On the Couch with Jolyon James

Jolyon James Arts Review On the CouchWho is Jolyon James?
A Perth born actor director and visual artist currently occupying the role of Artistic Associate at Arena Theatre Company.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Working at Arena is my absolute dream job, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m given the freedom to fully explore and expand my creative practice in a safe and supportive environment with colleagues I adore.

Who inspires you and why?
The list is way too long. I come from a family of ridiculous over achievers, I work with extraordinary gifted artists on a daily basis, I have two beautiful children who endlessly surprise and teach me and the support of the kindest, smartest woman on the planet.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
My partner and I are currently training to become a foster carer. The simple act of providing a safe loving home for children caught in complex situations outside of their control can have a life-long positive effect. I would love to feel that we could inspire or support others to even consider making room for these beautiful kids.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
As a child my family took a yearly vigil to Rottnest Island half an hour off the coast of Perth. My memories are of a profound endless sun drenched happiness. I haven’t been back for decades but I have recently heard it hasn’t changed a bit. I would love to return with my little family and recapture and rebuild some of those memories.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
It’s all about family for me at the moment. In Melbourne we are spoilt for choice when it comes to family friendly attractions. The NGV, the Botanic Gardens and the Museum are regular destinations. We love the Werribee Zoo and the Mill Markets, but if I had to choose, the top of my list might be an enormous meal at Laksa King, Ascot Vale.

What are you currently reading?
I am reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, which is the follow up to his book our current Arena Show Trapper draws a great deal of inspiration from his theories regarding free will and autonomy. It is both enlightening and terrifying in equal measure but thoroughly recommend it.

What are you currently listening to?
I regularly dip into a variety of podcasts. RadioLab, Serial, No such thing as a fish, Someone Knows something but most recently I have been listening to My Father Wrote a Porno which leaves me shuddering with laughter and horror.

Happiness is?
Using my father’s stunning German handmade scissors, which he gave to me for my 40th birthday.

What does the future hold for you?
There is a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon artistically. I am writing Robot Song – a new musical that celebrates what it is to raise a child on the Autism Spectrum premiering 2018; Trapper – opening at Arts Centre Melbourne this August; and an amazing residency, Flock in Melton South during the second half of the year, celebrating the power of children’s voices and stories inside the notion of community.

Arena Theatre Company’s production of Trapper plays at Arts Centre Melbourne: 2 – 5 August 2017. For more information, visit: www.arenatheatre.com.au or www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.

Image: Jolyon James (supplied)