On the Couch with Ebony Vagulans

Ebony Vagulans AAR On the CouchWho is Ebony Vagulans? 
Ha! Depends on the time of day. Most consistently an actress from Sydney. NIDA graduate from a couple of years back. And advocate for dance breaks in your laundry.

What would do differently to what you do now?
Spend a lot less time plugged in. It’s very enticing to have your whole life underscored with a dope album or podcast. Especially when that entertainment is drowning out an onslaught of information you don’t agree with or consider useless. But it’s not productive living in a bubble. As a citizen it may be comfortable but it can lead to a dangerous ignorance of your fellow humans. And as a performer it’s like missing out on hours of observational research daily. Also, give up the smokes.

Who inspires you and why? 
My mother Angela first and foremost, because she’s a straight up legend. She’s fearless when meeting the unknown and loves with a passion that astounds me. I always thought she was a superhero and little has proved me wrong.

Also, I’m very inspired by the women that have worked unapologetically for equality in the workplace. I’ve performed in 9 plays since the start of drama school, 7 of which had female directors, 4 with female playwrights and all with female stage managers. I know such female led environments weren’t available a couple of decades ago and wouldn’t have been for me, without the tireless work of brilliant women demanding such opportunities. Those rehearsal rooms were supportive and safe, where young female performers could discuss the complexity of femininity without fear of being shouted down. Every female artist deserves that freedom.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Close all detention centres and grant asylum to refugees. Australia has been shamed on the international stage for our immigration policies and so we should be. It’s awful that we proclaim to have ‘boundless plains to share’ yet punish people for their desperate attempts to reach them. Very un-woke. On a very local scale – cut government funding to private schools. Because it’s ridiculous. Send the money where the resources are needed rather than further assisting the privileged.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Hamilton Island. It’s like time and movement distort there. Such a beautiful and relaxing spot, plus who doesn’t want to drive gold golf buggies everywhere.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to and why? 
Shelly Beach is a favourite of mine, going for a jump off the jetty and then having a picnic in the park next to it. But for an out-of-towner you can’t beat Wendy Whiteley’s Garden in Lavender Bay. A mate took me recently and it was stunning. You get all the tourist views of the bridge and opera house but in a tranquil setting. Plus there’s heaps of stuff to discover there.

What are you currently reading? 
Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera. I highly recommend it.

What are you currently listening to?
A fair amount of 70s rock at the moment.

Happiness is?
A good cuddle.

What does the future hold for you? 
At the moment, I’m rehearsing a new play called Flight Paths for the National Theatre of Parramatta. Which I’m very excited to share with Sydney audiences. Later in year, I’ll be heading to the Ensemble Theatre to rehearse the Australian premiere of Luna Gale. Apart from that I’ll be doing a lot of writing, with the intention to produce my own work.

Ebony stars as Luisa in the National Theatre of Parramatta’s world premiere season of Flight Paths by Julian Larnach at the Riverside Theatres from 16 March 2018. For more information, visit: www.riversideparramatta.com.au for details.

Image: Ebony Vagulans