On the Couch with Jackson McGovern

Jackson-McGovern-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Jackson McGovern?
I’m an actor, teaching artist, writer and director relatively new to Melbourne after spending the last decade or so based in Brisbane. So I’m absolutely taking bar/cafe recommendations, although my partner Emily who has been down here for a few years has been helping me out with that. I’m playing Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Melbourne Shakespeare Company and I’m really enjoying it.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Oh, where to begin. I wanted to be a pilot growing up, or play cricket for Australia – none of which I had close to the talent for. But I do really love teaching, so probably that.

Who inspires you and why?
Oh my goodness, I’m so boring with this question because my first instinct is to say Darren Lockyer. I keep forgetting that I’m in Melbourne now, so basically nobody here knows who that is, but I’m a sports nut and he was the captain of the Brisbane Broncos when I was growing up. Outside of that, sticking on the sports train, Ash Barty is phenomenal, and such an amazing role model for so many young people, and particularly for so many Indigenous young people. Acting-wise I have always loved watching the work of people like David Wenham, Kerry Washington, Steve Buscemi and Frances McDormand. Among many many others.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If I could flick a magic switch, I guess it would be to make everyone – particularly people in positions of power – have a grasp on basic empathy. Like, understanding, “Oh, if I say or do that, that could have very real and damaging implications for this person or this group of people.” And not need a coach or spouse to explain those things to you. I’m not too sure how political I’m allowed to be here, so I’ll say no more.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Egypt. Hands-down. I went there about seven years ago, and the people and history there are just incredible. Japan and Vietnam are next on the list for Emily and I, I think.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
MCG. Did you not hear the sports nut thing? The thing’s a colosseum. Also just a little bar/cafe crawl around Fitzroy. Refer to my recommendations request in Question 1.

What are you currently reading?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Particularly Bottom’s lines, as I’d like to be familiar with them by opening.

What are you currently listening to?
My director Nicola Bowman – as I’d also like to remember when and where I’m meant to move by opening.

Happiness is?
A wine in the park with family and/or friends… and remembering my lines and movements for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

What does the future hold for you? 
Plenty more good times hopefully! I’m really looking forward to getting to know more of the brilliant people in the Melbourne theatre industry and hopefully playing a part in making some magic together… and hopefully remembering my lines and movements for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, k, I’ll stop now!

Jackson stars as Bottom in Melbourne Shakespeare Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Central Park, Malvern from 25 February – 13 March 2022. For more information, visit: www.melbourneshakespeare.com for details.

Image: Jackson McGovern (supplied)