Monday, September 8, 2014

Xenia Goodwin

Today I'm going to learn about another Dance Academy actress—Xenia Goodwin. She played Tara, who was the main protagonist on the show.

In the beginning episodes of the show, I could really relate to Tara. She's a nice girl, but a bit pathetic. Maybe she tries too hard. She's also a loser. You know that whole big fish in a little pond thing? That was Tara in her small rural town. She was a great dancer. Then she comes to dance school in Sydney and she's one of the worst dancers there. Or maybe she is THE worst.  On top of her mediocre dancing skills, she has a crush on Ethan who hardly notices her. And with the help of her arch enemy Abigail, Tara finds herself in a very humiliating situation involving her crush.

Tara was my kind of girl!

Then things started changing. I think by the end of the series, Tara had gone through having three boys interested in her.  First there's Ethan. The crush wasn't one-sided after all. Then Christian came along. And then Ben.

And Tara didn't remain the worst (or almost the worse) dancer at the school. I think she was at the top, or close to the top, by the end of the series.

By the end, I could no longer relate to Tara.  She was a winner, not a loser. But I still liked her.

What's the deal, though, with main characters having to be the best and/or super important?

Like Harry Potter. Isn't it enough that this orphan kid discovers he's the wizard?  Why does he need to be the chosen one?

And three sisters discover they're witches. Isn't that exciting enough? Why do they need to be the most powerful charmed ones? And then they have to fight the Source of All Evil. ALL evil? Really? Why couldn't he be the Source of Most Evil or the Source of A Moderate Amount of Evil?

Bella doesn't just become a vampire. She becomes the super vampire.

That girl from Divergent couldn't manage to get herself a normal test result. Because she's SPECIAL. Just like that girl from The Bone Season.

I really think we need more stories about mediocre people.

We're been watching Dr. Who, and so far the show is not giving any indication that the characters are superior.  Dr. Who is the last surviving Time Lord, but so far there's been no revelation that he was superior to most other Time Lords. For all I know, he might be a very mediocre Time Lord. He might have even been at the bottom of the class. And there's been no revelation about Rose being a superior human specimen.  That being said, we're not even done with season one yet. I'll be disappointed but not too surprised to learn that there's something extraordinary about Rose and The Doctor.

I should get back to Xenia Goodwin, who is probably refreshingly normal and mediocre. She's likely a successful young adult actress, but not the most talented one. Despite her magical-sounding name, she's probably not a witch. And if she is a witch, I doubt she's a charmed one or a chosen one.

Note: Despite all my important and very valid complaining about all this, I want to clarify that I'm still a huge fan of Harry Potter and also a fan of Dance Academy. Both are brilliant. I just think in the future, we should have more mediocre characters. I think that should become the new trend. 

I'm going to start with her IMDb. The Xenia Goodwin bio page says she was born on February 7, 1994. She makes me feel old. I was 22 when she was a baby. She was five-years old when I got married. She was seven when 9/11 happened.

I'm just trying to put things in perspective.

And now she's twenty. So young!

But one day she'll probably be old. If she's one of the lucky ones.

Now onto the Xenia Goodwin filmography.

It's quite short, actually. There are three things here.

It looks like Dance Academy was Goodwin's first screen thing.  This started in 2010 and ended in 2013.

In 2011, she guest-starred on a comedy TV show called The Jesters.  I have a feeling the show is based on The Chasers.  The plot description for Goodwin's episode says, The Jesters become national pariahs when they air a sketch called "Kids Make Anything Cute" which involves a seven-year-old child dressed as Hitler giving a very cute Nuremberg rally speech.  That reminds me a lot of what happened with the Chasers when they did their make-a-wish skit.

Lord Wiki doesn't say the show is based on The Chasers, but his plot description reminds me of The Chasers. So in my mind, it's about The Chasers. Or it could be about groups like them.

The last thing on Goodwin's filmography is a film short called You Cut, I Choose.

They raised money for it through a crowd-sourcing site.  What's nice is they reached their goal.  The site has a trailer. It looks like the movie's not done. It's interesting. They explain what they want to use the donated money for. It's going to post-production costs, and also licensing fees. They want to use a song by Mondo Rock ("Come Said the Boy") and they want to use clips from Gilligan's Island and Get Smart. I imagine fees for those shows are pretty expensive.

