On the Couch with Sam Floyd

Arts Review On the Couch Sam FloydWho is Sam Floyd?
A performer whose impulse has led in various directions. I began life, and continue to freelance, as a circus performer. I’ve similarly always breathed music. I write – whether script, lyrics or a text message – to articulate my thoughts in a way that entertains folk. I’m a writer of narrative comedy, and a juggler, and a singer… in that order.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m lucky to be living the dream; I have a team to believe in and realise my creative projects. I pay the bills in ways I find meaningful. My ‘day’ job is in a theatre restaurant where weirdness is an advantage. Thanks to Melbourne’s offbeat culture I am even applauded and paid for singing on a street corner in drag. I am content slogging away until I hit the bigtime.

Who inspires you and why?
The comedian who can beat me to my own absurdity. The person in the room who asks the perfectly insightful question, that makes everyone stop and think. The person who singlehandedly gets the dancefloor started. The person who continues to dance despite having not got the dancefloor started.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
My current approach is to wander around being the things that I consider to be admirable traits. Making people laugh seems helpful. It’s probably where my efforts are best spent.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Just the idea of a holiday makes me uneasy. I’m content when chained to my life’s work. To that end, my favourite escapes have been touring to Adelaide Fringe; being submerged in this validating festival bubble. It’s my equivalent of a candy store.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
A fringe theatre venue like Tuxedo Cat (at which I’ve been fortunate to perform in both Melbourne and Adelaide). Or the storytelling nights run by groups like The Cock & Bull. These are largely populated by comedians, but who aren’t allowed to contrive punchlines. It’s entertainment at its most naked. It illuminates so much about how we seek, and where we find, catharsis. I never get sick of it.

What are you currently reading?
When I read… I am amidst Stephen Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. The non-fiction of social conundrums. When I consume stories it’s through theatre, screen, or straight from someone’s mouth.

What are you currently listening to?
The playwright ears are always finely tuned to life. Other peoples’ conversations, opinionated people disagreeing, articulate people, inarticulate people, the gap between what people say and what they mean. Epic pop songs I intend to cover, or my own existing covers of epic pop songs. Sam Harris’s podcast.

Happiness is?
Waking up next to someone that I want to spend the whole day with.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m fascinated by the prospect of witnessing the brink of human extinction. As for my definition of personal success… I’d love to see my work mounted on film or TV, while continuing to independently produce my most personal projects on stage or the footpath. I’d love it to lead me to sidelines as a script consultant, academic, and researcher of social issues.

Sam Floyd is a Canberra-bred, Melbourne-based comedy writer/performer, and nucleus of independent company Freshly Ground (est. 2008).

Freshly Ground have produced all-original work in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, both independently and as part of festivals including: Fringe, Short & Sweet, You Are Here, and The Street Theatre’s Made In Canberra Series. His scripts have been produced by others as far afield as the UK.

Sam has studied the craft at AFTRS, RMIT, and as part of a playwright’s residency with Canberra’s The Street Theatre. He moonlights as a veteran juggler (Legs & His Magnificent Mindbending Appendages, The Fumbling Bumblers), singer (Sammy Conscious, The Uku-Lady), and vampire-themed-dinner-theatre-waiter.

Sam’s latest work, Affair Play will be presented at The Brunswick Mechanics Institute from 9 December 2015. For more information, visit: www.freshlygroundtheatre.com for details.

Image: Sam Floyd

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