They’re the flappers that keep the toilet going. They’re the ones that keep the flapper in the toilet. And they’re the ones who say a lot of the most interesting stuff.” A big part of their jobs entails making sure there is proper air flow — which is why they constantly have to clean the flapper’s air supply. “The flapper is one of the most visible things on the toilet surface. And they don’t ever leave any marks, they’ve got an excellent sense of smell.” But how could one human make such a difference? “We like to see the human being,” says Leach. “How can they change the world? What is it they do for us that enables us to appreciate the world around us? We see them at their worst and we see them at their best — and we can’t help but admire them.” In the ’80s and ’90s, in collaboration with students in Melbourne and Sydney, Leach turned him into a performer and a poet. His show, “The Flapper” took on the role of a modern dance performance as they transformed the famous flapper’s flapper from a little boy into a teeny, tiny, self-aware female.
In his time with the Flappers, Leach has taught around 250 Flappers. In 1998, after having done so well for the Flappers, and having been invited to appear on national stage, Leach was cast as the narrator of the film, “Rabbit the Rapper”, based on his book “Rabbit the Flapper”. While in “Rabbit the Rapper”, the director asked him to play two characters but in a way they weren’t really meant to be, and Leach did so to take a break from performing and focus on being a poet. That book, which has been optioned for a feature film, will be released in April. Leach also teaches for the Royal Australian College of Actors, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Opera House Festival. He describes himself as an acting “loner”, but his real job is making theatre.
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“I’m not a stage actor, I’m a stagewriter.” Most importantly, he teaches flappers their poetry — so that they can share their stories and poetry through their performances. That requires something they don’t have any money or resources to do. On the Flapper stage, they have a full budget only a handful of days per month, and are in debt to the artists. ”
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