On the Couch with Paul McDermott

Arts Review Paul McDermottWho is Paul McDermott?
A. A wild-eyed visionary whose dark antics in the 80s and 90s earned him the moniker ‘Tiny Terror’.
B. A podgy wastrel intent on self-harm, desirous of guiltless hedonism and fueled by a magic bag of cool ideas he pinched from a groovy cat.
C. The third but only stable leg of a once adored stool.
D. All of the above.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
There is nothing I would like to do differently. I like the way I do things. I have been doing them that way for so long they have become habit forming. There are people I would like to do differently…

Who inspires you and why?
Taylor Swift – her ability to encapsulate within the 3 minute window of a radio-friendly pop song all the yearning, angst and heartbreak experienced by a 53 year old man is stunning. I know stalkers say this all the time but Taylor and I are inexorably linked. She, to paraphrase her lyrics, is a ‘nightmare wrapped in a daydream’ while I am the inverse. When I listen to 1984 it’s like she can READ MY MIND.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Become Pope. Allow polygamy. Marry Taylor. (It’s creepy. I know it’s creepy)

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Wet and Wild Gold Coast (I may not have answered this one entirely by myself and may have engaged in exhaustive consultation with other family members who harbour desires to leave the house/home/prison occasionally and enjoy the company of damp strangers in long queues).

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I have never been a tour guide for acquaintances and I am upset by the presumption of friendship, but probably, Wet and Wild. It’s a long drive…

What are you currently reading?
My tepid, uninspired responses to these questions. You, dear reader, may witness (in these words) the once agile mind of a charismatic, but aging, troubadour. You may see that glimmer of wonder, that youthful spark illuminating the brassy darkness of your existence. I read between the lines and see the frightened man who has locked himself in a small room desperately awaiting the key he has swallowed to set himself free again.

What are you currently listening to?
A small dog howling to be released from ‘quiet time’ in the laundry (dear god, it’s a metaphor for my life).

Happiness is?
…elusive, which is why those pursuing it (as ingrained in the American Declaration of Independence and considered the goal of our daily struggle) are in for a tough time. Happiness in our materialistic world is portrayed as external to the self, as something attainable through possessions or property or fulfilling relations with others but happiness is fleeting and momentary and made all the more precious by it’s ephemeral nature.

What does the future hold for you?
A return to the glorious city of Perth to be feted and loved and paraded through the streets as a living piñata – my fulsome belly spilling sweet candies for the kiddies as I, again, give all for my art. After that – it’s a steep drop in dementia, enamelware kidney dishes (hopefully, this time, one will contain a large brassy Victorian key) and more cleaning up after Tim and the troll.

Host of SBS TV’s Room 101, Paul McDermott is a modern renaissance man. Post-DAAS (Doug Anthony AllStars), he hosted TV’s Good News Week; appeared in Comedy Festival Debates and with comedy trio GUD; toured his original songs with an all star band; and exhibited his sought-after paintings.

He’s written and produced four books, turning two into awarded short films. McDermott’s forthcoming release by boutique publishing house Finlay Lloyd, Fragments of the Hole: Odds and ends, bibs and bobs, and little bits of nothing, is bound to be an instant collectors item.

Paul will be performing with the Doug Anthony AllStars in Near Death Experience at Perth’s Regal Theatre: 23 & 24 October, followed by a performance at Arts Centre Gold Coast on 13 November. For more information about Paul, visit: www.paulmcdermott.com.au for details.

Image: Paul McDermott