On the Couch with Bass G Fam

Bass G Fam AAR On the CouchWho is Bass G Fam?
A passionate story teller. A dreamer. An eccentric creative director. Originally from a fine arts background, I run a creative agency; Bass Fam Creative, as well as writing, directing and producing theatre shows. The shows are predominantly dance based, fusing multiple dance genres with burlesque & circus.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Not much… from a young age I knew I needed to be in a creative field. However, I always thought though that I would end up a doctor, as that was the cultural norm and expectations. Luckily, I realised shortly after college that a knife and scalpel were not the tools for me and I subsequently swapped them out for a paintbrush and Wacom tablet. LUCKILY!!

Who inspires you and why?
The people around me, the day to day interactions, my friends and family, the big loves of my life and the ones that broke my heart. Humans are fascinating, contradictory beings… with layers of emotion. Therein lies the basis of a lot of the stories that I tell through my art.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Remind people constantly to be good humans. Be kind to each other – it takes a lot less effort and energy to be nice and be the source of happiness for those around you. This might be in the form of small gestures, compliments, sometimes just being a good listener. Life can be pretty hard so just being there for each other helps make the world a better place. Another thing I aim to do is to inspire people, inspire the next generation of creatives… inspire them to create.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A close tie between Barcelona and Dubai. Barcelona for its vibe, its art, its culture and the food. I visited Barcelona a few years ago and it captured my heart – from admiring the magnificence of Gaudi’s architecture to getting lost in all the little side streets and markets sampling the tapas and drinking way too much sangria all day! Dubai because it speaks to my Arabic heritage. The contrast of the old and the new here is breathtaking, fusing old world Dubai with all its traditions and cultures to the modern westernized Dubai, with its sky scrapers and world class resorts – dancing the night away by the beach to Arabic music was a definite highlight.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Depends on the friends and where they are visiting from. Miss Marple’s in Sassafras is usually a go to – warm scones with cream and jam, especially in winter! The drive up is always beautiful and serene. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum everyone that knows me knows I love a good shisha session (a hookah pipe). For those who don’t know what it is it sounds a lot worse than what it actually is. It is dried fruits, that you smoke through a water pipe, and before you ask … it is completely legal! There are a few shisha bars around Melbourne that I would usually take friends to; smoking shisha, eating Arabic food, talking and laughing for hours all whilst listening to Arabic music in the background.

What are you currently reading?
Hans Christian Andersen Tales translated by Jean Hersholt. I just finished The Little Mermaid chapter and it is definitely not the Disney tale we grew up with, on the contrary it is quite dark and bleak but entertaining non the less.

What are you currently listening to?
Mozart’s Requiem – Confutatis… love the drama in it. And now that that’s finished I am now listening to a classical Egyptian song; Sawah by the iconic Abdel Halim. My taste in music is very eclectic… my friends would use a different adjective there, but for now let’s just stick to eclectic.

Happiness is?
Happiness is a hug from an audience member moved by an act in one of our shows. It’s a father coming up to me to thank me for opening his eyes to something he hadn’t seen before through Matador. Happiness is the thank you that we get from audiences who have left what may have been a hard day behind and allowed us to entertain them, to move them and to take their minds off their worries. Happiness is one of our dancers coming to tell me that they have been booked for an amazing gig as a result of someone seeing them shine on our stages. Happiness is knowing you are on the right path and that you are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment of time.

What does the future hold for you?
World Domination! No not really, but also yes… I want to take our art around the world. I work with some incredible dancers and performers who deserve for audiences around the world to see them shine. Matador and Mansion (as well as the third show that we have not announced yet) will tour the world before taking up residencies in my own theatre. A theatre that will also act as an entertainment hub and performance space for up and coming artists and independent shows, to allow more young creatives the opportunities to collaborate and create. A theatre that will stand long after I am gone. Told you I am a dreamer!

Bass has written, directs and performs in MANSION – The Experience at the historic Labassa Mansion until 3 November 2019. For bookings, visit: www.ticketmaster.com.au for details.

Image: Bass G Fam (supplied)