How We Do What We Do: Eddie Perfect with Marika Aubrey

Marika Aubrey’s brand new feature series launches today on AussieTheatre. How We Do What We Do is a new-format artist profile, featured monthly on AussieTheatre!

I sat down to chat with the ever surprising Eddie Perfect – an actor, musician, comedian, cabaret performer, playwright, and composer and my colleague in Opera Australia’s South Pacific, in between a matinee and evening performance at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre last year… 

Marika Aubrey and Eddie Perfect
Marika Aubrey and Eddie Perfect

Marika Aubrey: So, I first became aware of you when I was in Edinburgh (Fringe Festival) and you were there with (your cabaret show) Drink Pepsi Bitch… Was it was 2006?

Eddie Perfect: It was 2005

MA: Did you love it (performing at the festival)?

EP: Um…(long pause)… that wouldn’t be how I’d put it. I found it one of the most…difficult and confronting things I’d done since drama school…it’s the closest I’ve come to going ‘I don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing, I should probably quit’.

MA: I ask myself that every time I do a cabaret show. Pretty much a week before, I go ‘why the f*#k do I do this?!’

EP: Do you?

MA: (bursting into laughter) Yeah, cause I think it’s the most confronting, scary thing I can think of across all the genres of what we do.

EP: Yeah. I think that’s pretty normal. I think there are a few levels of going ‘why do I do this?’ And I almost have that general, that self doubt humming in the fold back…but Edinburgh was different, it was my first time performing outside of Australia…And the nature of what I do is satirical, so you’re kinda adopting the view point of the person you oppose, and taking it into a ridiculous illogical extreme, to show an audience how reprehensible and laughable and risible that ideology is. The problem with satire is, and the problem I found in Edinburgh, was that people didn’t get that I was being satirical. So I’m up there singing ‘Gay people shouldn’t get Married’ which I very very clearly introduced as a theme song for the Christian right, and the song ‘Some of my Best Friends are Aboriginal’, which was about getting away with racism by claiming to have Aboriginal friends-

MA: Yep

EP: -and people just thought I was racist, sexist and homophobic. Across the board. It was uncanny, and it was like, ‘what am I doing wrong?’ So, I made my introductions SO clear and SO specific, but it was almost like people weren’t able to hear that. They took it on face value. And, um…see I found it really hard. You know the day you didn’t flyer was the day you didn’t have an audience-

MA: It’s a beast, the whole thing.

EP: So you know, I had that kind of crisis of communication in Edinburgh. I kind of just wanted to go home halfway through it. But I had a whole band there…and so I sort of locked all of that in a little box, and thought ‘I’ll deal with that a bit later’, but I never really dealt with it. My way of dealing with it is I’ve never gone back to Edinburgh.

MA: Right (laughs)

EP: And I’d be very very nervous if I had to go back.

Writing Your Own Material

MA: You’ve always written your own stuff, yeah?

EP: Yeah, well, no I started pretty late. I started writing for the theatre while I was at WAAPA

MA: And I, I was surprised to hear you went to WAAPA, because… I mean this is not to offend anyone who did or didn’t go to WAAPA, but you’re not the typical kind of graduate I guess, and I don’t think anyone’s been quite down the same path that you have since graduating from there. Why WAAPA? What drew you to go there, and what did that training give you?

EP: A couple of things… I wanted to escape a really scary girlfriend I had at the time

MA: So, you went to drama school?!?!

EP: Yeah, and I’d wanted to be a visual artist. And I got into fine art at RMIT , and I was doing that-

MA: Yeah right

[pull_left]If I had stayed at the conservatorium I would’ve ended up singing kumbaya to old people in a nursing home. So I auditioned for WAAPA because I wanted to perform[/pull_left]

EP: But while I was doing it, you know, I was getting the technical skills, but…I didn’t have anything to say…at all. Or, I didn’t know how to express it through visual art. I’m still a massive fan of contemporary art. I love art, I love going to galleries, it’s still one of my favourite mediums, but you know…well, I just didn’t have anything to say through it. And that was a really big problem. And then I left to do music, so I went to do that at Melbourne University, to the conservatorium there…and did two years of classical singing, and then I failed my singing exam in second year, and that, that’s where they stream you. So if you want to do classical music performance, you have to get, like, first class honours in your recital-

MA: Or you have to go into composition or something?

