On the Couch with Julia Zemiro

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Julia ZemiroWho is Julia Zemiro?
A Bilingual performer, Host of Rockwiz and ABC-TV Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery. Also proud midwife to Eurovision for Australia 2009-2016. And now delighted to be the new Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would be teaching drama and improvisation to children and adults and not because I want them to carve careers from it. At its essence, learning the tools of performance can help you thrive in the real world: to make eye contact, to make meaningful friendships, to create something that is outside of you. And also to show people how to be more playful in their lives. I’m also interested in how you can teach a foreign language through drama- getting up on your feet and physicalising language rather than just sitting at a desk and working in pairs.

Who inspires you and why?
The kids and teens I meet and read about who are showing the way. Their acceptance and understanding of difference makes me hopeful. They also seem more engaged when it comes to fighting for their futures. Maybe it’s because they’re terrified.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Change the way high school works: let teens sleep in, Start later, finish later. And compulsory drama, music and dancing / movement until year 12. Again, it’s not about becoming a professional at it. But these disciplines allow teens to explore different sides of themselves and find new skills. Also it’s important to be a a bit clumsy. We are not allowed to be clumsy enough. We should be able to be ok at dancing or playing the guitar for the joy of it. You learn humility and how to fail and get back up again. A kind of resilience.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Somewhere I can feel like a local. Rent a studio with a kitchen so I can shop at the markets daily and cook. I love being in walking distance to the cultural hub of a city. I really enjoy seeing a place on foot, by bike or train. No cars or buses. Paris is my favourite.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
In Sydney where I live, a ferry ride on the harbour because it’s a smell, sight and sound experience; in Adelaide where I work, to the markets to buy some delicious Antipasti bits and pieces and a bottle of wine, set up a picnic by the river, and then see a show in the Adelaide Festival Centre precinct.

What are you currently reading?
My research notes on the ten wonderful guests we will be driving back to their childhoods for Series 7 of Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery for ABC-TV.

What are you currently listening to?
I have been doing a lot research on the wonderful talents in our Festival so Meow Meow, Ute Lemper, Lior, Iota and Paul Capsis.

Happiness is?
Possible. It comes in small parcels. Unwrap it. Enjoy it. Pass it on.

What does the future hold for you?
Throwing open the doors to the Thebarton Theatre to kick off the Cabaret Festival! I want to lead audiences through the Festival Centre precinct to all our wonderful performance spaces to see some fabulous Artists! And then all meet back at the Famous Spiegeltent for the late night club and dancing til 2. See you there!

Julia is the Artistic Director of the 2019 Adelaide Cabaret Festival which runs 7 – 22 June. For more information, visit: www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Julia Zemiro (supplied)