Why did you take on this role with this production? / What interests you about this specific production of Antigone?
I didn't particularly want to re-tell the story of Antigone. It exhausts me to think that after thousands of years these themes can still be relevant. Initially I was opposed to contributing
to this seemingly ineffective chorus. Additionally, the extreme circumstances of the play seemed to be a dated way to take part in the conversation.
However, once I heard Melody Erfani (Director) link the text to America's very terrifying, very current political position, with almost word-for-word quotes from both Creon & Trump, I saw how short sighted I was being. We've all been reeling from Trump's success in this electoral campaign, he's tyrannical ways, but to see his vitriol dated as far back as 440 BC gave me an understanding of just how far we'll regress if he is elected.
That's not to say Melody changed my mind about wanting to do this specific text, but she reminded me of the talent I've always seen in her. She has a consistent ability to articulate humanities struggles in a visceral and accessible way for the majority. How do you say no to working with someone like that?
SHE is the reason I accepted this project. I needed to work with her for my artistry in an actor/director relationship.
I decided to co-producer so that I had a place to experiment. I struggled in the transition from a creatively rich and nurturing school environment to a stifling fast paced industry. It's rare for me to hear my peers (or even my mentors) talk about a joyful and mutually beneficial professional collaboration. I've been told time and time again that it's 'just how things are done.' I refuse to accept the status quo of this industry and I'm determined to explore alternative methods.
Who better to do that with than we person who consistently reminds me of why I wanted to be a story teller in the first place?
Why did you want to be a story teller?
For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a lawyer, then a circus aerial artist, then a doctor, then an air hostess, then a president of a country, then a junkie, then a (insert a plethora of generic and obscure careers or lifestyles). It wasn't until I had convinced myself that I wanted to be a storm chaser after watching Twister, that I realised I didn't actually want to do any of those things, I just wanted to pretend I could.
So it wasn't about the story telling at first. It became that later when I wanted to contribute to something significant. My connection to humanity has always been through art and so I wanted my contribution to follow suit.
What do you most like about your character?
She's so ordinarily sensible and in many ways I think she's fighting for her family as much as Antigone is, she just has a different measure for success.
Do you & your character have anything in common and if so, what?
Like Ismene, I have a sibling who is as stubborn as Antigone. If he wants to do something, we have to deal with it. There is no discussion. I have a very extreme kind of love with people like this. I adore them for their passion. They remind me what it's like to really live; to love so much you would die for that love. However, a little part of me has to give up on these people. They live in such extremes, so you can't invest your heart in them because you're choosing certain heartbreak. All you can do is let them do them, mitigate the risk of damage for yourself and keep a long piece of rope around to help them crawl out of the hole they keep digging for themselves. I feel like Ismene is the person who always keeps a rope around for Antigone.
This production has an uncharacteristically long rehearsal period, 21 weeks as opposed to the standard 6-8 weeks. How has this affected your work?
I have a playfulness about my work. I've been energised rather than exhausted. It hasn't come without bumps, I just feel more equipped to handle them. Instead of wanting to self destruct when the unexpected arises I take the time to explore the challenge like a puzzle. It means solutions are thoughtful and creative.
If you could had pick your next job without any restrictions, what would it be/who would it be with and why?
At some point I HAVE to do a con artist story. I dream of tapping Danny Ocean on the shoulder to round up the crew. Something Brothers Bloom or Paper moon-esque. I loose my shit when I realise people like Frank Abagnale exist. I love the trickster. Nellie Bly (admittedly an investigative journalist rather than a con artist) is my hero. Her audacity was second to none.
I also have to do I am a Camera at some stage for no other reason than Sally Bowels has to come out of me. She haunts me. There are clearly some deep wounds she is trying to avoid but regardless of the cause, her constant search for joy inspires me.
Where else can we see your work?
'Her Visa' is premiering at the NY Shorts Festival at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in the Lower East Side on the 01 June. I worked on this short film with Marcus Castillo & One Thousand Percent.
Otherwise...the theatre...go to it!
What work have you seen lately that we shouldn't miss?
Sing Street (movie) is so perfect in its imperfections. They don't let a single dreamy moment pass without the ugliness of reality poking it's head. I love the grittiness of life. It's refreshing to see it exposed through humour and vulnerability.
I'm late to the game but I just watched Things We Lost In The Fire. Whoa. Visually stunning and the characters are so artfully complex.
I can't recommend theatre because I usually see plays at the end of their runs so anything I'd mention is no longer running. I'm useless, I know.