On the Couch with James Millar

James Millar Arts Review On the CouchWho is James Millar?
An actor and writer. Now (spookily) 36 years old. I love theatre, film and any form of creative storytelling and have since I was a little kid. I used to write miniature novels and picture books for my fellow classmates when I was in primary school. Then wrote silly plays for my high school, which didn’t offer drama, so I found my love for theatre grew out of that.

Since then, I studied writing at UTS then Music Theatre at WAAPA and have juggled both of those creative interests for the last fifteen years. Now, however, I am man in a hump with moles and an awful attitude towards children. But I’m actually a nice guy who adores kids and is very grateful for his opportunities.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I always thought I might be good working in advertising. If I was 22 again. And actually worked my way up through that treacherous, competitive business. I like any creative enterpirise, and I have always enjoyed amazing advertising campaigns that use humour, wit and a left-of-centre approach. I am, however, not looking for work at present.

Who inspires you and why?
My friends from the business who survive the longevity and the misconception that the live-performance industry is just “easy, fun work”. Creatively, I love the writing of Jonathan Franzen, the music and songwriting of Jacques Brel and the great new folk-rock songwriting from Australian artists like Kate Miller-Heidke and Ben Abraham.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make sure I am always seen as someone who allows people to leave the elevator BEFORE trying to get into it myself.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I don’t remember what a holiday is. But my most memorable holiday was a trip with my dad, on two different occassions, to Salzburg. There was something about the city I immediately connected to and loved and if I knew I had only one holiday left in me… I think I’d choose to revisit Salzburg.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I am in love with Ponyfish Island in Melbourne and have been ever since I was introduced to it. You get to sit IN the Yarra drinking wine and eating toasted sandwiches and watching a flourishing city merrily shop and laugh and cross the bridge above you. I also love the Dandenong Ranges and anywhere that has a view of the sea that doesn’t contain a bazillion sweltering bodies.

What are you currently reading?
I’m about to start Purity by Jonathan Franzen.

What are you currently listening to?
I bought a record player, so I bought all this vintage vinyl stuff that should be listened to on a record player. I think the last thing I listened to on it was The Best of The Carpenters. And in the spirit of candid-honesty… I actually love Justin Bieber’s new album. Don’t tell anyone, though!

Happiness is?
Good friends, a loving family, satisfying work and the cold-side of the pillow.

What does the future hold for you?
If I knew that, I’d probably be sad that I found out. So “mystery” is the  answer to that question.

Following its critically-acclaimed season in Sydney, James will be starring as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from 13 March 2016. For more information, visit: au.matildathemusical.com for details.

Image: James Millar