Xenia Goodwin isn't in the clip/trailer, but the little girl that IS in it looks so familiar to me. And I recognize her name (Coco Jack Gillies) on IMDb. Who is she?

Well, she's in Maya the Bee Movie which I looked at for a post recently. Now I can't remember why.

Oh! Okay. Justine Clarke is in it. I must have come across the movie when I was writing about her.

Coco Jack Gillies was also on the American show Camp, and she's going to be in the new Mad Max movie.

Let's see what Lord Wiki has to say about Xenia Goodwin.

Not much!

He says she did her dance training at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy and the Valerie Jenkins Academy of Ballet.

The Tanya Pearson place is in North Sydney, Valerie Jenkins is near Centennial Park in Sydney.

So...I can probably conclude that Goodwin spent at least part of her childhood in Sydney.

This dance website has an interview with Goodwin. It might be interesting.

Goodwin started dancing when she was 9. I wonder if that's older than usual.

A dance expert on About.Com says formal training shouldn't begin until age eight, but parents can sign kids up for pre-ballet classes.

Sometimes it seems parents of young children are so intent on getting them signed up for classes when they're very young. It's nice to know there's no rush to begin ballet.

Goodwin says she got the Dance Academy role when she was a student at Tanya Pearson. They received an email saying the show was looking for dancers. So she auditioned.  She wasn't expecting to get a part on the show.

Goodwin is asked if she's like Tara at all. She says they have the dancing obsession in common, and they're both dorky.

This is kind of funny. Goodwin says the celebrity who inspired her to pursue dance is Tara Morice, who she saw in Strictly Ballroom. AND Morice plays one of the dance instructors on Dance Academy.   Goodwin says, When I met her on the show I found out that she’s not actually a dancer. She was never a dancer, which just makes me love her more, because in that film she’s absolutely stunning and beautiful, and I idolise her completely. 

It's an interesting revelation, that Morice isn't a dancer. But why would it make Goodwin love her more? Because she's good at faking it? I'm not sure if that makes sense to me.

I'm trying to put myself in her shoes. I think I'd feel a bit disillusioned.

 Or maybe not.

Later in the interview, Goodwin talks about how Morice is so wonderful and sweet. It would be awesome to idolize a celebrity; then get to meet them and find out they're very nice. But I don't see how them not having the talent that inspired you in the first place would make you love them more.

UNLESS...what if on top of idolizing them, you also feel a bit of competitiveness? Or you might have a need to prove yourself to them. If you find out they don't actually have the talent, it might make you relaxed...relieved, even.

Goodwin is asked what on the show is hard for her. She says there are scenes where she has to dance in time to music, and talk at the same time. She's not good at this.  Ah! She's talented at dancing, but not unrealistically, exceptionally talented. She's exactly the kind of characters I want to see in future young adult novels.

Although in some ways she does fit the typical hero/heroine that we keep seeing these days.  Dance student auditions for TV show, and gets starring role. My mediocre character would not get a role, and the novel would be about her disappointment. Or at best, she'd a get a role, but it would be a very small one. She certainly wouldn't get the starring role!

The interview provides other little facts about Goodwin.

She likes spending an hour a day in the sun. With sunscreen or without? I ask this, because some people (like my aunt) are anti-sunscreen.

She likes to read a good book. I do too. It sucks when you get stuck with a bad book. I'm reading a bad book now. It's really getting on my nerves. But I was planning not to quit it, because I wanted to write a review. I make a rule against writing reviews of books I haven't finished. Now I'm thinking this is awful of me. I'm torturing myself with this book just so I have a right to do a negative review. That's nasty and mean-spirited. I'm going to quit reading it.

I just knocked it off my GoodReads shelf.

Oh yeah. Back to Xenia Goodwin....

She has one of those poodle hybrid dogs. Moo is part golden Retriever and part poodle. My sister tried to get one of those, and it came out looking very much 100% golden retriever.

Here's a video interview with Goodwin.  You get to see Moo. He doesn't look very golden.

She's giving us a tour of her house. She's wearing this belt thing. I can't tell if it's a fashion device or some kind of dancing/medical thing.

She has a clock that doesn't work and very steep stairs. I like knowing trivial things like this.

Goodwin talks about being young and sitting at the top of the stairs, crying. She was too scared to come down. That's totally something I'd do during my childhood.

See? These are the things I like to know about people. REAL stuff.

She has a Bilby stuffed animal, and it's all worn out like a stuffed animal should be.  I'm loving Goodwin right now.

