Victoria Brown is a local celeb. In fact, she’s probably the most famous person I know, in person! Vic and I share many things in common; we are farmers’ wives, love writing and reading, theatre, good wine and lots of laughs.
Vic takes things one step further than I do – she acts in the plays that she writes, she performs her work through recitals (I just let all of you read mine!).
But not only that, she juggles being a mum and general hand on the farm. That’s why she’s a ‘Rainbow of hope, of inspiration and achievement’
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing or performing something. I’ve always loved language and laughter. As a child I wrote non stop, mostly stories and sketches for school. I also wrote sketches for my brother and me to perform in front of my mother and our home help, Mrs Joyce. God knows how many performances they had to sit through at morning coffee time as David and I acted out yet another sketch for them. I thought they smiled benignly all the way through our theatrical delights. In hindsight they might have been grimacing…..
At high school, college and Uni I wrote more sketches, one act plays, monologues, and humorous narrative poetry. The sketches were often written and performed with my best friend Sarah. We thought we were hilarious. Were we? Well we can’t have been too bad as we were always asked to do some sort of entertainment at various functions throughout the year. I’ve had various writing partners over the years and love to write satirical sketches for revues for the local theatre guild here in Esperance as well as for radio. It’s great bouncing ideas off someone else to get the creative juices flowing……and then having to discard one third of the material due to it being totally inappropriate!
The writing and performing of poetry really took off for me when I found myself living on a farm east of Esperance with three small children, an hour from the nearest town, and with no creative outlet at all. I wrote ‘The Local Elders Man’ one summer and the ball hasn’t stopped rolling since then. As a child my mother would always encourage David and me to re-write words to songs or make up silly rhymes when we were in the car. She was emphatic that the rhythm and metre were as correct as possible which is probably why I find it quite easy to write Bush Poetry.
It is great to be able to write and perform your own work. You can hide a multitude of sins in your bush poetry when you perform it yourself. The seasoned Bush Poets say that a good performer can make a technically incorrect poem sound brilliant, whilst a useless performer can kill a brilliant poem!
At the moment I am enjoying co-directing a play called ‘Captive Wives’ at the local theatre. It has been written by Perth playwright Jenny Davis and is set around our district when farm land was being cleared in the seventies. I’ve also done a couple of bush poetry workshops recently which have been great fun. I get the chance to travel around the state and meet lovely people who are as passionate about writing and performing as I am. I’m also editing a novel my mother wrote before she died. It’s about an Australian girl from the Kimberly who goes to England to work with horses.
So the long and the short of it is that there is not much of my own writing going on at the moment, but lots of other creative things are keeping me well and truly occupied.
A few extra hours in every day would be good!