Discover more from A Hot Mess
Anonymous interviews with people I know 3.0
Mother's Milk: "Don't get too close to my fantasy, don't be afraid to clutch the hand of your creator" Ween
This was an attempted anonymous interview that gives itself away throughout.
I am her, she is me. When we Facetime we often don’t know which box is who and it freaks us out. I cannot escape her influence. Every time I think I’ve come across something, an idea, a hobby, a skill, a record, a song, a muse for myself -she’s had it first and planted it in my deep subconscious. In a way I often feel like I’m a fantasy creation made up of her imagination of everything she thinks is cool. A Frankenstein. A barbie manufactured to her dream standards. Happily so. Hardwired, inescapably so. Haven’t decided yet.
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I feel nervous.
I didn’t prepare any questions so I’m just going to improvise…
How about five books that changed your life, or the way you thought of life, even if just for a while…
Well, I was obsessed with the Famous Five as a child. I think that I actually learned a lot of things from the famous five. They had a really good sense of adventure and they were always up for doing things. They were just very Gung ho all these kids. I thought that was really cool.
The Magic Faraway Tree. I loved the idea that in this ordinary forest if you looked hard enough there was all this magic going on in different lands. I always thought that I was probably going to get to find it when I was older…
The Magic Faraway Land?
Have you found it?
Laughs* Not yet.
Still Looking? Still Looking.
Then when I was a teenager, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They were also about being quite adventurous and living how you wanted.
When did you read Breakfast At Tiffany’s?
When I was 14. I read the book after I watched the movie.
Did you want to be like her?
Totally. I don’t think I picked up that she was probably a sex worker when I read it. *Giggles. I think I thought that she just got paid to hang out with these mafia guys. I loved her whole schtick. That she wouldn’t name her cat, that she didn’t want to be tied down, that she didn’t want to marry anybody. I very much like all of that and wanted to be like that when I grew up?
I did. Then I decided I did actually want to have children, but.. *can barely say it without laughing* I wanted to have a child of every nationality, with different men in different countries, and I was going to change my name and reinvent myself every time I went somewhere new.
With my little gaggle of children from all around the world.
Like Angelina Jolie.
No idea, at some point that idea just slipped away… *still giggling*
Describe your childhood.
I was pretty much a loner. I don’t know if that was by choice or because I was a strange kid that not a lot of other kids wanted to play with.
Did you think you were strange or did other people tell you you were strange?
I kind of always knew that I was a bit strange and I would try really hard to just be normal and something would kind of give me away… laughs*. I never felt like I fitted in with other kids. I know tonnes of people who say that, I think most people tend to feel like they’re a bit different to everybody else, but I didn’t really have friends until Year 2 and I’m still friends with them today. I was never a particularly popular kid, I just liked to live in my own world. I liked to read books, play dress ups, play with my Barbies, play in the garden. I loved being amongst nature, watching birds, butterflies, bees and ants. I invented games all the time. Writing stories.
You were raised vegetarian or that was a choice?
It was a choice. I was 7 or 8 when I said to my mum I didn’t want to eat meat anymore.
Was that because she was Vegetarian?
I didn’t realise she was a vegetarian. We never ate together. I always ate on a tray in my bedroom.
Why is that?
We didn’t really have family dinners because my dad worked at night and my brother and I were fed on trays. I was perfectly happy with it. Consequently I never learned how to use a knife and fork and didn’t realise I didn’t know how to use cutlery until I was 17 and how embarrassing that was, that I didn’t know how to eat properly.
Do you think of that as, like, neglect?
No, not at all. I think of it more like being indulged actually. I was generally very involved in playing a game and I didn’t want to be distracted. That’s probably why it happened.
So you would have deep focus on whatever you were working on.
But you said that you were diagnosed with ADD
Yes, but when you have ADD if there’s something that you’re really interested in you can focus on that. My problem was not being able to sit still for stuff that bored the shit out of me at school. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do and I didn’t have much tolerance for anything else.
Did you have any dreams of your future when you were a child?
All the time. I was obsessed with playing ‘Ladies’. That was my favourite game. Which really just involved going to shows, going to dinner, going to work. I just always wanted to have high heels and lipstick on and be dressing up to go somewhere.
