Peter Meteherangi Tikao Burger (Ngāi Tahu, Rangitane) can thank a childhood lisp for his busy career as a screen director today. Having been sent to speech lessons, he found himself in the wrong class, and discovered the joys of performance in a drama class at a young and impressionable age. Since then, Burger has directed numerous film and television productions, including Until Proven Innocent, which won five Qantas awards in 2009, The Tattooist, Fish Skin Suit, short film Turangawaewae, staring the late Wi Kuki Kaa, as well as the TV series Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls and The Cult.
Comedian Rose Matefeo’s star is in the ascendant.
Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story author Helene Wong grew up in 1950s Aotearoa, and has worked in the arts as a performer, writer, and film critic. She discusses her varied career in this Funny As interview, including: Growing up with radio comedy, being the class clown at school, and realising that you could make people laugh with voices and accents The university capping review being a revelation and a liberation — presenting an opportunity to deal with issues and being more than just "prancing about on the stage" How the introduction of television meant being able to see politicians — "their physicality, their flaws and their body language" – providing wonderful source material for satirists Working with Roger Hall, John Clarke, Dave Smith and Catherine Downes on university revue One in Five, and mimicking three-screen promotional film This is New Zealand to open the show Working for Prime Minister Robert Muldoon in the 70s as a social policy advisor – despite spending “the previous few years having a lot of fun satirising him”– and feeling that he had a "kind of dark force field around him" Reaching a turning point in comedy about Asians in New Zealand; Asians have started to "take back the power" and "as opposed to encouraging audiences to laugh at us, we’re now getting them to laugh with us"
Don Reynolds is a sound operator turned film producer who has had a big impact on the New Zealand film industry. He was a sound recorder/mixer on many of our classic films of the 1980s and went on to produce movies such as The Quiet Earth, Sylvia, Mr Wrong, and River Queen. Reynolds was also one of the main forces behind the setting up of long-running TV soap Shortland Street.
Ginette McDonald has directed cop shows, produced kidult classics and won awards for her dramatic acting. Yet she has long been associated with a single role: Kiwi gal Lynn of Tawa.
Purveyor of good grammar and master of words, Max Cryer has had an extensive career in the New Zealand entertainment industry.
Andrew Clay forged his stand-up comedy career in Australia, before returning battle-hardened to New Zealand. The brutality of that environment is among the things he discusses in this Funny As interview. Clay also talks about: Being the dude at the back of the class, trying to make people laugh The lightbulb moment when Australian comedian George Smilovici told him he should be a stand-up comedian Feeling pride when his conservative dad said “you’d be good at that” The “walking off to the sound of your own footsteps” moments of stand-up comedy, and the immediacy of knowing "straight away whether you're doing well” Writing two stage plays, “to try to be funny in a different way” For more of Andrew Clay, check out this Funny As interview with Clay and fellow comedian Mike King.
At one point Mike King was so famous, he appeared on three TV channels on the same night.