Week 2 | Artist 2: Created to Create 2016 | Louise Siversen, Actress
My name is Louise Siversen. I am an Actress. I met Mara in 2013 in Southampton at the MICHA conference. It was the first time I had formally studied the Michael Chekhov Techniques. We met in class and found a meeting point, a pleasure in each other’s company and so we became friends.
I have a website (www.louisesiversen.com.au) and it is a place I can gather my work together and store videos and photos and information about my work.I was born in Melbourne Australia and have lived here on and off over time. I have lived in other cities but at present I live in Melbourne. I work all over Australia. Wherever jobs take me I go.
Currently, I am doing a TV series for a Network in Australia. The Series is called House Husbands and we have produced 4 series and this year starting in May will be our fifth. I play Miss Looby, the school principal a role I have loved playing. I also do other roles throughout the year in TV or Theatre depends what the year brings. I also run Performance Workshops in Melbourne and Sydney four or five times a year. They are weekends and I include Chekhov work along with a whole range of other methods to assist artists in invigorating their practice.
What fuels your desire to ACT?
I want to explore the universe in all of us to better understand what it is to be human. I want to encourage my spirit to make space for me and in so doing I will make space for you. I believe whole-heartedly in the origins of Actors. We were the Shamans of the village. We brought the spirits to earth to heal the village to educate the village to the village. I still believe it is our job. I need to expand my point of view so I can help you expand yours. It is an inclusive activity: Acting. It should, by its very nature, be unifying and that is very satisfying to me. Acting helps me to develop as a human being through understanding someone else’s point of view. I can then take that understanding and feed it back into my community. So one voice becomes many.
It is a way for me to encourage empathy because it happens in my body, so it is remembered in my cells where real change occurs. I need to act-it is vocational for me. I believe it is my way of being of help. When I act everything is quiet and peaceful, even in dramatic scenes everything slows down and it is like being underwater. I see more clearly, hear more clearly. The upshot of that is a flow on into my daily life. I get to develop in my art and take it on into my interactions in my world. I want to use my skills and talents to make a contribution to my world. Storytelling is a way for humans to access understanding. As a character, I help tell the story so I am part of something larger than just me, which is when we really feel the wonder and awe of being alive with others. It is a mysterious alchemy of story, circumstance and human emotions only happening in that singular moment. Miraculous. A blessing and a privilege. It has never lost the wonder for me. In fact, it intensifies as time passes.
The best thing about being an artist is…
I get the chance to be of help to the degree that I am courageous. It is direct correlation. Bravery is a prerequisite for my work. The stretch, the leap I have to take to embody someone else forces me to let go, to make space, to embrace new things, ideas, points of view. In so doing, I invite knowledge, generating flexibility in my mind. This in turn becomes available in my interactions providing a window into the world of another, the reasons for the behaviour. And once there is a reason we can understand something.
The Tribe of people who inhabit my working world help me to feel free and willing. They encourage me to go further, be braver, they are depending on me to be courageous, so I find through their help and inspiration I can achieve more, be more, take leaps of freedom with their support. Being part of something larger than ourselves, we are creating together so we are interdependent like a microcosm of the world. A family. I get to be someone else and embrace his or her world it is educational. Acting has taught me so much I am beyond grateful. I am always researching, reading, trying to understand as I make my way toward someone.
When I am looking for inspiration I...
I am always looking for inspiration. So I am always paying attention working to be as present as I can be with myself with other. But a few things I do:
MEDITATE- it will show you the Universe.
LISTEN- to others, their perspective, their ideas, they’re fears, their joys, and their hopes. But really listen not just waiting to speak actually hear what they are saying with your body. To be listened to be one of the greatest gifts a being can receive. It underpins every single thing I do as an Actress and if I don’t practice I won’t be able to do it well when I work.
PRACTICE YOUR ART ALONE-I take studio space and listen to myself. I practice my techniques and research what works and what doesn’t. I enjoy the discovery time the time to experiment.
EXERCISE - I do yoga and walk but do whatever lights your fire. You must move your body to be inspired. All inspiration is the result of movement so MOVE. It will unlock information, images, memories, ideas etc. locked in your cells. My job is called ACTING so I ACT as in I DO. You do something, then you feel something. So DO something. Draw, write, listen to music, watch movies, and read. Read everything, but most particularly for me-plays and acting books. They endlessly inspire me.
DO A VISUAL DIARY-I draw each day and record images of my day. I am in constant contact with my imagination always encouraging and nourishing it so my imagination knows I am interested. Sleep, it gives you time to dream.
THROW SOMETHING AWAY-or better still give it away. Make space around you for inspiration to come in. Make your environment permeable. Keep clutter to a minimum it clogs you. I sit still for a time and allow my mind to wander. It needs to wander a lot when I am trying to access a character so I let it know that it is free to wander and ponder.
The biggest challenge in working with myself is…
Faith. I must have faith to be an Actress. It is a faith-based undertaking. Faith, in the sense that you must have confidence operating in the unknown. To take what I get and follow it through without reservation even when I don’t get the support I would like or need, to continue on, with grace and courage. I am mining a place that no one has gone before because I am creating from scratch. So, of course there is fear that is the deal. But take that and keep going. As Rainer Maria Rilke said; ‘Surely all art is the result of having been in danger, of having gone all the way to the end of the experience to where no man can go any further.” That is what I wish for myself, but even more, I wish it for you through my example as the character.
In 2016, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2016.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2016
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.