And then you read Breakfast At Tiffany’s and it all made sense.
I just wanted to be where the action was.
What age were you when your family moved to Sydney from Adelaide?
How did you feel about it?
I didn’t want to leave Adelaide, because I had a great group of friends, but within about two weeks of being in Sydney I realised it was pretty great and I was glad that I was here.
Can you describe the school you went to?
The first school was just a regular school -Glebe High School, and then a teacher -maybe two weeks in, came up to me and said “you should probably go and check out this alternative high school, I think that it would really suit you, I’ll write down the name and number, take it home and talk to your parents about it”. I remember thinking ‘why would she tell me that? why do I not seem like I fit in here? I feel fine’, but I was quite intrigued so we went and checked it out and they were putting on Rocky Horror Show as the school play. I was obsessed with Rocky Horror Show, I’d seen it probably 50 times because it was on late at night at the cinema and my friends and I would go to an 11pm screening.
Who was playing Rocky?
… *starts laughing*, well hang on, isn’t this an anonymous thing?
*Rocky was played by my father, I’m ruining the anonymity*
Well, did you notice the guy playing Rocky?
I guess so, yeah.
Did you think he was good looking?
I think that we immediately made very good friends.
You met that day at the school?
No, but I said that I would go to the school if they would let me play Magenta. Funnily enough the girl that was playing Magenta got sick -not funny, but she got sick and so I did end up playing Magenta which I was super happy about. AND YES, I met the man who became the father of my daughter! *Giggles
At that school play when you were 12, you playing Magenta, him playing Rocky.
What was he wearing?
Just little teeny tiny ice blue hot pants.
Was he 12?
I guess he was probably 14.
We can’t stop laughing*
So this alternative school, did you do any normal subjects like maths, or you just did plays?
Everything was available, but basically it was a timetable and you picked out what lessons you wanted to do. Science, Maths, History and then things like Music Appreciation where we’d listen to the Rolling Stones for a term and talk about their songs and watch videos of them. We also had one where we watched old Hollywood musicals and talked about them and did some kind of dance. We’d do cartooning. We could smoke at school, we had a smokers corner and we called all of our teachers by their first names. Some of the kids had come from quite extreme upbringings, some of them had never been to the city, some of them had grown up on Amazon Acres which was a place where only women lived on the north coast. There were children of Orange People.
Who were Orange People?
David Essex. You probably don’t even know who that is.
Yeah, I do. Rock On!
Which is the only cover that I’ve ever recorded.
First real life crush?
I think I was pretty enamoured with a little boy in primary school called Frankie Nash, who never gave me the time of day, was really naughty and always getting into trouble. I thought he was pretty cool.
You like bad boys.
I guess I did! Ha!
When did you fall in love with the boy who played Rocky?
I was around 13 or 14. We were friends for a while and then we kind of got together, it was very casual for a couple of years off and on.
You don’t remember the first time it became romantic?
Honestly I don’t. *Laughs
*I think she’s lying
What was he like?
Um, gosh… it’s hard to remember.
There was lots of joking and teasing, you know funny and playful and fun.
And he moved in with you?
No. He got his own house when he was 16, him and his best friend. Then he and I moved in together when I was about 17, and then my mum and dad moved in with us!
What was your first job?
Working in a pizza bar after school.
Did you know what you wanted to be in highschool?
Um, i’m pretty sure that I knew that I would do something in the arts. Like I was keen to be a singer, or an actor or a writer, but I was also pretty keen on the idea of being a teacher or maybe a nurse or a secretary! They were all the possibilities…
How did you get your first acting gig?
Working in the pizza bar. The director came in and I had met him at another friend’s party and we’d had a conversation and I must’ve told him I worked at the pizza bar. When he was casting for this film he came into the pizza bar looking for me and said ‘would you like to come and audition?’. I guess because I had grown up around lots of people who did that kind of thing it just seemed quite normal and I just went “oh yeah, sure”.
How much did they offer you to be the lead role in this movie?
I think I was paid 7000 dollars to be the lead role and sometime later, like a year later, they gave me an extra 3000 dollars to bring it up to 10 000. *Laughs
How many weeks work was it?
It was a very short film, maybe a six week shoot.
How old were you?
I was still living at home.