EP: Yeah composition, or music therapy, or music education. And I thought what the f***? If I had stayed there I would’ve ended up singing kumbaya to old people in a nursing home. So I auditioned for WAAPA because I wanted to perform.

MA: And why musical theatre, and not acting?

EP: Cause I always loved music theatre… I was always interested in it. I didn’t really know if I was good enough to do it. At that stage, there are people who really wanted to go to WAAPA or NIDA…which I kinda didn’t. You know, I was sort of happy doing classical music. And there’s a lot of myth about what they (WAAPA) are looking for, and what you’ve got to be, and who they let in and who they don’t let in…

MA: Totally

EP: Which is kind of bullshit, a lot it really…and I just thought, I’m just going to audition for it. And um, I’d auditioned for a couple of musicals, professional musicals, and kinda done call backs but never gotten in. I was just in a rut, I was stuck, and I couldn’t go any further with Melbourne Uni. Couldn’t get into anything professional. I was singing around in music groups and stuff, but I couldn’t really work out what to do next.

MA: So what did WAAPA give you?

EP: Well, weirdly, apart from skills, that’s where I learnt what being an artist meant for me… And I don’t think that was intentional, I think it just happened accidentally. Had some great guest teachers and guest lecturers, and I discovered writing songs for theatre. That this was all of a sudden a medium where I had things to say, you know? Where I could get an idea, and I could put it into a song, and make it musically and lyrically entertaining and it was every bit as satisfying if not more satisfying than performing. And it did all the things that I kind of couldn’t do in visual art. And I went, ‘great, this is something I can do – this is something I’ll be able to do forever’.

Working Life

MA: We are currently in South Pacific together

EP: Mmmm

MA: Since that training, and coming through your career, and you’ve worked across all different genres now, and now you work on TV as well as doing this…How do you approach something like (Channel 10’s hugely popular dramedy series) Offspring as opposed to this? TV, which we know is a whole lot of waiting around to do a tiny bit-

EP: Yep

MA: – versus sweating it out at night time here (at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre). Do you approach them differently?

EP: Yeah…have you had the chance to do TV stuff?

MA: Just guest roles – All Saints and stuff

EP: Yeah, I did guesties and stuff, and I didn’t really ‘get’ what it was all about…cause you know, you’re the new kid at school for a week

MA: Totally! And I don’t smoke so I am really uncool! I just remember wanting to take up smoking so badly when I was on set just to fit in and be able to have an opportunity to say, ‘hi, I’m Marika’…

EP: Yeah, and by the time your work out where the toilets are, that’s it, you’re out

MA: Your character’s dead

EP: Yep. And um, and the thing about TV, everyone talks about size of performance and naturalism versus, you know, being in the theatre, but the thing about TV is that you get put on the spot and you have too…you have to  be really quick with your choices. And you have to make lots of different choices. And be able to throw those choices out if a scene needs to go in a different way … And you find stuff out as you go along…Like I didn’t know, for example, that I had a gay brother that I didn’t speak to in season one (of Offspring), that came along season 2. So, there’s no way that was informing anything that I did back then…but it doesn’t need to…you kinda just go what do I need to deal with today, and how can I make it believable?

MA: Has TV been a really great experience in that way then?

EP: Yeah, it’s been really interesting, it’s been really interesting for that reason – what’s going to happen today? And the people that are really conscientious have a little ring binder and they take out the white pages out-

MA: Put the green pages in!

EP: Then the pink ones and the buff ones…

MA: One of our colleagues observed during our rehearsal process that you barely ever seem to write anything down…That true?

