On the Couch with Kurt Phelan

Kurt PhelanWho is Kurt Phelan?
Playing Johnny Castle (aka Patrick Swayze) in Dirty Dancing.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would have always like to be a marine biologist. I’m from North Queensland and growing up on the reef, you really get to appreciate how awesome it is.

Who inspires you and why?
My friends. They are my family away from home. We have been thru the most amazing ups and downs together. But they are always there to support me and inspire me to do great things.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Help people see that we are all under the same sky. Everything is precious and we need to preserve and understand what we have, be it friendships, family, enemies and especially our planets resources. How to do that…? Well, change starts with one person.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Without a doubt Thailand. Because it’s full of beautiful beaches,  landscape and the most warm and friendly locals who make you feel at home. Add to that a handful of chicken satay skewers and a nice cold beer. Heaven!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Bondi or Coogee for a swim and the Blue mountains for a day trip. Especially now that the Hydro Majestic has re-opened. It’s marvellous.

What are you currently reading?
On the Road – Jack Kerouac and the script of Dirty Dancing. Gotta get those words right.

What are you currently listening to?
Chet Faker – Built On Glass. I’ve had it for ages, but it’s grown on me big time.

Happiness is?
Watching something you worked hard to create be acclaimed or celebrated. Followed by a swim in the ocean.

What does the future hold for you?
A holiday to Thailand. Then, I would love to continue building on my craft. No one ever stops learning. I want to be in more film and TV in the future and continue making theatre with my friends. Oh and I can’t wait to have a dog… just saying!

Kurt Phelan graduated from NIDA, completing the Bachelor of Dramatic Art – Acting and has been involved in a wide range of theatre as an actor, choreographer and writer. His musical theatre credits include Singin’ in the Rain (David Atkins/IMG), Witches of Eastwick (Cameron Mackintosh), Saturday Night Fever (ICA), Rent (NQOMT), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Backrow), Moonshadow (Cat Stephens), and Orpheus and the Underworld and The Merry Widow (Opera Australia).

Kurt’s acting credits include The Myth Projects-Twin (MTC/Arthur), Tender Napalm (La Boite/ Brisbane Festival, Matilda Award nomination for Best Actor), Return to Earth (Griffin), The Importance of Being Earnest (Burley), Uncanny Valley (Griffin), Frankie Jones- Waltzing Woolloomooloo (Arthur), Suddenly Last Summer (Cellblock), Pictures of Bright Lights (TRS) and Julius Caesar (New Theatre).

Film credits include All He Needs (Mirrorball, Resfest, Miami QFF) for which he won the award for Best Actor in an Independent Film, Project Top Clown (Fishy Prod), Fine (AFTRS) and His Star Falls (Fitzroy co). Kurt’s writing credits include A Nightmare on Love Street (Adelaide Fringe), The Bitter End (Midsumma 2012) and national tours of his cabaret shows Louder Than Words, Cheap as Chips and Phelan Groovy.

As a choreographer and collaborator, he has worked extensively with independent companies Little Ones and Arthur, helping create such works as The Myth Projects- Twin (MTC/Arthur), The Mesh (Red Stich/Arthur), Dangerous Liaisons (Little Ones/MTC Neon), Salome (Malthouse) and Psycho Beach Party (TRS, Midsumma, Brisbane Festival).

Kurt is currently appearing in Dirty Dancing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. For more information, visit: www.dirtydancingaustralia.com for details.

Image: Kurt Phelan