Absinthe makes the arts grow stronger

Kate Walder

Bonjour!

WOW this week has been busy. I’m thrilled it unfolded they way it did because it’s actually a perfect example of how an actor should live their life if they are truly committed to their craft.

On Monday I went to yoga and a dance class. On Tuesday I wrote out a list of goals, had green smoothies and gluten free air for every meal and used my diaphragm whenever I spoke. On Wednesday I met with a couple of actors to talk about very serious actor things. We drank wine. I got home at 3am. Thursday the same thing happened. Friday was a highly important industry event that was crucial for my career (a raging house party for actors). I replaced wine with punch. It’s important to be versatile. Saturday unfolded in the same fashion. Sunday was a play-reading of a new Australian work, bar tab included. The three bars after that were optional. But I’m no quitter.

Now I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. Even THAT is excessive for me (I can feel my Mother having a heart attack from here. She thinks that when I eat a liquor chocolate at Christmas I should go to rehab). But in my defence, I would like to drop a few names. Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde. Absinthe. They are all responsible for some of the most prolific literary and artistic works of the modern age. In fact, some of the most exquisite 19th century poetry was written in a green haze. It’s in the history books people. So I feel that once a year I’m allowed to have such a week, because it unleashes a creative spirit in me that is critical to the progress of mankind.

But fear not, I have also been developing another side of my life which will please all the vegans and peace-loving hippies. You might remember me tentatively referring to books such as The Power of Now, A New Earth or The Artist’s Way when I was writing in 2009. I had just discovered this material when I left drama school and although the concepts were very new to me, they opened up a completely different way of living and perceiving the world. I have continued to educate myself through meditation, yoga, reading books that encourage you to observe and understand your inner life and exploring alternative methods of healing such as kinesiology and acupuncture.

I mention this because it is an important part of my life and something I engage with daily. Integrating these philosophies and practises has helped me to grow personally and professionally beyond belief. I recognise that they are particularly pertinent for actors, because we must know ourselves deeply in order to be as courageous and truthful in our work as possible. It’s also what keeps us afloat when you’ve had fourteen rejections in one week, no romance and have no money for rent. “I am a complete person! I live in abundance!” really works at these times.

But not for everyone, some prefer “All casting directors will burn in hell.”

And on that note, it’s time for me to go. I look forward to sharing a series of less extreme, more Politically Correct experiences with you next week… although one never knows in this industry. Au revoir!

Kate Walder

Kate is a 2008 graduate of the BA Music Theatre course from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). During her time at the academy she played the role of Linda in Blood Brothers, The Young Wife in Hello Again, Marguerita in West Side Story and featured in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd and Oklahoma!, for which she was Dance Captain. After moving to London in 2009 Kate played the role of Clio in La Dispute at the Soho Theatre and subsequently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since returning to Sydney, Kate has written and performed her one-woman show Coffee with Kate: the Cabaret at the 2010 inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival, a show based on a series of weekly columns she wrote for Aussietheatre.com. She is currently co-writing a new show with a fellow WAAPA graduate which will premiere later in the year.

Kate Walder

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