On the Couch with Gideon Obarzanek

Gideon Obarzanek - photo by Bronwyn KiddWho is Gideon Obarzanek?
I am a ‘good enough’ choreographer, director, performing arts curator, partner, father, occasional actor and passionate middle-aged surfer. On my tenth visit to an expensive therapist he finally advised me if I want to feel better about myself I should say ‘I am good enough’. Is that it? I asked him, just lower my standards and expectations? Yeah pretty much, he replied. It was the best advice ever, but why didn’t he just tell me when I first came to him? I wasn’t ready, he said. Hmmm…

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Find a vocation working in, over or close by the ocean.

Who inspires you and why?
William Forsythe. A great choreographer who elegantly transitioned into the visual arts and academic research.

What would you do differently to make a difference in the world?
Impose a moratorium on disposable coffee cups until bio-degradable ones become widely available… I am not sure, maybe they are already here?

Favourite holiday destination?
Siem Reap, Cambodia. Extraordinary Angkor region, incredible food, wonderful people and I am not usually an accommodation connoisseur but Viroth’s Hotel was a very special stay.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to and why?
A drive along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay and a walk in the Otway Ranges.

What are you currently reading?
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper.

What are you currently listening to?
Radio National in the kitchen and In Our Time BBC podcasts late at night when I lie awake. Melvyn Bragg has a very rare talent of speaking about things I find fascinating and putting me to sleep at the same time.

Happiness is?
Swimming in the ocean or surfing.

What does the future hold for you?
Giving lengthy opinions about civil infrastructure projects to people who don’t care.

Gideon co-stars with Brian Lipson in the critically acclaimed Two Jews walk into a theatre… at the Odeon Theatre, Norwood as part of the 2019 Adelaide Festival from Wednesday 6 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au Gideon also directs Recital which plays at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres from 28 February. For more information, visit: www.riversideparramatta.com.au for details.

Image: Gideon Obarzanek – photo by Bronwyn Kidd