On the Couch with Jeremy Stanford

Jeremy Stanford AAR On the CouchWho is Jeremy Stanford?
Thanks for asking. Most of the time I have no idea, and it’s about time I had a sit down and a good hard think about it. I have threads. My life is threads. Sometimes, when I feel together and wholesome, these threads are nicely braided, or sorted into colour coded piles, but at other times it’s a spilled knitting bag. See, I do lots of different things: from performing, to directing, to writing, to teaching, to voice-over, to corporate coaching. I think I like to keep learning different skills, but it makes life very complex, and at times, exhausting. I rely heavily on my beautiful family of a wife and two teenage sons to glue me together. Put simply, I’m a creative sort. It comes out of me in different ways. Creating is my passion and my heart.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
Be less impatient. The last few years I’ve learnt to slow down and take time with the details instead of charging like a bull at a gate. I think it’s been the writing that’s done it. It’s forced me to be present – to focus, to work at something with only the process in mind. I’d like to go back and know this from start, please.

Who inspires you and why?
Funny. The last couple of years, young people have inspired me. I love them. They remind me to keep clear and hopeful eyes. I’ve directed a couple of student productions, Rent and Into The Woods for The Ballarat Performing Arts Academy recently, and having the opportunity to mentor these wonderful performers of tomorrow has been an inspiration. If I’m honest, it’s recharged my batteries.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would make every weapon on the planet vanish. I would make every human who maintains their God says another person should die because they don’t believe in the correct God, vanish. I would make people who can’t accept climate change is real, go and sandbag Tuvalu. I would insist that everyone on the planet was at least familiar with the guitar solo in Brighton Rock by Queen.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere. Since having children I never get to travel anymore. It’s one of my passions. I plan to pick it up again soon.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The football. I’m serious. There’s few events that embody the humour, the passion, the heartache, the loyalty, the ecstasy, and the entertainment value of a full MCG during a cracking game of AFL. Nothing beats it.   

What are you currently reading?
Don’t judge me, but I just read my own novel, Rapture. I started it because I was looking for a passage to read for the launch, and I just kept going. About fifty pages in, I realised I had never actually read it for pleasure. It had always been a work in progress that I was striving to improve. Having it released made reading it quite a different experience. I’m also reading Michael Wolff’s, Fire and Fury. I’m a bit obsessed with the slow-mo-car- crash that is the Trump Administration.

What are you currently listening to?
The joy of having teenage sons is that they’ve started feeding me my diet of music. Recently, Foxy Gen, King Gizzard, Jen Cloher, and interestingly, my eldest introduced me to The Velvet Underground.

Happiness is?
Oysters. Good Shiraz from McLaren Vale. Cooking. Having a barrel of laughs. My gang. Being paid well. Discovery. Good theatre. Good music. People NOT talking on their phones on public transport.

What does the future hold for you?
I would like to keep writing books. I would like it even more if lots of people bought them. I would like to direct more and perform less. I would like to travel more. I would like to see my children soar. I would like to be a really good salsa dancer.

After the success of his first book, Year of the Queen, Jeremy is back with his gripping and darkly comic debut novel, Rapture – published by Tale Publishing and is available from all leading book retailers including Booktopia.

Image: Jeremy Stanford (supplied)