On the Couch with Joss McClelland

Joss McLelland AAR On the CouchWho is Joss McClelland?
An actor based in Naarm, soon to be seen on stage at Theatre Works in Things I Know To Be True by the legendary Andrew Bovell – the Victorian premiere. I’m playing Ben Price under the direction of the exquisite Kitan Petkovski and will be on stage with an astonishing ensemble – Belinda McClory, Ben Grant, Brigid Gallacher, Tomáš Kantor and Eva Rees. Can you tell I’m excited? I’m excited!

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I grew up dancing. I stopped around 11 or 12, because it was hard to be a little boy in a regional town and clad in a sequined leotard. I wish I could tell that little boy to keep going. In saying that – I think I asked myself this question around 5 years ago when I graduated from a degree in Professional Communications and was barrelling a very different journey – so I enrolled in a night class in acting and here we are! I am very lucky, indeed.

Who inspires you and why?
My parents. Ken and Chris. They are the most honest, hardworking, warm, and generous people whom I am so lucky to call my folks. My sense of purpose is relentlessly crafted by their wisdom, their support and their love.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I pursue a life of empathy, warmth, joy and humour – I hope micro ripples make macro differences.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I was ripped away from London kicking and screaming in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic after living and working there for some time. Lockdown didn’t give me the chance to squeeze and farewell many people and places that I loved. I haven’t been able to get back there yet – the moment I can, I will.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’ll let my stomach answer this one! Monk Bodhi Dharma for breakfast, Calle Bakery for a mid morning croissant, The French Brasserie for lunch and a dirty gin martini, Eau de Vie for a pre dinner drink, a pizza from Joanne’s for dinner and a nightcap at Gerald’s Bar.

What are you currently reading?
When I am in rehearsal, I really struggle to find space in my head for any other piece. I try, but I end up just reading the first 30 or so pages over and over again. I’ve had Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima with me for about a month now. I’ll get to it! But for now – Things I Know To Be True by Andrew Bovell. And what a world it is! Thank you, Andrew.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m knee deep in the archives of Desert Island Discs. Currently 1976-1980. I love it!

Happiness is?
Being in rehearsal, coffee in bed, the ocean, someone else’s cooking, dancing, Mum & Dad’s couch, my 2 year old niece – Maude – calling me ‘Uncle Dosthy!’, taking a class, the success of a loved one, early bedtime.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m not sure. That’s the joy of this journey. So many different potentials. So many different doors. That’s the only way I want to live this life.

Joss stars as Ben Price in Things I Know To Be True by Andrew Bovell in a Victorian premiere season at Theatre Works from 19 April – 4 May 2024. For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.

Image: Joss McClelland (supplied)