Tag Archives: Home

ImpulseTraining, an enlivening of the senses

Home. Friday 29th May. 2015. I’m sitting on my couch. A fire is burning. A pot of tea brews. “Turn pot seven times. Strain. Add milk. No sugar”. Cakes are cooking in the oven. I love baking. It makes me feel at home. The HOME team has been exploring home and what it means for five years now, although I have been making homes all my life. I move furniture on a weekly basis — a change of furniture is like a new house I think as I move our bedroom furniture into the lounge room (just for fun)– what it does is awaken me. I see things differently. I notice a painting I haven’t noticed in a while. I see the sunlight through the windows differently–but today I am not moving furniture. I am drinking tea and I am baking as I contemplate the upcoming few weeks.

We have just finished our first week of rehearsal, to reacquaint ourselves, and rewrite some of the script HOME. The last time I performed HOME was in July 2012 when we were part of the La Boite Independent season. HOME has been lucky, it was birthed at Metro Arts in the city, moved up the hill to La Boite and has now crossed the river to the new Studio Theatre at The Greenhouse, our QTC home. It has been developed in Chicago, Mexico, Brisbane and Perth.


Leah Mercer, our long term collaborator, lives in Perth so we have to be very strategic regarding rehearsals. Leah came to Brisbane last week and we worked on HOME at Metro Arts, where my company 4change is Company in Residence. This is the first time we have tried to co-direct together. Usually Leah is director (Leah directed HOME at La Boite and Eve at Metro Arts) and I am writer/performer. But each time we do shows we like to shake things up a bit and learn new ways of doing things. I think it is working well, though the final week will be handed back to Leah to make the final decisions as I concentrate on my performance.

leah mercer

HOME could never have been created without the liaison between Leah and myself. We are so different, yet seem to bring out the best in each other’s work. Leah is calmer than I am, so her calmness and my enthusiasm complement each other. We question each other’s choices, we unpack conflicts and we celebrate successes. It is not always easy, with such distance between us. Invariably we struggle, yet the struggle seems to result in work that is rigorous and challenging.

Leah returns in July to rehearse for two weeks before our two week season. Bev Jensen, our visual artist has created a truly sensational set. It is made of perspex and projections and at the end of the show we invite the audience to come and wander through it, touching and appreciating the hundreds of hours that have gone into the engraving and etchings. The set is an art installation and would be equally at home in an art gallery. But we are lucky to have it in our QTC Studio for the month of July.

MARGI in the Redwood Forest

MARGI in the Redwood Forest

And i am once again working with my youngest son, Travis who returned from studying in Spain so he could participate again in HOME. It is a joy to work with him. He is such a generous actor and we have a great short hand. He has been working with me in various shows much of his life so we are used to playing on stage together. This season of HOME sees him rewrite most of his social and political monologues that he delivers throughout the show, as a counter balance to my domestic stories. I love what he has written…I think you will too.

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These next few weeks will be spent learning lines, planning our HOME workshops (come on, I dare you! Enrol in a fabulous few hours of deliciousness!) and getting ready for moving into the theatre space, alongside our other commitments. Productions are never done in a vacuum and my husband Bill will be as involved in the show as he can be, helping me remember my lines, making me green smoothies and generally nurturing me in-between his corporate meetings and working trips. As you can read between the lines, my theatre work is not a separate beast. It breathes beside my private life, enriching and counterpointing, challenging and creating cacophony at times. But always welcomed.

The HOME team has been warmly welcomed into QTC as we prepare for our audience: an assortment of teas have been tested by Deidrie and Shari, along with little cakes and biscuits. We are all excited about hosting our audiences and I am hoping that QTC’s subscribers are well aware that: “This is your show. Your time to perform if you want to–no pressure, only if it feels right.. Come and relax and be nurtured for an hour or so”. We can’t wait to welcome you, our first audience members, to drink tea with you, laugh with you and share your stories. Bring your friends. After all it is a family affair!

This is a bit of fun, and may even be something that can keep us in our happy places...I particularly like benefiting from flower power...i always want flowers around me...7 scientifically-backed tips to create a happier home...a cut and paste from Over 60 Newsletter...thanks so much!

