Thursday, August 28, 2008

Robbie Ellis

Robbie Ellis was born on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. He started playing music for improv theatre while in high school, which led to seven years of working with the Auckland company ConArtists. He did everything from corporate entertainment to school competitions - and played with Colin Mochrie for the company's 20th anniversary celebrations in 2007.

In 2008 he swapped volcanoes for earthquakes and moved to Wellington, where thanks to Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) and The Improvisors he had gigs before he had a place to live. He was part of the inaugural New Zealand Improv Festival in November 2008, providing music for WIT, The Improvisors, the Court Jesters of Christchurch and ConArtists.

Robbie has played an estimated 14 instruments for improv theatre, including didgeridoo. He also had a very weird chance encounter on a train in Holland in 2006, which led to him being called out of the audience to fill in for an absent musician at an improv match that very night. (The show was almost entirely in Dutch.) Since moving to Wellington, he's been dipping his toes into the scary world of improv acting, and the even scarier world of stand-up comedy.

He works as a radio producer by day (and often by night and on the weekends as a presenter). He has a Composition degree from the University of Auckland, and still writes dots-on-paper music part-time. And then there are all the orchestras and bands he plays/played in (keys, bass guitar, double bass, percussion, whatever instrument). And the theatre productions (sound design, original music, acting, directing, lighting, whatever role). Basically he does too much stuff.

Robbie also contributes on a casual basis to Musical Hotspot.

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