Imagine girls in spectacular, sequined outfits on roller skates. Imagine small, curious circus acts. Imagine scintillatingly dressed characters on stilts. You name it, Fresh Creative Entertainment are your bet. It was fun catching up with directors, Chantelle Fava and Benji Leeks.
Chantelle tells us, “it was 11 years ago that I started the business and Benji joined us about 8 years ago.”
Chantelle started her career in Musical Theatre being flown to Europe to perform in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record breaking musical, Starlight Express. This is where she found her love for roller skating! Chantelle worked throughout Europe dancing on many live TV shows and touring with shows such as Saturday Night Fever, to name just one.
“Once back in Australia I enjoyed working as Captain Starlight at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Benji started his career in America touring with a circus. In Geelong he works as a massage therapist at The In8Life.
“We’re thrilled we’ve found we can be creative while being in the trenches of parenthood. We have four boys, aged 1, 4, 8 and 15. They’re show babies. They come along for the ride but we are also sensitive to making it stable for them. That’s why we are based locally in Geelong. Our kids come first.
“Last year we virtually had entertainers at the gates of the Grand Prix when we had to cancel. We had bookings until the end of the year but instead we had to focus on our family of performers. We often held online trivia nights to boost morale. Some of our entertainers live alone and it’s when they dress up, pop on some makeup and go out to entertain that they feel whole. Mental Health suffers, it was a tough year for all. We are like the Mumma and the Puppa to our extended family of entertainers. These performers all have their unique strengths. We have about 40-50 people that we go to often.
“What we do is our passion for two reasons; it allows us to use our creativity whilst earning a living for our kids and offer performance artists the chance to be employed.
“We have hopes for the future. We’ve started getting more work in the Geelong region and we hope that continues. We also want to move from making Art purely to spread joy, to sharing important messages. We want to produce more theatre shows with messages that will help people. ‘Relate’ shares stories around substance abuse, family traditions, loss & LGBTQ+ matters. ‘Protege’ helps us to reconnect with tradition and mother earth.
“These are the passion projects that we dream about at night.”
You can read more about Fresh Creative Entertainment and their dynamic duo at https://www.freshcreativeentertainment.com/ Follow them on Instagram @fresh.creative.entertainment
Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photos: supplied 1. Monika Berry 2. Hero, Pride Productions