She had a cat named Bob, and has a cat named Oscar.

Wait! There's another cat, and Goodwin doesn't introduce him. She just ignores his existence.

Goodwin lives in Surrey Hills. She was born and raised there.

I'm still wondering why she snubbed the other cat.

Goodwin shows off her old primary school—Crown Street Public School.

She has a lot of love for her neighborhood and school. Not so much love for one of her cats. I suspect Goodwin IS a witch and the cat is some annoying co-star she transformed.

I like spending time at Goodwin's house and neighborhood. It reminds me of when I was a preschool teacher in NYC.  Before the school year started, we'd visit the children and their parents at their home. We got to see their life...their toys. I think it's a nice way to get to know the kids. I think it would be great to do it for kids of all ages. Though I can imagine some people might see it as invasive.  If I was a parent in the situation, I'd stress about cleaning and being judged by what's in our house.

I wonder how much cleaning Goodwin did before the camera crews came. Her house didn't look sterile in the video. It looked nicely cluttered.  But you never know. It might usually be a huge mess, and she might have had to work hard to make it reasonably presentable.

Here's Goodwin's Twitter account. She has 27.5K followers. She's very popular! Most of her posts are links to her Instagram. So I'll just go look at that.

She hasn't updated lately. Her last photo was on July 12.  She went to something called the Cecchetti Conference. I think it was mentioned in the interview. I ignored it. I'm like that sometimes. But now that I'm seeing it again, I feel I should mention it.

Here's the Cecchetti website for Australia. Maybe Cecchetti is a type of ballet?

Lord Wiki says it's a ballet technique and training system that was created by an Italian guy named Enrico Cecchetti.

Here's a very beautiful photo of Goodwin.  She looks very exotic. It makes me think the TV and movie industry should put her in some more things. If she wants to. She might not. Maybe she'd prefer sticking to dancing.

I just went to another photo, and my browser is stuck on it. Or at least Instagram is stuck.

I got away from the picture. I went back to Instagram. And what do I do? I click on the same picture. I figure the same thing can't happen again.

I was wrong.

Goodwin did Christmas in Ireland.  That's pretty awesome.

She also went to London.

Here's a photo of Goodwin with a Dance Academy co-star, and a lot of fans.

Goodwin took a photo with the Tardis. I wonder if she's a Dr. Who fan.

Well, this photo answers my question. Goodwin says she is obsessed. I'm very happy to hear that. I think I'm getting obsessed too.

We're due for a doctor change though, and I'm wondering if I have the emotional capabilities to handle it. I feel very attached to Christopher Eccleston.  The ironic thing is the whole reason I wanted to watch the show is because of David Tennant. But Jack suggested we start at the first season of the revised series. I figure we'll get through Eccleston so we can get to Tennant. Now we have two more Eccleston episodes and I'm not ready to let go.

I have a story to illustrate my sometimes resistance to change, and it kind of fits well with this post. When I was a young child, I took ballet lessons. Then they changed locations and I hated it. I rejected the classes after that.

Who knows. If they kept the same class location, I might have stuck with the ballet and would have been just like Xenia Goodwin.

No. I'm lying. That wouldn't have happened. I'm very uncoordinated and inflexible. Seriously. When I was a young child, I had to see a physical therapist for gross motor skill difficulties. So it was never in my destiny to be a ballet star.

Goodwin went to Peru!  And she maybe ate a guinea pig there. Well, she has it on her plate at least. I wonder what they taste like.

This website says guinea pig tastes like chicken and duck. Some people describe it as chewy and/or greasy.

Here's a photo of some of Goodwin's castmates. The caption says good-bye, so maybe it was taken when Dance Academy was ending.

Here's a beautiful photo of fruit.  The grapes look so delicious.

Here's a very cute cat photo.

Now Goodwin has totally stolen my heart. She has a picture of a cute insect on her hand. I love holding cute insects too.

Here's Goodwin's first Instagram photo. It's a picture of food. I have no idea what it is. It kind of looks like crackers mixed with cooked fruit.

From what I learned of Goodwin today, I totally adore her. Though I'll probably forget almost everything about her in within a few days. That's the problem with all these biography posts. The information goes it, and then quickly goes back out.  I'm obsessed with a person for a day. Then I move on to other people.

But for this moment...I am a HUGE fan of Xenia Goodwin.