On the Couch with Catherine Crowley

Catherine CrowleyWho is Catherine Crowley?
I’m an actor, improviser and musician, creating work in Canberra where I live and breathe. My passions drive me and the work I do. I’m a sentimental romantic at heart.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Nothing! I made a huge life decision about 5 years ago to step out of my comfort zone and onto a stage and I haven’t looked back. Leaving a full-time teaching position to pursue a life that I was trying to inspire in my students was the best decision I have ever made. I just hope I continue to inspire, even though I no longer stand at the front of the room.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by those around me. My family inspires me as do my beautiful friends in Canberra who in one way or another are pursuing their own creative dreams. Authenticity is really important to me too and it’s this voice that I find myself drawn to most. Musicians like Amanda Palmer and actors like Toni Collette have incredibly authentic voices on and off stage.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would continue to create works that challenge people’s perceptions. I apply this philosophy to my own life as well. I hope that we can always be better versions of ourselves. Sometimes the only change we can make in the world is to change ourselves.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My family farm “Budgeree”. This beautiful big house is nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains and of course my family. Returning to the land speaks to me and I enjoy taking the time to watch life.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
In Canberra we have attractions coming out of our ears but the one place I tell people they cannot leave Canberra without visiting is the Australian War Memorial. It’s a beautiful, solemn place which gives space to reflect on our history. It’s also a place that I feel I can connect with my own history as my Great Great Uncle’s name is on the wall. The Street Theatre is another special place in Canberra where I love to work, play and watch.

What are you currently reading?
Outback Heroines is a beautiful book with true stories from the outback. I’m reading it in preparation for my upcoming show, hoping to capture some of the qualities which make these women so resilient and see them reflected in the women in our show.

What are you currently listening to?
Also in preparation for this show I’m listening to music that was heard in Australia at the turn of the 20th century. I love this music. It’s so nostalgic and heart-felt.

Happiness is?
Letting your wall down and laughing with someone you truly trust.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m not sure. I try and live for the moment.

Catherine Crowley is an actress and theatre-maker in Canberra, and through Impro ACT, has directed and performed in many shows. Her directorial pieces have included self-devised Improvised shows; Triptych and The Office. Recently she won best director in the short play festival Short and Sweet.

Catherine’s last scripted performance was in a piece of theatre called In Loco Parentis – written by Helen Machalias and directed by Andrew Holmes. In her spare time Cathy works for the Starlight Foundation as Captain Starlight and performs in a band called Sparrow-Folk.

Catherine is currently co-producing and performing in her latest project, The Home Front at Canberra’s The Street Theatre until 28 June. For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.

Image: Catherine Crowley