Learning how to be a LEGO Master, when Hamish Blake is distracting you...
Being on a show like LEGO Masters Australia is an experience like no other. A large part of that is the people you get to meet and the people you get to work with. A large part of my own experiences with the show was learning to build alongside my partner, who is also my life-partner, and learning how to grow as an individual. This involved learning how to manage my stresses, learning to listen, and learning when to take on critical advice.
So where does this all fit in with Brickman and Hamish? Well, I’ll break it down into two halves, one half being the ever-humorous Hamish Blake, and the other being the Brickman himself.
There is a very good point worth mentioning first. I discovered on the show as it was happening, that Hamish and Brickman legitimately had no idea who was on the other side of the door when the roller door went up. They also didn’t investigate our backstories or know anything about us before the show began, that way every interaction, every moment, was genuine.
But alas, moving forward, Hamish Blake is fantastic. He ended up being my “anchor” in the competition. The thing that grounded me to reality when everything else seemed too much. I would simply look up and around the room, see him there, and think; “My God, I’m actually here, aren’t I?”
There are a lot of interactions we had with Hamish that didn’t end up airing on TV, we talked about Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, our kids and even Skyrim. But for the things that did end up on TV, all interactions are genuine and none are scripted, even the creation of the hashtag #timisnotawuss.
Random side note, Hamish is taaaaall.
Looking back on it, I’m glad not all those moments appeared on TV. I can say that there were some moments of pure joy we all had that we can say was just between us. Hamish’s ‘job’ on the show, was more or less to de-stress the contestants and he did just that. Whether it was zooming around on his scooter, hanging from the ceiling feeling like a goof, or genuinely showing empathy when things went wrong, he was there to bond with contestants through the good and the bad.
Hamish is also classically a prankster, and I really do wish we could have had him steal some things for us (respect for the Brickpit and all). As far as I’m aware, the Star Wars Trivia with Trent was a spur of the moment idea for Hamish to pick at Trent’s Star Wars mind and pocket LEGO for his family. That’s my kind of person. He's a big kid at heart and we sang him Happy Birthday at one point as he awkwardly stood there and gawked to himself all chuffed. That was great!
The number of times Brickman was accidentally called Andy was too many to count and hilarious every time. We collect Andy Lee’s “Do Not Open This Book” series, and we secretly hoped he was hiding around the back of the set so we could meet him. He wasn't...
Brickman - Aka. Ryan McNaught
So, what about Brickman?
I feel like everyone has a certain expectation of Brickman from watching the show. He seems the harsh critical judge who can look like he flips personalities when he has to send someone home. I can tell you this, if this is the Brickman you think he is, you’re dead wrong.
This man has so much genuine passion for LEGO and equally as much the contestants. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes that most viewers don’t know and at the risk of getting in trouble, I’m going to let you know.
In the midst of our first elimination build was the first time I was genuinely taken aback by Brickman’s compassion. When the cameras stopped just past the ¾ mark that day, he went around to every single person and checked in with them.
Every. Single. Person. Not each team, but each person, to make sure everyone was feeling okay. The room was tense, and everyone’s hearts were pounding in their throats, but he made sure to make time to make sure everyone was feeling okay.
Now, I’m known for blurting out things without thinking. I’m actually really bad for it and surprised the cameras missed large parts of my stupidity. But when Annie and Runa were unfortunately eliminated from the competition, I stupidly turned to a still teary-eyed Brickman and asked, “Was that real or just for show?”. Yep. I’m an idiot who doesn’t understand socially acceptable questions trapped in an ‘adult’ body.
And he said, “Yeah, of course, it’s real”. Brickman wasn’t this omnipotent god-like entity who controlled our fates, but more of a ‘dad’ put in charge of a group of people he needs to send away against his will.
We came to know Brickman as a harsh but fair judge for the competition, but the Brickman you know from TV doesn’t compare to the one we met each day on set. His genuine excitement of an idea you have can fuel your fire for hours and he would be there if the tank gets low too. We even called him “Brick-Dad” for a fair portion of the show, on-screen and off.
We had a moment in the middle of a challenge when we hit a real low and found ourselves at an impasse. Dannii was struggling to push past having to change an idea and I was having a hard time trying to pull her out of what we called “a rut”. Brickman made sure to come to each of us individually to talk to us, and really made sure we were mentally okay.
Even our elimination episode really showcased who Brickman is as a person, we told him an idea, he strengthened the idea and he gave us a challenge. We rose to the challenge, even if the UFO didn’t and even despite the fact we were eliminated, we are so proud that we gave it a shot. We don’t blame Brickman for it, (we seriously don’t blame Brickman for it) and we knew in the instant when the UFO didn’t raise, he was just as gutted as we were. That means something.
Brickman may be the judge of the TV show, but he’s also something more. He’s more like a dad-friend. A dad-friend that also has the power to smite you, but ultimately, a friend. The man is so excited to be able to lift you up and push you beyond what you thought you could do.
Both Hamish and Brickman were a pleasure to work with, and both are genuinely excited about the show and about being to work on such a show. If you ever do get a chance to go on a show like LEGO Masters, or meet either one of them, I highly advise you to do so. They are both filled with a pure excitable energy that will make your day.
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this please leave a comment below.
This article was written by Tim & Dannii.
Find them on Instagram at @legobuildingwithtimanddannii
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