On the Couch with Steve Gome

Steve Gome onc

Who is Steve Gome?
A journeying man of many parts principally known for his fondness for blue cheese and questionable puns.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I find it really difficult to think of something that I would do differently. It’s not that I don’t think about the past or reflect on decisions that I have made and challenges that I have faced – I just tend not to speculate or regret. I own to having spoken words in anger (and in ignorance?!) which were hurtful and which I would not care to repeat.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by examples of courage, perseverance, generosity and the capacity to forgive. I think of   the parents of some of my schoolmates – first generation migrants with limited English but with immense pride in their work and determination to establish a better life for their children. On a creative plane, I am inspired by the singular voice and vision of cartoonist Art Spiegelman for his ability to continually find engaging and confronting ways of distilling hard truths. Bernard Neeson’s volatile and enigmatic stage persona known as “Doc” was the single greatest catalyst to my venturing onto the stage and remains an ongoing source of inspiration. Encountering The Angels proved to be an epiphany indeed.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I like the phrase from St Francis(?) about being an “instrument of peace”. I think people are inherently good, and that much of the turbulence in our lives (at least in this country) arises from assumptions and misunderstanding. I would like to think that the work I already do makes a difference in the world. What I do as a performer and as an advocate for union members including cleaners, brewers and paramedics is for me directed to a similar end – to understand other people’s perspectives and to appreciate the things which exist in common. I intend to become an accredited mediator within the next 18 months.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The honours would be shared between two grand old dames – New Orleans and Marseilles. Old ports – melting pots for peoples, cultures, beliefs, language. Full of bustle and grime, glamour and decay.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Melbourne’s Colosseum, gathering place and theatre of life – the MCG. I know the MCG really well because my time in hospitality included 10 years working there. As well as cricket and footy, the ‘G’ has an amazing history as a venue for concerts, Papal masses, Olympic and Commonwealth Games amongst other things. When empty and silent, its scale and grandeur are imposing. And on event days, the howls of disbelief and roars of approval from the assembled masses have an allure of their own.

What are you currently reading?
The Solitude of Prime Numbers (a novel by an Italian physicist), Thinking the Twentieth Century (a dialogue between two eminent historians) and Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (a.k.a. “Fanny Hill” – a ye olde bawdy tale and the nightly door prize of a recent La Mama/45 Downstairs co production).

What are you currently listening to?
Tuba Skinny, Budapest Klezmer Band, Art Blakey, The Angels. Gossip (Paul Kelly), If I should Fall from Grace of God (The Pogues).

Happiness is?
Swimming in the ocean.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope that what I would like the future to hold proves to be a subset of all that the future actually holds for me as an indifferent child of the earth. I plan to live and perform for years to come in the company of friends, contemporaries, family and strangers and trust that the occasional nudge and wink from Lady Luck shall give me complete satisfaction.

Steve Gome is a freelance actor and director. Most recently seen in the role of Schlomo Herzl in George Tabori’s Mein Kampf, Steve continues to benefit from his VCA training. He feels fortunate to have enjoyed and endured classes with Philippe Gaulier.

Steve has appeared with James McCaughey and Associates, Melbourne Playback Theatre, Baggage Productions, Wax Studios amongst others. Alongside his theatrical endeavours, Steve has contributed to Australian Book Review and Eureka Street, met with success as a gameshow contestant and currently acts as a union solicitor.

Steve will be appearing in Dario Fo’s Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas at fortyfivedownstairs from 4 – 15 February. For more information visit www.fortyfivedownstairs.com.au for details.

Image: Steve Gome