EP: Nah, I don’t write anything down

MA: Any notes you’re given, you just chuck em in your head and keep moving?

EP: Yeah, well, I write them down, but I don’t write them down in order to read them later on, I write them down just cause writing them makes it easier for the note to go in a bit better, but no, I don’t really write anything down, it generally goes in. I’ve got a pretty good memory… I think it’s from playing piano for lots of different people, and learning lots of songs really quickly, and writing songs, and throwing lots of things in, and doing my own show, and making lots of revisions to my own music. I’ve just gotten good at learning chunks of things pretty quickly, but um…I don’t write things down. I never have really.

EP: What about you? I don’t know anything about your background.

MA: I went to Nepean, so ‘straight’ acting and then no one thought I could sing for years… and I just didn’t know if the musical theatre thing was me…I’m still waiting for someone to come tap me on the shoulder on this project and go, ‘um, you’re not meant to be here’, cause I guess it can feel a little like if you didn’t go to WAAPA, or didn’t file through the ranks of the Priscilla cast, you’re not in this industry (laughs)

EP: Yeah

MA: And it is compartmentalised in that way…I mean I put you in the category of people that get to jump genres in our industry and I think it’s something that for some reason isn’t necessarily achievable by others…

EP: You mean musical theatre performers going into theatre, and then doing TV…

MA: All of it, yeah, I love that. Did you try to do that or did it just fall that way?

EP: No, everyone has the same issues, you know. Like, there are some amazing people, amazing people I’ve worked with in the theatre that just can’t…

MA: Can’t get a TV casting?

EP: Yeah, they get the odd role every now and then, but…it’s hard and there’s not really any logic or reason to it…and you’ve kinda just got to find your own little way around, but you know, I’m the same. Offspring is a complete accident. If I had to take a guess at how Offspring came about, John Edwards who is the head producer of Southern Star had seen me do my own comedy, my own stand up, sort of comedy/cabaret stuff, and wanted to use me for something, and he put me in a pilot of a TV show, which eventually became Rush but at the time it wasn’t picked up, so it didn’t go anywhere. It was a pilot called Rapid Response and I played a cop and I’m pretty sure I was fucking terrible.

(laughter)

MA: And…did the cop play piano, or…

EP: No, no, but John Edward’s is pretty interesting , he kinda takes risks in asking people…and if it doesn’t work out then you just kinda get written out and disappear.

MA: Did they write the Offspring role for you though?

EP: Um, I don’t know. I literally had just finished doing Shane Warne The Musical and the phone rang and it was John Edwards, saying, ‘I’m putting together pilot of this new TV show, and we’re going to make a telemovie and if it happens it might become a TV series and this is the role. You’re playing Kat Stewart’s on-again-off-again boyfriend who’s a gardener and a musician, do you wanna do it?” and I was like, ‘yeah, great’. That was it.

MA: Really?!?!

EP: One phone call

MA: A phone call like that?! Amazing

EP: Yeah, and that was how pretty much everyone in the cast were cast. And you know, I kind of knew that the director had never heard of me and was like, ‘who is this guy? I don’t know…’ and there was this really weird moment where she said to me, ‘oh, you can act!’

MA: With surprise

EP: And that’s probably part of what you’re talking about, the thing where people are not really sure of what you can do. And you know, if you think about it, if you’re a director, or you’re working in TV, you’re very lucky if you get time to go and see anything

MA: That’s true

EP: And if you think about casting, you think within your own circle. It’s the same with theatre. I see it happen. You know, Neil Armfield thinks of casting, he thinks about the people he’s just worked with, cause you can’t hold that many people in your head, and you haven’t got time to go around and see absolutely everyone.

MA: Yeah

EP: And you know you’ve got people you can work with and it’s about personalities that work-

MA: Totally

EP: And so it’s very hard to get in. Once you get in. it’s a lot easier. Cause it’s literally like, ‘who would be good for this?’ and he’ll rattle off three names, and you’re either in that list or you’re not.

