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Behind the scenes - Show Ponies TV

choreography diary media show ponies tv Jun 17, 2022

The Show Ponies effect: how dance can transform your life.

This video, made in the depths of lockdown with two other creative business people - Jason Knight, videographer of Loom Creative, and Tom Etherington, copywriter of Connect Content, caught the eye of producer, film, and documentary maker Rebecca Barry of Media Stockade.

"Forgive the out-of-the-blue email," she first wrote to me. "Watched a YouTube video of your Show Ponies Show and just loved the vibe."

I mean, isn't this the email you always want to receive? Completely out-of-the-blue. I'm often talking about expecting miracles where something surprising and delightful happens. This was one of them for sure.

Rebecca and my first phone call lasts almost 2 hours. We cover all the things I've been up to and dive deep into anti-racism work, being an artist in business, and discover that our values and what we are committed to are beautifully aligned. When you meet a peer who is a creative with their own successful business, co-founded with the equally talented Madeleine Hetherton-Miau, it's like the kind of nourishment that grows blossoming acacia trees.

At the heart of Media Stockade is the human story whether in their cinematic Australian Bush series, Back to Nature, about listening to Country and hearing its stories, or Power Meri following PNG's first national women's rugby league team, the PNG Orchids. As an Australian-based independent production company, they make films with power and purpose.

Fast-forward to today, we are in an 18-month development agreement to create the TV concept of Show Ponies. What that means is that we will put together a document and short video that captures the concept of this reality series and then it will be pitched to various TV networks. Once sold, the next chapter in development begins. Let me let you in on the behind-the-scenes experience of creating a TV concept so far.

I catch the train into Redfern and make my way to the Media Stockade office. The heavy door swings open and I'm greeted by Rebecca's smiling face. "Walnuts?" she offers. She knows me so well! I've brought my own thermos cup of dandy chai with almond milk. I meet development producer Dora, who is enthused by the project and we form an instant bond over our dance backgrounds and love of sequins.

Over the next 2 hours, we brainstorm. I bring to the table all the thinking I've done about my Show Ponies program, all my experience of running the groups over the last 3 years and the wonderful Show Ponies who have performed on stage in their dance tribute to a pop icon. Rebecca very skillfully asks questions along the way that get right to the heart of what we are creating. Dora captures everything into a document and adds many gems from her TV working background. We now have the skeleton of what's called the bible, capturing the concept of the proposed TV show. The entire pitch deck will include the video reel and any imagery to support the concept and this deck will be shown to the people at the television networks.

During our second session, we get right into the detail of what happens in each episode and brainstorm other artists and experts in their field we might bring onto the show. In brainstorming, there is no right or wrong answer and Rebecca encourages us to think big. For me, thinking of queer icons and BIPOC icons in their field is the most important factor - this is an opportunity for representation on the screen. Amplifying voices that have traditionally been marginalised really matters. 

I remember my niece around age 6, slipping her hand into mine as we walked along and excitedly telling me about the movie she'd just seen in the cinema - Moana. "And she had brown eyes, brown curly hair and brown skin - just like ME!" Seeing ourselves reflected on screen makes a profound difference in people's lives. This matters.

Right now, the Show Ponies pitch deck is being zhuzhed up by the designers, getting ready to make it's way around to the networks. What will come of this? More will be revealed...

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, stay in the loop here for feeling good in your body using dance, yoga and tantra.



Choreographer, Yogi & Queer Tantric

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