On the Couch with Carmel Rodrigues

Carmel-Rodrigues-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Carmel Rodrigues?
Hi I’m Carmel Rodrigues. I am a singer, songwriter and performer based in Sydney. I’m the middle of five children and grew up in a loud family household of seven with two dogs to add to the chaos.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Looking back I wouldn’t change anything about my journey because it has led me to this moment and I can only look forward to what is to come. But in the future I will try to make better choices and not have a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast.

Who inspires you and why?
There are a few people who inspire me. Firstly my family. I’ve grown up surrounded by unconditional love and support. They really ground me and make me appreciate where I am and what I have. My family often use the word ‘Ohana’ from the Disney movie Stitch because Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. Another person who inspired me while growing up was P!nk. She is so couragous, authentic and confident and that’s how I would like to be. She’s an incredible performer who has inspired me on my path.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
That’s a big question because I’ve never thought that I could make a difference. I wanted to become a performer to share my passion for music and to make people happy. I believe that being in Hairspray may be a wonderful opportunity to bring joy to others. It is a chance to encourage everyone to be themselves and to be kind to others and in that small way I hope I can make a difference.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Disneyland. They say it’s ‘the happiest place on earth’. Because there were so many of us, my family rarely went to the movies, so Mum and Dad would buy the dvd and we would have family movie nights. As you can guess, a lot of them were Disney movies. A lot of my family bonding has happened over a bowl of chips and a Disney movie. They have taught me so much and I often quote them. We were fortunate enough to have a family holiday to Disney World in Florida, which in my young mind was simply magical. Looking back it was probably less about where we were and more about the experience of being together as a family.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We are blessed to live close to a national park so I would take them bushwalking and then bring them home for a great Aussie barbeque. The Australian bushland is so unique and beautiful and a wonderful place to relax.

What are you currently reading?
I’m dyslexic, which sometimes makes reading difficult for me, so instead I listen to a lot of audio books. I recently finished The Book Thief and I’m currently re-listening to Harry Potter narrated by Stephen Fry. His voice is the music of the podcast world.

What are you currently listening to?
Hairspray obviously! I already know every step, and every song but it’s such a fun show I can’t stop listening!

Happiness is?
My definition of happiness is being able to do what I love with who I love. Whether its singing, messing around with friends, or watching a movie with my family – I get great joy out of being with people and making them smile.

What does the future hold for you?
Who knows what the future holds! It could be onwards and upwards, or it could take me on a completely new path. But wherever it takes me I’m going to enjoy it. ‘If watching is all your gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without you’ (another Disney quote! Laverne the gargoyle from The Hunchback of Notre Dame), so I definitely want to live in the moment and cherish this experience. I’m very lucky to have really good friends and a cool family which I know will make my future one filled with lots of love and fun.

Carmel stars as Tracy Turnblad in the the 20th Anniversary original Broadway production of Hairspray – which officially opens at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on Monday 15 August, before playing at the Adelaide Festival Centre from December 2022, and the Sydney Lyric Theatre from February 2023. For more information, visit: www.hairspraymusical.com.au for details.

Image: Carmel Rodrigues (supplied)