MA: Yes

EP: And I mean, in some ways, musical theatre is a lot more egalitarian because people are able to turn up for a casting call. But, from my knowledge, it doesn’t happen in theatre, or film or TV really, unless it’s for minor roles.

And I don’t know how you break that, but I’ve been fortunate in creating my own material and being able to be out there doing my own stuff, it’s sort of shows what I can do.

Creating Your Own Work

MA: Is that something you do because you’re hungry to do it, or is it something that’s a necessity? I mean for me, I went into cabaret because no one thought I could sing, I couldn’t get musical auditions, and I was at a loss as it what to do, so I did a show, and shat my pants, but then found that I suddenly had a ‘cabaret career’ or whatever and was getting booked in places and it was a huge huge accident. It was a genre I never ever wanted to work in (laughs)

EP: Yep. It’s just the most easy way to…if you want the quickest most cost effective way to put your material out there. It’s just you and your booked band, or just you and a piano. But one of the big obstacles with cabaret has always been the story people want to tell to an audience, which is usually ‘this is who I am’ or ‘this is what I think about ___’ And then there’s the material that I kinda like to sing, and now I’ve got to try and find a way to make that come together in a way that’s cohesive and makes sense – And that’s really hard to do.

MA: It’s really hard

EP: …because sometimes you’ve got to work out, ‘do I sacrifice this narrative of me in order to put in a song that I can’t find any justification for other than I like to sing it’

MA: Ah, the ol’ indulgent this-is-a-song-I-just-want-to-sing…!

EP: Or do I start to choose material to fit my personal narrative but it may not be songs that I really want to sing – and that’s a bit of a conundrum, cause I’ve seen both examples, like of, here’s a whole bunch of my audition songs and then stories about Christmas over at my place (huge laughter from Marika) – you know what I mean?

MA: Yup!

EP: It’s hard. I mean really what cabaret is, is a more direct and entertaining way of getting a band, and putting music out there, but you’re kind of interpreting other people’s songs. So it’s kind of a weird-

MA: It’s a really weird genre

EP: It’s a weird genre. And I was kinda anti-it

MA: Me too

EP: My kinds of cabarets were musicals disguised as cabarets really, because there was nothing in them that was anyone else’s material. But every show I’ve written I’ve had this amazing concept for how I’ve wanted it to be and it’s always worked out to be exponentially shitter than what I wanted. I’m always kind of disappointed in how everything never really quite gets there

MA: Oh god, that’s so true…

EP: When you put together a cabaret show though, I mean who is your audience?

MA: Well I think you’ve probably got the audience you wanna have. I think you’re audience matches you now. Do you feel that?

EP: Mmmm, I reckon that’s only happened for me in the last 2 years though. Cause I’ve been working 12 years now, and the first 10 years was like-

MA: People walking out…?! Angry with you…

EP: …yeah, or me on a cabaret bill with, you know, the stereotypical WAAPA guy… For me that’s always like, the guy who’s quite thin, and nice, and he’s got like, nice hair, and he wears a nice shirt, and he wears those slacks with the shirt tucked in and a belt.

MA: Yes!

EP: You know? That kinda guy

MA: (laughter)…and Anthony Warlow is up there on the highest pedestal

EP: Yeah, yeah, and staring into the middle distance, singing…

MA:those ballads

EP: Yes, and people saying, ‘Oh isn’t that a lovely song, and doesn’t he interpret it well?’ And I was like, I can’t stand it, but I was on bills with those guys you know, I was in that world, but I kinda hated that world

MA: Yeah

EP: In my 20’s I was pretty outspoken about what I thought was good stuff and bad stuff.

MA: Well I went into cabaret not really knowing what the f*** it was…it wasn’t until one day someone says to me, ‘the idea of this form is, the audience emerge after the hour knowing you better – We should have a sense of who you are’. And I was like, ‘ooooh, oops, no one tells you that!!’ I was going out there, and kinda taking the piss out of it initially.

