Sheree Mirabito: Life Feeds Art
Sheree Mirabito is one of the most dedicated and hardworking actors you’ll ever meet. After a sojourn to Nepal to explore herself and her art – particularly the art of comedy – Sheree is back in Sydney and raring to get working. We had a chat with her about how her creativity was revitalised by her getaway.
Why did you decide to take a trip?
I wanted some time out to reconnect with my creative fire and work on my craft. I’d been working quite hard without rest for a very long time and felt I needed to rejuvenate. I also had some ideas for my own productions that I wanted to work on without the distraction of everyday life.
Why did you choose Nepal?
I wanted to go somewhere that was completely different to Sydney; somewhere I’d be overwhelmed by with new sights, sounds, smells and sensations and with a different culture. I wanted somewhere that would take me out of my habitual way of living and really throw me into being present to each moment and overload my senses with new creative inspiration.
What was the most surprising thing about the trip?
The marriage proposals!
Within 12 hours of meeting a person I would be whisked away to a mountain top and asked to spend my life with someone. This happened quite frequently.
One man even had a 2 year plan laid out for me with the persuasive pitch that I would have a great acting career in Nepal because I was “beautiful and the same height as Nepali people”.
For those that are unfamiliar with Nepali people – they are generally short, so much so that even I, at 160cm, hit my head on their low doorways.
What was the hardest thing about the trip?
Leaving. I fell in love with the country, the people, the landscape, the food, the flying! Yes, flying – I got to paraglide and am now in love with it. Did you know that it is possible to hang out in the sky? It still blows my mind.
What do you think are the main factors that would negatively affect one’s creativity?
First and foremost; ignoring your gut. I find that intuitively we all know when we need a break, or aren’t really connecting with a script or doing something that affects us creatively and when we go against that inner knowing – we’ll feel the consequences of doing so.
I also think that when we forget to live and focus solely on our work our creativity can suffer. Life feeds art and it’s so important to live a rich and varied life in addition to working on our craft so that we have more to bring to our work.
One of the best pieces of advice I got while studying was in a David Newman workshop where he said “look after your human so that it can look after your actor because your actor will never look after your human.” Or something to that affect. It changed the way I approached my work and life.
Do you think comedy is different from dramatic acting, and needs to be learned separately?
I do approach comedy and drama slightly differently but I think that it can be dangerous thinking of them as different because you can run into the mistake of ‘playing the comedy’. Generally what the audience finds funny in a comedy is actually extremely serious to the character and so in that respect you should treat the material the same as you would a drama; find the truth in the moment and deliver that.
There is comedy in every moment if you look for it and finding that lightness often adds to a dramatic piece.
Has any of your inspiration faded since you returned?
No. If anything it’s just made me more present to life here and so I’m continually inspired by my environment. I was tutored in writing stand up comedy while I was away and so find the humour in absolutely everything now.
What do you plan to do with your refreshed creative energy?
Land every job I audition for!
I also start filming a comedic web series I wrote while away next month and am really looking forward to seeing it come to life.