with Joanna Lusty
Covid was a strange time. It was both the quietest time and the busiest for me. I couldn't go to work so I decided to throw myself into as many creative outlets as possible. I learned
embroidery, ukulele, knitting, perler beads — I went a bit craft crazy honestly. I also started writing a fantasy / adventure novel that I hope to one day publish, which is honestly what I'm most proud of.
The pandemic also kept the Someone New team really busy. There wasn't anything we could do to stop what was happening and of course all we could do to help was follow the health recommendations, so we decided to help by not giving up. We made some quick skits and filmed them from our own homes. We also ran a lot of different competitions to try and give other artists in isolation something to do. We also did what everyone did in lockdown and started a podcast. The aim of our Someone New Podcast was to get a bunch of different scripts and actors from around Australia writing and performing from their own homes. This smaller venture led to the idea behind the Sherlock Holmes podcast, which was the biggest production I've ever been involved in. I loved Assistant Directing for that project. I got to meet a bunch of new people, even if it was over Zoom and I got to be a part of bringing one of my favourite childhood stories to life. It also gave me a crash course in sound editing software that I still don’t fully understand the magic behind. Kudos to all those sound editors out there, I have no idea how you do it.
Despite being incredibly creative throughout, I have to admit to finding the pandemic to be a bit tough for other reasons as well and I spent some time re-evaluating what I wanted to do with my life. Did I want to continue to pursue acting professionally or would I prefer to be an author? Do I want to open a bakery in a small country town and serve people the perfect tea and cake combo? Now I'm on the other side of it all and we have some semblance of normalcy, the answer is: "I want to do all of these things!"
At the moment, I’m working through the latest draft of my book so I can apply to literary agents. It would be pretty awesome to be a published author! I’m on the lookout for professional acting gigs in Melbourne as well as the international scene, but after two years of minimal acting opportunities, I'm well aware I need to do more training first.
In this coming year, I’ll also be focusing on doing what I can for Someone New by getting as many new faces involved as possible. 2022 is shaping up to be a crazy year. We have another podcast planned as well as bringing back Write or Wrong and Theatie Podsie. Those are going to be my biggest creative endeavours this year.
I’ve put together a panel of judges for our Write or Wrong competition and I’ll be handling the correspondence for that. I’m also taking over the organisation of Theatia Podsie. I’ve directed for it in the past, but this time I’ll be more involved behind the scenes. This also gives the other members of the company time to focus on their personal endeavours. I’m a little nervous but I have a great team behind me so I’m sure everything will turn out great in the end.
I'm hoping to do a film collaboration with Nine Tales Studio. That’s still in the works though, so I don’t know how much I should mention. I’m thinking I may adapt the script that I wrote for Writers’ New for film or maybe I’ll put it on stage as it was originally intended, but have it filmed professionally. I think I’ll need to have another read of my script first and maybe ask some actors around the area to read it out loud for me. That’s the only real way you can tell if a play is going to work or if it needs some editing. And even if this isn’t the year for a collab with them I may be contacting them about filming a professional quality showreel.
Other than all this, my 2022 is full of life stuff. Lots of friends and family are getting married so there is plenty of celebration on the cards. I also recently became an apiarist (beekeeper) and looking after 20,000 odd buzzy babies keeps me on my toes. Then there’s work and bills as well. Good thing sleep is optional right?
Looking back, I’m proud of how I spent my pandemic years, especially the opportunities that I offered myself that I may not have otherwise had the chance to. And I’m excited about all that this year has to offer.