EP: Oh, there’s no right or wrong…and something like that gives a pretty clear indication of who you are and what you’re interested in as well. This sort of personalised, you know, my-dog-died-when-I-was-six-

MA: That’s shit. I can’t stand it.

EP: Yeah, there are no rules that say that’s the way it should go. At all. Because when you step on stage, you know, you can make it personal, just the fact you’re on stage, you’re always an amplification. Tom Waits would say, as soon as you go on stage, you’re a theatrical version of you. There’s nothing true about it.

MA: Absolutely.

EP: You can do a cabaret in complete character. You can do a cabaret as an owl if you want to, you know, there’s no rules about how that should go. (laughter) And the word ‘cabaret’ just really…

MA: Sucks?

EP: Yeah, if I said to my mates, in my 20’s, ‘oh, let’s go see a cabaret’, they would have gone, are you f***ing kidding me?!’

MA: Totally

EP: But I thought – there’s no reason why I can’t make a show that is funny, interesting, and musical, that uses music as a language that everyone knows and loves and appreciates, with comedy and ideas that engage people. People my age would love to see that. There’s no reason I can’t make that. So how do I communicate that so those people come? And I remember doing Adelaide Cabaret Festival when it was my first time, and I did a 6pm show time I remember it was still light outside and you couldn’t black that part of the theatre, and I’m swearing at the old people and it was fuckin’ horrible

MA: Ha!

EP: But you know, it’s curated, so you get paid, and you get put up in a nice hotel and it’s all great. But then I went home and I thought, ‘that’s not the people I want to come see my show’. So, the next time I went to Adelaide, I went to the Fringe.

MA: That’s not usually the order in which you do it…

EP: Well, yeah, so I basically took all the risk, I produced it, and I paid for publicity, and for accommodation for myself and my band, and I lost money doing it

MA: Yeah

EP: But I spent 4 weeks at Adelaide University doing Drink Pepsi Bitch and we built it from small houses into something that was big and sold out by the end of it and it got to young people that way. I needed to go to a place where my audiences were not eating cheese and drinking red wine and wearing glittery sparkly coats and furs and stuff. That’s not…me. And I can go back and do that stuff now because that audience that I’ve generated will come to the Adelaide Festival Centre to see a show of mine. Cause they know what they’re going to see now.

MA: And you’re on the telly…

EP: Yeah, and that’s kinda good and bad, cause they’ve seen you on the telly, but they don’t know that you’re going to be singing about sodomy and raping native animals or fathers buying their daughters breast implants. So, you get them there, but whether they stay there or whether they like it, you don’t have any control over really. I think it’s about risk taking and it’s very easy to become risk averse, because, you…

MA: You loose money

EP: You loose money, yeah, and it’s hard to keep losing money

MA: Yep

EP: What about you with cabaret, what do you wanna do with it?

MA: I’m in the midst of writing a new show …um, it’s darker than the other stuff I’ve done. Cause basically, I did a show and it was called CAUTION: Aggressive Birds, and it was critically good, but commercially, not so much, and it just couldn’t find it’s audience, you know. Actors loved it; traditional musical theatre types were confused or hated it.

EP: Where did you do it?

MA: A pub venue, in Sydney… But the curators of a festival saw it and said, we love you, but in a different show…So I wrote this show called REDHEAD, which was commercially successful, and I was able to tour it, so it was this interesting experience of having an objective writing process for the first time, and having that do really well, cause it was about Lucille Ball and all these redheads and had all these show tunes-

EP: Oh, so it was about redheaded women?

MA: Yeah

EP: Oh, that’s a good idea.

MA: Yes, cause I grew up in a town called Redhead, in Newcastle, and I have red hair bla bla bla, so I did this show about Redheads-

EP: There’s a town called Redhead?

MA: Yeah, Redhead beach.

