Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Anthony Callea

Who is Anthony Callea?

I don't know.

I'm going to guess he's in politics.

Maybe music?

Let's see....

Who is he, Lord Wiki?

Crap. He was a runner-up on Australian Idol.

I really don't like those programs. I'm not sure why I added him to the list.

Oh well. Maybe there will be something interesting here.

Wait. I scrolled a bit. There might actually be something I like here. He's gay. Homosexuality interests me. And he's been in Wicked. I love that musical.

Writing this post might not be torture after all.

Baby Anthony was born on 13 December 1982.

He's a Sagittarius.

What's his numerology number?

Let's check the birthday website!

He's a 9. That's the humanitarian number.

Here's what my new favorite numerology website says about the 9: You are socially conscious, concerned about the betterment of the world, idealistic, visionary, tolerant, imaginative and creative, compassionate, romantic, selfless and generous. are also giving, sharing, loving, caring, noble and aristocratic.

That sounds really nice.

The negative: You can be aloof, withdrawn, distracted, possessive, moody, timid and uncertain. You are often unsatisfied with achieved results and you might get disappointed with life's realities.

I wonder if any of that fits Callea. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't.

Callea was born in Melbourne. His parents are Italian. So I guess that makes Callea Italian-Australian...at least if you want to play the hyphenation game.

Lord Wiki says little Anthony did talent concerts as a child.

He attended the Johnny Young Talent School. I'm not sure if this is where he did his school schooling, or if it was just extracurricular. I know in NYC there's a school for actors...meaning the kids get both acting training and their regular education there.

I guess I'll explore the Johnny Young Talent School website.

The site has a photo of Johnny Young himself. He looks like a happy man.

I think the school just provides the extracurricular stuff. It's pretty much singing and dancing.

I just read a little bit about Johnny Young himself. He's a performer; was in bands and stuff. He had a variety show in the early 1970's called Young Talent Time. Then I guess a few years later he opened up the school.

Anthony Callea became one of the students.

In 2004, Callea did the Australian Idol thing.

What came first? American Idol or Australian Idol?

Well, Lord Wiki says it began in the UK as Pop Idol. That was in October 2001. American Idol came about 8 months later. Australia followed.

Callea auditioned and was chosen to be in the final thirty.

Is the final thirty the one that the show's season is based around? I'm guessing it is.

He didn't make it through the first round of competition. He FAILED.

But that's okay. He was invited back as a judge's choice wildcard.

I'm having to do a lot of background reading here....figure out this whole idol business. It's funny. I always bitch about these shows. But doing this research might make me end up being curious. I might eat crow and become a huge fan. You never know.

I just read about the wild card thing. It seems that there's this thing where even though the cruel viewers of Australia might vote you off, the judges can sometimes bring you back. They can raise you from the dead...like Jesus with Lazarus.

Callea returned to the show. He became popular with Australians.

Some of the songs that earned him praise from the judges were "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water", "I Want to Know What Love Is", and "The Prayer".

I'm betting I can watch some of these on Youtube.

Here's "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water".

I like the bit around 1:40, but I prefer Charlotte Church's cover better.

Here is Callea singing "I Want to Know What Love Is"

I like it. I think his voice is more suited to that song than the bridge one.

Here is "The Prayer". Later he did a recording on his album and it became the highest selling single in Australia's history. A song about praying breaking records in Australia? I'd be less surprised if it happened in the United States.

Oh. I didn't know this. Australian Idol has theme nights. That's kind of cute. It's kind of like a cruise.

Callea ended up being a runner-up on the program. The winner was Casey Donovan. But in all senses and purposes, Callea was a winner too. He was immediately signed on to Sony/BMG Records. With them, he released an album named after himself. The album had some successful singles including "Like a Bridge Over Trouble Water" and "The Prayer".

In late 2006, Callea released a second album. It's called A New Chapter. He doesn't come up with the most creative album titles. A song from that did well is "Live For Love."

I can take this type of music in small doses. I have a feeling it's the type of thing my dad would like.

In 2006, Callea participated in a charity compilation album called Home: Songs of Hope and Journey. The money raised went to a charity called Beyondblue. Beyond Blue is an Australian organization that helps depressed people. They deal with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and post-natal depression.

