Hot on the heels of a hectic year of performing, Casey Donovan will showcase her unique style and voice at the Saltwater Freshwater Festival on 26 January 2012.
What’s been keeping you busy professionally in 2011?
I’ve been extremely busy this year. 2011 started off with the continuation of The Sapphires doing a season in Penrith NSW, Canberra ACT, then we travelled over to London for 2 weeks of shows at the Barbican Theatre.
Then I came home, did some Big, Beautiful & Sexy shows up the north coast of NSW and around Sydney.
I then started a production down in Melbourne Called The Flower Children. It was a sell out season and an amazing experience playing the role of Mama Cass Elliot.
To finish off the year, I am now in a Shakespeare production with Company B Belvior, called As You Like It.
As you mentioned, you’ve most recently been involved in the musical Flower Children: the Mamas and Papas Story. How much have you enjoyed the transition from singing/songwriting to acting as a medium?
That I have! I have enjoyed it immensely! The transition was great – it has opened my eyes to a new side of performing. Music will always be my first, but the acting world is a new avenue, and I very much like it.
What did you like most about performing in this musical?
I think I like the learning side of things – learning about Mama Cass and trying to get everything right. There was a lot more pressure, for in this music, Mama Cass being such a free spirit and being so young when she passes, there wasn’t a lot to go by.
For example, I knew that she was a very happy, living life kinda gal, but it was the emotional stuff that got me. The writer, Peter Fitzpatrick, showed a lot of Cass’ hurt, being the bigger girl, and being so in love with Denny Doherty… that would have had to be the most challenging part for me.
One of your more recent awards was for Best Supporting Actress at the Daegu International Musical Festival, for your role in the stage show The Sapphires. Of all the accolades you’ve received since your Australian Idol days, which ones mean the most to you – and why?
Wow … that’s a hard question! I would have to say the award you just asked about. Why? Because I was in a completely different country, they didn’t speak English, they had no idea who I was, and they didn’t judge me! And to be awarded for that and my acting ability … I would have to say that one.
You’re performing at the Saltwater Freshwater Festival in Taree on Australia Day 2012. What does Australia Day mean to you personally – and how would you normally spend the day if you weren’t performing?
I know – and I’m so excited! To me, this day means a whole bunch: it’s a day of celebration being part Aboriginal; it’s a day of survival, a day of remembrance, and a day to get out in the sunshine and enjoy. If I wasn’t working, I would be down at the beach having a BBQ and having a swim.
What’s the contrast for you between performing at festivals, as opposed to stage performances? Do you have a preference?
I think festivals are more music based, just getting out there and having fun and keeping the music rolling.
With stage performances, if I was doing a BBS Show (Big, Beautiful & Sexy), I like to talk through the show as if I’m telling a story with music. People get an intimate show; they get to know me … and I love that feeling.
How big an impact has your indigenous cultural background had on your life – personally and musically?
I think it has had a big impact – that being a very good one. I have learnt about my culture; I have helped out communities. My eyes have definitely been opened to new things, new opportunities and also a way to help people.
What are you most looking forward to about performing in Taree?
The great atmosphere! I’ve been to Taree a little bit, and I like it up there … I think it will be a great day!
What stage are you up to with production of a new album … will we be getting to experience some new music from you soon?
Fingers crossed, I will be back in the studio next year. 2011 has been so busy for me, I really haven’t had time to do anything else … but I will be pushing to get back in the studio and laying down some new tracks I have been working on.
Where’s the best place for people to go if they’re interested in purchasing your music?
Facebook: Casey Donovan
Twitter: @caseydonovan and
Interview by Jo Atkins.
Photo credit this page and front cover:
(c) 2011 Cee Dee Services Pty Ltd.