Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hawaii Five-0: On the 7th Day The Lord Put His Foot Down

By Pam

I know that Alex O’Loughlin puts 110% into the work he does.  It’s his work ethic that drives him. I read once that he took a Sunday afternoon to practice one stunt for Hawaii Five-0.  Now, that’s dedication…and he loves his work. After grinding out eleven episodes of Hawaii Five-0 so far, can he continue the pace?

This article appeared in the April 14, 1973 issue of the AUSTRALIAN TV WEEK.  Sounds like Jack Lord set a precedent….or did he?  

HAWAII FIVE-0 star Jack Lord is a man who insists on relaxation.  Even on a whirlwind promotional tour of Australia the well-muscled giant insisted on time off to enjoy the scenery. Which is why he took a boat trip around the Sydney Harbor, an attraction which never fails to get visitors from the States.

Jack, back home in Hawaii, completely revolutionized television series-making all on his own, because of his insistence on peace and relaxation and shorter working hours.

“Things were just getting out of hand,” he told TV WEEK. “I was working all hours of the day and night and the weekends, too, so I decided that enough was enough.  Now I don’t lift a finger at the weekend, except maybe to paint, and I will not work the long hours that I used to.”

When Jack first put his foot down the television producers howled and said it couldn’t be done.

“You know what?” drawled Jack. “They soon found out it could be done.  It had to be. I didn’t intend working myself into the ground.  Suddenly schedules were tightened up, and time wasting was cut to a minimum.  The same guys that were crying suddenly started to grin when they were working just five days a week, without masses of expensive overtime – and getting a good product on the screen.  There is so much time-wasting goes on with a series and it can so easily be cut down.  Now I reckon we have the happiest working crew in television.  We are relaxed and know that we can enjoy our leisure time without work cutting into it.  And for me, that’s how any job of work should be – even in television.”
Scott Caan plays Danny “Danno” Williams in the new version of Hawaii Five-0.   “There’s no time off, so you see people more grinding and grumpy than having a great time,” says Caan. “The no-time-off drives me crazy.  That’s my fight if it goes another year, because I need to do other things I like to do.  It’s sort of unhealthy doing this show.” 

Alex O’Loughlin, who portrays Steve McGarrett, also opens up about the situation.  “You move away from your family and friends to a small Island where everyone knows your business and the time you’re not at work, you’re at home studying for the next day.  Even when the red carpet stuff comes around, you’re so tired you don’t even want to go.”**

“I don’t have free time. I have one day off this weekend and I plan to surf or sleep. Or I just lie in bed.”

Hear that CBS?  If you want to pay homage to Jack Lord and the original Hawaii Five-0, how about giving your people some much needed down time as Jack Lord insisted he and “his people” have?  Take time to smell the hibiscus. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hawaii Five-0 and The Gripes of Wrath

By Pam

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
"This porridge is too cold," she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up.

Smart kid, that Goldilocks.  She knows what she likes, unlike the consummate couch potato. 

Hawaii Five-0 is a TV show which tells the story of the Hawaiian Governor’s Task Force which curtails high crimes on her Islands. The operative word here is story, being a fictitious tale, by definition. It means the writer adds interest to a situation or character for the purpose of entertainment. 

Although Hawaii Five-0 is being embraced by the Hawaiian Islanders, there is a group who voice their opinions on the faults they find in the production, but they're not the only ones. I can understand the locals, though. I hate it when the world thinks all of New Jersey is like "Jersey Shore," "Real Housewives of New Jersey" or "The Sopranos," but I try to look at the big picture. 

"Steve McGarrett doesn't pronounce the Hawaiian words properly." Well, he was brought up in a household where Hawaiian wasn't spoken. He didn't hear the inflections of the language on a regular basis. His pronunciation is a little off. That's a bad thing?

Slippers vs. flip-flops, oy. Danny's from Jersey. We say flip-flops in Jersey. Chin thought it appropriate to use that term to add some sarcasm. It fit.

"Locals wouldn't allow a Haole to beat on another local, no matter what the situation." Okay then, how do you propose the scenario be handled?  Let the local beat up the “white gentleman?” At least there's blood, right? (In case you're confused, that was sarcasm).