I want to explore their website a bit.

It seems they deal with many psychological disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. I like what they say here: Depression is more than just a low mood - it's a serious illness. While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time and often without reason. People with depression find it hard to function every day and may be reluctant to participate in activities they once enjoyed.
 
I have had times in my life where I've been upset about things. Something or several things happened and I became sad and angry about them. Some people suggested that I suffered from depression or bipolar disorder. Yes, I do get very sad sometimes. I get angry. I'm moody. It IS sometimes intense. But it's rarely for long periods of time. At least the intense parts. I'm usually over the intense parts in less than a day. I don't find it hard to function. I go about my life. And I can't really think of a time that I've been depressed for no reason.

I think there's a huge difference between lying in bed for three weeks...catatonic and crying for no reason, and reacting to events in your life by feeling and acting sad.

I DO believe there are mental illnesses. I doubt deny that. But I think too often we label normal human emotion as being a abnormal sickness that needs to be cured.

Callea does other charitable work. He's the official Ambassador for Vision Australia. They do work for people who are blind or can't see well. One of my Australian friends used to work with a organization that helped blind people. I wonder if they're connected to Vision Australia...probably.

It's kind of neat to see the services that are available to blind people. They even have special mobile phones.

I was thinking about blindness the other day. I sometimes have these episodes where I have annoying things in my vision field. It's hard to explain. But it's more in my peripheral vision. What I see is almost pretty. It's like looking through a crystal maybe; but the image is spinning kind of...it's moving. It makes it hard for me to read or do work on the computer. I can still see fine, but the movement of this weird thing makes me a bit woozy. And when I close my eyes, it's still there.

Anyway, I had two episodes in the past few weeks. I find that if I stop doing something vision-oriented it goes away. These last times I've gone and done laundry. While doing that, I realized how incredibly dependent I am on my vision. I use it a lot. I read books. I'm on the internet. I watch TV or videos. I play board games. There's very little I do that does not involve my eyes.

So, what I'm trying to say is I REALLY hope I never become blind. I'd definitely rather be deaf. I'd miss music, but I think sign language is fun. I'd also love to learn how to read lips. That would be a nifty skill.

I think I'd even rather be in a wheelchair than be blind. Now if it's a choice of being in a Christopher Reeve type situation or a blindness situation, I'd probably pick the latter.

It is nice to know though that there's so much out there to help blind people live fairly happy and independent lives. It's hard for me to imagine being okay because I'm more of a visual learner than an audio one. But I suppose....you just adjust.

All right. Enough about blindness.

Let's get to the gay stuff.

Callea came out of the closet in March 2007. A radio station helped him with that. A DJ met Callea and his partner, then later talked about it on the radio. He says he didn't realize it wasn't public knowledge. Oops! That COULD be a lie, but I can imagine a mistake like that happening. It's definitely possible.

Before this time, Callea denied being gay. It surprises me that in this day and age, celebrities still deny it. I can imagine maybe if you're trying to get a job in the Baptist church. But show business? I would think it is the opposite...people pretending to be gay so they can fit in better.

The announcement of Callea's homosexuality pleased gay judge Michael Kirby. He said that having a popular singer come out of the closet is a good way of influencing our culture.

You know, maybe it's good that Callea started in the closet. Otherwise, homophobic potential-fans might not have even given him a chance. Maybe his coming out opened some people's minds a little bit. I hope so.

It's kind of like Dumbeldore. I'm sure when he was outed, some people turned their backs on Potter and his friends. But there were probably some people who were changed for the better.

Callea also came out of the depression closet. He had problems as a teen. So that at least partly explains his involvement with BeyondBlue.

Around 2008, Callea was dating a guy from Home and Away...Tim Cambpell. I'm not sure if they're still together. Well, Lord Wiki doesn't mention them breaking up or anything.

There's all this stuff here about Callea's various concerts. It's boring to me. I'm skipping that. Instead I'm going to read about his musicals. I love musicals.

His first musical was the opera Dead Man Walking. I never knew they turned that story into a musical.

Wow. It's been around since the year 2000! How did I miss that? Lord Wiki says it got good reviews.

The show was in Fort Worth recently.

