Our “La La Land”

— A back story about the creation of The MC Showroom.


My name is Miao, the mysterious “M” in the “MC showroom”. I moved to Australia from Beijing, China more than 8 years ago. The first three years were spent in Adelaide where I started a wine marketing business, introducing Australian wines and wine culture to the Chinese consumers. During that time, I travelled extensively around SA and visited loads of wineries, met many winemakers and developed a profound love and understanding about wine. I became a food and wine writer, also created my own wines which were sold to the China market. This is just so that I could walk the walk and “drink the drink…”. The life in those 3 years was pretty nice. But being a girl from Beijing where the city is so busy and you literally have to dodge people on the street, while in Adelaide the only things you dodge on the street are dog droppings. There’s something sad about that. So I decided it was time to move. I found a job looking after Asia-Pacific marketing in Melbourne where I met Craig.

Miao speaking @ The MC Showroom Grand Opening 31st March, 2017

Anyway, enough about myself, back to the Showroom. I got lots of people asking “why theatre?” I was like, really? From doing wine business to picking up a corporate job and then a theatre, surely, you can see some logic behind it. If not, you must haven’t looked hard enough…

Actually it was a happy accident for us. Back in Oct last year, Craig decided it was time to take his business to the next level by building a studio of his own. We looked online. Then we found this place. Even though the space had been abandoned for a while, we could still see a lot of potentials. Also we thought if we took the other half as Craig studio, this end would just be “the icing on the cake”. So we jumped into this project with both feet and all that we had. More than half way through building, we realised that this process was burning some serious holes in our wallet. So we started to get really hands on. I got down to my hands and knees, Craig got onto the ladder… into the air. I built a lot of small pieces of furniture, Craig did those impressive ones and also worked his magic on all the techy techy stuff. It was in that process, I developed a profound connection with the space and the theatre really grew on me, literally… I still got splinters from the backdrop in my hands. From then on, this theatre has become the “cake” itself for me.

Just to tell another side story. Towards the end of the building process, we were both overworked and exhausted.  The movie “La La Land” was on at that time. For those who haven’t watched it, it was about two young artists giving all they have to pursue a career in the Entertainment industry. The story really resonated with me at the time. I felt as though we were like Mia and Sebastian. Just I can’t sing and Craig can’t dance…nor sing. What really got me was the song sang by Mia at the audition, from that point on I was a like a broken tap, tears just came out from everywhere. Several times I wanted to ask Craig for his handkerchief but resisted the temptation knowing what went into it.

I walked out of the cinema with a glistening face and thought to myself how lucky I was comparing to those two in Lala Land. I felt really privileged to have the ways and means to create dreams of our own. Also they ended up having to go their separate ways while this project of ours would only draw us closer. Craig and I work well together as a team, so once we put our minds together, we can achieve some pretty awesome results. And even more importantly, we’ll have the opportunity to do something for the amazing talent in our community. With our own strength and knowledge, we will be able to contribute equally to this business. For example, I can see myself sitting behind the bar and doing my wine-tasting for our wine list day in and day out. And as for Craig, I won’t steal his thunder, I’ll leave it to him to tell you about his part of the story…