EP: That’s fucking hilarious.

MA: Yeah, right?

EP: That’s a great idea.

MA: It was a great idea, so now this next piece, is hopefully going to take what I learnt in both of those quite different processes, and-

EP: So what was CAUTION: Aggressive Birds about?

MA: It was about women throughout history who were ‘bad’.

EP: Ah. I was hoping it was about magpies and cassowaries. Have you been to Daintree Rainforest?

MA: No

EP: In the Daintree there’s signs that warn you about cassowaries, cause I always thought, you know, cassowaries were rare-

MA: They’re like the emu ones!

EP: They’re small, kinda like a dinosaur, almost. And they’re very shy and everything, but this was like ‘CAUTION: Cassowaries can attack you if they get frightened or startled’ and I was like f*** that’s scary – can you imagine being attacked by a cassowary??!

MA: That’s a show

EP: Damn it. You need to go back and do it over.

(laughter)

Where to from here?

MA: So now, you are on a fancy big TV Show (Channel Ten’s Offspring), and starring in our show with Opera Australia, so what’s left for you the artist to do in terms of the next ten – twenty years? The stuff that’s still on the mountain that you wanna tick off the goal list?

EP: Well, it always kinda goes (gestures with hands from top to bottom, as though in a list) writing first, and then performing…

MA: Writing’s your favourite?

EP: Yeah, writing my own stuff, and then performing my own stuff, and then performing other people’s stuff, and then…chilling out or whatever…so, um, I wanna write more musicals so definitely on the cards-

MA: I imagine that is like writing a cabaret times a thousand, in all it’s challenges and joys…

EP: Yeah, it’s f***ing full on, so Shane Warne: The Musical took 3 years to write. I didn’t know that at the time, so now writing a musical is really hard to start, cause I just think-

MA: My kids are going to be in high school before I finish this?

EP: Yeah…but I also think I could be more efficient in writing, quicker, but it’s about finding time to write, you know, because writing the first bit of it is… if you want autonomy, you can’t take anyone else’s money.

MA: So, you don’t go to other people for money until you’re ready to hand it over?

EP: Well the first draft is pretty important to get it done yourself, because you go ‘I’ve got this idea’ and it’s hard for people to imagine it until you go ‘I’ve got this idea, and it sounds like this’

MA: So, what enticed you to do South Pacific? As opposed to staying home and writing, I guess.

EP: Um… one was cause the idea was brought up to me, you know, do you wanna do South Pacific, we think you’d be really really good for it…and I didn’t know, I mean I know the music, but I didn’t know the show, I’d never seen the movie or anything, I’d never seen a stage production of it, I just knew the songs, because you can’t not know the songs. And I really like what Opera Australia is doing, with this whole commercial arm, and part of me was like, I want to be part of that and see what that’s about. The other part was, that I had no idea whether I could do a role in a big commercial musical, alongside people who are big commercial musical performers and be able to hold my own. I thought it can’t be philosophically any different from any other show, but I’d never experienced it, so I wanted to know, what that experience was like, so that I could then make an informed decision about whether that is something I ever want to do again-

MA: Is it?

EP: Yeah, I reckon I’d do it again, but I don’t think I can do years of it.

MA: No. It was definitely on my to-do list, but I don’t know if I could do the same show for years on end.

EP: Yeah

MA: I think of those company members in Cats who did it on the West End for like 10 years … I don’t know how they didn’t wake up and shoot themselves.

EP: Yeah, cause it kinda goes against the reason I got into this in the first place. And the rehearsal – I mean there were some unexpected amazing things in rehearsal, I mean, I really enjoyed working with Bartlett and all the American team.

MA: Agree.

