On the Couch with Stephen House

Stephen House AAR On the CouchWho is Stephen House?
I’m a writer and performer, and a full time nomad. I live all over the place, write every day – in varying genres (poetry and monologue mostly, lately); and I am a vegetarian, a bit of a yogi, and (run and swim) beach freak too.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Hmmm, I wouldn’t change much about lifestyle really. But lately I’ve been thinking about volunteering more; and in fact last time I stayed anywhere for a few months (Adelaide), I volunteered in two areas: Trees for Life and in a homeless men’s shelter, and it confirmed that I would like to offer more in this way. It’s just about making the commitment and doing it… when I’m in one spot long enough!

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by people that are struggling and still manage to do what they want to do. I’m always blown away by people with disabilities who succeed in an area they are passionate about. I’m also inspired by those who take risks and jump outside the box we are meant to stay within. Artists that stay true to what they want they say creatively, regardless of opinion, judgment, conservatism, or commercial success, inspire me hugely.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Help the environment, definitely! At the moment the rubbish (plastic) situation in the world is almost out of control. Living in SE Asia as I do often (I’m just back), I’ve really been shocked, and thinking we all need to do something. I’m not blaming Asia – it’s everywhere. We are all contributing. Developed countries just have better infrastructures to hide rubbish. I’d also like to make a difference to all the creatures that are disappearing from the planet. It’s a huge concern! When you read the stats it’s so alarming and upsetting.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Well, usually wherever I’ve just been living. I’ve drifted there because I wanted to be there. (I don’t really regard any of my travel as holidays). I’ve just been living on Lombok, Indonesia… and so love it; will head back again soon. The snorkeling was awesome! And my room was $50 a week; (score!) I’ll be in Melbourne again soon too. And I love Melbourne; and I’m in Adelaide as I write this, and its wonderful here. So I’ll nominate the above mentioned three as best holiday spots (atm).

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
It depends what town I’m in (as above). Adelaide: South coast, Maslins, Willunga and Port Elliot (the SA beaches are stunning and largely un-discovered by the rest of the world), and maybe Womadelaide and Fringe shows if it fits. Melbourne: Great Ocean road in the middle of winter and funky cafes in funky inner suburb streets for long breakfasts and people watching. Visit me in Indonesia? Let’s jump on a boat to Lombok, grab a motorbike… and ride around the island for a month.

What are you currently reading?
Currently – I’m actually re-reading my script Almost Face To Face –  because I have shows coming up and I need to get my lines back. But here and there I’m a reading poetry from a USA journal I subscribe too – Rattle. I love poetry and am reading (and writing) more and more. Also I have been reading the odd Truman Capote or Christopher Isherwood short story (big fan of these dudes, and that era of USA literature).

What are you currently listening to?
At this exact moment, I’m listening to a very accomplished flamenco guitarist (rehearsing) in the next room to me. He and I share a house in Adelaide. I love his sounds, and with her, a vocalist (who I know, and just joined him) they are amazing! Live music while I write! I was listening to an old Dr. Dre cd I found on the floor of my car before. (My son’s when he was a teenager). Old school hip hop! Love it; and the memories of my hip-hopper son all those years ago!

Happiness is?
Just being alive and being able to make choices about where I’m travelling too. I’m so aware that many people don’t have this opportunity. I am grateful for this freedom; it is pure happiness.

What does the future hold for you?
I just don’t know. Seriously! More travelling around and continuing to write and perform my work I suppose. Continue exploring my form of prose-poetry that leaves people baffled and emotional. Also try to help this planet in some way. And good times with friends. Family and alone. Maybe get a van for when I’m in Australia, travel around and live in amazing natural places, all over the country.

Stephen presents Almost Face To Face at The Butterfly Club: 8 – 12 May 2018. For more information, visit: www.thebutterflyclub.com for details.

Image: Stephen House (supplied)