On the Couch with Mike McLeish

Mike McLeish Arts Review On the CouchWho is Mike McLeish?
Mike is an actor, singer, writer, cabaret artist, voice over artist, corporate and cruise ship entertainer, are we bored yet? He is also the artistic director of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Practice music. I never practiced the instruments that I learnt at school and it’s one of my biggest regrets. But I’ve now ditched those regrets and started teaching myself piano. I can play Greensleeves hands together.

Who inspires you and why?
So many of my friends and peers inspire me, so I don’t have to look too far afield to source inspiration. And these days I don’t think we can discount any form of inspiration, whether it be a ‘who’ or a ‘what’. I mean, for someone somewhere, a meme just changed their life. For realz!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Become the most beloved assassin the world has ever known.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Far, far away from wherever I’ve most recently spent the most amount of time. Unless that place is my most recent holiday destination.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I would take them to my home and cook for them, because that’s the best way I know to show people I love them without getting overly tactile.

What are you currently reading?
My secret shame – and indeed my wife’s – is that I don’t read many books. At all. I read quite a lot; but not books. My most recent favourite would probably have to be A Lion In The Meadow – written by the inestimable Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Jenny Williams.

What are you currently listening to?
First Aid Kit, The Belle Brigade, Paul Kelly, Prince, Jordie Lane, Sarah Blasko, Jordan Rakei, Bill Callahan, The Decemberists, my 12-year-old’s fave top 40 hits (The Chainsmokers, anyone?), plus I’ve recently been properly listening back to the cast recordings of Australian musicals that I’ve been a part of. Once I’ve achieved enough distance from a show, I can really dig the tunes.

Happiness is?
Being someone’s accidental plus one at a members-only airport lounge.

What does the future hold for you?
The future holds nothing for me. I hold my future’s balls in my hand. I mean hands! I totally need both hands to hold my future’s balls.

The 2016 Melbourne Cabaret Festival runs Tuesday 14 until Sunday 26 June at Chapel Off Chapel in Prahran. For more information, visit: www.melbournecabaret.com for details.

Image: Mike McLeish (supplied)