How did your boyfriend feel about you doing this movie?
I think he thought it was pretty good. He was always working really hard -long hours. I think he was bricklaying at that time.
Who did you meet making this film?
I’m confused about if were being anonymous or not.
It’s up to you really. If people figure it out it’s up to you.
Well I met Noah, your godfather and Ben Mendelsohn and a bunch of other young actors.
*Her husband walks in
I’m talking to my daughter.
I’m interviewing mum.
Husband: Dinner? What do you want?
I just want your left over salad. There’s tonnes of it isn’t there? I’ll have whatever fancy french dinner you’re cooking.
Husband: I change my mind
Just get some bread please.
Do you think your teen years were a bit of a blur? If you could describe it more like a general feeling, how did it seem?
It was very fun! It was very creative. My girlfriends and I were always making things up -plays and school newspapers. Because I wanted to be a teacher and I was at an alternative school they let me design my own class plans and take classes. So I taught maths to younger kids and a drama class and… some kind of dancing class. *Laughs (she’s notoriously uncoordinated).
Was there a particular teacher than inspired you?
Yes there were two. Jane and Julie. They were both incredibly inspiring, super cool women who were really fun and really smart and wonderful conversationalists. That was the best thing about school actually, that we all had great conversations all the time. The teachers were studying philosophy and anthropology and we were all really curious about that so we’d have lunch time philosophy clubs were we’d all sit around with Julie and Jane and talk about what we’d learnt about philosophy. I’d write lots of essays just for fun, like I’d ask them what their university assignments were and then I’d try and write one for fun based on their assignment questions. It was very intellectually stimulating and creatively challenging.
Were you aware that Jane and Julie were in a throuple?
*Julie is my paternal grandmother
Absolutely, yeah. Just seemed very normal.
Did you know any other LGBTQI+ people at the time?
Oh yeah. Lots of my parent’s friends.
And this is the 80s now?
Mid 80s. It was a pretty wild era. Even though there was a lot of deep conservatism going on, people were also very accepting of peoples sexual preferences and decisions. It was quite live and let live I think.
Did you hear much about AIDS at the time?
God no. Not until the Grim Reaper Ad. It’s probably the most famous ad in Australian television history. It was this terrifying grim reaper character rolling a bowling ball down a bowling alley, but there was people instead of bowling pins and some of them were like young cute children, and some of them were *puts on voice* “ordinary mums and dads”. The bowling bowl would take some of them out and kill them and it was really dramatic. It was an anti-AIDS ad. “Be careful you must use condoms, because it will get you and kill you”.
Can you tell me about the first person you met who had AIDS?
Suzie Sidewinder was her name. At the time those ads came out, we didn’t know she had it and in fact my mum made the costume for the Grim Reaper. She didn’t want to tell anybody once she saw the ad, because she realised how hideous it was.
Suzi Sidewinder was this incredible, wild, beautiful American woman who was just super sassy and feisty and had a smart ass comeback for absolutely everything and a wild outrageous story for everything. You didn’t get much of a word in around her, you just watched and listened in awe.
Do you remember the moment you first found out she had AIDS?
I do. I had just come back from filming The Year My Voice Broke and I remember going and sitting on the balcony with my parents and saying something about wanting to visit Vince & Suzi and my mum and dad saying ‘we’ve got to tell you something’ and telling me that Suzi had AIDS and she had been given probably 6 months to live, and that actually they wanted to know if I would go and work there and help look after her. So that’s what I did immediately from coming back, I started the next day I think.
You weren’t afraid to catch it even though the science wasn’t clear at the time for most people? I know there was a lot of fear, misinformation and stigma around at the time.
No, i just presumed that you’d have to probably at least pash *Australian slang for snog/french kiss. I didn’t presume that you would catch it from hugging or being in the same room.
What were your duties looking after Suzi those 6 month?
It only ended up being 3 months… yeah.
In the mornings I’d do 3 hours of secretarial work, I would do filing. I had to file all of the receipts and cross reference credit card statements for The Divinyls, who were on tour in America. Suzi’s husband -Vince, was managing them. I’d type letters for him and post them and just answer the phone, take messages. Then I’d spend 2 or 3 hours with Suzi in the afternoons when Vince went off and did other things. I’d brush her hair or I’d paint her toenails, or just help feed her -she couldn’t eat, you know she was really really shaky. I’d roll joints for her and then help her smoke them, like I’d have to put the joint in her mouth for her.
