On the Couch with Andre de Vanny

Andre De Vanny AAR On the CouchWho is Andre de Vanny?
My name is Andre de Vanny. I have been working in Film Television and Theatre for over 15 years. After success with the Irish Monodrama Swansong in Los Angeles and New York last year I will soon return to Melbourne to perform the show once more before heading on tour around Victoria.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I am very lucky to do what I do and I wouldn’t want to do anything differently.

Who inspires you and why?
Andre Ward is an american boxer who is a real hero to me in terms of dedication, work ethic, and self belief. As an actor I am very inspired by Willem Dafoe. He is someone who has always made choices that stretch and challenge him. That kind of passion and artistic commitment is incredibly inspiring. There are so many writers and musicians and artists who have taken great risks in their lives to follow their dreams and realise their vision. They are all inspiring to me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe art has the power to make an impact, to challenge peoples perceptions, and to inspire empathy. It’s a hard thing to say in this country because it goes against the grain. But most artists in Australia live on, or below, the poverty line, so why would you go through all the financial struggle and instability if you didn’t believe it could make a difference?

I also work part time for the Starlight children’s foundation and that has been incredibly inspiring and rewarding. In that role I have learnt a lot about the power of imagination and levity within the hospital environment and witnessed first hand the healing effect that laughter can have. I would love to be able to reach people with my art in some way, to provide laughter, or catharsis, or maybe even both!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I went to Athens and the Greek Islands a few years ago and I think about it often. I’m longing to go back. Greece was amazing in it’s beauty and it’s history. On the Island of Milos in the Cyclades there is an ancient Amphitheatre behind a small fishing village called Klima. On our last day there, my girlfriend and I stumbled upon the ruin at sunset. That was pretty mind blowing. To think that in the 3rd century BC, way out on this island in the middle of nowhere, there were people milling and finding there seats and watching a show. That was an incredible thing to discover on holiday! Also, New York. I can not, ever go past New York.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well, I live in Sydney so you can’t go past the beaches and the Harbour. The Cliff walk.

What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading a Steinbeck novella called Burning Bright. As well as an amazing book of poetry by Maggie Nelson called Something Bright Then Holes. Funny titles to have side by side.

What are you currently listening to?
Lately I have been listening to a lot of Jazz. There is a great British band called Mammal Hands. I have been playing them on loop for the last 6 months.

Happiness is?
Subjective. But to me…. Nature, art, music, movement, human fascination.

What does the future hold for you?
I have some very exciting times ahead with a the tour of Swansong in Australia. I will be travelling a lot this year between the US, Europe and home. I am also working on the development of a film project at the moment.

Andre stars in Swansong – which will be presented at Theatre Works: 15 – 18 May; Latrobe Performing Arts Centre: 21 May;  Bunjil Place: 22 May; and Burrinja Theatre, Upwey: 23 May; and Kyneton Town Hall: 24 May 2019.

Image: Andre de Vanny (supplied)