Friday, May 8, 2015

The Stars of The Saddle Club

I've been watching The Saddle Club. I can't say it's one of my favorite Australian shows, but it's starting to grow on me.

I decided that maybe it would be fun to do a post on the stars of the show.

Since the show is a Canadian-Australian production, the first question I have is which stars are Australian and which are Canadian.

Oh...before I go on. Let me just say that I'm looking at the original cast. For the third season, they hired all new kids. And one of the kids was Ariel Kaplan from Neighbours!

I'm going to look at the original kids, because that's what I'm watching now.

I already learned earlier that Carole (Keenan MacWilliam) is Canadian. And I just saw that Stevie (Sophie Bennett) is Canadian as well.  Actually, it's Keenan and Sophie that are Canadian. I have no idea what Carol and Stevie are supposed to be. The show is very vague about location.

Lara Jean Marshall, who plays Lisa (who would later be played by Kaplan), is Australian. Lord Wiki says, though, that she was born in the UK. It looks like she spent most of her life in Melbourne.

I'm usually not the type to prefer the villain of a show, but The Saddle Club is an exception. Veronica (Heli Simpson) is probably my favorite character. This might be because she reminds me of Jim Parsons for some reason. I don't know why. Maybe they have the same nose?

No. I'm looking at Jim Parson's nose. It doesn't look like Heli Simpson's.

I have no earthly idea why she reminds me of Jim Parsons.

I'm weird.

Lord Wiki says Simpson is Australian. And he says she's good at biology. She was part of the Australian team for the International Biology Olympiad. Cool!

Then there's Kristy (Kia Luby). Lord Wiki says she was born in Australia.  I'm actually not 100% sure who she is, but I'm guessing she's Veronica's friend—the one that tends to have crushes on the various males of the show.

As for the adult actors. I know two from McLeod's Daughters—Brett Tucker and Catherine Wilkin. Tucker played the vet in love with Tess, and Wilkin played Liz Ryan.  Now Tucker is starring on an American TV show with Alyssa Milano—Mistresses.  I watched a clip the other day—was trying to figure out if Tucker uses an Aussie or American accent on the show. It sounded Australian to me, but the clip was short, and I couldn't really tell. And there weren't many lines. Most of it was fighting.

I think, for this post, I'm going to look more at the kids of the show.

I don't think there's anything major on their filmographies, but I'll recheck.

And sorry. I'm going to be prejudice and look only at the Australian kids. Sorry if I'm offending any Canadians. Maybe one day I'll be obsessed with Canada, and I'll do a post about MacWilliam and Bennett.

Oh! Here's something cool. Kia Luby came back The Saddle Club, as an adult, for the third season. She worked as a director. She was the third unit director. I have no idea what that means.

Lord Wiki's trying to tell me. I think it may be an assistant type role.

I just Googled images of Luby's character, Kristy Cavanaugh. She IS who I thought she was—the one who has crushes a lot.

Now I'm looking at Lara Jean Marshall's filmography.  A few years ago, she guest-starred on The Doctor Blake Mysteries.  What is with that show? I feel, lately, every time I look at an Australian actor's filmography, I see Doctor Blake Mysteries. I wonder if it will ever be on Hulu. I want to watch it.

Marshall was in a short film recently.  It's called Penny, and it's available on Vimeo.  I can't decide if I'm in the mood to watch the whole thing. Or do I just want to skip ahead and find grown-up Lisa.

Well, maybe I'll start watching it. If I don't like it much, I'll skip through it.

It's a 1950's thing.

Marshall appears as a waitress at 1:58. I don't think I would have recognized her. But I know her character is named Linda, and Linda is wearing a name tag. That helped me out a bit.  Now that I know it's her, though, I CAN see a resemblance between this waitress and young Lisa the horse fan.

It's fun and surreal to see Lisa all grown-up.

While I'm sort of watching (or listening to) the movie, I'm going to look at Heli Simpson's filmography.  She hasn't done any screen stuff recently, but was in the cast of a family show called Fergus McPhail in 2004.  That would have been soon after her work on The Saddle Club ended.

