STELLAR FEATURE for BODY & SOUL
In July Erika graced the pages of The Daily Telegraph, Body & Soul for a feature in Stellar magazine. Below is the interview and some images from the article.
"I have days where lockdown feels like a rare gift of a pause, recalibration – time to be with my family with no pressure to be anywhere or prove anything. I have never been more grateful to live seaside in Sydney and to have such a strong community of friends and family. Regardless, the lack of human contact quickly catches up with someone like me who is quite tactile and needy in the hugs department. I have found the restrictions stifling and at times the cause of a feeling of complete emotional, professional and creative paralysis.
The only way I know how to cope with it is to have some sort of routine in place and to remember to make time for myself. Exercise, meditation and breathwork is essential for my wellbeing, as is time outdoors in nature, good home-cooked food, great wine, good tunes and time away from devices.
The family are holding up pretty well, with our fair share of good, bad and spectacularly beige days. My 5-year-old son has repeatedly expressed feelings of loneliness and confusion around not being able to see his friends which breaks my heart. He has, however, been milking the privilege of 24 hr. access to Mum and Dad with the accompanying snacks, games, treats and activities on the menu.
Lockdown quickly reveals the true state of domestic equality, and I don’t think I’d be the only one who has engaged in some strong-arm wrestling to establish a good sense of balance. It’s our first-time homeschooling and it requires bucket loads of patience with a child that’s full of energy and short on focus. I confess I’ve lost my cool a few times but for the most part have enjoyed stepping into the role of teacher. *as long as it’s short term. I did school via correspondence as a kid while my family travelled around the country by boat and campervan and really loved it. Both my parents were terrific teachers, with very different styles. Dad was a strong disciplinarian with a real knack for practical life and survival skills while Mum was a brilliant and nurturing creative. Which makes me push even harder for my husband to dig into the homeschooling with me so that Charlie benefits from the best of both our strengths. While I suck at math, I’ve really enjoyed doing art projects - and felt flooded with a new sense of appreciation of the resourcefulness creative learning requires. You can make something out of literally anything. It seems to flow with me in the same way it did with Mum. It’s taken me by surprise just how much we are alike.
I hope that during this period I can still find time for my own projects which feel like they are the lowest on the food chain right now. Collaborating on a show with a bunch of kick ass women is definitely on the cards for me next. There’s been a significant change for the better in the representation of women in this industry. Female Writers, directors, producers, and creatives all finally being given the position, the recognition and accolades they deserve. Finally, we are seeing more women’s stories been told by women. This representation, as women’s voices are being amplified, is super inspiring and very exciting. Add diversity casting into the mix, and the work becomes even more powerful.
Any actor will tell you that self tapes during lockdown are a bloody nightmare, I persist nonetheless with the mindset that work will thrive once again. It’s essential that we all remain optimistic and hopeful. Our industry has taken such a terrible beating, but the level of support within the community has never been stronger. Fantastic work is still being made, and thank God for that because we would all be absolutely lost without the arts."