Who is Charlie Cousins?
Hah! I’m still trying to work that one out myself. Conventional answer would be an actor living at the base of The Dandenongs who loves learning how to deepen his craft and life a more authentic life. But underneath all that I am a ghost driving a meat covered skeleton made of stardust riding a rock floating through space. Too deep?
What would you do differently to what you do now?
So much, but it doesn’t happen over night. I feel like we should be constantly growing and changing and learning to live more compassionate, ethical, and big-hearted lives – and that takes work but it also makes life a lot more fun. The idea that we reach some static goal of adulthood is pretty boring to me. There is so much to explore in life.
Who inspires you and why?
Actors and theatre practitioners. To continue to pursue their ephemeral and sensitive craft in such a harsh world that values rigid logic, dogma, and economics is a hugely courageous thing to do. The cast and creatives working on OIL at Red Stitch inspire me daily.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Gosh, how much time do you have. There is so much that is needed to make a difference in this world and every little bit counts – so we are all needed to step up and leave this planet in a better state than we found it. Climate restoration is obviously the major challenge of our time.
One of the big things that I am incredibly passionate about is personal and spiritual growth. If we are able to heal our childhood wounding and dysfunctional patterns and coping mechanisms to life, and refine our motives and psychological clarity with the way we approach life, then we are able to be truly mature and be more compassionate and useful members of society. A lot of the pain in the world is caused by hurt people – and hurt people hurt people.
So the more we can heal ourselves individually the more we can then extrapolate that out to heal ourselves collectively. That way we become part of the solution rather part of the problem. I’ve been studying with an amazing group called the Cosmosis Mentoring Centre for over 10 years working in this way. They are like Brene Brown and Eckhart Tolle combined and amplified tenfold. I’ve been teaching meditation classes for actors sharing some of their tools. That’s part of how I am choosing to make a difference in the world.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Driving and hiking through the highlands of Scotland along the North Coast 500 because the land is so wild, alive, and incredibly beautiful. It took my breath away.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Definitely get them to come along to OIL at Red Stitch which I am performing in at the moment with a wonderful bunch of humans. It’s an epic journey about the age of Oil and how it has changed our world.
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading a collection of Nikolai Gogol’s Short Stories for a project next year.
What are you currently listening to?
A whole bunch of Cornish accent stuff for OIL. Having lots of fun with it. Recently discovered a great accent app called The Accent Kit. Really great accent tips and not expensive.
Walking in nature with my girlfriend.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m directing a production of MARRIAGE by Nikolai Gogol end of March 2020 as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).
Charlie stars in Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s Australian premiere season of OIL by Ella Hickson – currently playing at the Cromwell Road Theatre, South Yarra until 15 December 2019. For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.
Image: Charlie Cousins (supplied)