On the Couch with Lucy Goleby

Arts Review On the Couch Lucy GolebyWho is Lucy Goleby?
I grew up in Canberra, fell into theatre through a scheduling mistake at high school, got a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in drama and languages, worked as an usher, moved to Sydney, got a Master of Arts in communication, led innovation workshops as a corporate actor, started a PhD and realised it was a terrible mistake, so auditioned for NIDA and graduated in 2013. As an actor, I’m whoever a director asks me to be.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Absolutely nothing! I spent too long trying to find a sensible, sustainable way to work in the industry before I realised nothing was an adequate replacement for being an actor. This job is the hardest and best life I can imagine.

Who inspires you and why?
My three-year-old niece, Molly, because every moment with her is spent in the pursuit of joy and knowledge and play. My dog, Walter, because animals completely excel at the whole ‘living in the moment’, ‘being in the present’ thing. And ‘yes’ people. Not submissive, no-brain zombies, but the people whose instinctive immediate response to anything – ideas, requests, obstacles – is yes, let’s.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I hope that what I do does make a difference to the world! Story telling has always been an integral part of building community by exposing human behaviour in the present to illuminate the past and brighten the future. But I suppose making free, clean water available globally would knock out the need for unfathomable quantities of plastic bottles, and that’d probably be a good thing too.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Somewhere I haven’t already been. Holidays are all about adventure and perspective for me. A gentle nudge – or a sharp reminder – of how privileged and insignificant I am is oddly relaxing.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Breakfast at The Grounds in Alexandria, because I got married there last year and it’s an oasis of awesome, then a ferry ride to the zoo, because both show off Sydney in all its beauty. We’d drink a bottle of wine in the Botanical Gardens, then do Una’s for dinner and Messina for dessert.

What are you currently reading?
A couple of things: The Mandarin Code by Chris Uhlman and Steve Lewis, because growing up in Canberra makes this particularly pertinent; Grace Jones’ autobiography I’ll never write my memoirs, because I’m completely obsessed with performers’ stories in all forms; and Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, because even though I’m late to the party on this one, I love a bit of human behavioural psychology.

What are you currently listening to?
This American Life, Freakonomics Radio and How Stuff Works – gimme a good podcast any day – interspersed with lashings of Florence and the Machine, Sia and Of Monsters and Men.

Happiness is?
I’ll have to get back to you once I’ve finished Gilbert’s book…!

What does the future hold for you?
I’m about to appear in Good Works for Darlinghurst Theatre Company, directed by Iain Sinclair. It’s an epic Australian memory play about love and fear, and the failings of memory and the consequences of making mistakes.

Lucy was recently seen in Queensland Theatre Company’s production of Brisbane, also directed by Iain Sinclair. She appeared in Queensland Theatre Company and Black Swan State Theatre’s co-production of Ben Elton’s Gasp, in both Brisbane and Perth seasons.

Prior to this, she originated the role of Holly in Pale Blue Dot at La Boite, and performed in Too Many Elephants in this House for Parade Theatre and Mad March Hare’s A Moment on the Lips. She’s been involved in script developments for Playwriting Australia, and works regularly as a voiceover artist.

Lucy will be appearing in Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s production of Good Works at the Eternity Theatre: 4 – 29 November 2015. For more information, visit: www.darlinghursttheatre.com for details.

Image: Lucy Goleby