"I wear a green carnation on my lapel and a knife blade on my tongue" says Oscar Wilde in our show Eve, which opens this week...well Opening Night is on Friday...and I cannot wait to share this little gem, along with He Dreamed a Train...

Monday, Jun 19 2017 Over60
Science has given us so much information that improves our lives – but did you know this goes as far as how to design, decorate and live in our homes? From the furnishing shapes that give humans the most peace of mind, to the colours that most easily enable happiness, follow these verified tips on how to make your home a happier place to be.

1. Furnish with round objects
Research by Harvard Medical School shows that the type of contour an object possesses – whether that be sharp, angled or curved – has a critical influence on people’s attitude toward that object. The study shows that humans tend to have an affection for curves, as they convey warmth, while sharp elements (e.g. a V-shaped corner) can convey a threat.

Tip: Where possible, furnish with round items such as a circular coffee or dining table.

2. Display sentimental photos
According to a study at North Dakota State University, indulging in nostalgic feelings is good for our psychological wellbeing. “Our research suggests that nostalgia is largely psychologically positive,” says Professor Clay Routledge. “Participants who were the most prone to nostalgic thinking also had the highest scores in happiness and self-esteem.”

Tip: Place some framed sentimental photos on your bedside table, or dedicate an entire wall to a picture collage.

3. Paint a wall green or yellow
A study from Vrije University in Amsterdam found that people mostly associate yellow or green with positive experiences, and in particular, happiness. “In accordance with the findings, the popularity of green increased with age. While the so-called ‘anti-colours’ – white and black – were consistently disliked,” the study’s authors reported.

Tip: Consider painting a single feature wall in these colours to create happy vibes in your home.

4. Make your bed every day
Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestselling book The Happiness Project explains that making the bed was “the number one most impactful change that people brought up over and over” as she researched her book on inspiring happiness. “Making your bed is a step that’s quick and easy, yet makes a big difference,” she says. “Everything looks neater. It’s easier to find your shoes. Your bedroom is a more peaceful environment. For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm.”

Tip: Make a daily habit of prioritising this minor task so it’s the first thing you do when you start your day.

5. Personalise your work space
An experiment carried out by researchers Craig Knight and S. Alexander Haslam of the University of Exeter found that office workers were up to 32 per cent more productive when given control of how to arrange and decorate their work space. In addition, the presence of living plants in a work space is thought to have the additional benefit of purifying the air, thereby helping workers feel happier and healthier.

Tip: If you have a work space at home, decorate it with personal mementos that make you genuinely happy. Add pot plants to the area too.

6. Benefit from flower power
A team of researchers from Rutgers University explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ emotional responses to flowers. “Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy,” said lead researcher, Dr Haviland-Jones. “Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional wellbeing.”

Furthermore, the study showed that the presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends, and participants reported feeling less depressed and anxious.

Tip: Give some fresh blooms pride of place in your home, such as on a coffee table or mantelpiece.

7. Furry friends with benefits
Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners. “People experienced greater social needs fulfilment from their dog, they were less depressed, less lonely, had greater self-esteem, were more happy, and tended to experience less perceived stress”, the report says.

Tip: Pets come in all shapes and sizes, so consider what type of pet may be right for your home.

Written by Pauline Morrissey.

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Sunday dreaming... day off! Eve and He Dreamed a Train enter final week of rehearsal... we are bubbling over with excitement with @AaronBarton finalising Eve's world and @GeoffSquires lighting magical atmospheres ... ...

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We are now finishing our second week of rehearsal of our double bill...this time Eve is being re-created under the exacting eyes of Leah Mercer who arrived from Perth yesterday. Here is MBA improvising at Metro Arts in 2012, our first rendition of this little gem. Photo by Brooke Everingham ...

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For months we have been gardening and creating performance spaces for nest4change

For quite  a few months we have been creating, under the watchful eye of our artist in resident Bev Jensen, a series of outside rooms for our Home performance.  The room I love the best is the kitchen, where we grow herbs, edible flowers, and passionfruit, orange tree, lemon tree and two mulberry trees. They are only small but Queensland is the place to grow things! This summer will be hot and wet, and they will thrive.

Kate is an extraordinary cook and teaches us the artistry of food

Kate is an extraordinary cook and teaches us the artistry of food...