On the Couch with Sunanda Sachatrakul

Sunanda-Sachatrakul-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Sunanda Sachatrakul?
An authentic person… for example, I’m actually responding to these questions while on my Couch right now! For the more serious crowd: “An actor, comedian, writer and producer.” For those who care: A damn fine cook. An extremely enthusiastic dancer. A fun time.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d find more time to SCUBA dive. Or just quit this life altogether to become a SCUBA instructor. But there’s time for that after I turn 60, probably.

Who inspires you and why?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint one source of inspiration now. There are no heroes. “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain…” but, growing up, I did think Dennis Rodman was the coolest. Here was this ‘crazy-looking’ legendary rebounder on the world’s greatest basketball team, the Bulls, in their golden era.

He was smack in the middle of uber masculine men doing masculine things, being gender-non-conforming. Rodman often dressed in drag, unabashedly fielded questions about his sexuality without being homophobic, and dyed an AIDS ribbon in his hair in the mid-90’s.  It just always seemed that he was so confidently himself when that had no currency in the early 90’s.

Not for people like him in the way he was doing it. But yes, the basketball career ended, he had no sponsorships, went to North Korea to play basketball in an exhibition game, and became friends with Kim Jong Un. And then was on The Apprentice and became friends with Donald Trump. People are too complex with their own complex traumas, especially people who are inspiring, to be inspirations. I think. Anyway!…

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Introduce and implement wealth caps! Billionaires shouldn’t exist. No exceptions.  I mean, what would you do with more than 50 million?  Or maybe 10 million is PLENTY.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
As cliché as it may sound, Hawaii!  One of my best friends is from there and every time I visit, I have the best time because everyone is so warm and welcoming to me. A lot of locals think I’m local which is flattering. They love my dark skin, which isn’t usual for me anywhere around the world. And the food is soooooooooo good!  Also, no snakes and leeches, which makes hiking through a rainforest SO much more fun. And rainbows in the sky so often. It truly is paradise. Except for all the poverty and unhoused people as a result of American colonialism and racism.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I just take them to eat at my favorite spots, like Ima Project or Falco Bakery.  And I’d suggest going to the Otways for a night or two. And getting out to Budj Bim in Gunditjmara country and taking a tour with one of the indigenous owned tour companies. That’s been the most eye-opening and worthwhile experience I’ve had living in Victoria.

And if they insist on Naarm/Melbourne things to do, then I guess ride the old school tram in the CBD, visit the botanical gardens, and either go watch some comedy, theatre or live music while sneaking a LOT of coffees in between. And if they’re here from abroad then we’d prioritize going to a sausage sizzle at Bunnings, and then somehow stumbling upon a large group of Australians doing the Nutbush. That’s a cultural experience like no other!

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Writer’s Journey to inform my screenwriting. It’s very informative! And Instagram memes.

What are you currently listening to?
The desi crate diggin’ playlist on Spotify… some classic bangers on there. And I do mean currently as in, while answering these questions.

Happiness is?
Cuddling with my partner and dog on the couch, while eating ice-cream and watching some crap reality show like The Ultimatum: Queer Love or teen rom-com like XO, Kitty!  Yes, truly.

What does the future hold for you?
The near future… this Red Stitch production of Shhhh, which I’m very excited about. And then, Edinburgh! I’m taking my solo show, Sunanda Loves Britney to Edinburgh this year so if you’re there, come to the show. After that?… who knows! Hopefully lots more ice-cream on the couch with my boos.

Sunanda can be seen in Red Stitch’s production of Shhhh by Clare Barron – at the Red Stitch Theatre from 20 June – 16 July 2023. For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.

Image: Sunanda Sachatrakul (supplied)