EP: It was great to see what they were like

MA: They were really unexpectedly inspiring for me too, cause I… I guess I had a preconceived notion that it would just be like, ‘stand there and do that’ cause that’s what I had been forewarned it was like doing the big shows, and I have only done small cast shows, where we all had very integral roles-

EP: Yep

MA: So this is the first one for me where it’s like ‘whoa, the set’s so pretty’ which is a whole other thing

EP: Oh yeah. Just to do something with high production values, that has a lot of money behind it, that’s in a big theatre, that’s a big legitimate musical, that’s-

MA: -Opera Australia! At the Opera House!

EP: Right. So, it’s just an area I haven’t worked in. Kinda been a bit indie. And then to know for myself that that is something I can do, and then decide whether or not it’s something I’d ever want to do again, rather then just… You know, you can have a million and one views about what it’s like from the outside, but you’ve got to try from the inside to know what it’s really about.

MA: Yep.

EP: I think we’ve been very lucky with the culture of this show, and the cast-

MA: I’m told we are.

EP: Yeah, I’ve heard some pretty scary stuff.

MA: Me too. So we’re amazingly lucky…

Art and Life – together

MA: Um, there’s one more thing I want to ask you about, which is inspired by your colleague on Offspring, Clare Bowditch, who chats a lot on her website and in interviews about how to juggle your artistry with the whole kids and partner thing. And whilst this interview is not expressly to discuss personal stuff, I did want to ask you – how has having a family effected how you are able to work and create? Because I think we artists can feel like, almost like we’re ‘not allowed’ to have that, like we have to choose or something between our art and family…

EP: Yeah

MA: I have this internal battle about how I can be selfish in my work in a positive way, when I need to be unselfish in this other way.

EP: Yeah… but I think it is different for women. Cause you know, we don’t actually have to be pregnant and then have to have time away from work to have the baby. Like, (Eddie’s wife) Lucy and I had our baby in the middle of shooting Offspring, and I think I missed two days of shooting-

MA: Amazing

EP: But Lucy has obviously been off work for two months, so she’s had to make a kind of sacrifice, a massive sacrifice with her work, and it’s her support that allows me to do what I do, but then there are massive impacts in that it’s just pretty difficult to go and see anything, you know, and that’s a big part of being an artist, seeing what other people are up to…I don’t see any films, hardly see any plays or musicals anymore, or music gigs, you know, it’s got to be planned and then you’re paying for a babysitter, so I’m not in that world as much. You have to be really efficient with time. It’s just harder. I used to spend ages just…drinking wine and watching gigs, and smoking pot and jamming and you know, sitting around writing all day and sleeping in.

MA: How do you find time now to write? Do you set time?

[pull_right]you put your kids in childcare, and you go, well, childcare is costing me $75 for the day, so I need to write at least $75 worth of material or my business is losing money[/pull_right]

EP: You’ve got to just go, ‘today I am writing from here to here’, and then you got to do it. Even if the kids are screaming, you’ve got to stay doing it. Or you put your kids in childcare, and you go, well, childcare is costing me $75 for the day, so I need to write at least $75 worth of material or my business is losing money. And it becomes a little bit like that. And that’s not really a bad thing. That’s good. It makes you do it. It just becomes work. And I don’t waste as much time, you know, hung over or sleeping, or procrastinating anymore, I just kinda do stuff. And it’s good. I think I’m much more efficient. I have less time, but I’m more constructive with the time that I got. It’s that thing that keeps people in the performing arts…you seem to delay everything because you don’t know. You don’t know where you’re going to be working, you’re terrified to take a holiday – cause you don’t know if you’re going to miss out on a job or if you come back that you’ll never get money ever again. You’re scared to go away cause all of a sudden you get forgotten about. You have a baby, you’re going to disappear. It’s just that thing where you think, f*** you got to live your life too.

MA: Human first.

EP: Yeah, it’s hard, but you got to have a life, so who knows the answer to that. It becomes harder, so you’ve just got to work harder. But yeah, you should totally have kids.

MA: (belly laughter)

Marika Aubrey is an Australian performer and writer. Visit www.marikaaubrey.com for news and updates

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Marika has written 23 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

Follow Marika: @MarikaAubrey