On the Couch with Tod Strike

Tod Strike oncWho is Tod Strike?
Singer, actor, presenter and technology dunce. A lover, not a fighter.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Right now? I’d get more sleep and drink less coffee (that will NEVER happen). Get a handle on my addiction to Antiques Roadshow, 30 Rock, The Newsroom and Game Of Thrones. Be more proactive and on the front foot in my day-to-day life. Get a superhero cape. (But wear my undies on the inside of my tights… I mean trousers…)

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who is out there creating and giving something a good ol’ fashioned ‘go’; in particular, anyone who is doing so for the greater good. There are many reasons to despair and feel hopeless today, and a lot of pervasive beliefs and actions that threaten people’s right to be themselves. Anyone who is building and creating instead of tearing down is inspiring in my eyes. Oh, and new mums and dads. How do they do what they do?? New parents – you can borrow my superhero cape any time. Or rather, can I borrow yours?

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Firstly, I’d do away with abbreviations like ‘lol’ and ‘totes’, and have people using the right ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, their and they’re etc., again. I’d introduce the uninitiated to the genius of Aaron Sorkin and Tina Fey. And cut shows like The Bachelor from our viewing vocabulary. Blergh! On a greater level, I’d like to be involved – in whatever capacity – in sharing and spreading more joy, compassion, tolerance and acceptance. Encouraging people to hope, and helping inch the world closer to a place of ‘we’, not ‘me’.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Ooo, tough one… For relaxation, a tropical island in Fiji – one that has great margaritas. For fun, New York City. It has everything you could possibly want. Like great margaritas.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I would take them to The G to see a footy match. Because it’s a must, and because I like saying “The G”. Then we’d go to see some musical theatre and to dinner – Melbourne at its best. I’d also take them for a drive along the Great Ocean Road, because the landscape is amazing. I know that’s three attractions, not one – that’s how good this town is.

What are you currently reading?
Michael Parkinson’s autobiography Parky, and Alex Ferguson’s autobiography (brilliantly titled Alex Ferguson). Both men are legends, and personal favourites of mine. I also always have Oh! The Places You’ll Go at the ready for reading emergencies.

What are you currently listening to?
Harvey Milk – The Opera, of course. Also loving a bit of Bruno Mars and anything that comes on Smooth FM (daggy, I know, but my musical education capped out in around 1995).

Happiness is?
Eating loads of Scotch Finger biscuits as I dip them into my tea. Watching Manchester United win (and seeing Chelsea or Arsenal lose). Seeing pictures and watching videos of my nieces and nephews. Living with contentment and vibrancy moment-to-moment. Giving and getting.

What does the future hold for you?
Plenty of singing and creating new projects. Seeing some shows. Lawn bowls this Saturday. And – if there’s time – changing the world.

Tod Strike studied voice at The Queensland University of Technology and Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He appeared in Opera Queensland’s productions of Turandot and Otello and played Goro in Madame Butterfly for the Queensland Music Festival.

Other productions include: The Merry Widow, Kiss Me Kate, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Forum, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Grease, They’re Playing Our Song, Footloose, the Australasian production of Cats, Jekyll and Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Hairspray for Harvest Rain Theatre Company.

Tod also understudied and played the roles of The Phantom and Raoul in Love Never Dies. He was lead vocalist at Universal Studios Japan and soloist for composers Scott Alan, John Bucchino and Georgia Stitt in their Australian concerts. He appeared in the Australian Opera’s South Pacific, played the role of Zangara in Assassins, the role of Berger in the Victorian State Tour of Hair, and recently Lieutenant Torasso for Life Like Company’s production of Passion.

For many years Tod toured with The Ten Tenors, performing at many of Australia’s major events including The Melbourne Cup, the AFL Grand Final and the Nine Network’s Carols By Candlelight. International engagements include The Emmy’s, The Eurovision Song Competition, The Tony Danza Show (New York), and The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (Las Vegas)

Tod can be found on The Ten Tenors ARIA nominated platinum album Tenology, Larger Than Life DVD, Tenorissimo and the Amigos Para Siempre DVD recorded in Madrid. He also staged and choreographed The Ten Tenors – The Power Of Ten world touring show. Most recent TV credits include Dr. Blake Murder Mysteries (ABC).

Tod will be appearing in Harvey Milk – the opera in concert at the St. Kilda Town Hall on 7 – 8 February. For more information, visit: www.leftbauerproductions.com/harvey-milk-the-opera for details.

Image: Tod Strike