On the Couch with Josephine Gazard

Josephine Gazard AAR On the CouchWho is Josephine Gazard?
I’m 22, I love dogs, acting, and I’m extremely disorganised. I grew up in Canberra, I’m now living in Sydney, working for Sydney Performance Academy running drama classes for primary school children which I love. But who I am – I’m still working that out.

What would you do differently from what you do now? 
I’m trying not to be so critical of myself, but that could be all actors? I’m also trying to learn how to embrace mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth, rather than sinking in a black hole of despair, but that also could be all actors? I’m trying not to be in so much of a hurry all the time, to slow down and appreciate the small things.

Who inspires you and why?
The team at Addi Road, a not-for-profit multicultural organisation in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west committed to social justice and human rights. It has two food pantries, and an emergency food relief program which is helping a lot of people in the current cost of living crisis. CEO Rosanna Barbero and Az Fahmi are some of the best people I have ever met. They lead with such kindness, compassion and warmth in everything they do, and have created a community where all are welcome and valued.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
Ceasefire in Gaza.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
New York. For the theatre and the vibe. I grew up on a goat farm – so it’s about as different as you can get. I stayed in a youth hostel and met one of my future best friends in the lift.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to?
In Canberra – Braddon for the nightlife and the Sunday markets for dog watching. Also Mee’s Sushi. In Sydney – The Golden Lotus vegan restaurant in Newtown, a Sydney Swans game, and The Imperial in Erskineville for the 2000s music and dancing.

What are you currently reading? 
Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It delves into so many themes – alienation from society, psychology of crime, mental illness, loneliness and redemption. It’s a work that means a lot to many people, so it’s an honour to be part of the Australian premiere of this brilliant adaptation.

What are you currently listening to? 
Taylor Swift. The new album, the old albums – everything. And New Calyptus – an up-and-coming band from Wollongong (my brother’s the guitarist). They’ll be in the Hottest 100 soon, so you’ll be able to say, ‘I listened to them before the hype.’

Happiness is? 
Being with my brother and sister. It’s rare that we all get together now we live in different cities. But we make each other cry laughing.

What does the future hold for you?
Crime and Punishment opens June 22. I feel very privileged to work with Caroline, Chris, PJ, Darren, Kimmo and Kathleen. Caroline’s vision for the piece is very contemporary and sets the work in a nightmare dream landscape reflective of Raskolnikov’s mental state. I can’t wait for audiences to see it.

Another highlight so far has been collaborating with sexual violence advocates as part of the panel discussions alongside That’s What She Said in 2023. I’d love to create more theatre with conversations and discussions around social justice issues, and I hope in future I’m a good enough writer to do that.

Josephine plays Sonia in The Street’s production of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, adapted by Marilyn Campbell-Lowe and Curt Columbus, at The Street Theatre, Canberra, from 22 June 2024. For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.

Image: Josephine Gazard (supplied)