On the Couch with Nadja Kostich

Nadja KostichWho is Nadja Kostich?
An untrained juggler with more limbs that Shiva and always more plates than limbs: there’s two kids, a partner, a four acre property in the hills – at least an hour from work, which is co-CEO and Artistic Director of St Martins (I can’t even count the number of plates required to spin here!), a would be yogi, a pipe dream gardener, a wistful friend who never has time for the dinner party… I’ve got more but it must be time to move on…

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Create more space. Say no more often and not look back. Be a wildlife documentary film-maker.

Who inspires you and why?
I have to say my mum, who recently passed away. She left Serbia as a woman in her 40’s with just me in tow, a kid of eight. She didn’t know English. She left Dad and her country and her community of friends and ventured into the unknown. She was a beautiful singer, yet as per the usual migrant story, worked the menial jobs here, uncomplainingly. I felt and still feel her love as something palpable and visceral. She loved to laugh, was terribly irreverent, sometimes highly annoying, and had a fearlessness I aspire to. I salute her.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Become enlightened, but on the small scale, resist reacting to the little things in the day.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
In my dreams, or really? Ok. I was born to live in the tropics, but most of my family don’t like being too hot, including our very furry dog! In the past three holidays the temperature has rarely got to 21 degrees (C) and the water about 10 degrees. I’d love to be up Noosa way, in the hinterland. I’d enjoy the drive to the beach and would warm up in the beautiful warm ocean.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well of course I’d take them to the lovely hills where I live – the Dandenongs are the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne they say. Stunning nature walks, beautiful wineries all round, the river in Warburton, cute coffee shops…

What are you currently reading?
Only the script of For The Ones Who Walk Away and the lists I’m making to tick off every detail that still has to happen. But my partner bought me Sapiens – of which, I’ve only read 10 pages and am adamant I will get to in the holidays after the show. I can’t read anything else when I am making a work.

What are you currently listening to?
Jethro Woodward’s compositions going through my head. My children’s music in the car, in the house. When I am alone, I have been going music free! The wind in the trees will suffice.

Happiness is?
No agenda for the day. Family, friends and some time to be alone too. Making beautiful food together and eating it. A sense of ‘I need nothing’.

What does the future hold for you?
The sweet unknown.

Currently playing at Siteworks, Brunswick until 1 October 2017, St Martins and Melbourne Fringe presents For The Ones Who Walk Away. For more information, visit: www.stmartinsyouth.com.au or www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Nadja Kostich (supplied)