Act­ing works out for ath­lete

Western Suburbs Weekly - - What’s On - Tanya Mac­naughton

WITH bas­ket­ball in his blood, Skyler El­lis was on his way to sport­ing great­ness when he had to make a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion.

The son of Perth Wild­cats leg­end Mike El­lis and brother of bas­ket­ball player Cody grew up sur­rounded by the sport and rep­re­sented WA in na­tional tour­na­ments.

“I thought I was go­ing to stick with that un­til I was in Year 12 and I au­di­tioned for the school mu­si­cal and was ac­cepted. And then I also got into the state bas­ket­ball team again; they con­flicted and I had to choose one,” he said.

“I did the full Zac Efron in High School Mu­si­cal thing and went with act­ing and didn’t look back.

“My dad was ac­tu­ally coach­ing the state team as well and my un­cle was as­sis­tant coach­ing, so you can imag­ine how hard it was de­cid­ing not to do that.

“But it was what I wanted to do and my par­ents and rest of my fam­ily were re­ally sup­port­ive.”

El­lis stud­ied for two years at WAAPA be­fore be­ing ac­cepted to NIDA in 2012 and has been based in Syd­ney ever since.

The 26-year-old is star­ring as the Gruf­falo, Preda­tors and Nar­ra­tor in CDP’S cur­rent tour of The Gruffa- lo's Child, based on Ju­lia Don­ald­son’s book, at Heath Ledger The­atre from Novem­ber 21 to De­cem­ber 2.

El­lis said he was fa­mil­iar with the chil­dren’s book thanks to his fiveyear-old nephew in Perth, Chase, who adored The Gruf­falo, The Gruf­falo’s Child and Room on the Broom, which he was in a pro­duc­tion of last year.

“The show fol­lows the Gruf­falo’s Child as she jour­neys to ex­plore the deep, dark wood af­ter not lis­ten­ing to her dad, the Gruf­falo,” El­lis said.

“She con­fronts a few preda­tors that don’t seem to be nice and trick her in to think­ing she’s go­ing to find a big, bad mouse.”

El­lis said he had to be match fit to meet the de­mand of the non-stop 55minute pro­duc­tion fea­tur­ing a cast of three.

“We’re all su­per-busy and if we’re not do­ing a dance num­ber, we’re nar­rat­ing or putting pup­pets up,” El­lis said.

“It’s a work­out and we don’t have to go to the gym while we’re in this show.”

Madison He­garty, Skyler El­lis and Jade Pask­ins star in The Gruf­falo's Child at the Heath Ledger The­atre. Na­tional Cen­tre for As­bestos Re­lated Dis­eases fo­rum Wit­tenoom. A build­ing boom in the 1960s. Two of the rea­sons WA has the high­est rate of mesothe­lioma per head of pop­u­la­tion in the world. Na­tional Cen­tre for As­bestos Re­lated Dis­eases (NCARD) will hold a com­mu­nity fo­rum to show­case the work it does in as­bestos-caused can­cer. The fo­rum will in­clude a se­ries of short talks about the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned re­search work doc­tors and sci­en­tists are do­ing in WA. Tea and sweet treats will be served from 4pm to 4.30pm, fol­lowed by the talks and ques­tions. There will also be lab­o­ra­tory tours from 6pm. Num­bers for the tours are strictly lim­ited.DE­TAILS:From 4pm to 7pm on Novem­ber 20 at Harry Perkins In­sti­tute for Med­i­cal Re­search sem­i­nar room. Con­tact NCARD ad­min of­fi­cer Tracy Hay­ward at tracy.hay­ward@ to book a tour.Ned­lands and the World War II mail con­nec­tionWhat was the role and pur­pose of Qan­tas Catali­nas in World War II? Find out at a free talk by Kevin Smythe at Ned­lands Li­brary this Novem­ber. Af­ter a ca­reer in the Aus­tralian Air Force, Smythe has devoted his time to find­ing an­swers to ques­tions that have roused his cu­rios­ity. Smythe is work­ing on a PHD about the Catalina fly­ing

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