On the Couch with Gideon Cordover

Gideon Cordover oncWho is Gideon Cordover?
I’m an activist, an actor, a community-radio devotee and a Tasmanian.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d be a politician or consult with leaders on public policy and social justice issues. Like George Burns said; “Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.”

Who inspires you and why?  
Sir David Attenborough because he followed his passion, shared his love for nature with the world in an accessible way and never ever tried to dumb it down for the punters.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?  
Step 1: legalise voluntary euthanasia for people with incurable illness. Step 2: Close loopholes for corporate tax dodgers. Step 3: Take some meaningful action to close the gap for Indigenous Australians without closing down regional communities. Step 4: Increase Australia’s foreign aid budget. Step 5: Get asylum seekers out of detention. Step 6: Increase welfare payments so that Australia’s most vulnerable (and students!) can afford to live with dignity. And if I fail to do any or all of those things: Just try to be a good bloke, regularly remind my family and friends that I love them and always walk into a room with a smile.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
In Australia; either the Great Barrier Reef, Mt Kaputar National Park, NSW or my home in the bush south of Hobart. Overseas: Alaska. Why? I like wild places that remind us humans how tiny we really are.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
With visitors to Sydney, I always head out to the Blue Mountains for the Three Sisters at Katoomba. In the city, I love the Art Gallery of NSW and the walk around Circular Quay.

What are you currently reading?
Currently finishing off Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. As a result, my next read will probably be a pop-up book or something with pictures and no chapters.

What are you currently listening to?
Bonjah, Ball Park Music, Grouplove, Two Door Cinema Club, Alt J, my brother Jacob’s Blackwattle Caprices album and the audiobook of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Happiness is?  
Freedom, friends and an analysed life, so says Epicurus. I think family, regular visits to the beautiful outdoors and hard work at the things you’re passionate about also make for a pretty happy camper.

What does the future hold for you?
In the near future; after I finish off The Bugalugs Bum Thief for Monkeybaa, I’ll be heading back to Tassie to work on my next show, Platero and I, starring alongside my brother Jacob, a Barcelona-based classical guitarist. Then I’m off to Canada for July before returning to Australia to make sure things haven’t fallen apart in my absence. Long-term: I’d like to keep acting, keep campaigning for Dying with Dignity legislation and search for some of that happiness we talked about earlier!

Gideon Cordover graduated from NIDA in 2010 and has since performed in over eighty theatre across Australia, USA and Canada. His theatre credits include Stage Fright (New Theatre), Secret of the Seven Marbles (Bondi Pavilion), and tours for Monkeybaa of Tim Winton’s The Bugalugs Bum Thief and Glug-award winning Hitler’s Daughter, based on the book by Jackie French.

Gideon has performed in Canada narrating poetry with musical accompaniment at the Music By The Sea festival in Bamfield, Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. He has produced and hosted a breakfast radio show, Wake Up With Gideon on Radio Skid Row 88.9fm, appeared in the finale of Rescue Special Ops (Channel 9) and won Best Actor at the Griffin Theatre’s 24 hour play project in 2011.

Gideon currently sits on the ABC Advisory Council. He has served vice-president of Tasmanian Youth Broadcasters Inc. (Edge Radio), worked as communications coordinator for Dying with Dignity NSW and sat on the national executive of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.

His advocacy for assisted dying law reform has featured on Triple J’s Hack, Network Ten’s Can of Worms, ABC 24’s One Plus One, ABC’s Stateline NSW and various print media including The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and Madison Magazine. Gideon’s essay Dying with Dignity was published by Right Now in Poetic Justice: Contemporary Australian Voices on Equality and Human Rights.

Gideon will be performing in The Bugalugs Bum Thief at the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre in Darling Harbour until 24 April. For more information, visit: www.monkeybaa.com.au or www.gideoncordover.com for details.

Image: Gideon Cordover