Michelle, Artistic Director The Living Room Theatre with a day job as the Executive Administrator at the Sydney Environment Institute. She is an out-of-the-box thinker and is passionate about creating theatrical experiences. Michelle has been married for 18 years (this week!). She lives in Sydney and has the lovely company of three cats and a chicken that enjoys fresh oatmeal every morning.

Greatest personal barrier

I have had a fear of going underwater ever since I can remember. I’m claustrophobic, if I feel I can’t escape from a certain space, I panic!
The claustrophobia lives with me in other things and places as well. It’s interesting; I have no fear of going on stage but I struggle when sitting in an auditorium. Particulalry at point when the house lights dim and we transition into the performance.

Personal act for the reef

For the first time, I pledge to overcome my fear of going underwater by going snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

Courage means

Feeling fear and doing it anyway; holding it together when everything else tells you to turn away, that is the ultimate moment of courage.

Courage is different from person to person. I feel no fear of performing or putting my very personal work up in the public arena while I know for others this is a terrifying thought. For me however, the water – sticking my face underwater is daunting if not sickening.
Many people are incredibly courageous in their daily lives, simply waking, getting through a day can be an act of courage. These are the people who deserve the medals.

Personal heroes and contagious courage

I think of how other people I know are courageous, my Mum for example. As a new migrant who became a single mother two years later she had the daunting task of raising two young children. Throughout those years she never once made us feel like we were inconveniencing her. She provided what she could and still had the energy to create a magical environment for us to live in despite the horror that she was facing. She’s an inspiration for me to be courageous as well.
My favorite superhero growing up had to be Wonder Woman. She had black hair instead of blonde, which was more typical at the time, and as a little Indian I felt I could relate more to her. We had the same colour hair afterall! And to wear that outfit, performing all those stunts in front of all those men – now that’s courageous!