Now I'm back to giving Penny my full attention.  Well, not exactly full...but more than before.

I think there's something very attractive about the 1950's. But Tim would argue, only if you're white. Hey, but it's really NOT easy to be black in the 21st century.  I mean it's probably better this decade than it was in past decades. But it's still quite rough.

In terms of diversity, these days are better than the 1950's...for all folks who are not white, Christian, able-bodied, and heterosexual.  Still.  I can enjoy the 1950's clothes, hairstyles, music, and decor without being small-minded. Right?

I should get back to The Saddle Club.

Are any of the actresses on Instagram?  I like stalking people there.

Heli Simpson is on Twitter. I haven't found an Instagram account yet. She has a photo of herself. She looks like someone...I mean besides a grown-up Veronica.

Jim Parsons?!

Actually...a little bit. I see a resemblance. Maybe I'm not imagining things, and they're distant cousins, or something.

She also reminds me a little bit of Jessica Watson.

On October 14, 2013 Heli Simpson cracked her phone screen.  I dread the day that happens to me.  It happened to both of my nieces. And around the same time, my mother dropped her phone in the toilet. I think my family was cursed.  Just like Simpson's character thought she was cursed, on an episode of The Saddle Club I watched this morning.

A week or so before, Simpson cracked her phone scree, .she had insomnia. Could there be a connection?  Maybe she had a sense of foreboding.

Now I'm laughing. Because on September 26, 2013, Simpson Tweeted. It seems like the worst songs are always the ones that get stuck constantly in your head.

Guess what song was in MY head this morning as I swept the kitchen. It kept popping out of my mouth?

The Saddle Club theme song!


This is me.

Life should be

Fun for everyone.

It's not that bad of a song, actually.

It's kind of cute.

Kia Luby has a Twitter account. Again...can't find an Instagram.  Luby hasn't upgraded her Twitter for a few years. It looks like most of her Tweets are responses to fans. And that's nice. I like conversational people.

In 2011, she Tweeted to One Direction. OMG! I can't wait for @TheXFactor cuz you guys r going to be on it!! YAY :D xxx  That's kind of historical, because I bet that's before they became famous. Well, because didn't they achieve their fame via The X Factor?  Was Luby an early fan of theirs? Or did she know them personally for some reason?

Wait. She also Tweeted to Lady Gaga about a 2011 X Factor appearance. And I know Lady Gaga was famous before 2011.  Maybe 2011 wasn't when One Direction appeared as contestants on X Factor. Maybe they appeared as guest-stars.

Well...Lord Wiki says they WERE contestants on X Factor in 2011.  So...I think I was right originally. Luby was an early fan.

Luby has a link to Lara Jean Marshall's Twitter. She hasn't updated recently either.  Her last Tweet is from May 12, 2011. She Tweets, it's a joke. isn't it? a fake tell me i'm fake. WTF?! Anyway, stay here my lovelies, i don't care 'bout these stupid imposters.

I'm not sure what she's referring to. Maybe people were pretending to be her and then saying she was the fake one. But what if she IS the fake one?

What if I'm the fake me?

That's kind of deep.

And I'm not even stoned.

On May 11, Marshall Tweeted something a bit disturbing:  I think i'll fall asleep while driving this morning.. i'm so tireeed. I spent my night on skype, it was a bad idea.  

There's not much difference between saying that and saying, I think I'll drive drunk tonight.

What would Max and Mrs. Reg say about that? I think they'd give Marshall quite a lecture.

I do kind of wonder if this account belongs to the real Lara Jean Marshall. She seems so eager to insist that she is real.  It actually makes her sound like the imposter.

I assumed it was the real her, because Luby linked to her. But hey...maybe the Luby account isn't real either. Maybe it's a girl who's a fan of Lady Gaga, One Direction, AND The Saddle Club.

Here's another Lara Jean Marshall account.  I don't know if this is the real account, but it looks more mature than the other one.  The other one kind of looks like a kid pretending to be Lara Jean Marshall.

