Brian Lipson


Image by Sarah Walker

DSP: Who are you in this world? What is your Normal?
BL: I am an old man who for some reason has been making theatre for years and years and years and my normal is anxiety about whether I can do what I want to do and whether what I want to do is worth doing.

DSP: Who were you at the beginning of this project?
BL: Same as above

DSP: Who have you become through this project or by the end of the last show? What is your new normal?
BL: I am the same but I had a good time and I enjoyed meeting new people. No new normal.

DSP: Through this process how do you foresee arriving at the next stage, if that was to become a reality? What do you want to normalise?
BL: Well, It would be great to make a new show or revise this one. I can certainly imagine doing that and imagine new members of the company coming in and I can also imagine being or not being part of the group (as they might want to bring new people).

DSP: What is paradise and what does it look like to you?
BL: Paradise is, lying in a hot tub (natural spring) under the stars in a very remote place and I think I would like a glass of Laphroaig on hand plus a string quartet playing Beethoven. I wouldn’t want to do it for eternity but I would like it to be in the snow so I can jump out and roll around in the snow for a bit as that would be invigorating. And I’d like to ski now and again without the worry that I’m going to break a leg. Well with that worry because i like the sense of danger but without the actual possibility of it happening. In fact, I went to a place like that once – with snow and hot spring – in Portland, Oregon America.

DSP: Is theatre / performance art needed in paradise? Why?
BL: I think its needed for me, and maybe everyone because (as Talking Heads say: ‘Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens’ which puts a lot of people off and why some people reject the idea of heaven and decide to indulge in “sin” is because heaven is boring! And it is important for heaven to be interesting and challenging. And because performance art is about savouring life from moment to moment, so for the idea of eternity, theatre and performance art is needed.

DSP: Name 3 to 10 survival things you have / need / would like to have in your tool belt? (for everyday, as an artist and in the bush)
BL: Pencil, notebook, nuts and raisins.

DSP: Can you identify and share one pivotal moment, that was the turning point for you as an artist and a person in this project?
BL. Its when I didn’t put out my cigarette properly backstage and the waste paper bin caught fire, so I wasn’t allowed to have a real cigarette after that. But I put the fire out straight away.

DSP: What was the hardest and the most fun or funniest thing in this process?
BL: Both and Hardest & fun thing was smoking as I thought that was something I couldn’t manage onstage but I did.

DSP: Is there a fun fact about you, you would like to share here?
BL: Sometimes a hair that is about ten times thicker than normal hair grows behind my ear. I don’t notice it, and it happens rarely but when I do it is like a wire.

DSP: Industry history, awards and other works that you would like to share, if at all!
BL: I have won about 4 Green room awards and received about 9 nominations. I was given an Australia Council Fellowship in 2011.