What kind of food did she like eating?
I think she was just eating Farex, like baby food, because her mouth was so sore, she had all these sores in her mouth…
Do you remember anything that she said to you that has stuck with you?
Yeah. That I had to learn to play the saxophone cause ‘cool girls played saxophone and I wanted to be cool didn’t I?’. I said I really don’t think I want to play the saxophone and she said *puts on Suzi’s hard New Yorker accent* “You have to learn the fucking saxophone man”.
Was this your first experience of death?
No, it was my second, because it was a pretty big deal when Bon Scott died, because he was my dad’s best friend. I was 10. I guess because that’s the first person I’d known who died and because it seemed like everyone was talking about it and it was a big deal, it became a really big deal for me -I took a couple of weeks off school. Just to kind of process it. I was really heartbroken. Had a seance with my next door neighbours trying to contact him because I felt like we had this really strong connection and that he’d want to send me a message.
Do you remember anything Bon Scott said to you as a child?
Only that he thought that he’d seen the ghost of our dog Harry in the driveway and that he was really happy. I remember thinking how nice it was of him to say that, thinking it’s probably not true but it’s nice of him to say it because he knows it made me feel better. All my dads friend’s were nice.
Moving quickly back to the life timeline of you… you’re 19 with the boy who played Rocky.
At some point we moved to a little flat in Bondi Beach living above a Chinese restaurant, we had ocean glimpses -which meant that if you stood on the toilet and looked out the window you could see the ocean. It was on Campbell Parade. That was a pretty nice little place, it was fun to have our own place for the first time. I remember my grandma sending me my first set of saucepans -that was quite a big deal. Had a bed made out of milk crates.
Did you want to have a baby?
I think I had always said “when it happens it happens, I’m just gonna let nature take it’s course” type thing and within a month I was pregnant.
How did you feel when you found out?
I remember being too scared to tell my mum and dad because I knew I was going to make the into grandparents and that just seemed incomprehensible because they were so young.
You knew you were going to keep it
Oh definitely, yeah. I do remember that I had had either a lot of alcohol or maybe a little line of coke and when I found out I was pregnant I was pretty nervous because I knew you weren’t meant to do those things… but I was pretty sure everything would be fine.
Did you think about what kind of mother you wanted to be or how you saw life panning out with a baby?
No, I thought I’d just keep doing exactly what I was doing… and I pretty much did really. Obviously I wasn’t going out and partying like all of my friends were, but I’d do what I could and go along for a little bit and then I’d go home. I was around lots of really young people who were all very active, busy and working and partying and getting fucked up and I was changing nappies and not really able to do much of anything. I couldn’t drive, and I couldn’t fold the pram up to get on the bus.
So you felt a bit trapped?
I guess yeah, because I really could only go about as far as I could walk. All my friends were off working, I didn’t know anybody else with babies.
And you couldn’t work?
I couldn’t work. I was going to uni a day a week. Studying philosophy. I quit high school when I did the film, so I only did year 10. I did year 11 correspondence about 3 months before I went -'fuck that I’m never gonna need it’ and I don’t think I have, although I could probably be making more money than I am if I had.
Not if you studied philosophy!
My dad would look after my baby while I went to study philosophy. Which is pretty cute because he’s a rock n roller, not really a baby guy, so he was looking after this teeny tiny baby for like 3 hours at a time.
Your boyfriend is 21 at this point, how was he as a father? Was it how you expected?
He was a great dad, wonderful dad. Very loving. Right in there with the nappies.
But you were alone a lot.
Yeah and I got a bit annoyed with him that he was a bit silly. There was a lot of boys hanging out with the baby, and they’d be drunk or going to a fast food joint and letting her suck on a french fry and crazy… ‘let’s take the baby surfing!’
Describe the night you gave birth
Yeah, i’d been in pre labour for a long time. Too much pain to sit down and do anything, but not actually in labour so I couldn’t got to the hospital. So I walked around the streets of paddington with my best friend for hours and hours, pacing. We were playing some kind of word game. Then we played really intense chequers for about two hours, where we both played two hands at the same time.