Callea starred in the Perth production of Rent. His boyfriend was in that too. I guess maybe that's how they met.

In 2008 and 2009, Callea was in Wicked playing Boq. I'm surprised he didn't play the role of Fiyaro. That's a bigger part.

Idina Menzal (my favorite Elphaba) was also in both Rent and Wicked!


I don't think Boq has many singing lines in Wicked.
 

YouTube has a little video about the Melbourne version of Wicked. I'm going to watch it, of course.
 

An actor on the video compares the wizard to George W. Bush. I think that metaphor works pretty well.

I'm done with Lord Wiki.

I guess I'll go see if there's an official website for Callea.

Here it is.

Oh no. One of the actors from Wicked died. Rob Guest. Who did he play?

The wizard. He's actually the guy who compared his character to George W.

Here's a video from his memorial. It's the whole cast singing "For Good". I have to admit it. I'm getting goosebumps here. I saved the video to my favorites. I'll probably watch it a thousand times.

I really don't know how people manage to sing at weddings and funerals. I'd be bawling.

I love how they start the song with Madame Morrible.

I'm neither at the memorial nor singing; but I'm having a hard time fighting back the tears here.

This is making me more emotional than the video of Kristen Chenowith getting emotional when she did the same song at Idina Menzel's last performance.

Some of the actors do start crying during the memorial for Rob Guest. It's beautiful. It's sad.

I don't know much of Rob Guest, but he seemed like a really nice guy in that little video I watched previously.

Well, it's time to move on. Like most official websites, the Anthony Callea one bores me. I'll look at his MySpace too.

There's some biography stuff here. He had been a singing teacher. From the age of seventeen, he was making money as a professional singer. During his childhood he was in commercials. One was for the Uno card game.

When Callea was five, he asked his parents if he could take singing lessons. His parent's were surprised because the family didn't have any type of musical background.

Callea is on Twitter. I'm going to explore that a bit. Then I'm going to quit. I want to make myself a bowl of unhealthy kid's breakfast cereal. Cookie Crisp. I'm pretty sure you guys don't have that crap in Australia.

I'm guessing this is really his Twitter account. I hope so. But for a guy who has the number one selling single ever in Australia, he sure doesn't have a lot of followers. There's only 2,753. Is that typical for a celebrity? Hugh Jackman has 403,154. Even the FAKE Hugh Jackman has more followers than Anthony Callea.

I'm back on Callea's site...trying to see if it mentions his Twitter account.

I can't find it.

It might be real. It might be fake. I'm not going to quote from it though because I'm not sure.

I do think it's fine to fake being a celebrity on the Internet if you're upfront about it. For the people who lie about it....that's just shameful.

Tim and I had a discussion about Internet lying the other day-why people create fake blogs and all that.

Tim asked me why someone would lie on the Internet. I think the answer is simple. ATTENTION. We're not all celebrities. We all don't have lives that make for exciting attention-grabbing drama. So some people create one. It's lovely to have a good imagination and make stuff up. It's not good to trick people into believing your fiction is truth.

Who knows though. The guy on Twitter could really be Anthony Callea. Do any of you know whether it is or not? And have any of you been tricked by a fake celebrity Twitter person?











5 comments:

Andrew said...

My sister in law liked Anthony a lot. Before he finally admitted he was gay, I used to tease my sis in law by telling her not to be silly because Anthony was gay. I did not actually know he was then though.

Dina said...

Andrew,

Funny!

Anonymous said...

That was good fun! I hope you listen to more of Anthony Callea - he does up-beat pop and music- theatre songs as well. Check out his song for Rob Guest's Memorial and As Long As You're Mine. He's still with his partner and their Twitter accounts are genuine. They only joined Twitter very recently and remember Australia has a small population. Hopefully Anthony's becoming better-known overseas through sites like YouTube, but thanks - I enjoyed that. Joni

Dina said...

Joni,

Thanks for clearing up the Twitter thing!

I'm sure Callea will become more popular overseas. With the Internet, we definitely have a global village.

I'm going to try to find his "As Long As You're Mine" on YouTube. That's the song from Wicked, right? What did he sing at the memorial?

Dina said...

Joni,

Never mind. I found the video from the memorial : )

Here's the link if anyone is interested...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XWlPkE18MY