HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - GORETTI CHADWICK
Writer, Director & Actor
What do you love most, stage or screen acting and why?
I love them all for various different reasons, but theatre is the genesis of my love of acting and I love it just that little bit more. With film and TV you can reshoot and edit out any mistakes. There is absolutely nowhere to hide with theatre... you are literally out there for the world to see, warts and all.
Is this one of the first plays where you've been centre stage & the main character?
This is the first solo-ish show I've ever done. I say solo-ish as I'm on stage with a puppeteer.
What's cool about it?
Ummm.... it's scary as all heck tbh. I'm really testing myself to see how far I can go and thank goodness I added walking into my daily regime last year or else I'd have to stop every 5 minutes for an asthma pump. I think the older I get the more I want to get out of doing the same old thing on stage. When you're younger and fresh out of drama school or a novice in the industry it can sometimes be about getting noticed and getting attention etc, I'm in my forties and have gone in the opposite direction - If the story resonates with an audience member that is awesome, but my sole purpose isn't to please everyone. I would never succeed at that. I have to enjoy what I'm doing and honour the process of it and purely focus on telling the story and have a good time doing it.
On that, what is it like being able to put yourself in the centre of narratives like this, like all the screen stuff that you play for FRESH?
I don't really see it as putting myself out there, I'm really just doing other people's work and enjoying the ride. Again, the older you get the less you start to worry about whether people like it, or you, or the story - it's whether I like what I'm doing and whether I like who I get to play with at the time. The crew play as much of a role as the cast on FRESH and when we're all on the same buzz, magic happens. Some people assume that when you're having too much fun, you're not working hard enough. I disagree wholeheartedly with that. And if there is one thing FRESH is notorious for (and that many don't see on the telly) is how fricken awesome the crew are. Most of the time, I'm trying to make them laugh.
How cool is it having big brown women driving these stories?
I think it's wonderful, but we need more. Not more, just in quantity, but in quality. I love how Anapela Polata'ivao and Tusiata Avia have created Wild Dogs with a cast of women and faafafine. Yass to all of that and more!!!
Whats the play about?
Our parents want us to follow our dreams, to have the best education, career, to get married, have children etc.. and yet when the children head out to fulfil that mission, sometimes our parents are left behind. This story is about an old Samoan woman who deals with that loneliness and the unexpected companionship she finds in a rogue chicken she finds in her beloved garden.
Why comedy for you - what made you find comedy as your niche thing, what do you love about making people laugh?
I don't ever remember venturing out into the world hoping to do comedy, but the idea of doing silly stuff with like-minded silly people appeals to me every time. I love having a good time and laughing like a soso. That trumps sitting behind a desk number crunching any day.
People may not know that you are an accomplished writer yourself - in drama as well as comedy - tell us about some of your work?
I still consider myself an ideas person. I still have a lot to learn about writing. It is a skill that I never in a million years thought I'd ever want to do, yet it is the most important part of any actor's life. I've written a couple of plays, written skits and stories and consulted for TV shows, but again, I still have a long way to go before I can ever call myself a writer.
Tell us 3 random interesting things about yourself?
When I'm not acting or writing I am making soap. All my soaps are cold processed and I could happily do that for the rest of my life.
When I hang up washing all the pegs need to be colour coordinated lol - my one and only OCD moment.
I may come across as an extrovert and OTT, but I'm actually a hermit. I love my 'Me Time' and sometimes that could mean craving to be completely away from the world for months on end, but alas I must venture out into the world to pay my bills.
What do you love about the chicken play and why should Islanders take time to see it?
I love that I have literally fallen in love with a puppet. I seriously do not see a puppet at all. That's Haanz' skill for you. I kiss it and cuddle it even when I'm not running a scene hahaha yes I'm a vasti. Auckland is described as the city of experiencing four seasons in one day, the same could be said about where Mama takes you with this story. We laugh, we empathasize, we kagi and we love. It's a Samoan Character with universal themes and hope people come out and have a good time with Mama and the Chicken.
'Still Life with Chickens' opens at the Mangere Town Centre tomorrow night at 7.30pm and also plays in Auckland central, Palmerston North and Wellington. For Full booking details, dates and times and to book tickets click here
** NB: If you haven't seen Goretti's classic interview with Jason Momoa yet make sure you watch it here before you sign out **