On the Couch with Carolyn Bock

Carolyn Bock AAR On the CouchWho is Carolyn Bock?
As a kid I adored fairy stories, magic, make believe, dancing – all of those thing. As an adult I still dwell in all of those realms! They have manifested into my work now as an actor, co Founder of The Shift Theatre, Artistic Associate at Rollercoaster Theatre, teacher, mentor, Mum.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I don’t have any memories without the arts in my life. I have never wanted to do anything else. Except one short flirtation when I thought I might like to be a vet. The healing Arts fascinate me. Natural medicine maybe would probably something I’d consider. Might still get to that at some point.

Who inspires you and why?
People inspire me. Singular stories. I love listening to people’s journeys, how they travel through life. I am inspired particularly by women’s stories,at this moment in time, four women in particular. The women of Hallowed Ground – Women Doctors in war. Real stories on active service over the past century.

My grown-up children inspire me with their social conscience, and being. Children inspire me with their spontaneity their wonder and their discovery. People I work with inspire me. I am always surprised at the innovation and creativity of theatre makers, film makers etc. Listening to people who really are deeply committed to actively working at a grassroots level to bring about change for humanity. Mother Nature-always.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
“What am I doing to contribute?” There is a big part of who I am that desires to make some kind of difference somewhere at some point. At that grassroots level – there are many of us that feel that way. Hopefully telling diverse stories, bringing awareness to women’s stories… My message would be – stay curious, empower children to explore, one story at a time. Be kind, listen without judgment, make a difference on a daily basis by contributing in a small creative ways,even if it it’s just getting more efficient at recycling. If you have plenty – SHARE IT!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Snow. Open fire. Family. I’d love to take my family to Moscow in the middle of winter to meet my friends and stay in the forest in their Dacha. Visiting one of my brothers in Singapore because it’s been a while! Getting up to Queensland to hang out with my niece and nephew because I’m the only one in the family who hasn’t been to their farm. My husband and I once did a weekend in Melbourne, (we live 20 mins from city). We stayed in a hotel and wandered the streets and alleys for a weekend, highly recommended!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
So flowing on… that would be great to do with a friend, inner Melbourne. So much to see… my favorite place is the Block Arcade (Collins Street). I am a mosaic fan. Food! Goes without saying. Healesville Sanctuary definitely, particularly international friends. It’s a favorite of mine from childhood. Mornington Peninsula, walks along the sand of the wild back beaches and the gorgeous drives around Main Ridge and Arthur’s Seat.

What are you currently reading?
The Dust of Nineveh by Mary Kent Hughes. She wrote this novel in 1946 after two years service as a specialist radiologist with the British Army. Set in Iraq during WWII, while its billed as fiction, her observations are no doubt directly informed by her own active service. ‘Mary’ is the character I am playing in Hallowed Ground at the Carlton Courthouse. Her other books, Matilda Waltzes with the Tommies and Matilda Waltzes on have been recent reads. I find that my reading is more often than not directly connected to a character or current project I am working on.

What are you currently listening to?
Nils Frahm, Olaf Arnaud and Lisa Gerrard. I am listening out for music for my next visit to rural Victoria, creating theatre with Hawkesdale P12 College. Ok ok ok… there’s an Abba disc in my car. I like Waterloo.

Happiness is?
Family dinners, friends, good conversation. Travel. Chocolate. Coffee. Delicious food. A good night’s sleep. Ugg boots. Gardens. Making art.

What does the future hold for you?
In the immediate future, the first season of Hallowed Ground with our company The Shift Theatre. Helen Hopkins and myself founded The Shift Theatre in 2009. This is our second collaboration as writers. Further afield, touring, laying the foundation for working with Interaction Ensemble in Moscow.

New visions and projects with Rollercoaster Theatre and an artists in residence with a rural school in country Victoria. I’m excited by what I don’t know-the blank canvas of the things to come! Ideally, more acting work, more writing, TV would be nice – it’s an interesting beast and I’d like to get it right… On the wish list… A holiday with family. Finding a little country retreat somewhere to kick back and call our own.

Carolyn stars as Mary in The Shift Theatre’s production of Hallowed Ground at the La Mama Courthouse: 8 – 19 August 2018. For more information, visit: www.lamama.com.au for details.

Image: Carolyn Bock (supplied)

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