NAME: WHITNEY RICHARDS // ROLE: WRITER & PERFORMER // SHOW: I DO I DON’T
What would you name a book about your life?
Is everything really that funny? A very serious tale.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into theatre?
– Live it, love it. But also step away from it when you need and get some perspective.
– NEVER get an ego.
– You don’t need permission to create something. I spent way too long waiting for someone to tell me I could make art. Just do it. It will probably be shit but you are not shit. It’ll get better, just do it, ok! Like, today.
– Hang out with older actors. Listen, learn. They are often a trove of amazing anecdotes.
– Take care of your mental health. See a psych. This is a tough gig.
– Work as an usher.
– R-E-S-P-E-C-T every role in the theatre-making process.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
– Speak up.
– Read more.
– Get your driver’s licence now!
– Wear more clothing.
– Love yourself more than you love boy bands.
– Don’t bitch about people.
– It’s ok that the whole sex craze is kind of baffling.
Do you have any unusual rehearsal rituals?
Unusual? Not particularly. But a nice habit I picked up from Leah Mercer from my time at Curtin was to check-in and check-out of every rehearsal. We used to do it in a formal way. Stand in a circle and chuck something from our hearts or minds into the middle. That way everyone knows where you’re at and you can take care of each other’s needs. This is particularly helpful on shows with larger teams. I like to do this for my rehearsals but if it’s not my rehearsal room then I just make the effort to lock eyes with everyone and ask how they are. Check-out also encourages leaving the baggage from rehearsals at the door and not taking it home with you, which is an impossible and tricky thing to do, but one must try.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?
The people. My coworkers and enthusiastic punters.
I love how we are equals when we sit down to hear a story together.
The connections. When someone says to you a minute or years after your show that it effected some positive change in their lives. WOW!
What excites you about Perth?
You all must see my sister’s lounge room when WWE is on. The kids go nuts. I’ve gotten quite into it too. Those wrestlers are brilliant thespians. That’s my favourite place in Perth. It’s oh so hipster, you’ve probably never even heard of it.
Find out more about I Do I Don’t from Winky Productions here.
Image by Tim Green.