On the Couch with Callan Colley

Callan-Colley-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Callan Colley?
An ambitious, free, mixed boy who loves connecting with people, raised in Perth and doesn’t expect anything he has now to be there tomorrow. And also finds it amusing to write in 3rd person. Like that wasn’t actually him who just wrote that – or this, right now. I believe that it costs nothing to be kind.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Take more time to tell the people in my life whom I love, that I love, appreciate and am proud of them. I’d also like to spend more time nurturing my relationships – with my family and friends, right now I’m hyper focused on my career and business goals.

Who inspires you and why?
My family. And to be clear, family to me – is more than blood. Family are the ones who choose us and love us unconditionally. The ones we share silent unspeakable memories with. My family is beautifully mixed – just like me. My mum always tells me that I was raised by a village. And when I think about who I am and who, in each moment I aspire to be.

I’m emboldened by the village of incredible dreamers, innovators, champions and leaders I grew up around – I’m proud to admit that here I stand, on the shoulders of my family – those who have gone before me and lead by example, daring to step out in courage and create opportunities for myself and others, opportunities that they themselves never had.

My family inspires me by daring me to be different. To lead with my heart, and to ultimately leave a legacy of kindness that helps those around me move forward with purpose and impact. Because of my family, I’m inspired to create space for those on the come up. That perhaps the greatest measure of a life well lived, is indicated by the lives around us that we positively impact in our brief moment of time on this planet.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be less afraid of what people might think about my vision, dreams and creations and find the courage to share everything I have at scale – without the fear of being ridiculed by small minded individuals who aren’t ready for my perspective. The next iteration of war will be one with our voice – and I plan on doing my best to use mine.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Iran. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The people, the culture, the history, the warmth, the landscape and so much more make Iran a must-visit destination that I hope many more people will get the chance to experience. Truly one of the most memorable holiday destinations of my life. Don’t believe me, go there and prove me wrong. Read less – experience more, you may just be surprised.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well, I grew up in Perth, am based in Sydney and I’ve only really been down to Melbourne whilst working on shows – and most days I’m in the rehearsal room. So I’d probably have to check out some ‘must-do-lists’ online and then pretend like I ‘discovered’ this dope little spot to take them to.

Although, I did wander around the NGV on my day off and checked out the Picasso exhibition that they’ve got going on (highly recommend) – so I’d probably throw that out there for them and then meet up afterwards for a sugar hit from Pidapipo and grab some hot chips and a bev at by the water at the Waterslide Bar.

What are you currently reading?
Practical Korean: Speak Korean Quickly and Effortlessly – so you know… not everyone’s cup of tea. But I’ve been having a great time and can now read Korean (albeit very slowly – and would probably be outpaced by a 3-yr-old) so still have a ways to go. But I’m at where I’m at, and that’s exactly where I need to be, so it’s fun. This came about after I read Atomic Habits by James Clear earlier in the year which for me was game changing. And in it, one of the things he talks about is that when you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do (I found this for you if you wanted to read a little more on it www.jamesclear.com) and have since applied it to me learning Korean for that last few months.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been listening to a bunch of work from mixed race artists – which has been a vibe. Since being down here in Melbourne it’s mostly sounded a little something like music from… Logic – when I hit my workouts (and then I hit ‘radio’ on Spotify off of him). Loyle Carner – for my evening skate around the Melbourne streets (and then I hit ‘radio’ on Spotify off of him also). And a blend of Okenyo and the Acoustic Soul Spotify Playlist – whilst I meal prep.

Happiness is?
Gratitude overflowing. Something we need to make space for. I like to think of it as an energy – a force delivering a unique experience in each moment for you, and also for me. I don’t think happiness should be comparable – it’s a gift. And especially not something we can or should ever attempt to measure based on a 1080 x 1920 digital post published at the right algorithmic time with a digestible caption in the hopes that people will validate us and our current state of being. A place labeled that of expression – yet capped and limited by pixel dimensions, word counts and influential pretension.

Happiness is limitless. A byproduct of gratitude. It’s not something we have to search for, it’s an energy we need to make space for. Let gratitude fill you up and watch the overflow turn to happiness as your soul overflows. Easier said than done though, I’m needing to work on this daily. But I find solace knowing that I don’t have to search for happiness, I just have to remember that it’s already within. What a gift.

What does the future hold for you?
Your guess is probably as good as mine. It seems foolish to expect anything beyond today – things seem to change so rapidly. But between now and the end of the year, currently it’s looking a little something like; Acting – Business – Travel. Passion – Service – Freedom. Doing my best to live my life, aligned with those above (my core) values.

I’ve been working closely with my team (over at X Division), where we’re on a mission to see me take to the stage with each of the Main Stage Theater companies here in Australia – before making the leap to tackle the West End. So, the day after Anna K closes here at the Malthouse, I’ll be on a flight and walking into another rehearsal room with another company on the list – but the company hasn’t made the announcement public yet, so that’s probably all that I can say on that.

In 2018 I founded a company called Actors Kit – which is an online store for creatives where I designed and produced the world’s first Self-Taping (audition from home) Kit. Since then, we’ve managed to foster an online community of nearly 18,000 actors from around the globe – with the sole mission to connect with people so that they can be present in their power, helping them move forward… as I’ve been inspired to also do, with purpose and impact – irrespective of their socioeconomic background.

And so, in these final months of 2022, we’re gearing up to launch some new products; A Motivational Card Pack for artists – where I brought on a Sydney based illustrator/ actor to help dish up some really cool artwork and will also serve as a flagship product to create a fund to support artists in need here in Australia.

Also, I’m excited to drop a new crease-free backdrop to help actors with darker skin tones, mainly those from the African and black diaspora – helping them really pop on screen in their audition tapes – because currently, there are no options available and the audition system is mainly geared towards lighting/ filming lighter skin actors, so before 2022 is out, with Actors Kit I’ll have created a better system for more actors to succeed.

And lastly, once that’s done I’m planning to head away for a few weeks to reset, refocus and recalibrate to keep rising and pushing the boundaries of my perceived limits and link up with one of my favourite people on the planet – so that’ll be exciting. But then again… that could all change tomorrow and that’s okay, I’ll take what I can get. Any future where I’m alive, well… that’s a gift.

Callan stars in Suzie Miller’s Anna K – which will have its world premiere season at the Malthouse Theatre from 12 August 2022. For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Callan Colley (supplied)