On the Couch with Shane Pike

Shane Pike Arts Review On the CouchWho is Shane Pike?
A director and playwright, educator and researcher, producer and part-time part-philosopher. A devoted single father to a most wonderful daughter.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I don’t really have many regrets, but I have always wished that I had learnt to play a musical instrument. Not least of which, because it would save a helluva lot of money if I could compose my own songs for my shows, rather than having to pay royalties…!

Who inspires you and why?
I would have to say my daughter inspires me to be a better person; to tackle every day as the best version of myself (though, we know that’s not always possible!). The people I work and collaborate with are also a constant source of inspiration. Theatre is not an island. I find that inspiration is the rock in a rehearsal room: when it’s thrown in the middle, ripples spread, reaching and stretching to every corner, bouncing off and merging with the ideas and brilliance of every creative to create new waves of imagination and invention, resulting in something truly special.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I often think about my place in the world and what I can do to make it just that little bit better. I think kindness is important. If I could use my art to encourage empathy and understanding amongst communities and between individuals, then that would be a good thing. I think empathy is really important and personal experience has taught me that not everyone is capable of it to the same level. From that perspective, I’d like to provide some kind of platform for those suffering from oppression to be heard. Provide an outlet where they can feel some kind of empowerment in their situation.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Like most people, I absolutely love travelling. But my favourite place to return to would have to be my home state, Tasmania. Having family and friends there is a big part of that, but it is also just one of the most beautiful places on earth. The food and hospitality is second to none, and the beer and wine would leave a tear of joy in the eye Bacchus!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I have lived in most of Australia’s capitals (save, Darwin) and I would have to say there is nowhere I’d rather be living than in Brisbane. The lifestyle here is second to none. When I have people from out of town, they always enjoy having a bevvy alongside the river on the deck of Brisbane Powerhouse. Eat Street Markets are always a hit and I’m not sure there’s an out-of-towner who hasn’t whiled away an afternoon on Eagle Street Pier!

What are you currently reading?
I have a secret love of airport novels. I’ve just finished the latest Jack Reacher thriller, but I am also re-reading Garland’s modern classic, The Beach, so hopefully that gives me back some credibility…

What are you currently listening to?
I am strangely proud to say that my taste in music is as mainstream and un-cool as my choice of novel! Put on a top 50 playlist and I’m dancing in the street in no time. But, I’m currently rediscovering 90s rock. TBH, it’s pop-rock…

Happiness is?
Something you can’t hold others accountable for. It is a state of mind that you alone have the ability to manage. And it is not a constant, which is a good thing because life is all about the yin and the yang.

What does the future hold for you?
Directly, a return to normality after the beautiful chaos that is opening week of a show! After that, I’m really looking forward to catching up with my oldest friends, we go away together around the same time every year. Nothing like those who know you best to bring you back down to earth.

As director and playwright, Shane’s latest work, Nineteen can be seen at the Brisbane Powerhouse: 9 – 12 November 2017. For more information, visit: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org for details.

Image: Shane Pike (supplied)