"That wasn't Waimea!" Maybe production gave in to the locals who wanted it for themselves that day. Another location was used, but was said to be Waimea. Well, I didn't know that. I'm sure 90% of the viewers didn't know that either.

Then there's not enough shirtless men; Kono is always scantily clad; too much banter; banter at inappropriate times; Danny's always yelling; Steve doesn't yell enough; not enough for Chin and Kono to do; where's Maryann; Jack Lord never would have done that; too much product placement; blah, blah, blah.

If you complain more about a TV show than what it's worth, stop watching it. It's not for you. If you're looking for realism, seek out documentaries. If you're stressed from everyday life, you might want an escape from that.

In the Nov. 15-21 issue of TV Guide, in "Roush Review" (page 23), Matt Roush sums up Hawaii Five-0 very nicely.
"Does it work? Mostly. The new Five-0 gets high fives for its look, pace and an effortless diverting blend of action and humorously bromantic banter between Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan as the dour Steve McGarrett and his wry homesick sidekick, Danno.  The stories are often forgettably generic, but the escapism* allure is high."
*Escapism: The tendency to escape from daily reality or routine by indulging in daydreaming, fantasy, or entertainment.

AAAHHHH...sounds good! It sure beats my reality.

Take a tip from Goldilocks. Know what you like before you eat it all up. You'll be more satisfied.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's A Small World After All: Yure Covich

by carol

Yure Covich graduated in 2002 with NIDA fellow alumnus Alex O’Loughlin. Yure went on to earn his DipEd degree (Diploma in Education). He continues to live and work in Australia while Alex relocated to Hollywood. The two have remained good friends.

After reading about Yure, I now believe he has to be one of the busiest people in the country.

Holly Austin & Yure in Cloud Nine
Yure & Natasha McNamara in The Illusion

Yure has worked regularly as a tutor at NIDA and continues to act and direct around Australia. His acting abilities are often praised. In the 2010 production of Woyzeck,  a reviewer happily reported that “Yure Covich as the Drum Major is incredible, all blistering self confident hot machismo.” But don’t think he is all work and no play. Cast as Jack the Dog* in the 2002 premiere of Country Music, during rehearsal Yure (as the dog) pretended to hump other cast members legs - a joke he played with the same level of hilarity over and over and over again.

His teaching experiences include tutoring at NIDA, working with Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara Desert, and training teachers in Spain. As a member of The McDonald College faculty, Yure teaches acting and has directed the North Strathfield graduation plays. He is also a workshop facilitator for Medical Drama.

Representing NIDA, Yure has participated in the Michael Leslie Pilbara Performing Arts Program in that remote region of Western Australia. The program brings industry professionals from all over Australia to the Pilbara to run workshops in dance, acting, creative writing, and film for young people in these communities, including the indigenous population. Yure visited Karratha to help direct a play that a group of students had created by themselves for a Youth Arts Festival there.
"These are some of the best kids I've worked with,” stated Yure. "They're professional, they've got respect, they've got talent, they've got confidence, and they're not full of themselves like a lot of city artists."
Yure’s teaching extends beyond stage, film and TV acting. A children's charity, the Starlight Foundation, sponsors entertainers who portray Captain Starlight, a welcome visitor to hospitals who cheers up sick kids.

NIDA workshops for Captain Starlights help them learn movement, voice projection and how to improvise funny skits. Mostly they learn how to let go of their inhibitions so they can take children out of their hospital beds and into a fantasy world.  Captain Starlights play to a tough crowd. Many of the children have been in the hospital for months -- even years -- and some are terminally ill.
"If they believe what they are doing, the kids will believe it," says acting coach Yure Covich. "They can take them into a castle or a pirate ship, or into the belly of a whale."
So what are some of the “mad skills” Yure has to offer?

With a natural Australian accent, his Croatian background probably helped his accent skills which include American Standard, Bronx, Brooklyn, Californian, Caribbean, Cockney, English, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Mid Western, Russian, Scottish, Spanish, and Western.
Yure can demonstrate his language prowess in a baritone singing voice while performing stage combat, juggling, fencing, or abseiling.

There is one talent of Yure’s that I don’t believe has been seen onstage thus far in his career, he plays the Didgeridoo.