A pandemic hasn’t stopped Aussie actress and all-round entertainer Robyn Duse from being creative during these trying times — in fact she is busier than ever with many projects up her sleeve. Here is what she had to share with the readers:
Hi Robyn! It’s great to see you are still keeping busy during lockdown in Australia. I know you are in my hometown of Melbourne -how is it all going there and also what have you been up to lately?
Australia is currently back on lockdown. Unfortunately filming had to stop due to the current restrictions, however I am excited to get back into it soon, once restrictions ease up. Although it has been challenging for most, it has given me the extra time to work on my craft, work on creative projects and to connect and collaborate with many Hollywood industry professionals on a deeper level.
What have you been up to lately? I know you have been conducting some Instagram live videos, including one with director Michael Mandaville. Tell us more about that and did you guys meet in LA or Australia?
Michael Mandaville is a producer, director and writer known for Hollywood box office films like Taken 1,2 & 3 starring Liam Neeson and American History X starring Edward Norton, to name a few. I connected with him through a friend of mine in LA, who then put me in touch with Michael’s friend and business partner Bruce.
After a discussion with Bruce, Michael connected with me to discuss meeting in person at a cafe in LA to further discuss a film project. After an amazing 3.5 hour discussion over lunch, Michael and I have remained good friends and are planning on collaborating on some different projects together. Michael has an amazing wealth of knowledge of the industry and is an amazing person whom I feel very grateful to call a good friend.
What did you learn the most, from the live chat about the industry through the eyes of someone like Michael Mandaville?
Michael Mandaville and I ran an instagram live chat for 2.5 hours, giving creatives a greater insight to new ways of film making. This gave creatives more of an understanding of what Hollywood now looks like -with new covid guidelines including insurance costs for budgets, social distancing for cast and different methods/techniques used for intimate scenes on set and much more. This is a challenging time for everyone and I appreciate Michael being very generous with his time giving back to creatives.
What other interviews do you have coming up?
I am excited to host our next on-line Zoom event with the amazingly talented entrepreneur, philanthropist, singer and songwriter Joseph H Wehbe. Another guest will be Hollywood filmmaker, director, screen writer and cinematographer Steven Bernstein. Steven is known for many Hollywood box office films such as: Monster starring Charlize Theron, White Chicks, Scary Movie, Water Boy starring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler and many more. Below are the dates, time and information for this exclusive event:
Australian date: Friday 11th September 2020
Time: 10 am (AEST)
US Date: Thursday 10th September
Time: 5pm (PST)
Steven will be giving creatives a wealth of knowledge of the industry and a Q&A at the end of the discussion. Steven’s lectures usually cost $25k US and $35K AUD — so we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to have Steven give back to creatives, at no cost.
As Steven will be giving us his valuable time, we are asking creatives to attend the event where they will gain insightful information from, about the industry. Afterwards, creatives will have the opportunity to ask any industry related questions, that will help guide them on their paths. Steven has suggested a charity fund in the link below and/or optional donations would be greatly appreciated.
For more information on this event, please see the link below:
Are you also still pursuing acting and directing as well?
Acting/filmmaking will never leave me, as once it’s in your blood, it’s very difficult to leave. I love how we have that human connection and experience with fellow actors, taking our audience on a journey in which they can resonate with. It’s about exploring a deeper connection with the human spirit, because as actors we delve into many deep emotions that most of society masks or avoids. Through our craft, being a creative is also a healing process, as audiences sometimes see their own reflections of our own pain and trauma emerged in the characters we play.
What do you do in order to remain positive during a pandemic, while still staying productive?
I feel very blessed for so many amazing opportunities, my mentors who continue to guide me, the amazing souls who am surrounded by — and the ability to do what I absolutely love and giving back to many creatives on their journey. With current global restrictions, unfortunately it’s quite difficult to be working — however hopefully I will be back to filming, once these restrictions ease in the next month or so.
I am currently working on a pitch for a project collaborating with some industry professionals in Hollywood. For this project, I am the creative director and associate producer on this film, which is exciting. This is my first associate producer role and I feel very blessed to be learning from some of the best creative professionals in the industry. This global pandemic has been quite challenging to many, however, spirituality plays a big part of my life and I always advise anyone who is experiencing challenging times (especially during this pandemic period) to find positive ways to turn negative thoughts and situations into positive ones.
I implement positive affirmations, watch positive/inspirational videos, connect with uplifting, positive, influential people in my circle who are aligned with the same/similar goals I have in my daily life. This helps me to stay focused, positive, aligned with who I am, what I want, where I am going and to stay true to myself and my mission.
What are you currently binging on music, movie and TV wise? Any particular artists or genre, you are into at the moment?
There hasn’t been much that I watched on Netflix as I have been really utilizing this time to stay pro-active and focus on my goals. However, there are many films that I absolutely love to watch repeatedly — A Star Is Born as it’s such a raw and real film with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, The Notebook as it’s a such classic love story, Dear John and many other love stories. I love watching these films as I am a romantic at heart. My favorite throwback movie is Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze, which I repeatedly watched growing up, because it inspired me to want to act, sing and dance.
Music is a big part of my daily life, as also it motivates and inspires me. My range of music is quite broad, because I like most genres — however I am not much of a country fan with the exception of a couple of country songs (laughs).
Lastly, what is something you would love to do in the future career wise, that you have yet to tackle?
I have always wanted to create a project where I can create my own role and have a creative team which is what I am currently doing. Aside from that, I am very passionate about pursuing a career as a singer, songwriter, dancer and more behind the scenes on film — as I love being creative in all aspects, where I travel the world as part of my job and love experiencing different cultures, food and people.
Thanks so much for your time Robyn!