On the Couch with Adam Deusien

Adam Deusien AAR On the CouchWho is Adam Deusien?
A theatre director, physical-theatre maker, and writer, Artistic Director of Bathurst-based interdisciplinary performance company Lingua Franca and, this year, Arts Program Director for Artstate 2018 – NSW’s regional arts festival and conference. I spent most of my childhood growing up in Darwin and have now been out in the Central West for 11 years in the last 14, so definitely a small town/small city boy at heart.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I would have learnt to listen earlier. As young artists I feel we are taught to focus so much on our own voice, define who we are as soon as possible, but in my experience that comes so much easier when the artist slows down and really pays attention to what is outside them, and to really, actually listen.

Who inspires you and why?
Truly resilient people. Ambition, talent, good intentions… they don’t matter if you can’t withstand what the world will throw your way.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Tell better stories. Story is such a powerful and dominant commodity globally at the moment, and I think every artist and storyteller really needs to understand the impact and function of what they are doing in the world. Audiences are more narrative-literate than ever, so we owe it them to make work with real value.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I can’t remember when I last travelled that wasn’t for work! I spent four days in Montreal in March, and could spend another few weeks there.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?

If it’s warm enough, Sofala – one of a couple of spots along the Turon River. If you’ve never had a summer swim in an inland river you’re missing out!

What are you currently reading?
Borne by Jeff Vandermeer; it’s delicious contemporary sci-fi post-apocalyptic literature.

What are you currently listening to?
Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae – one of those complete albums that’s astonishing from track one right until the end. I do a lot of country driving and this one has been sitting in my car’s CD player for months!

Happiness is?
Sunshine and a doggo. Inland winters can be punishing so a bit of light, heat and a pup always make it easier.

What does the future hold for you?
I have no idea! I would never have predicted that I would be directing the state’s regional arts festival this year, but I’m so grateful for the gig. I’ve never been one to do those X-year plan things, but I work hard, follow my interests, follow up on things and let the path reveal itself.

Adam is the Arts Program Director for Artstate 2018 – which takes place in Bathurst: 1 – 4 November. For more information, visit: www.artstate.com.au for details.

Image: Adam Deusien (supplied)