On the Couch with Lisa Maza

Lisa Maza AAR On the CouchWho is Lisa Maza?
Lisa Maza (Meriam/Yidindji/Dutch) is an actor, singer and writer with more than twenty years’ experience as a theatre professional. Recent appearance include two world premier theatre shows written by First Nations Australians. Steven Oliver’s From Darkness featured in Brisbane Festival 2019, and Nathan Maynard’s The Season toured nationally in 2018. Lisa was awarded Best Supporting Performance (Female) at the Tasmania Theatre Awards in 2018 for her role in The Season.

Lisa has been associated with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company since 1999, as an actor, tour manager, writer, VIPAA panel member and Board Member. Writing credits include Sisters of Gelam (co-writer, ILBIJERRI Theatre/Malthouse, 2009) and Glorious Baastards (co-writer, ILBIJERRI /Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 2010).

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Everything and Nothing. You learn as you go and without doing the things I’ve done, good and bad, I would not have learned from and experienced what I have. Like most, I’ve made many mistakes but I believe whatever I’ve done, I’ve done for a reason and that has lead me to be here. Life is a journey that has many paths and they are all valid in bringing each individual to wherever it is they need to be.

Who inspires you and why?
My sister Rachael, co-Director of BLACK TIES and Artistic Director of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. I am so proud of who she is and everything she has achieved, especially over these past 11 years whilst at ILBIJERRI: creating extraordinary First Nations theatre, carving out pathways for mob, forging bonds especially with our first nations family around the world, and especially for all the advocacy work she does. She continues to approach life and work with great courage, passion and purpose, blazing the trail for not only us Blackfulla’s but for the industry as a whole.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Take all the Climate change deniers powers away and start making big changes to stop destroying our environment. As individuals we must be responsible for our carbon footprint and do everything we can to reduce it.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Somewhere with great people, delicious food and somewhere to swim and relax. I’d be happy to be any place overseas, especially one that I have never been to before as I love surprises and adventures, or it could be just as good to spend time at our favourite camping spot in Victoria (I can’t give you the name in case you all decide to come along & there is no room for me).

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There are so many great things to see and do in Melbourne. I would probably take them somewhere excellent to eat in the West, of which there is a huge array to choose from. If there was a good theatre show I would take them to whatever venue it was playing in. I might take them to Melbourne Museum because there is an excellent First Nations section in Bunjilaka.

What are you currently reading?
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

What are you currently listening to?
Nothing: I enjoy the sound of birds and the environment.

Happiness is?
1. Enjoying every moment as it happens.
2. Accepting what is and what isn’t.
3. The love I have for my family and friends.
4. Sitting at my dining room table with a coffee, answering these questions on my laptop.

What does the future hold for you?
I don’t know and that’s what makes the future exciting. All I can control is who I am now and who I will be going forward… I look forward to the challenges, the experiences, the lessons, the journey.

Lisa stars in Black Ties – presented as part of Asia TOPA at Arts Centre Melbourne from 21 February 2020. For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au or www.asiatopa.com.au for details.

Image: Lisa Maza (supplied)