Was your friend also 20?
She was 17.
You get to the hospital, it’s go time…
Its just a blur of screaming.
And your waters didn’t break.
No. That’s so weird. They had to pierce them.
And then the baby came gushing out
Yeah, like kinda shot out
Like a cannon? Like the nurse caught the baby slipping out with a rush of water?
Were you on all fours?
Yeah. I went very insular and shut my eyes until it happened.
The whole pregnancy I’d been saying, as soon as I give birth, all I want is a cigarette and a bottle of tequila. I thought that was going to be what I was desperate for. What I didn’t realise is all of our friends were sitting out in the waiting room of this birth centre, and they’d been listening to me screaming for the last 4 hours. So they all come rushing in with a bottle of tequila. *Laughs
How many people?
There was so many people.
When did you know you had fallen out of love (with the father?)
I think when I just realised how much time I was spending alone. I felt very unseen and lonely. We were living in a big huge warehouse with lots of young people. Everybody else was busy and I felt like I was just doing the dishes for everybody all the time.
And someone made you feel seen.
I broke up with your dad before I got together with Monica. I knew I was very attracted to her and I think we’d kissed or something.
Was that confusing to you?
In terms of being Lesbian?
No, didn’t phase me in the slightest. Nup. It was just -I really like this person and I kind of want to see what happens and I’m obviously not in a good place in my relationship if these feelings are happening.
Was that scary though, considering you had a kid?
It was, yeah. The whole thing was terrifying. We’d been together since I was 14, I couldn’t imagine a life not being together, but I also knew I wanted to be more than a housewife and I wanted to be happy. Yeah. I didn’t really feel like we were connecting the same way we once did. There was never a lack of love. It was… I needed to move on with the next phase of my life whatever that is.
How did your friends and family react when you started dating this woman?
I think people were pretty horrified that I had broken off the relationship. I don’t think anyone cared that it was a woman that I was seeing.
I guess we were a bit like Mum and Dad, because we’d been together so long, and most of our friends were not in relationships like that so they looked up to us as a source of stability, and we had a baby. I think it was a bit shocking, it pulled the rug from under people’s feet and they were a bit ‘WHAT?"‘.
Sounds like you were part of a very tight knit group of people, you were all living together at various points and very entrenched in each other’s lives.
Yeah that’s right. So I immediately kind of stepped out of that world and into a different world. I moved into a house with a couple of girlfriends who both also had small children. A house of single mothers. We all helped each other out.
Was it very difficult for all of you as single mothers in the early 90s?
Yeah. I mean, we never had any money. We were all working a lot as well. It was just a matter of juggling time. It was always a bit stressful trying to get rent paid and get your child taken care of around work hours. It was fun too -it was kind of madness with little kids racing everywhere and we were just drinking wine and smoking joints and blasting music. Playing dress ups and cooking. It was pretty good.
How did you find your girlfriend’s parenting style compared to your boyfriend?
Well I never expected her to take on the role of a parent. I didn’t think that was a fair thing for me to expect.
But she did.
But she did, as we were together for a long time. She was very fun, but she would also get a little bit annoyed. She did lots of fun activities, lots of cooking.
Do you think she was better at setting boundaries than you?
I think she cared about different things than I did. All I cared about was that my daughter was polite, kind, respectful and was having fun, well fed and mainly clean. That’s pretty much all I still care about.
What did care about that was different?
Things like shoes on the bed. *laughs
She had kind of slightly more traditional expectations and rules I think. I was never that big on rules.
How did you find co-parenting?
Generally pretty easy. There were certain things that were frustrating to me in the kind of inequality of the situation through no fault of anyone’s. I was poor and not able to offer the same things that they were able to offer, or to take you places they were able to take you to.
Were you doing a majority of the care taking, by default, because you worked less?
I felt like it was expected that I would always be available. Like I don’t think I could’ve turned up and said “I’m going away for two months, see ya!”. Whereas that was something that your dad could do because he was earning money and I think money does give you the freedom…
To be like my work is more important because it’s bringing more money in for both of us, in a sense. That’s quite standard. As in I don’t think it’s right, it’s just often how it is.
He used to say, why don’t you become a secretary, you’d be so good at it and I’d say '-I don’t want to, I have to do what I’m doing’.
