On the Couch with André Jewson

AAR-OTC-Andre-Jewson-photo-by-Sarah-WalkerWho is André Jewson?
You’ve put the hardest question first! Umm… Actor, sometimes dreamer. That’s what I’ve always had on my Instagram profile. Ha! But I think it actually kinda fits.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Oh, so many things! I’d like to be more disciplined. I often find myself thinking things will probably just work out and then getting quite stressed when – lo and behold – they don’t. So, discipline. Routine.

You’d think years of being self employed would’ve forced a routine on me, but the flip side of that are the years of career/life/financial uncertainty and I think they’ve made their mark on my habits. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I’d like to think I’ve learned from them. And I’d like to think I’m a better person because of them.

Who inspires you and why?
Ariane Mnouchkine, James Thiérrée, Robert Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush. They are all gifted and singular in their crafts. I saw Andrew Garfield in Angels in America on Broadway and he was unbelievably good. I’m inspired by those through whom I am able to experience something intangible. Something, well, inspired.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I feel like theatre, in its way, can make a difference. I think if it allows people to receive something with empathy, if it reveals some kind of truth, if it allows people to experience the joy of creativity and a sense of connectedness, then it makes a difference.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Paris – I lived there for close to two years and never tired of it. I love going back.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love to take people down along the Great Ocean Road. Spend the day driving from place to place, stopping off at the wild beaches or the forests or the waterfalls. There’s so much natural beauty down this way.

What are you currently reading?
Nothing other than the script for Mountain! My brain can’t handle any more words and there are a lot of them to get on top of. So it’s Kit Brookman and only Kit Brookman at the moment!

What are you currently listening to?
Poetry Unbound – a podcast from On Being Studios. Host Pádraig Ó Tuama is wonderful. I find him deeply insightful. Poetry has always been relatively mysterious to me, but Pádraig wrestles with it and bursts it open in quite profound ways. Highly recommended!

Happiness is?
I take it back, this is the hardest question. I think what it comes down to is love, to be honest. Loving, being loved. Being truly, really, honestly connected with people. Being in front of an audience in that magic place of flow, knowing that whatever I’m doing is working. Discovering ways forward in a rehearsal room. Being able to talk openly with a trusted friend. A glass of red wine in front of the fire. So many things.

What does the future hold for you?
I wish I knew. Uncertainty is something I’ve become quite used to. After many years of transience, I’m actually really enjoying settling back into my home in Geelong. So in the near future I can foresee lots of painting of walls, (which means lots of umm-ing and aah-ing over colours), lots of planting, lots of buying of household essentials.

As for my career, that’s a very open question for the time being. I’ll be heading away with The Lion King later in the year for a month or so, but that’s all I know for certain. After years of touring internationally, I’m actually really looking forward to being a bit more settled and working a bit more in Australia.

I hope Mountain will have another life. I hope Kit and I will make something else together. Maybe not another solo though. One’s probably enough for now!

André has Co-Created and Performs in Mountain – a new solo work by Writer / Director Kit Brookman – which will be presented at the Geelong Arts Centre in a world premiere season from 21 – 25 June 2022. For more information, visit: www.geelongartscentre.org.au for details.

Image: André Jewson – photo by Sarah Walker