On the Couch with Anni Davey

Anni Davey AAR On the CouchWho is Anni Davey?
Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. When asked for my general job title (passport applications and such) I wonder what to put. Director? Then people will think I’m Gail Kelly from Westpac, or Jodie Foster maybe – that wouldn’t be so bad! A lot of people think I’m the sympathetic English teacher from Summer Heights High. I’m not. That’s my identical twin sister Maude. If you see me on telly it’s not me, it’s Maude!

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I could, would I change anything? No! Even the accidents have had such significant positive outcomes. If I could have had my heart broken less? Yes! If I could have disappointed people less? Yes! I wish I hadn’t let the dog sleep on my bed when he was a puppy! If I had had my first child earlier in my life I would have had more children for sure.

Who inspires you and why?
My daughter inspires me to keep alive, to keep active, to keep trying to change things up. My students inspire me to stay current, to understand what things affect them significantly, and to find out what they want to say. My friends inspire me because they are brilliant artists. Audiences inspire me to keep doing it and to keep trying to find new ways to communicate with them. It always changes.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? What can I do?
If I could I would replace all competitive contact sports in schools with circus training. I believe that we would see a reversal of bullying statistics, a significant decrease in anxiety diagnosis in school-aged children, and a reduction in obesity in young people if we did that small thing only! You can – go and see (and pay for a ticket to) the next circus show that comes your way, be it a family circus or an experimental contemporary acrobatic ensemble. You will be amazed and entertained!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The WA Circus Festival in Karridale in south west Western Australia. My happy place is on a trapeze or next to it with some people ready to experiment with what’s possible. No distractions! (and my mum lives up the road in Rosa Brook so I can go ‘home’ every night!)

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them for a float on the Murray around the corner at Noreuil Park. When I moved here I had no idea what people were talking about when they invited me to join them for ‘a float’ (I thought it was maybe some concoction involving lemonade and ice cream). It’s so refreshing, and so Albury!

What are you currently reading?
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, and rereading The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy… but not very much reading gets done as I tend to fall asleep…

What are you currently listening to?
Bec Matthews and the Winky Wonky Band featuring young members of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus ensemble! Also L-FRESH the LION and Aldous Harding.

Happiness is?
A day off with enough time to walk the dogs properly and cook a decent meal.

What does the future hold for you?
I wish – a simple life, a government that takes climate change seriously and makes significant steps to reduce the impact of the Australian population on the world, that listens to the history and traditions of our First Nations People in order to achieve that. I hope – that I will see a time when my daughter can genuinely aspire to all the things. I think – that I will keep making shows, that the government will continue to obfuscate, and things will get worse before they get better.

Anni is the Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus – who are celebrating their 40th year and presenting the Borderville Circus Festival from 4 December 2019. For more information, visit: www.fruitflycircus.com.au for details.

Image: Anni Davey (supplied)