On the Couch with Mark Coles Smith

Mark Coles Smith AAR On the CouchWho is Mark Coles Smith?
My father’s wit and my mother’s good looks.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I like animals. I recently fantasized about being a wildlife care officer in a private wombat sanctuary. I’d spend my afternoons reading on the deck of a quiet rural property surrounded by native forest while encouraging good behavior from the one naughty wombat.

Who inspires you and why?
Pretty much anyone who leaves me in a sense of wonder and awe, human rights activists, skyscraper window cleaners, grand masters of acupuncture, people who can whistle, also fanboying Donald Glover at the moment.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Society is built upon solving the problems that its own complexity creates, and too often the extremes of those problems achieve a kind of apathetic normalization. Resisting that indifference takes energy, courage and patience. And you can’t do it alone. What I try to do is build connections with good people. The world is a place of shared problems and shared solutions, ‘think global, act local.’

Favorite holiday destination and why?
I like the cold. Perhaps one of the myriad reasons I traded my picturesque sunset riddled tropical paradise of Broome for the moody, graffiti flecked alleyways of Melbourne. Possum skin country suits me just fine and it wasn’t until visiting Vancouver that I felt any competition. The scenery is breathtaking and the locals were all kinds of kindness. I miss the snow-capped Rockies.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Depending on the season, I’m not averse to a Sunday session at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

What are you currently reading?
Paulo Freire – Pedagogy Of The Oppressed.

What are you currently listening to?
Nils Frahm, Flying Lotus, PVT, Edward Sharpe, Modeselektor, Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Michael Kiwanuka.

Happiness is?
Self-constructed boutique modular synthesizers… and matcha ice cream.

What does the future hold for you?
Some of my best work.

Mark is currently appearing in Tom Wright’s adaptation of Peter Carey’s Bliss at the Malthouse Theatre until 2 June, before playing at Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre from 9 June 2018.

Image: Mark Coles Smith (supplied)