On the Couch with Will O’Mahony

Will O'Mahony AAR On the Couch - photo by Steven SiewertWho is Will O’Mahony?
Gee. They don’t start easy, do they? Simply, I’m an actor, writer, and director based in Perth, WA.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m a bit like George Costanza in that I love the idea of being an architect. This is despite not having any skills or strengths relevant to the field. Over the journey I’ve wanted to do medicine, broadcasting, viticulture, vet science, pretty much anything and everything. I do wish I hadn’t given up speaking Japanese in high-school.

Who inspires you and why?
Probably my mum. She’s a pathologist working in Public Health and is just so dedicated. Also Bill Bachman – he’s an online drum teacher and his rudiments are scary. In a different way, I’m inspired by people who allow things to happen. Those people who stay out late and party even though they’ve got work the next day. Those people who have an impromptu boozy lunch. Those people who are ok with being idle and who live for the moment. Our culture seems to really value ‘busy’ people. Maybe that’s fair enough. But I love that Beckett line “It’s not every day that we are needed” and think we could all learn from it.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’m always a little suspicious of grand visions so I try to keep things simple. Practice kindness and gratitude; hold people to high standards; try and engage with and learn from people who live in different ways to me.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Western Australia’s south west has everything I need. Beautiful coasts, forests and amazing food and wine.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Kings Park – particularly on a warm winter’s day. Also any of the many Colin Barnett vanity projects to show them how not to waste a resources boom.

What are you currently reading?
Have just begun My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Only 150 pages in but the writing is so effortless. Non-fiction I’m re-reading The Outsourced Self by Arlie Russell Hochschild – there’s a writing project stuck in my head that in some way wants to explore a world where the market has completely enveloped our every waking hour.

What are you currently listening to?
The soundtrack of Assassins. But also Paul Kelly. A good friend insisted that I know nothing about Australian music if I’m not across his work. My favourite tracks as of right now: How To Make Gravy, Careless, Deeper Water, To Her Door and Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air.

Happiness is?
Cooking. Eating. Teaching. Watching the West Coast Eagles win an AFL premiership. Drumming. Reading. Settlers of Catan. Tennis. Making my 5 month old niece smile. Walking my 13 year old deaf, blind dog Dougie. And finishing the first draft of a new play before you re-read it and realize it’s shit.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve learnt not to look too far ahead. All I know is that I’ll be performing Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. Beyond that I guess I’ll be teaching part-time at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) whilst trying to convince people to keep giving me opportunities to work with them. I guess I should write something at some point. Maybe try direct something too. But I do tend to procrastinate so those things might take a backseat to gardening, roast chickens and trying to perfect my double stroke roll.

Will stars in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Assassins in the Heath Ledger Theatre for a limited season from 16 June 2018. For more information, visit: www.bsstc.com.au for details.

Image: Will O’Mahony – photo by Steven Siewert

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