On the Couch with Hayden Spencer

Hayden Spencer onc mainWho is Hayden Spencer?
First and foremost my ongoing gig is being a Dad to a pretty cool group of humans. Professionally, I am an Actor, Writer, Director, Teacher, Personal Coach and most recently a Clown, having returned to Australia in January after an extensive tour with CIRQUE du SOLEIL.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Social Marketing is now an integral part of a freelance artist’s roles and responsibility. This is a bit of a ship-sinker for me. I, like many of my colleagues of a similar generation, didn’t record any of my work over the years. It just wasn’t the done thing. It’s exciting times right now – you can video with your phone, edit with an app and upload onto your free website.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by people. Anyone, in any field who is passionate about what they do. ‘Tradies’ come to work on the house, and I get so inspired, I follow them around the house like a stalker. Note to self: Don’t do that!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I have always thought that learning languages would be the easiest way to get understanding, compassion and cross pollination happening across our shared planet. But then again, things like Google translate are a wonderful addition to our modern world – I have had some delightful chats with people all over the world via our good friends at Google translate!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Our family rent a little fibro shack on Palm Beach in Queensland. 180 degree views, right on the sand dunes. For me life is a series of massive circles. When we get there and another massive circle is complete I get the chance to reflect on all the occurrences in our lives since we were last there. Hoping to get there in August.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
We often take friends to Port Phillip Bay. They bay is so temperamental. I love it when it is blissful and bright, but also when it is sullen and brooding. I can’t get enough of the bay!

What are you currently reading?
I have just performed in a play called BRISBANE by Matthew Ryan at the Queensland Theatre Company, so somewhat embarrassingly, I am reading a lot of Wikipedia about Brisbane in 1942.

What are you currently listening to?
When I was away from Australia, touring for an extended period I rediscovered INXS – it felt like a home cooked meal, if that makes sense? I always listen to Leonard Cohen and Sufjan Stevens, but the latest addition to my listening pleasures is an incessant pigeon outside my bedroom window.

Happiness is?
Happiness is… well it can sometimes be as simple as making a choice. Not always of course. Many of us have private battles that make happiness a genuine challenge. Therefore happiness is a gift. But I believe many of us have the ability to decide or select our mood –  at least this is what we are teaching our children. When our kids are feeling a bit glum, for no particular reason, I might ask them to spin around on the spot three times and see if they feel any better.

What does the future hold for you?
Currently I am Co-Directing the 2nd year students at the National Institute of Circus Arts – with my wife, the very talented Carita Farrer Spencer, so next up will be the opening of this performance, PESCADO – A Circus Cabaret Fusion. I will also be continuing to work with the TOTEM company of CIRQUE du SOLEIL as an acting coach for their Clowns and Acrobats, which is touring Australia right now. After that, will be a few welcome months on Dad duties, as I tag team with Carita, who will be heading off to perform a season of her own show called LARRY PARADISEO & THE FABULOUS DAME FARRAR – Live at the Judith Wright Centre.

Hayden Spencer is an accomplished clown, writer, actor and director. He has performed as the lead clown in Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, acted in multiple shows for Melbourne Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company among many other companies, and was recently seen in the world premiere season of Brisbane for Queensland Theatre Company. He is also an accomplished writer/director working with La Boîte Theatre, QPAC, NICA and Queensland Theatre Company.

PESCADO – A Circus Cabaret Fusion plays at the NICA National Circus Centre from 13 May 2015. For more information, visit: www.nica.com.au for details.

Image: Hayden Spencer