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Q&A/The Festival Sessions/Fringe World Festival/Theatre

On trusting your gut

11 January 2019

It’s been little more than a year since Isaac Diamond graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts but he’s already making a name for himself on the Perth theatre circuit. In 2018 he caught the attention of Seesaw critics in WA Youth Theatre Company’s Cloud Nine, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s The Night Zoo and Lazy Yarns’ Penthouse.

Now the emerging actor/performance maker is preparing to appear on stage with Slate, a new local theatre collective. Slate will debut at Fringe World 2019 with Michael Abercromby’s Front, a play that takes viewers behind the scenes of the music industry. Seesaw had a chat to Diamond ahead of opening night.

Isaac Diamond
Isaac Diamond

Seesaw: When did you first know that you wanted to be an actor?
Isaac Diamond: When I was a kid I thought I wanted to illustrate books but it turned out I really wasn’t that good at drawing. Fast forward to my first year out of school when I was giving physiotherapy a whirl and failing (literally). After some time off I decided to try the thing that had made me happiest in high school, performing.

S: Tell us about your training…
ID: I trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) for three years. I did the Bachelor of Performing Arts majoring in Performance Making. In this course, students are encouraged to push boundaries and explore the limits of theatre and performance. We receive a wide range of training, ranging from traditional acting and voice classes to more diverse methods such as butoh, Suzuki, clowning and puppetry, among others.

As far as my personal method is concerned, it’s all on the job learning. Trust your gut, make mistakes and keep doing that until you unlock the secrets of the universe.

S: Describe your artistic practice…
ID: I consider myself a performer and a maker. Acting was my first love but training at WAAPA showed me how much more there is to art. I’ve been a part of the devising process for a number of shows now, and I’m proud of all of them. I like work that is nuanced, authentic, challenging and exciting. I want to see humans struggle and love and burn and fly and shit everywhere. You know, normal stuff.

S: Career highlight so far?
ID: I was honoured and humbled to be the recipient of the Blue Room Theatre’s “Best Performance” award for my role in Lazy Yarn’s Penthouse. The awards are presented by the Blue Room Theatre for their entire 2018 season. It is a crazy thing to have happened and I still can’t really believe it. The talent and quality of work being made in Perth is unreal and I’m so happy to be amongst it.

S: What do you love most about what you do?
ID: I feel like I’m playing make-believe out the back with my little brother except I’m an adult and I get paid… what’s not to like?

S: 2018’s Fringe World saw you perform in Salt Theatre Company’s Minus One Sister and Lazy Yarns’ Less Light. What drew you back to Fringe World?
ID: A few buddies of mine let me know about a casting call for FRONT, looking for actors/musicians to play members of a band in a new/high-energy show written by a WAAPA acting grad.

Plus, I’ve loved Fringe in the past – the city is transformed. It’s bliss.

S: Tell us about your 2019 Fringe show!
ID: FRONT is fun, high-energy, crass, loud and gut-wrenching. It dives deep into the psyche of a musical psycho and smashes together ideas of ego, fame, power and loyalty into a tight 65 minute emotion explosion.

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
ID: Grace (I’m doing the sound design hehe)
Dad (I’m doing the sound design hehehehehe)
Silence my Ladyhead (groovy groovy)
Cotton Wool Kid (wrap yourself up 4 this)
The Big City (Louis is a clown-god)
Feminah (Charlotte is a boss-ass-BITCH)
Tony Galati the Musical (COZ DUHHH?)

S: What is your favourite part of the playground?
ID: OMG the swings. I’ll swing all damn day.

You can catch Isaac Diamond in FRONT 18-26 January at the State Theatre Centre of WA as part of Summer Nights.

Pictured top are Isaac Diamond and Mikayla Merks in character for “FRONT”.

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Author —
Nina Levy

Nina Levy has worked as an arts writer and critic since 2007. She co-founded Seesaw and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017. As a freelancer she has written extensively for The West Australian and Dance Australia magazine, co-editing the latter from 2016 to 2019. Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.

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