On the Couch with Michelle Perera

Michelle-Perera-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Michelle Perera?
Michelle Perera is a radio broadcaster (Community on 3mdr 97.1fm, Saturdays at 1.00pm), actress, and promoter of the Arts, and has been involved in theatre for over 25 years, both in Australia and overseas. She has a Special Degree in English, a passion for reading and a natural curiosity about the world. She will be next seen in William Hinz’s Guerilla Sabbath, as part of 2021 Midsumma Festival.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Travel more. I took up walking during the lockdown, and soon realised that travel did not necessarily need to involve airplanes, so I intend do more explorations on foot.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by those who doggedly pursue their dreams, despite every negativity that comes their way. There is a unique strength inherent in those who choose to see beyond the barricade, and I, in turn, am emboldened by that.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Speak up more. Sometimes this comes at a cost, but I am firmly of the belief that even if no one wants to hear you, you need to hear you.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Sri Lanka. I was born and raised there, so find myself drawn to its beautiful, almost lyrical chaos. An island nation and a sensory delight, I will never quite get over a sun set at the Lion Rock in Sigiriya. Check it out, if you ever have the good fortune to get there. I seek out the comfort of familiar places, smells and people, and the nostalgia of a happy childhood. I have seen some incredible places, but Sri Lanka will always have an unfair advantage.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Nothing puts me in a good mood faster than a leisurely stroll around the city. Starting at Flinders Street, down the graffitied laneways, a pit stop at The Paperback Bookshop and ending up at the NGV, all while watching the unique brand of humanity that makes Melbourne, Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
I have set myself a goal to finish all the unread books in my library, so at the moment I am knee deep in Peter Carey’s Illywhacker, Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch and David Remnick’s The Devil Problem.

What are you currently listening to?
Max Richter’s Recomposition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I am usually puritanical about original works, and don’t believe they need to be improved upon, but in this instance, I was wrong. And now, I am obsessed! It’s 45 minutes long, and makes my heart soar and break, simultaneously. Also, the Icelandic band Sigur Ros – for a second there, I did consider the merits of moving to the Land of Fire and Ice, just to have these guys coo sweet nothings in my ear. And the Hamilton soundtrack, because Lin Manuel Miranda has created an auditory masterpiece, fully deserving of my attention.

Happiness is?
A book, warm weather, a close friend at hand, and the knowledge that those I love are healthy and content.

What does the future hold for you?
More theatre! This is food for my soul, and I want to gorge on it.

Michelle will be performing in Guerilla Sabbath by William Hinz at the La Mama Courthouse, as part of the 2021 Midsumma Festival: 27 April – 2 May. For more information, visit: www.lamama.com.au for details.

Image: Michelle Perera (supplied)