On the Couch with Harvey Zielinski

Harvey Zielinski - photo by Jodi Hutchinson AAR On the CouchWho is Harvey Zielinski?
A 27-year-old actor who also writes, a queer trans-man, a feminist, an outraged lefty, one of six siblings from semi-rural WA, son of an author and a teacher. I moved to Sydney when I was 18 and Melbourne when I was 21. I transitioned at 24 and everything before that life-starting moment feels oddly like someone else’s blurred memories.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Write more, sleep more, exercise more, drink more water, watch more documentaries, read more. Be more open to vulnerability, more communicative, more honest and less self-punishing. Do more for marginalized, disenfranchised people. Learn to budget.

Who inspires you and why?
I just watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, speaking of doing more for society. Please watch it. It’s just… so moving and so vital. Miranda July, Tony Kushner, Charlotte Wood, Elena Ferrante (pseudonym), Rupi Kaur, Mama Alto, Francis Cannon, Candy Bowers. These are all people who have moved me deeply and who inspire me to do better, to speak up and to fight for change. Honesty, vulnerability and compassion inspire me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I guess what I will do is try to tell stories/help other people tell stories that aren’t being heard and need to be, and confront and question bigotry and prejudice around me.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I really want to go to Iceland, it looks incredible, I love snow and the cold and I want to see the northern lights. I’ll always have a major soft spot for Rottnest Island off of WA too; I went there every year as a child.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I like to take visitors down the Mornington Peninsula or to the forest around Olinda (and lunch at Earthly Pleasures Café). Any excuse to get out of the city and to prove to WA people that Victoria is beautiful haha. Around the city I’d say the Museum, Half Moon Bay, the Acland Street Cafes.

What are you currently reading?
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m currently obsessed with Two Steps on the Water. Check them out.

Happiness is?
Watching my dog Wilbur run at the beach.

What does the future hold for you?
This year I’m the Red Stitch Graduate Ensemble Member, which has been absolutely life-changing and fantastic. I started the year working on Taylor Mac’s Hir, then Assistant Directed Catherine Anne-Toupin’s Right Now, and now I’m currently appearing in Annie Baker’s The Antipodes.

Later this year I will be playing George Holly in Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer at Red Stitch directed by Stephen Nicolazzo. Outside of Red Stitch, I’m involved in a (secret) development supported by Arts Centre Melbourne, and working on a touring show called Being Frank, directed by Suzanne Chaundy. I’m also collaborating on a comedy web-series.

Harvey can be seen in Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre’s production of Annie Baker’s The Antipodes, currently playing until 12 August 2018. For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.

Image: Harvey Zielinski – photo by Jodi Hutchinson