On the Couch with Michel Paul Tuomy

Michel-Paul-Tuomy-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Michel Paul Tuomy?
Michel Paul Tuomy is a Melbourne based writer, who has his first professionally performed play at La Mama Theatre. The play Little Brother, Big Sister is a semi-autobiographical tale of his lived experience of the mental illness, schizophrenia, all whilst chasing his dream of being a writer with a professional credit.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing! I would follow my destiny without second guessing myself. I don’t believe that destiny is pre-determined, rather when something good happens to you that you approach life with abundance and take the opportunities that present themselves to you. Something that is easier said than done.

Who inspires you and why?
I have an Art’s Mentor, Tania Smith, through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Tania is a multi-disciplinary artist with a background in Art’s Administration. When we started our professional relationship, I wanted to learn about the business side of art. Something I have achieved with my upcoming play at La Mama, for which we received Creative Victoria funding in a very competitive funding round. None of this would have been possible without Tania’s positive and intelligent manner. Tania inspires me with her knowledge of living an artist’s life – which she does with unheralded honesty and a quick wit!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Each of the handful of theatre plays I have written has a theme. With my upcoming theatre play at La Mama, I just want to reveal to people, what is the reality of living with the mental illness schizophrenia. Simply put, such a diagnosis isn’t a death sentence, but it has a peculiar and distinctive reality. Something I’m assured by our Director Cathy Hunt; I’ve described with genuine honesty.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The Surfcoast and the Great Ocean Road. Memories of surfing some great beaches, from Winkipop and Bells Beach to Johanna and Princetown. Whilst my surfboards don’t get the use they did in my younger years, the fairways of some beautiful surrounding golf courses now find me chasing birdies.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Catching up with old friends is a great joy! I just like to catch up with what is happening in their lives and chew the fat over old times enjoying a meal at my local pub the North Fitzroy Arms. A pub that is my local, even though I live a couple of buses and a tram ride away.

What are you currently reading?
A Lust For Life by Irving Stone. A classical biographical novel of Vincent Van Gogh.

What are you currently listening to?
Strange Brew – a collection of songs that inspired the great Australian Artist Brett Whitely.

Happiness is?
When the personal life and the professional career occur in unison. Always having someone there with a trusted shoulder to lean upon, whilst enjoying simple pleasures together.

What does the future hold for you?
A successful La Mama season for Little Brother, Big Sister. Followed by putting together another great team of theatre professionals, to stage the performance of another of my theatre plays.

Michel’s play, Little Brother, Big Sister will be presented at La Mama Courthouse for a limited season from 25 May 2021. For more information, visit: www.lamama.com.au for details.

Image: Michel Paul Tuomy (supplied)