But you did want to be a secretary when you were a teenager?
Yeah, but that soon disappeared, along with wanting a child of every nationality.
So you were like - I just want to be an artist, I can’t imagine myself being anything else.
Yeah, I did all kinds of -I always called them Black Money jobs (because they were never on the books, it was always cash in hand) -just working in a shop, or working in a restaurant.
Name all the odd jobs you did.
Various vintage clothing shops, CD shop, paddington market stalls for a designer, I made jewellery for somebody’s dad, lots of babysitting and nannying, cooking lasagnas and sell them to the local deli.
Then you would do gigs at night. How often? Weekly?
Oh easy, yeah. Couple of times a week generally.
Did that bring in any money?
That would bring in a couple hundred a week probably. Maybe.
And it was DIY. You were making your own flyers and CDs.
Yeah going out and postering the streets. Every gig I would pay a hundred dollars to get colour postcards made, which I designed in Quark Express in my little desktop computer and then I’d put them on a floppy disc and drive to North Sydney and get them printed on to postcards and then take them home and hand address postcards and send them out to -I think I had about 150 people on the mailing list then. I still know so many addresses off by heart.
I can’t believe you were posting invites to gigs, to actual mailboxes, IRL.
People would put them on their fridges. If I couldn’t afford to get the colour postcards done, I would go to Kinko’s with whatever coins I could find around the house and print out my flyers on coloured paper and the cut them up into smaller flyers and post them, leave them in cafes, tape them on to poles all down the street.
What would you do with your baby when you were gigging?
She would have a sleepover with her best friend or grandma.
Did you ever bring her (me) along?
Not gigs, but to many sound checks.
What’s the first record you made?
It was with my band Automatic Cherry and we’d just been doing a bit of recording at the guitarist’s house. He had a good home studio in a big terrace house. He was a bit more experienced, he was much older. He played with Ed Keupper. So we’d been doing backing vocals and stuff for his projects. He said if you want to make a record, we can make one. So we worked for months doing gigs to make enough money to pay for all the time that it took.
We spent a week -he set up the entire house for a week with -all the rooms were kind of connected, so like the drums were in the kitchen, I was in the lounge room, one guitarist in the front bedroom. We recorded it on both 8 Track and VHS.
You recorded the sound to 8 track tape? And recorded it as a live band, with live takes and some overdubs? But you only had 8 tracks so you could only 7 overdubs.
I think they did bouncing down after…
To double it up
Yeah, we couldn’t do a lot of overdubs. We had two backing vocals, lead vocals. bass, two guitars, keyboard, drums and then reverbs and stuff.
Then you did the CD manufacturing independently. You would call the CD manufacturer. What were the minimums?
I can’t remember if we did 500 or a thousand.
How much did that cost?
I think the whole album cost probably about 5000 dollars which we paid for as a band.
And then you made the music videos with VHS and posted them to the local television station to play on late night Rage (music video show)?
No we made a video on Super Hi 8, we filmed at Les Girls in The Cross. Then we could never afford to edit it, so we never did anything with it. For that band. Then later I would make videos with my friend, and you had to get them put onto some format that’s really expensive -I can’t remember what it’s called now. It was 200 to get a transfer, and you had to give two of them to Rage. Rage was the only place that showed independent music videos on TV.
It was at like 2am on Friday
But that was a really big viewing time, because everyone watched Rage all night. If you weren’t out you were watching Rage, and sometime’s you would be out and say -lets go home, drink tea and watch Rage until 7 in the morning and then go to bed.
Do you remember the first song you wrote?
It was called I’m a Pyromaniac. It’s because I was obsessed with match boxes. I used to like licking the sides of matchboxes, cause it gave like little battery charge or something. I also used to like lighting them, and someone told me that meant I was a pyromaniac.
How old were you when you wrote that song?
Like 4 or 5.
So you’ve been writing songs forever. It was just natural to you, because your dad was a songwriter. It was just like cooking or cleaning
Yeah. It was like if my dad was laying bricks I’d probably be good at doing that, but… yeah.
What was your first concert?
Apparently Tina Turner, but damn it I can’t remember. That’s what my mum tells me.
