I was a child. It was the only big family event we did.

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