Anthea Patrick has taken some time off from a busy rehearsal week to chat about her current project, Andrew Bovell‘s Speaking In Tongues which opens soon for Antix as part of the Metro Arts Allies program. We start with the background stuff – Anthea is Brisbane-born, bred and educated, though new to the Brisbane indie scene – so I’m keen to find out more about one of the newest emerging artists in town.
Anthea’s parents were dancers, though she admits to being somewhat ‘uncoordinated,’ so she found herself going to drama classes as a kid. She remembers her teachers there and later with great fondness: ‘They encouraged us to be the leaders of our creative ideas and gave us confidence in pursuing the art form.’ As a teenager she went to youth theatre at the Villanova Players, where she got the chance to devise, direct, and to be involved in as many different parts of theatre as we wanted. ‘The older kids were leaders for the younger ones.’ Later, at QUT, where she graduated in 2003 with a BCreative Industries, Anthea found the ‘golden nuggets’ she received from lecturers like Mark Radvan – with whom she studied directing – of enormous help. ‘I had done a couple of horrible productions for the youth theatre at Villanova earlier on; I struggled, just working on instinct but, as I got the opportunity to learn and do more, things started to go well.’ After graduation, Anthea founded herself directing mainstage productions back at Villanova Players. ‘It gave me the opportunity to direct a team.’ She notes that a major part of directing is ‘managing creative minds.’
Managing creative minds – what’s that about? ‘Really, it’s managing the huge amount of trust they give you and the burden of fulfilling that. It’s very easy to get tired and that is the moment when you can really confuse people. The thing I try to avoid is confusing people. Understanding characters and design is pretty complex. As a director I always feel nervous before rehearsals begin; it’s the responsibility.’
Anthea is the artistic director of Antix, a new company on the indie scene in Brisbane. ‘I created the name Antix when I had to come up with a name to get an ABN. Back then I had this little dream that I would make it a place where actors and creatives could develop and then present. Of course, I was too young,’ she adds, ‘and I didn’t know how to make a company happen.’ As the years passed, Anthea found herself coaching and teaching more and more. ‘The dream of producing and directing wasn’t happening. I got a bit lost there, so I gave myself a good slap in the face and said if I want to do something, I’d need to get moving. I wanted to learn more about directing.’ She did her research and found herself one of 11 international students at RADA in London doing their short, intensive directing course. ‘That experience really grounded me and opened up my thinking; I’ll be forever glad I had the opportunity.’ Continue reading Anthea Patrick (Interview 24)