On the Couch with Babs McMillan

Babs McMillan AAR On the CouchWho is Babs McMillan?
A glass of particularly fine wine… aged to perfection! Animal lover, traveller, curious enquirer of all things new. Art admirer, music lover, and still a theatre nut after 50 odd – very odd some of them – years as a jobbing actor. Which makes me very grateful for my fortunate life spent doing the only job I ever wanted to do.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Very little – I’ve always been very independent. Now – blessed with time, good friends and dear family… is time to relax and enjoy my memories, laugh at them frequently, puzzle over some! – but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Who inspires you and why?
Courage inspires me, and I see it every day – in small acts of compassion, rebellion, surrender – and in the generosity and bravery of the creative colleagues I am so fortunate to work with.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Well, if I woke up one morning as a super hero, I would bend my powers against all the tumult of the world, and see if we could finally find peace as a planet … big ask … so I simply try to be thankful for my safety and security, share what I can however I can, try not to hurt anybody – and make each day a good one. Small moments of tranquillity that may – one day – become a world wide.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Ooh … tough questions – I’ve travelled a lot through the years, and never been able to choose just one. Europe for the staggering art and music on offer, UK where I grew up and have deep roots still, wonderful cities  … Paris, Prague, London for their riches … and New York for it’s vigour and fabulous chutzpah.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well, given our Melbourne weather … St Kilda Beach for a sunset picnic, a laneways walk, any of our wonderful galleries – and depending on tastes – dinner in a great local restaurant … preferably French!

What are you currently reading?
At the moment, my focus is is firmly on Ron Elisha’s new play ROOTLESS COSMOPOLITANS, which opens at Chapel off Chapel on May 15. A challenging, funny and profound play with a fabulous cast and director that I’m proud to be a part of. Otherwise, I read anything that comes my way – new Australian writing, international authors – if it survives to the 50 page mark, it’s a keeper!

What are you currently listening to?
I listen to most types of music – but I must own to a classical preference, with the Baroque repertoire a particular favourite. Opera, music theatre … classical jazz … blues … draw the line at metal however … not for me or the neighbours!

Happiness is?
More than simply a state of mind … it’s everything in my life – I have wonderful family and friends, security, independence … happiness can be simply looking forward to a glass of good wine at the end of a successful day, anything that just makes me laugh – and working at my favourite job.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully, more of the same … I’ve had a very fortunate life. Who could ask for anything more?

Babs stars as Freda Brot in Monstrous Theatre’s production of Rootless Cosmopolitans by Ron Elisha – which will be presented at Chapel off Chapel from 15 May – 2 June 2024. For more information, visit: www.monstroustheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Babs McMillan (supplied)