An early christmas present... I am in this months Cosmo South Africa as a Fun Fearless Female... check it out... and vote if you like. How exciting... I had my shoot with Olympic Kayaker, Bridgette Hartley and Chartered Accountant, Kashveera Chanderjith. I'm reminded of the questions they asked and here are my full answers... for even more fearless fun. Of course I said way too much.
1. What do you think makes a woman awesome?
Earrings. Painted toenails. Fabulous shoes. And a career she’s passionate about.
2. What’s your personal motto?
Get up. If you wait for divine inspiration you never will. We’re all improvising. And it starts by getting up.
3. What has been your greatest career highlight?
It’s a small story that really impacted me and has stayed with me… My very first play ‘Weekend Special’ had a performance at Northcliff High School. This was the first public school we’d managed to get into… each student had paid their fee and we were on. Yay. So we arrived and set up and they swarmed in. Loads of them. As usual I went to the front to introduce the play to this sea of school kids who simply would not keep quiet. Eventually I just stood there while the teachers tried to get them to pipe down… no luck. So I thought oh well here we go, and we just started the play in all the noise. Within about five minutes you could hear a pin drop in the hall and at the end when they clapped it sounded like rain. One of the teachers came up to me and said she’d never seen that before in all her years of being a teacher. And I thought… that’s theatre. Then of course all the brilliant people I have worked with over the years... Nick Warren, James Cuningham, Helen Iskander, James Cairns, Janni Younge, Deborah Da Cruz, Roberto Pombo, Toni Morkel, Hamilton Dhlamini, James Borthwick, Yule Mabhena, Ellis Pearson... and the list goes on.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your business so far?
Collaborate with people you think are brilliant. For me there are many people to mention… but my main collaborator is Nick Warren. He is the best scriptwriter I know – and I happen to be married to him. What a luck. He’s written two of the plays I’ve directed, ‘Dirt’ and ‘Sunday Morning’ and we are working on our third one ‘The River Rope.’ He also edited the plays I have written myself. We fight quite a lot… but the work is better for it. And that’s really all that matters. That and being right of course!
5. Who are some of your idols?
The directors Julie Taymor and Baz Luhrmann - their theatre is cinematic and their cinema is theatrical… Across the Universe, Frida, Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge… that’s all I’m saying.
6. What couldn’t you live without?
A hair band around my wrist. A red clown nose in my bag. A café latte in the morning.
7. If your house was burning, what three things would you rescue first?
Besides my cats who would no doubt have long ago hot footed through the cat flap yelling ‘everyone for themselves.’ It would be my Hasbeens mint green 50’s style high heel shoes. They rock. My bag full of theatre masks which I made whist studying theatre in Italy earlier this year. They’re not just masks – they are like my friends – characters I’ve gotten to know. And then, my wedding dress. Lame. But it’s true. I love it. Luckily it’s not a meringue special – it’s an Abigail Betz antique pink tulle tutu dress, which is patiently waiting in my cupboard for the next Mrs Havisham dress up party.
8. Do you have any celebrity style icons?
I’d say Zooey Deschanel. She’s cool. But this is mostly based on the characters she plays. I love the mad quirkiness of their style.
9. Who / what inspires you the most?
Right now… Matteo Destro. He is an Italian theatre director and mask-maker. He is also currently my teacher in Florence. He is a creative genius. He talks about theatre through the process of mask making… The idea that there are poetic landscapes waiting to be revealed if you are brave enough to go there. It is not enough to simply say your lines and execute the blocking. You have to push further and go deeper. ‘…It’s good. But it’s not enough.’ He says in his brilliant broken English. He makes me want to be a better artist.
10. What advice do you have for young women in SA?
My art teacher used to say on a regular basis… ‘Ladies in life you can be anything but boring.’ And also, ‘If you want to take a photograph use a camera not a paintbrush.’ Two pieces of advise I’ve kept close.