On the Couch with Ursula Yovich

Ursula YovichWho is Ursula Yovich?
I’m a Performing Artist – Actor/Singer.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would push to sing more often. I never had the courage to do so when I was younger but now I know l am a better singer than I am actor.

Who inspires you and why?
My inspiration is always changing. I have been inspired by a lot of my peers throughout my career. Leah Purcell, Rachel Maza, Wesley Enoch, David and Steven Page, Michael Leslie… That’s just to name a few. I have been inspired by these wonderful people at different points in my life, from career issues to family issues. My biggest inspiration though is my daughter Djarla. She inspires me to be greater than what I am.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I love what I do, I think the arts is about connecting with people, it’s about practicing all the things that make us human. The love, the flaws, the aches, the forgiveness, the listening. We practice compassion and empathy when we are in the theatre. I can’t change the world as a whole but if I can be a part of changing someone’s perspective for the better… then I think I’ve done a good job.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I haven’t really had a holiday before. I have breaks in between work but have never really been on a holiday. Although having said that, I did have that one time travelling to London, France and Scotland when I was pregnant. My partner Stewart really wanted us to have a “Holiday” before our daughter was born. I can’t remember much of the trip as I was 7 months pregnant and extremely heavy and irritable and tired all the time. I do remember the foods though. Still dream about them to this day. I would love a holiday destination where food was the main focus.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
In Darwin, it would be the Parap markets for food! Paw paw salad and fish tofu!! Yum!! There is a lovely atmosphere there and you get a sense of the real Darwin. The multiculturalism through food and people and music. Beautiful. In Sydney it would have to be the harbour. How can you not love that view?

What are you currently reading?
I am not reading anything at the moment not for leisure anyway. I forgot my kindle at home. Does ‘Micheal Chekhov on the technique of acting’ count?

What are you currently listening to?
Woke up yesterday morning and decided I was going to listen to The Cure. Think I might do the same today.

Happiness is?
Being at peace. When I have no worries I am happy.

What does the future hold for you?
I wish I knew. Seriously though, I have a few things lined up that are focused on my singing and songwriting but other than that, I don’t know what the future holds and I’m ok with that.

Ursula Yovich has become one of Australia’s most celebrated performers and has amazed audiences all over the world, appearing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House.

Her recent theatre credits include The Secret River and Bloodland for Sydney Theatre Company, Mother Courage for Queensland Theatre Company, The Barefoot Divas for Sydney Festival and Waltzing the Wilarra for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Ursula was also nominated for a Helpmann Award for her cabaret show Magpie Blues, which world premiered in Adelaide and toured major venues across Australia.

In film, Ursula has featured in Darkside, Around the Block, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne. Other screen credits include Rake, God’s Of Wheat Street, Devils Dust, Redfern Now, Murandak Songs of Freedom documentary, $9.99, Arcadia, My Bed Your Bed, Blacktrax, Message Stick, Blue Heelers and Songlines.

Ursula is currently starring in The Magic Hour which is touring nationally, and plays at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres 26 – 28 June. For more information, visit: www.riversideparramatta.com.au for details. For tour schedule, visit: www.performinglineswa.org.au for details.

Image: Ursula Yovich