The probably-real Marshall Retweeted something from the probably-real Sophie Bennett's account. It's a picture of the Saddle Club girls as adults.  It's cute. Bennett sort of looks like Portia de Rossi.

I'm going to give up on Twitter. All this identity stuff gets confusing.

Heli Simpson has a YouTube channel. Or someone is pretending to be Heli Simpson.

I'm very confused now.

The channel has one video. It's a Heli Simpson showreel. I'm going to watch that and then quit this post.

There's a scene from Stingers. Simpson tells some man she's his daughter; then later she tells him she was a victim of the Meningococcal bacteria.

The man looks familar to me. Where have I seen him?

Oh! He's Warwick from Wonderland!  Played by Peter Phelps. I feel bad for not being able to place him without the help of IMDb.

Well, I was going to quit with the showreel, but I found something else.

Here's Heli Simpson singing something called "Don't Ask Me".

Someone in comments says that Simpson became a doctor. I missed that from Lord Wiki. But now...yeah. I see it.  He says she's a doctor in Melbourne, at Mercy Hospital for women.

Here's an article about Simpson's medical career and her participation in a comedy team.

The team is called Boss Octopus and besides Dr. Heli Simpson,  it is made up of an enginnering student, medical students, and a science alumni.  That's cute! They performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Like Nina Proudman, Simpson is a ob/gyn doctor.

Here's the website for Boss Octopus.   It has a link to their Twitter account. There are things here that are supposed to be jokes. I think? I don't really get any of them.  Nothing is making me laugh. It's not even making me smile.  Does that mean I wouldn't like their live performance stuff?

The link to their YouTube account isn't working.  So I guess I won't know if I like their show or not.

I tried searching for Boss Octopus videos, and ended up getting video game stuff.  There's a video game called The Evil Within. Apparently that has an octopus boss, and so does a Lego game.

I just found more interesting Heli Simpson stuff. This woman is QUITE fascinating. There's an article that talks about how she worked as a house-sitter.

The article is written by someone who house-sits, and then she writes about other people who have done house-sitting...including Simpson.

Simpson signed up with a company called Mindahome, and started doing the house-sitting in 2013.

It seems like a nice alternative to buying or renting a home. You live in other people's homes.  Simpson is quoted as saying, The great thing about it is you get to move around, you get to see what it’s like to live in different neighbourhoods and you get different pets.

It actually sounds like a lot of fun. I love the idea. And it's also great for people needing someone to watch their home.  I wouldn't have minded having someone like that when we went on our long trips to Australia.  You just have to hope you can find someone trustworthy.

When we're away, we do have someone who comes and spends about 30 minutes with Max (our cat) each day. But I think Max would be happier if someone was there longer.

I'm wondering if these house-sitters get paid? Or is the accommodation itself their payment?

Well, the answer is on the Mindahome website.  There usually is no payment requested. It's house-sitting in exchange for accommodations. But the site says,  homeowners can give a little money if they want to express extra appreciation.

Looking at the site...This would actually be a fantastic way to travel around Australia.  I'm looking at house-sitter profiles, and some of them list multiple states in their preferred location section.

I think this is my new fantasy—living in different houses around Australia. It would be so incredibly fun. And like Simpson, I'd love having the different pets.

Although now that I'm reading the home-owner descriptions, I'm having doubts in my ability. I'm not sure I'd be good at giving medicine to sick dogs and cats.  And I'd probably end up killing any plants.'s nice to dream.

If I ever want to work on it, and make the dream a reality...Well, I don't know if I'd qualify for Australia. But there's an American House sitting organization as well. It might be a good way to one day travel around our own country.

Yeah. But then we're going to need a house-sitter for OUR house. So then I guess it would be more about house-TRADING.

Or we could sell our house.

Who knows....

Maybe one day, we'll sell our house and travel the world as a house-sitter. I'll reach back into my memories and think, isn't it funny that The Saddle Club led me here?

Maybe it will come to my mind when we're house-sitting for a family that owns a horse!