HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Maria Tanner Spends 5 Minutes with ... Stan Wolfgramm
Acclaimed for his ability to capture the spirit of the pacific islands in a series of still frames projected onto screen Stan Wolfgramm the man behind the creative megalomaniac persona himself caught up with the Cook Islands Herald on his recent trip back to the origins of his humble beginnings.
 Growing up in the modest neighborhood of Mt Roskill, Wolfgramm’s career has now spread the breadth and width of the Pacific, coining and branding himself into a pacific creative entity. Beginning as an actor during the early 90’s Stan has been credited with staring in a number of television series, New Zealand’s Most Wanted, Xena Warrior Princess, Shortalnd St where he fell into a steady stream of type cast rolls, “Stereotypes exists and I was one of them, as a Pacific Islander the rolls that were available to me were either criminal or laborer,” whispers Wolfgramm, “and identity has always been my major motivator.”

Or rather a lack of personal identity has been the catalyst in ironically determining just who Wolfgramm is, “What am I? Where Do I fit? Where does my identity lie?” Wolfgramm continues questions that plagued his mind and shaped most of his work. “For us it was a very much British colonial society. We never saw ourselves in the media; there were never any stories about us. There was a fare bit of confusion for me on a personal level about who I was or what I was and never really understood my identity, and realized that other people had dictated to me what being a Pacific Islander was.”

“I remember watching a BBC series, The Nomad of the Winds and they couldn’t pronounce the names of our people or our islands, I was so sick of seeing stories about us that were told by non pacific people being wrong.”

Honing in his method acting skills acquired from his formal training with the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York and still struggling with being a “PI person” Wolfgramm next stride proved not only to be integral in his career but instrumental in laying down the foundations of a pasifika influenced media.“The next step was to write those untold, poorly pronounced stories, so I did and then I went out there and went hey here’s a pacific story, while everyone’s going well what the hell’s a pacific story!!” This last notion would also throw Wolfgramm simultaneously into the role of producer, director and actor and ultimately headlining Drumline Productions with his colleague Julie Smith.

“At the end of the day I am a creator,” Wolfgramm ponders thoughtfully, “For me certain values like community, family are commodities that we need to uphold and maintain to realize that they do add value to the rest of the world, our culture.” -Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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