Kathleen Higgs is the Executive Administrator to the Executive Director and Co-CEO, providing general administrative and secretarial support to Virginia Lovett. She is also responsible for coordinating copyright agreements for all our productions and ensuring the Company’s annual Christmas party is even more epic than last year’s. Pre-pandemic she was an avid theatre-goer and an emerging director – moonlighting as an usher at Arts Centre Melbourne and juggling productions in Melbourne’s fringe theatres.
As restrictions are slowly easing, here are some of the things I’ve discovered in lockdown that I plan to take into a post-COVID world. But one thing I will leave behind is my drastically reduced attention span, which has been ruined by weeks of constantly refreshing the live news feeds!
NEW HABIT: Exercise
As someone who was out almost every night of the week at the theatre, I never made time for exercise. Once lockdown hit, however, I had no more excuses and being over 30 my metabolism has begun to slow down. Finally I had the time to do something about it! I’m no runner and lack self-discipline to set my own workout routines so I was delighted to find Lyndall’s Luscious Limberings.
Earlier this year I was able to take up the opportunity of a directing internship on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I learnt an enormous amount, including the value of a daily company warm-up. When the lockdown happened, Lyndall Grant – who has been a Fight Director on many MTC productions and is currently an actor and Movement Captain in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – took her half hour warm ups to YouTube. She even curates a Spotify playlist to go along with it!
Lyndall’s warm ups are accessible and achievable for all. She incorporates a mix of tai chi, Pilates, cardio and core work so the whole body stays limber! I’ve found them particularly useful to combat working from home, where I sit at my desk far too much!
For those who want even more of a fitness challenge, I highly recommend one of Stef Turner’s HOMEouts 7 Day Challenges – another Aussie performer who has managed to move her business online. Try her Barre class and see what Scott Morrison is missing out on! I look forward to taking one of Stef’s classes in her studio soon.
COMIC: ABC Life’s Slice of Life & Live Forever
ABC Life is featuring an amazing series of comics from Melbourne artist Stacy Gougoulis, specifically made for Instagram Stories. If you don’t have Instagram, Zoom one of the millennials in your life and make them share their screen so you can watch together. It will only take a moment of your time and it is sure to impress and move you.
SHORT READ: Red Hand Files – Nick Cave
Whether you are a Nick Cave fan or not, there is something for everyone in this collection of responses to questions from his fans. I find the intimacy and honesty of his responses captivating and refreshing. You can find all his previous responses to fan questions at The Red Hand Files and you can even submit a question of your own. If you just read one, make it this one, where Cave writes about his grief on losing his son, Arthur, aged 15.
LONG READ: Top End Girl & About A Girl
After Miranda Tapsell’s captivating performance in last year’s Black is the New White, I’ve just cracked into her inspiring memoir Top End Girl and it’s a brilliant read so far. I have a huge collection of actors’ memoirs so I’m thrilled to add this to it and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Thanks to the recommendation of our Casting Director, Janine Snape, I’ve just finished About a Girl, in which Rebekah Robertson shares her story of raising her transgender child, Georgie Stone (who’s killing it playing Mackenzie Hargreaves on Neighbours) – an insightful, educational and emotional must read.
PODCAST: C*ck Blocked by Corona
Full disclosure: I know these creative and hilarious ladies. Actor Hannah Fredericksen and director Lauren McKenna attempt to help their best mate, social media maven Kate Foster, find a date. After a string of not quite “the one” men, Hannah and Lauren lovingly push Kate into the uncharted waters of dating from a distance. Along the way they take a deep dive into relationships and dating in a 2020 COVID world – it’s an absolute riot and I’ve also learnt a lot!
PUZZLE: The Melbourne Map
Puzzles aren’t just for pandemics! I try to do one each Christmas too, when I return home to my family in the tiny town of Nannup, Western Australia. During the lockdown, one of the puzzles I’ve been working on is a 1000-piece The Melbourne Map. It has an insane amount of detail and has enabled me to explore all over Melbourne, despite being stuck at home. It was such a thrill to slot the Southbank Theatre piece in between the MRC and NGV, and now that restrictions are easing I can’t wait to get back into these buildings and continue to explore all our beautiful city has to offer. Good luck with the all-white border!
ONE FOR THE KIDS: Thalu
I’ve so enjoyed watching the stars of tomorrow in NITV’s Thalu, available on SBS On Demand. This children’s TV series sees a group of Indigenous kids go on a classic quest adventure to save their Country from a mysterious storm cloud. The steam-punk inspired costumes designed by Kylie Clifford are incredibly unique and it’s all set in the sweeping outback landscape of the Pilbara region – it’s worth tuning in just for the visual feast. The group of seven kids, who are all making their acting debut, will captivate you. Especially Noodles. Keep an eye out for Elaine Crombie (MTC’s Astroman) as Bits and Bobs. Each episode is only 15 minutes – perfect for my short attention span.
Published on 4 June 2020