On the Couch with Emily Milledge

Emily Milledge oncWho is Emily Milledge?
I am a 20 year old singer/actor who will be playing the iconic role of Carrie White in Carrie: The Musical at Chapel off Chapel.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’ve always had an interest in the brain and neuroscience. Although it seems so far from the world of performing I can understand why I find it so interesting because I’d relate it to increasing my understanding of how humans function in the world and process information as well as the link between thought and action. I love looking at specific areas of human psychology when I’m preparing for a role – with Carrie, I looked at the psychology surrounding the mother-daughter relationship and, in particular, how the child’s sense of self is impacted by what one might call a ‘narcissistic mother’.

Who inspires you and why?
Meryl Streep for her ability to transform physically and vocally to fully meet the needs of any character she takes on.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think we are constantly making a difference in the world through performance – by showing people it’s ok to feel this or that, demonstrating that they are not alone and hopefully allowing them to see themselves reflected back at them through the stories we tell. I genuinely believe that as performers, we have the ability to change an audience member’s life, even if it’s just via one fleeting moment that speaks to them on a deeply personal level  – if only Carrie White had had such an opportunity she may not have turned to ultimate darkness and destruction as a final coping mechanism!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I really love Noosa. The beach, the cafes, the national park.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I’d probably take them to the Great Ocean Road if it was in Summer. The drive along there is so stunning and it’s such a fun, vibrant place to be around that time of year.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading We Need To Talk About Kevin which funnily enough, ties in quite nicely to Carrie. The themes surrounding such extreme youth violence and destruction are very apt. There’s something so intensely sad about young people being driven to such a point of loneliness and disconnectedness with those around them that then leads them to act out in such ways.

What are you currently listening to?
Marco Beltrami’s score soundtrack to the recent Carrie film. I haven’t watched this film, and I made the decision that I didn’t want to watch the recent remake, but the movie soundtrack is so atmospheric and related to the gothic feel we are aiming to simulate in this production that it’s been really helpful to me.

Happiness is?
To love yourself and operate in the world without feeling the need to prove anything to anyone.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m lucky enough to be involved in some fantastic productions following Carrie this year and next year, both straight theatre pieces and a musical. I’m really excited to keep working on a range of such diverse projects – from an avant-garde Chinese directed production of The Good Person of Szechuan (which I get to perform in China!), to the hilariously camp La Cage Aux Folles, a dark twisted take on The Wizard of Oz and the ancient Greek classic Antigone. So it’s safe to say I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me for the next while!

Emily Milledge is a graduate of 16th Street Actors Studio and Showfit, Centrestage Performing Arts School. She made her professional theatre debut in Gaybies at the 2013 Midsumma Festival and has since performed at several of Australia’s premiere theatres. She is currently a very much sought after actor.

Emily has worked closely with THE RABBLE – one of Australia’s most exciting and boundary-breaking theatre companies, on Frankenstein (Malthouse Theatre), Room of Regret (TheatreWorks/Melbourne Festival) and The Story of O (MTC Neon).

Other theatre credits include The Good Person of Szechuan (Malthouse Theatre), Out of the Water (Red Stitch Actors Theatre), The Silver Donkey (Showfit), The Women in Black musical development workshop and a staged reading of The Kid (Melbourne Ring Cycle Festival).

Emily’s television appearances include Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Paper Giants II: Magazine Wars, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab and The Saddle Club Series 3.

Emily will be starring as Carrie White in Carrie – The Musical at Chapel Off Chapel from 27 September. For more information, visit: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or www.ghostlightproductions.com.au for details.

Image: Emily Milledge