When you had your baby, were you set on making sure her first concert was special or it just happened?
It just happened, just because there was no way I was going to not go and see Screaming Jay Hawkins, cause I really loved him. I was really skinny and she was really tiny and I had a really big jacket, so I just kind of hid her under my jacket and went.
No baby headphones?
No, but my baby was under my coat *laughs*, it was muffled, she was fine.
Do you remember the first time your baby responded to music?
I remember making a really concerted effort when I was pregnant to go and sit in front of the stereo when I was listening to my favourite music, like Tom Waits, Dusty Springfield… mainly Tom Waits. I thought if I listen to a lot of Tom Waits, then that will be the music that was soothing when she was upset.
Did it work?
No, she used to cry when I’d put Tom Waits on, and I was frustrated that my plan hadn’t worked.
What music did she like?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers that my flat mate would dance around with her to! *Laughs*
Was that horrifying to you?
Yes, because I fucking hated them. Anyway… she liked the little lullabies I would sing.
If there were a few albums you could show a young woman wanting to be a musician, what would they be?
PJ Harvey ‘To Bring You My Love’, Liz Phair ‘Exile in Guyville’…I have an avalanche of albums in my head and I can’t decide.
Well you gave me Wanda Jackson
In the 90s, on weekends, what was your favourite albums to listen to
Barry White, Reggae Collections, Missy Elliot, TLC, Salt n Pepa, Lauryn Hill, Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Beck and always Bob Dylan.
What was your first international trip?
It was to LA to promote the film I was in and it was also the first time that I had ever stayed somewhere by myself and I was fucking terrified of staying at The Sunset Marquis Hotel. *giggles*. I thought that it was like a sketchy place, I was too scared to go wandering around at night.
Who did you meet and what did you do on this promo trip at 17?
They took me to the Polo Lounge and… I just did lots of interviews with news shows and stuff. I didn’t know what any of them were.
You met David Letterman right?
Yeah. I was going to be on David Letterman, but I was so unimpressive at the pre-meeting where um… they wanted me to be on it because they heard that I could breath fire, *squeals* so they thought it would be wild and crazy to have this young actress from Australia who can breath fire! The truth was I was really terrible at breathing fire and I’d just done it in a newspaper article for some bizarre reason but I was certainly not competent enough to be doing it on an American talk show! *giggles* Like I’d done it 5 times or something, that’s it, so it was a really ludicrous situation where I had to do it in a room for a bunch of producers and David Letterman… it was just a kind of joke flame that came out, and there were fire men there who stomped it out. It was this whole big production, and then I got bumped. I didn’t even know who Letterman was!
You weren’t disappointed.
No, and it wasn’t until years later that I got into watching him and went oh my god! I can’t believe that I could’ve been on this show, that’s so weird!
How did you meet your acting agent?
I was with an agent that I don’t think they thought I was that great. They thought I need to get my teeth fixed.
Cause you had a gap.
Yeah and just brush my hair and be a bit more like a nice Australian actress rather than
They thought I was a bit of a weirdo.
So Noah suggested I go meet his agent. I went for a meeting with him, I was quite nervous. He was throwing up in his bathroom off the office when I arrived. I still don’t know why.
He might have been coming off?
I don’t think he was on heroin then, but maybe he was. I’m not sure.
Anyway I remember really well, he was wearing this black suit, and he looked kind of ashen -because he’d just been throwing up and I tried to make a joke and said “you look like you’ve just been to a funeral” and he said “yes darling, I have”. *laughs
It was a bit awkward, but we immediately hit it off and became like almost an uncle and would end up coming over to my house nearly every night for dinner. It was never a planned dinner, he would just happen to turn up at 7 o clock, 7 thirty to drop something off, just as we’d be having dinner.
Do you think he did that on purpose because he wanted to stay for dinner.
He didn’t want to be alone at dinner, and he liked your cooking
I’m a pretty good cook
Would he leave immediately after the meal?
No, then we’d play cards for hours.
What’s a period of your life that you look back and think ‘that was a really easy time for me’?
The early days of Darlinghurst. I loved the freedom. That was the first house that was my very own. The rent was stupidly cheap, $120 a week or something, because it was such a dive. It just felt so great to have my own place that I could make look however I wanted. Just you and me.
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