On the Couch with Jai Luke

Jai Luke_oncWho is Jai Luke?
Jai Luke is a 33 year old trained actor, singer, director, and producer. The stage is his home and all he could ever ask for in life is to be a ‘jobbing’ actor. Someone who goes from job to job, who has a steady and sustainable career on the stage. Unfortunately our country doesn’t have the same industry as Europe or America, so you’ll find him in-between gigs, poking his eyes out in retail or office work.

What would you do differently to what you do now?  
In hindsight, after my initial acting training at UNI I should have grown the balls to go overseas and start working in an industry that allows actors to have a career. Although in saying that if I had left Australia I probably would never have re-connected with my teacher and mentor Ira Seidenstein, with whom I have learnt the most about my craft.

Who inspires you and why?
My colleague, teacher and mentor – Ira Seidenstein. In my eyes, Ira has cracked the code of acting and has developed exercises to allow the actor to train, aligning their mind, body and voice together. An actor MUST have full body control and awareness in order to inhabit a character with believability and Ira’s method continues to educate me.

He has been involved with Slava’s Snow Show (the biggest clowning show on the planet), Cirque Du Soleil, Bell Shakespeare, NIDA, NICA, WAAPA. He inspires me because his life’s work is incredible, he has been refining and exploring and developing his own method, which continues to grow, he’s ridiculously talented and it is always a pleasure to spend time with him. I think his method is a must for ALL actors!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I recycle, I donate old clothes, I donate money to charities, I donate to crowd-funding campaigns, I help lost strangers on the street to find their destinations, and I smile at people. Hopefully they will pass that smile on.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
You know what, other than family vacations when I was growing up; I have never been on an adult holiday. (I have never gone overseas. Waaaaaa!!!) Ahhh, the life of an unemployed actor. I do have a fantasy of staying in a hut on the water, being able to get out of bed, walk to the verandah and dive off into crystal clear blue water.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
The laneways in the city. I LOVE how cultural Melbourne is, it’s so damn cultural the art is literally dripping off the walls. I’d show them the laneways and I really like taking them to buy a cheap roll in Degraves Street then walking to the river, sitting by the river bank looking back at the city. Of course, this is Melbourne, so, pending the weather!!

What are you currently reading?
Currently nothing, (naughty, I know) the last books that I read and LOVED were the Hunger Games Series.

What are you currently listening to?
I never stop listening to music. London Grammar is totally rocking my existence right now; Hannah Reid’s vocals are delicious! Annnnd, going for the cliché, but I am actually digging Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP.

Happiness is?
Watching Disney!!

What does the future hold for you?
I ask the universe that same question every day. All I can do is be open to the possibilities and read the signs. I hope that I will be supported in my pursuit of being able to work with creative people on creative projects. I love the fact that we can create something out of nothing, enjoy it, treasure it and then let it go, and start all over again.

Since the age of 10 Jai Luke has been involved in performing arts productions and events, as a: performer, director, assistant director, co-developer, and producer. University trained in acting and directing and most recently acquiring a Masters in Arts Management, it is his dream to forge a career on and around the stage.

He has had the pleasure of starring in: The Talented Mr Ripley, Coming Attractions, Pride and Prejudice and Twelfth Night to name a few. Most recently Jai has co-founded ISAAC – International School for Acting and Clown, in Brisbane with colleague and acting mentor Ira Seidenstein (Slava’s Snow Show, Cirque Du Soleil, NIDA, NICA, WAPPA, Bell Shakespeare Company).

With a passion for performing and creating new, fresh and exiting works, Jai has landed in Melbourne to try his luck in the big city. Feel free to approach Jai with job offers and collaboration suggestions – as he is open to all kinds of possibilities and new friends…..and money.

Jai will be appearing in Mockingbird Theatre’s The Temperamentals at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre from 17 January to 1 February 2014. For more information, visit: www.mockingbirdtheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Jai Luke