Entertainer Anthony Dillon attributes his desire for the limelight to growing up in a large and loving family.
‘I think it’s a need to be visible, or at least not invisible. I'm the youngest of nine kids and it’s often hard to get your say in. But when I’m on stage I've got the microphone, I can relax and talk freely and sing freely.’
Anthony played bass guitar in cover bands but his break as a solo performer came following a visit to Sydney.
‘I was walking around Circular Quay, watching all the buskers and thinking to myself, “Gee, maybe one day I'll have the courage to do that, but I don't think so”, and there was one particular guy just sitting on a chair, singing into a microphone through a little amplifier.’
Inspired by the simplicity of the setup, Anthony bought his own amp, microphone and backing music to create a full band sound and, most importantly, developed his alter ego; Frank Lee Darling, the self-assured, time-travelling crooner.
‘Frank is like the one in the family who did well – he might send money home to the family. Franks sees someone in the audience tapping their toes and would walk over and have a dance with them – Anthony would never do that!’
Frank Lee Darling performs at weddings, parties and events, singing a mix of classics from the 1950s to the present, with an emphasis on hits by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis.
‘It’s so easy to perform at those places because everyone wants to have a good time. I can sing some songs and people end up wanting to have a dance. I just feel really lucky in those moments.’
Anthony also performs as Antonio with Malcolm Hansford in their act The Gram-O-Phonie Brothers.
Watch Anthony's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.